This banana bread was so utterly scrumptious, I wanted to throw the bread knife aside and just attack the loaf with a fork!
For not doing so, I had a slice of banana bread as a reward.
Banana bread can be dry and lack flavour, but this recipe produces an incredibly moist, flavourful crumb. The banana is prominent but not overpowering, though I think I may add an extra banana the next time I make this, simply because Husband and I are bananas about bananas. (I thought I’d never have a chance to write that!) The vanilla browned butter glaze is unbelievable. I wanted to gobble it all, straight from the bowl. The only thing that stopped me was thinking about how amazing it and the banana bread would taste together. They were made for each other. (I’m killing it today!) The bread and the glaze complement each other perfectly. Browned butter tastes like caramel to me, so the glaze has a distinctly caramelesque flavour. Husband noticed this, too, so if I’m crazy, I’m not alone.
This banana bread seemed more like a dense cake to me, because of the flavour and the moist texture. I may try making this with cake flour to see if the result is the banana equivalent of carrot cake, which I love. I think this banana bread recipe would make for some outrageously tasty cupcakes, iced with the glaze. I purposely made the glaze thick enough to be more of a buttercream, because I liked the idea of icing the banana bread rather than drizzling it with glaze. You can thin or thicken the glaze by tweaking the amounts of powdered sugar and cream used. Made thickly, the glaze would be fantastic for icing banana bread cupcakes.
I was pretty happy about this recipe not just because of the outcome, but because it is very simple to throw together. If you’ve never baked bread before, this is probably the ideal recipe for you to try, because it is straightforward – no proofing required! – and produces outstanding results.
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Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze
Makes 1 9×5″ loaf
For the bread:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted OR salted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 large eggs
1 TBS vanilla extract
1 (5.3 oz) container vanilla Greek yoghurt
3 medium bananas, mashed (enough for 1 1/2 cups)
1 (3.4 oz) box instant vanilla pudding
2 cups bleached OR unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
For the glaze:
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter*
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar**
2 TBS vanilla extract
3 TBS heavy cream OR milk**
For the bread:
Preheat oven to 350˚F. Grease and flour a 9×5″ loaf pan, or spray with nonstick spray, such as Baker’s Joy.
In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
Melt the butter. To the butter add sugar, light brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and yoghurt. Stir or whisk to combine thoroughly, ensuring that no lumps of brown sugar remain. Add the bananas and incorporate thoroughly. Mix in the pudding and ensure that all is completely incorporated.
Fold flour mixture into batter, taking care not to overmix as overmixing will toughen the bread. Pour batter into pan and bake 50 – 58 minutes, or until a knife, fork, or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow bread to cool in the pan for at least 30 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely. Note: This bread is incredibly delicate when it comes out of the oven. It needs the thirty minutes of rest so that it won’t disintegrate when being turned onto the wire rack.
For the glaze:
Brown the butter. (For a tutorial on browning butter, see this post.) Transfer browned butter to a medium-sized bowl and allow to cool for several minutes. Add to it the powdered sugar and vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add the cream, 1 TBS at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Add more powdered sugar, if necessary.
Drizzle or spread glaze atop cooled banana bread. If you feel the need to eat the loaf with a fork, then that is fine. The world won’t end.
*You can use salted butter for the glaze, but it is much harder to brown than unsalted butter.
**Use 1 cup powdered sugar and 2 TBS cream / milk for a thinner glaze. Add cream to thin glaze; add powdered sugar to thicken it.