Thursday, January 9, 2014

Best. Banana Bread. Ever.

Since I've had my son, not a week goes by that I don't buy bananas. Some weeks, all of the bananas are gone before I can buy more. And others, well, I'm left with soft, browning bananas that no one wants to eat.

I hate wasting, so then my mission becomes finding something to do with those bananas. In the summer I make smoothies, my son's favorite afternoon treat. In the winter, I bake. Cookies and muffins aren't a problem, but banana bread was always something I struggled with. I would use the standard Betty Crocker recipe, the same one I use for pumpkin and zucchini bread. But for some reason with the banana bread, the outside would be overcooked before the inside cooked. Frustrating and disappointing. I was just about ready to give up on banana bread all together.

Then I found the recipe below from Cooking Light, and all that changed. Now my family is hoping for extra, soft, brown bananas so I can make this bread. No more muffins. No more cookies. This banana bread is a real winner. So if you've struggled with banana bread in the past like I have, I urge you to give this recipe a try. It just might have you hoping for brown, soft bananas at the end of the week, too.

Caramelized Banana Bread with Browned Butter Glaze
Recipe from Cooking Light


  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened and divided
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 medium ripe bananas, sliced
  • 1/2 cup fat-free buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons amber or gold rum (molasses works well, also)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 9 ounces all-purpose flour (about 2 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Baking spray with flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons half-and-half


  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add brown sugar and bananas; sauté 4 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Place banana mixture in a large bowl. Beat with a mixeer at medium speed until smooth.
  3. Combine buttermilk and next 3 ingredients (through eggs). Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture alternately to banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat at low speed just until combined. Scrape batter into a 9x5-inch metal loaf pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 350 for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out with moist crumbs clinging. Cool for 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack. Remove bread from pan, and cool on a wire rack.
  4. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter in a small, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook 3 minutes or until butter begins to brown; remove from heat. Add powdered sugar and half-and-half, stirring with a whisk until smooth. Drizzle glaze over bread. Let stand until glaze sets.

Note from the Kitchen: I have not made this recipe with rum. The first time I made it I did not have any on hand, so I used molasses instead. The bread was so delicious, though, that I have continued to use molasses instead of rum. Also, because I make this for us to snack on throughout the week, I have not made the glaze for this bread. And we don't miss it. However, if I was entertaining with this bread or bringing it to a gathering, I would use the glaze to dress it up.

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