I’ve been an admirer of banana bread for years but have never made my own recipe for this delightful treat—until now! I wanted to create a loaf packed with serious flavor, and I think my combination of ripe bananas, brown butter, and hefty doses of cardamom and cinnamon did the trick. It’s straightforward and delicious—but there’s one catch. The bananas you need to use have to be really ripe. I’m talking very-dark-and-spotty-we-need-to-throw-these-out-immediately ripe. These are loaded with concentrated sweetness and overflowing with flavor, so make sure you get some if you want to make this loaf. Check out the discount section at your local market or simply wait for your current bananas to ripen. Trust me, you’ll be happy you did so.
Brown Butter Banana Bread with a Maple Glaze
Yields 1, 9x5 loaf
1 stick unsalted butter
1 ¼ cup all-purpose flour
¾ cup spelt flour
1 tsp baking soda
¾ tsp kosher diamond salt
¾ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cardamom
3 ½ very ripe bananas—measures out to 1 ¾ cup mashed
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup light brown sugar, 100g
2 large room temp eggs, beaten
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 tbs plain yogurt
For the Glaze
½ cup plus 2 tbs powdered sugar
1 tbs maple syrup
1 tbs whole milk
Heat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9x5 loaf pan with baking spray, and line with a piece of parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the sides.
Begin by browning the butter. Put the stick of butter in a skillet set over medium heat. As the butter begins to melt, swirl the pan around to help the butter cook evenly. Allow the butter to cook until it begins to smell nutty, and takes on a lovely brown color. Immediately transfer to a small bowl and let cool.
For the batter: Add the all-purpose flour, spelt flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and cardamom to a medium bowl. Whisk everything together until well combined and set aside.
Add the bananas to a large bowl and mash with a fork. Add both sugars, vanilla extract, eggs, and yogurt, and whisk to combine. Add the cooled browned butter, whisking again until fully incorporated.
Add the dry ingredients to wet, and mix until just combined. Fold in the walnuts, mixing a few times just until incorporated—do not over mix the batter.
Pour into prepared pan and top the batter with a few extra walnuts if desired. Place the pan into the oven and bake for 55-65 minutes. I would suggest to start checking at the 55 min mark. Remove the loaf once a tester inserted into the center pulls out clean.
Let the bread cool in the pan for about 15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cool, whisk all of the glaze ingredients together and drizzle over the loaf.