Browned Butter Whole Grain Banana Bread

This whole grain banana bread is made with brown butter for extra flavor! It’s so wildly good I may have to brown my butter for all banana bread from here on out!

Whole Grain Banana Bread

Why browned butter? Because it smells (and tastes!) like freshly baked cookies. That’s why!

You’ll typically see recipes for decadent sauces, cookies, and even ice creams that call for the liquid gold that is browned butter, but breads are almost never let in on the fun. I’m here to change that!

What bread loves to party?  Whole Grain Banana Bread loves to party! Let’s get it drunk.

Despite my overzealous desire to inebriate this bread, I’m going to behave like the good little preggo that I am and simply get it butter drunk instead.

Only we’re not using a lot of butter here, so the bread is more like that health-conscious hipster you met at a party. The one delicately sipping a microbrew in the corner instead of dancing on top of the bar. I’m not sure where I was going with that, I think I just really need a bevvy.

This bread won’t lead you to regret your decisions in the morning. So grab a few speckled bananas and meet me in the kitchen!

We have whole grain banana bread to make!

Brown Butter Banana Bread

special diets and swaps

An egg will work in place of flax egg.

In a pinch you can grab regular all-purpose flour or regular whole grain flour and this recipe will still come together marvelously.  For those of you babystepping your way from white flour to whole grains, unbleached white wheat is a soft alternative to help you transition!

No honey? You can substitute pure maple syrup, agave nectar, or 1/4 cup of sugar.

Not a fan of nuts?  Hellooo chocolate chips!  I have a variation with dark chocolate that I’ll be posting super soon!

For those of you that are curious, there are two applesauces I bake with: Musselman’s Granny Smith Applesauce and the plain, unsweetened, organic applesauce from Whole Foods.  Any applesauce will work in my recipes, these are just my favorite! Serious Eats did a taste test of leading applesauce brands and Musselman’s and Whole Foods 365 came out on top along with Vermont Organics and Trader Joes.

Cool, right?  Once apples are in season you can totally make your own, jar it, and then maybe bring me some.  I’ll trade you a loaf of delicious bread!

I’m supposed to tell you to wait for it to cool before digging in. Yeah… Good luck with that!

Browned Butter Whole Grain Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Drizzle

Tools Needed: a 9×5-inch or 8×4-inch loaf pan and parchment paper for the ultimate crust and easy banana bread removal from the pan.

Whole Grain Banana Bread Recipe

I’m so excited for you to try this baller banana bread!

It’s simply amazing.  I’ve been making this bread non-stop for the past few weeks because everyone keeps eating it all on me!  Seriously… We’re talking two loaves a week here!  I don’t think I’ve ever baked so much in my life.  Browning the butter (swoon!) and sautéing the bananas makes a world of difference in the bread’s awesome flavor profile.  And as for the texture?  It’s a perfect balance of fluffy yet dense and oh-so-moist.  You won’t need butter, honey, or nut butter whatsoever, though it did make for a fun (and messy!) photoshoot.Plus honey and peanut butter?  It’s flipping delicious.

Try a slice [or two!] with breakfast or keep individually-wrapped slices on hand for perfect grab-and-go snacking!

Here’s the printable recipe card:

Browned Butter Banana Bread with Honey and Peanut Butter Drizzle

Browned Butter Whole Grain Banana Bread

This whole grain banana bread is made with brown butter for extra flavor! It’s so wildly good I may have to brown my butter for all banana bread from here on out!
5 from 18 votes
Course: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Browned Butter Whole Grain Banana Bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 10 slices
Author: Jenn Laughlin – Peas and Crayons

Ingredients

  • 1 flax egg or 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup mashed super ripe banana (2 medium bananas])
  • ¼ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice
  • 1 cup unbleached white wheat whole wheat flour
  • cup ground oat flour (see below)
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp cinnamon (or 3/4 tsp if you’re an addict!)
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ cup chopped unsalted walnuts

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees F.
  • Next whip up your flax egg. Simply combine 1 tablespoon of ground flax with 3 tablespoons of water, whisk, and refrigerate for 15-20 minutes. No need to time it, just pop it in the fridge until you’re ready to add it to the mix.
  • Remove half a stick of unsalted butter [only 4 tablespoons worth] from your fridge and slice. Slicing is optional, but will help the butter melt faster and more evenly. Add the butter to a small saucepan on medium-low heat and whisk occasionally, keeping an eye on the pot to prevent burning. A few minutes later, once the butter fully melts, it will start to froth and bubble at the top. Keep whisking repeatedly at this point, as the butter takes on a caramel brown-sugar smell. You’ll start to notice tiny brown flecks at the bottom of your pan. Whisking those little specks will give the butter a golden-brown hue and signal when it’s time to remove the butter from heat. Pour into clean bowl to prevent further cooking and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  • Wait! Don’t toss the pot in the sink yet!
  • Leave the burner on medium-low heat, and add the banana, honey and coconut oil and applesauce to the pot you browned the butter in, scraping up any leftover golden flakes of deliciousness into the banana for added flavor. Just a few minutes stove top is all it will need, sauteing the banana a bit just further develops the sweetness and flavor. Once you’re ready, pull from heat and add to a large mixing bowl to cool.
  • You can purchase oats pre-ground into flour, but its ridiculously easy to make your own by pulsing plain rolled oats in a food processor until they’re fluffy and powdery. They’re delicious sprinkled into baked goods and veggie burgers too!
  • Mix dry ingredients and whisk to distribute ingredients evenly.
  • Add your browned butter, lemon juice, and flax egg to the banana mixture and stir.
  • Sift in your dry ingredients [sometimes the oats try to hang out in the sifter, just pour them in slowly if that happens] while stirring the two together with a fork until just moistened.
  • Add your chopped walnuts, fold in, and pour into a 9×5 or 8×4 loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
  • Bake at 325 F for 45-55 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center. Mine is typically done around 50 minutes but ovens are testy little appliances and times may vary just a smidge <3
  • Allow to cool before digging in to risk burning your face. Though I happen to lack self restraint in that department! Must… have… banana bread!

