Brown Butter Banana Bread with Peanut Streusel

April  8, 2015

When she has the kitchen all to herself, Phyllis Grant of Dash and Bella cooks beautiful iterations of what solo meals were always meant to be: Exactly what you want, when and where you want them.

Today: The banana bread to make in your free time. 

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You have two hours until your son rushes back into the house from school and begins eleven days of spring break.

Two hours to organize eleven years' worth of your kids’ art.

Two hours to try on and reject all of your bathing suits.

Two hours to figure out the book you want to write.

Instead, you move the food processor to the right side of the kitchen and plug it in.

Two hours to master the mandoline.

Two hours to track down the electrician to figure out why none of the outlets work on the left side of your kitchen.

You brown the butter until it smells just right.

Two hours to make skin cancer screening, mammogram, oil change appointments.

Two hours to clean up the mess the Easter bunny made when she dumped the contents of the toy bin outside to make room for the baskets, thinking it would never ever rain again in California.

You gather roasted peanuts and two very sad bananas.

Two hours to dissect the ins and outs of the Iran Nuclear Deal and Indiana’s Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

You think about the drought and the melting polar ice caps and how much waste there is in your kitchen: half-eaten apples, salami and cheese sandwiches smushed in bottoms of lunch boxes, a back porch strewn with Ziploc bags and vinegar and baking soda from a weekend of baggie bomb wars.

Two hours to sharpen your knives.

You pour your son's leftover breakfast into the food processor: one bowl of plain yogurt, half a glass of orange juice.

Two hours to find the popover recipe you developed over the course of three months and then lost somewhere in the kids’ paper trail.

You smack an egg on the counter. Again. And again. It’s hard-boiled. The Easter bunny needs to organize her fridge.

Two hours to meditate.

You sift the dries and pulse the wets. As you mix them together, you look for pockets of flour, remembering how your mom taught you to fold: cut down the middle, flip the spatula, quarter turn the bowl. 

Two hours to clean up the kitchen mess before you need to start cooking the next meal.

You press in the peanut streusel.

Two hours to crawl into bed and give up.

Your son dashes in. Ready for 264 hours of spring break. Ready for a piece of banana bread with butter. Ready for you. 

Two hours to remember who you are, why you're here.

Brown Butter Banana Bread with Peanut Streusel 

Makes one 9- by 5-inch loaf

1/4 cup unsalted butter (for the streusel)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup all-purpose flour

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (for the crust)

2/3 cup roasted and salted peanuts, finely chopped

1/2 cup unsalted butter (for the cake)

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

2 bananas, very ripe

2 eggs

1/3 cup brown sugar

1/3 cup white sugar

1/2 cup whole milk yogurt

2 tablespoons orange juice, fresh or store bought

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

See the full recipe (and save it and print it) here. 

Photos by Phyllis Grant 

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • mommychef
  • Melina Hammer
    Melina Hammer
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Phyllis Grant is an IACP finalist for Personal Essays/Memoir Writing and a three-time Saveur Food Blog Awards finalist for her blog, Dash and Bella. Her essays and recipes have been published in a dozen anthologies and cookbooks including Best Food Writing 2015 and 2016. Her work has been featured both in print and online for various outlets, including Oprah, The New York Times, Food52, Saveur, The Huffington Post, Time Magazine, The San Francisco Chronicle, Tasting Table and Salon. Her memoir with recipes, Everything Is Out of Control, is coming out April 2020 from Farrar Straus & Giroux. She lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and two children.


mommychef June 17, 2015
needed to re-read this tonight because pre-school ends tomorrow for the summer...
Melina H. April 21, 2015
yay all of this! i've got some sad bananas oh yes i do.....
laurenlocally April 8, 2015
Phyllis strikes again!
Phyllis G. April 17, 2015
Angela B. April 8, 2015
Love this post, Phyllis! So very (sadly/joyously) relatable! Back in January, I was DESPERATE for an updated banana bread recipe (I ended up posting one on my site that includes coffee & toasted quinoa), though yours definitely would have been a serious contender! I'm going to try this one out over the weekend!
P.S - I love all your awesome yoga pics over on Instagram...sometimes I think I'm the only crazy one sipping red wine while working on my crow/forearm stand in my living room :)
Phyllis G. April 17, 2015
Millie |. April 8, 2015
Yes please and that streusel topping - yum!
Richa G. April 8, 2015
OMG I can't believe I haven't discovered you yet. I looooove how you've written this. And brown butter banana bread is my favorite kind of banana bread. In fact I posted a recipe on my blog a few months ago! Sharing it here as well -
Phyllis G. April 17, 2015
here's to brown butter banana bread! thanks for sharing your recipe.
jessica P. April 8, 2015
I love your food. I love your writing about food and family and how they're constantly crashing into each other and simultaneously supporting each other. I feel like I am always collecting banana bread recipes but then eating all my bananas before they reach the zone needed to achieve my goals. This loaf will make me buy special bananas worth waiting for.
Phyllis G. April 17, 2015
food and family. crashing and supporting. beautifully put. thank you.
healthierkitchen April 8, 2015
Phyllis - my kids are mostly grown and out of the house and I can still relate! Love your descriptions of the day to day joy/hell/fun that is parenthood.