This banana bread recipe is given an upgrade by caramelizing the bananas before it goes into the batter. To make it even more scrumptious, it is served with a brown butter cinnamon glaze that gives it that extra hint of nuttiness and spice that takes this banana bread to the next level.
Alright, you’re probably over seeing banana bread all over the internet with everyone’s ‘quarantine banana bread’ all over social media. I get it. I was too. I mean, I too, made my own quarantine banana bread and sourdough starter (though unfortunately, I never got it to live long enough for me to name it), I made all other kinds of quarantine-induced foods.
But the banana bread craze came, and went away fairly quickly. That is until my friend Zeke posted a banana bread that I simply had to have. He made a Caramelized Banana Bread with a Brown Butter Glaze. He didn’t give an exact recipe, but I knew I had to make my own.
I’ve had a basic banana bread recipe in my files for a while, it’s good but then I thought, why not make this recipe better by using Zeke’s method. And so the testing began.
My original recipe looked like this:
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. salt
3 large, very ripe bananas, mashed well
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
2 tsp. vanilla extract
⅓ cup oil
You’re welcome to use it if you want to, it’s literally a dump and stir recipe and bake ‘til set, and still a really good banana bread recipe.
But if I wanted to do a caramelized banana recipe, I’d have to make some changes. I wanted to add a bit more sweetness, so I added more brown sugar - this would give a nice caramelized coating for the bananas.
I noticed that I had baking soda, but no acid to help activate it - so I could use either buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream, or even kefir. I decided to go with Greek yogurt as I wanted to add more richness, and this also helps with making the banana bread extra moist (sorry if you don’t like that word, but trust me, you want that word for a banana bread! No one wants dry banana bread, yuck! Haha)
Adding to the ‘moistness’ I decided to use olive oil instead of canola/vegetable oil. Apart from making the banana bread moist, I like the richness of flavour that olive oil has instead of a neutral oil.
I also wanted to have another rising agent, so added another egg. Now with all that added moisture/liquid from the Greek yogurt, egg, and the caramelized mashed bananas, I upped the flour. Just enough so everything can bind together well, but not too much to make the recipe dry.
Now I also wanted to add a bit more sweetness to this recipe, and also have enough ‘caramel’ to coat the bananas, so I omitted the granulated sugar and added more brown sugar. This combined with a bit of butter adds a nice nuttiness as the sugar caramelizes. Then as the bananas cook in this mixture, their flavour intensifies even before they get baked. Talk about yum!
Alright, moving on to the GLAZE. This oh so amazing Brown Butter Cinnamon glaze (or frosting). It’s not necessarily a new thing, using brown butter for a base, I just never tried it myself, seeing as I’m lazy and just want things basic - boy has this changed my life 🙌. Taking the extra step of browning my butter just adds to the luscious flavour and nuttiness of this glaze.
As you notice, I interchange between ‘glaze’ and ‘frosting’ - this is because if you put this mixture on your banana bread while it’s still hot/warm, it melts and turns into a lovely glaze. If your banana bread is cool, it stays a frosting. As you can see in the photos, I’m in the in-between stage, warm enough to melt a bit, and cool enough for it to still hold its shape.
Either way you use it, this glaze/frosting is worth the extra effort to make your banana bread (image this on cinnamon rolls, omg 🤤) extra amazing and drool worthy. You’re never gonna go back to basic banana bread ever.
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