Whole Wheat Browned Butter Banana Bread

Whole Wheat Browned Butter Banana Bread
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Whole wheat banana bread made with browned butter and studded with walnuts. Slather with some salted butter and make a hot cup of coffee and you have the perfect winter breakfast!

Whole Wheat Browned Butter Banana Bread

Even though I dislike eating bananas, I love banana bread. It’s basically taking garbage fruit and turning it into a delicious and filling breakfast option. It’s easy to make, only dirties one bowl and most of your time is spent waiting on it to finish baking. Plus, there is nothing that will make your kitchen smell better than browning butter (and not much that will make it smell worse than burning said butter…)

Whole wheat browned butter banana bread

What is browned butter?

Browned butter is when you cook butter over the stove and cook it until the milk solids turn brown. It gives off a nutty fragrance and adds depth to baked goods.

It’s super easy to make, pretty much as easy as melting butter. You melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring, until the milk solids in the butter separate and turn brown. There will be a definite change in color and scent. The only tricky part is not waiting too long and burning the butter. Again, you will know if you burned the butter by its scent.

There’s a short video at the end of the post that shows you what making browned butter should look like and sound like (the sizzle goes away at the end). Unfortunately, video does not (yet?) capture smell which is really the key to making browned butter.

Whole wheat browned butter banana bread batter

A few notes on Quick Bread

Banana bread is known as a “quick bread.” “Quick bread” implies that the bread contains no yeast. They instead rely on chemical leavening agents like baking soda or baking powder to make them rise. Therefore, you do not need as much time to devote to making quick breads as you would a yeasted bread (no proofing time required).

Quick breads also often come together quickly in one bowl using only a spoon or whisk to stir. You stir together the wet ingredients and then fold in the dry ingredients, leaving lumps in the batter (a batter that is too smooth will create a uniform crumb, more like a cake). *Sugar acts like a wet ingredient when making muffins or quick breads because it melts when it’s baked.

Whole Wheat browned butter banana bread

Whole Wheat Browned Butter Banana Bread

Moist banana bread made with whole wheat flour and browned butter.  Studded with walnuts.
Course Breakfast
Keyword banana bread, browned butter, whole wheat
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 1 loaf


  • 1 1/4 cup bananas, mashed about 2 large-very ripe
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts optional, but a good idea


  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease 1 loaf pan (or a couple mini loaf pans)
  • In a large bowl, mash together bananas and brown sugar.
  • Add in eggs and vanilla.  Stir to combine.
  • Fold in baking soda, whole wheat flour, and all-purpose flour.  Stir until mixture is combined but not smooth.  
  • Fold in walnuts.
  • Pour batter into greased loaf pan.  Bake for 45-1 hour or until toothpick comes out mostly clean.  Remove from oven and place on cooling rack.  Allow to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and then remove from the pan and allow to finish cooling.


Many people make the mistake of using bananas that are not ripe enough.    We want to be sure there is maximum sweetness (the most starch converted to sugar) so allow your bananas to get very black (just not moldy or oozy).

If you’re looking for other ways to use up those old bananas you might want to try this banana bread recipe with Greek yogurt and honey or maybe these banana nut muffins.


Alton Brown