Notes

Nutrition Facts below are estimated using an online recipe nutrition calculator. Adjust as needed and enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 207kcal, Carbohydrates: 26g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 12mg, Sodium: 156mg, Potassium: 139mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 10g, Vitamin A: 151IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 23mg, Iron: 1mg

What’s your favorite type of quick bread?

If you get a chance to try this Whole Grain Banana Bread, let me know! You can leave me a comment here (LOVE checking those daily!) or tag @PEASandCRAYONS on Instagram so I can happy dance over your creations. I can’t wait to see what you whip up!

Jenn Laughlin Peas and Crayons Author
About The Author:

Jenn Laughlin

Hi! I’m Jenn and I’m here to help you eat your veggies! It’ll be fun, painless, and pretty darn delicious as I teach you to plan your meals around fresh, seasonal produce with a little help from healthy freezer and pantry staples.

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Recipe Rating




Questions & Reviews

  1. I don’t know what I like better: the whole dancing on the table versus hipsters sipping their microbrew reference or the actual banana bread. I love the idea of browning the butter and cooking the bananas just a smidge to bring out all their banana-y goodness. You are a genius. Or a mad scientist. Or a hipster. Whatever it is, I love it. I am setting aside some public bananas for this.

  2. Oh yum! I just made banana bread the other day for the first time in forever. Not with browned butter though. This one looks super rich. And oh the glaze!

  3. I’m going to be pretty boring here and say my fav. bread is sourdough….BUT I think it’s become more my fav because New Zealand only has it offered in bakeries WHICH I’m not in everyday so that’s a downer. But ever since I’ve started baking I’ve loved creating random breads – like my cauliflower/sweet potato muffins. I hope that made up for my boring first answer haha. This looks so so good – I love your photography, thanks for sharing.

  4. Banana bread is most definitely my fave bread to make, but I haven’t in so long…what gives!!! I want to eat my comp screen right now!

  5. This really did look good enough to lick the screen! How do you make everything look So delicious, Jenn?!? You’re amazing!

  6. Oh wow…I think I’ve died and gone to heaven! Can’t wait to try this…and how convenient that I can pass it off as a little bit healthy. 😉

  7. 5 stars
    Oh wow, this looks incredible! I love banana bread but haven’t made any recently as I’m all new to the world of ‘healthy’ baking (i.e. whole flours and no cane sugar) and am a little wary of trying things out. But this one is being made ASAP! Thank you for sharing 🙂

  8. 5 stars
    Browned butter anything is just delicious! I love the smell as well. I would have never thought to sautee bananas before. I think I’ll make this for my family for the long weekend!

  9. Oh my goodness this looks ah-mazing! My mouth is watering right now! Thanks for the recipe

  10. 5 stars
    Uuuuuuh this looks so mouthwatering delicious and I do have a heap of apple sauce at hand – do you think I could substitute one of the mashed bananas by using more apple sauce?

    1. I think so! If your one banana winds up being a cup of banana you’d need between 1/4 and 1/2 cup extra applesauce but my only concern is it getting too watery since applesauce is thinner than the banana and also the banana sweetens the bread, so you might want to add a little sugar or extra honey too. You can add it towards the end and then always add extra flour if it seems too runny? Keep me posted and feel free to email me and we can brainstorm it! <3 xoxo

  11. I’ve never browned butter before, but I’m sure it’d be delicious. Thanks for sharing! (Now if only you could send me a slice… or four…)

  12. Oh my goodness…. I’m a sucker for a good banana bread and this looks absolutely fantabulous!!

  13. I remember when I discovered the glory of browned butter. It was in brownies and it altered my life forever. Best chocolate chip cookie secret too. Nowe I must do it in banana bread.

    Have you ever tried baking the bananas in the oven (unpeeled) first? It’s fantastic and gives it that caramel-y sweetness. And you don’t have to wait as long for them to get uber ripe. That’s right – I said uber.

    1. The sauteeing of the bananas does the same thing I believe, but I’m going to try the oven trick too! I keep hearing about it! Thanks loooove!

  14. This looks awesome, especially that last picture! You have me drooling over here ;).