Brown Butter-Cardamom Banana Bread

Photo credit: Milk Street: The New Home Cooking by Christopher Kimball (Little, Brown)

Brown Butter–Cardamom Banana Bread

Start to finish: 1 hour 15 minutes (25 minutes active)

From Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street: The New Home Cooking (Little, Brown)

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Banana bread is one of the most common baked goods made at home.

Unfortunately, most taste just that–common. We wanted a revved-up recipe

that would produce flavorful results without additional effort. So we paired

one of banana’s most complementary spices—cardamom—with nutty

browned butter. Toasting the cardamom briefly in the hot butter intensified

the flavor. For just the right texture, we found we needed two leaveners.

Baking powder gave the bread lift; baking soda resulted in a well-browned

top and a dense crumb. Measuring the bananas in a 1-cup dry measuring

cup was important; the difference in moisture between four small and four

large bananas could throw off the balance of the ingredients. While we

preferred the deeper flavor of dark brown sugar here, light brown works

just as well. Sprinkling granulated sugar over the top of the loaf just before

baking created a crisp, brown crust that we loved.

  • 284 grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter,
  • plus more for the pan
  • teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 2 cups mashed bananas
  • (about 4 very ripe bananas)
  • 149 grams (. cup packed)
  • dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar

1. Heat the oven to 350ºF with a rack in

the upper-middle position. Lightly coat

a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with butter. In

a large bowl, whisk together the flour,

baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. In a medium saucepan over medium,

melt the butter. Once melted, continue

to cook, swirling the pan often, until

the butter is fragrant and deep brown,

2 to 5 minutes. Remove pan from the

heat and immediately whisk in the

cardamom. Carefully add the bananas

(the butter will sizzle and bubble up)

and whisk until combined. Add the

brown sugar, eggs and vanilla, then

whisk until smooth. Add the banana

mixture to the flour mixture and, using

a silicone spatula, fold until just

combined and no dry flour remains.

3. Transfer the batter to the prepared

pan and sprinkle evenly with the white

sugar. Bake until the loaf is well

browned, the top is cracked and a

toothpick inserted at the center comes

out clean, 50 to 55 minutes, rotating

the pan halfway through. Cool the

bread in the pan on a wire rack for

10 minutes, then turn out the loaf and

cool completely before serving. Cooled

bread can be wrapped tightly and

stored at room temperature for up to

4 days or

Related Stories