Sheet Pan

Brown Butter Banana Bread With Peanut Streusel

April  7, 2015
12 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
Author Notes

This recipe is inspired by the banana bread I made during my childhood from "The Blender Cookbook." I can't find it anywhere online. I think it's from the manual that came with our blender.

This month, I've been snacking on bananas with yogurt and chopped peanuts. This recipe takes these ingredients to another level. If you add chocolate sauce and vanilla bean ice cream, it's a lovely riff on a banana split. Feel free to use any kind of nut for the streusel topping. The streusel is an integral part of the banana bread, so don't skip it. You mix it down and it becomes one with the batter.

Make sure to undercook this banana bread. You must take it out when it's still gooey in the center. Otherwise the bread will be dry and you will be sad. —Phyllis Grant

  • Prep time 1 hour
  • Cook time 50 minutes
  • Makes one 9- by 5-inch loaf
Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter (for the streusel)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar (for the streusel)
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour (for the streusel)
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (for the streusel)
  • 2/3 cup roasted and salted peanuts, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (for the cake)
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (for the cake)
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 bananas, very ripe
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar (for the cake)
  • 1/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup whole milk yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice, fresh or store bought
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 350° F. Grease your loaf pan (you'll want one that's at least 3 inches deep) with butter and coat with a thin dusting of flour.
  2. For the streusel: Melt 1/4 cup of butter. Stir in the 1/2 cup sugar, 1/3 cup flour, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Mix in the nuts. Set aside.
  3. For the cake: Place the 1/2 cup of butter in a medium pan over medium heat. Once it's melted, don't walk away. Take it off the heat once the sizzling stops (4 to 5 minutes) and brown bits drop down to the bottom of the pan. Set aside to cool.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In the bowl of your food processor, combine the brown butter, bananas, eggs, brown sugar, white sugar, yogurt, orange juice, and vanilla extract. Blend until almost smooth (about 15 seconds). If you see any chunks of banana, pulse for a few more seconds.
  6. Pour the wet ingredients over the combined dry ingredients. Carefully fold together. Make sure to incorporate all of the flour pockets but be careful not to overmix. Spoon into your greased loaf pan. Pour the streusel all over the top of the batter. Using your fingers or a spoon, gently press some of the streusel a few inches down into the batter. Place on a sheet pan in the middle of your preheated oven. Don't worry if it overflows a bit. It will look cool and still taste great.
  7. The cake is done when you stick a skewer or paring knife about an inch from the center of the cake and it comes out clean. The very center should still be gooey. This takes between 35 and 40 minutes. Since all ovens are different, start checking after about 25 minutes.
  8. Remove from the oven and let it cool for about 30 minutes. Then eat with butter, cream cheese, or a large scoop of vanilla bean ice cream. If you eat it the next day, make sure to warm it up or toast it and then slather it with butter. Freezes beautifully for a few months.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Suzana Bado Zen
    Suzana Bado Zen
  • Stan
    Stan
  • Carly
    Carly
  • raychalz
    raychalz
  • lyncucu
    lyncucu
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.

    61 Reviews

    linderseed June 28, 2020
    I'd make this again. I cooked mine in a 9x5 pan and left it in for 7 more minutes for a total of 47. I think I might add an extra banana next time to make it moister, but loved the streusel. Didn't find it too sweet at all as is...
     
    linderseed December 7, 2020
    Admittedly, I didn't read through the whole recipe when I made it in June. This time, I baked it for about 40 minutes. It came out perfectly moist. I've made a lot of banana bread recipes and this one is hands down the best yet. I love the addition of orange juice. I also used Kerrygold butter and when browning it turned the most lovely terra-cotta color.
     
    Suzana B. June 24, 2020
    Best banana bread I've ever had!!
     
    Suzana B. June 24, 2020
    Best banana bread I've ever had!!
     
    Suzana B. June 24, 2020
    Best banana bread I've ever had!!
     
    Suzana B. June 24, 2020
    Best banana bread I've ever had.
     
    Suzana B. June 24, 2020
    Best banana bread I've ever had.
     
    Michelle May 20, 2020
    This cake is sooo delicious. I can’t believe how tender that crumb is and the crunch of the streusel provides a good contrast. I was initially looking for a pb banana bread but I’m glad I stumbled on this recipe instead! I did make a couple of changes - used milk with vinegar for buttermilk because I did not have any yogurt and used a 9x9 pan because I’m still on a hunt for a new loaf pan. Baked for 35 mins. I think I actually like using the 9x9 pan for this - better cake:streusel ratio for that perfect bite!
     
    Stan May 20, 2020
    That's interesting. I guess your cake is lower than a loaf cake but you have more streusel in each bite.
     
    Stan May 11, 2020
    I reduced all the ingredients by 25% to fit in a smaller loaf pan and it was perfect. The brown buttery cake flavor and crunchy peanutty topping combination were meant to be. (eaten)
     
    andrea S. April 29, 2020
    I made this as written and enjoyed it. The streusel was yummy and contrasted nicely with the banana flavor, although my husband thought differently (but he ate several slices of it, despite his comments). I cooked it for the full 40 minutes and it ended up sinking a bit in the middle once cooled. As expected, the texture was moister/softer in this area then the rest of the bread. Also, it didn't come out of my non-stick bread pan despite being buttered, but who cares during a pandemic. I might try a piece of parchment on the bottom next time.
     
    andrea S. January 23, 2021
    I made this again, but took Michelle's idea of a different shape and did it as muffins. It made 18 muffins and they were cooked at 25 mins. I put what seemed to be a lot of streusel on each, but I had some left over - don't be me! Use ALL the streusel because when they expanded there were plenty of areas without streusel, despite how full it seemed before baking. They turned out great. (Also I reduced the bread sugars to 1/4 c each).
     
    andrea S. April 29, 2020
    I made this as written and enjoyed it. The streusel was yummy and contrasted nicely with the banana flavor, although my husband thought differently (but he ate several slices of it, despite his comments). I cooked it for the full 40 minutes and it ended up sinking a bit in the middle once cooled. As expected, the texture was moister/softer in this area then the rest of the bread. Also, it didn't come out of my non-stick bread pan despite being buttered, but who cares during a pandemic. I might try a piece of parchment on the bottom next time.
     
    Carly March 31, 2020
    This is an amazing, light, moist but not soggy banana bread. The cake itself was absolute perfection. For some reason my streusel ended up VERY dry, I was hoping it would be a bit more tacky on the top. Still very delicious!
     
    raychalz January 22, 2020
    This recipe is awesome! I tweaked a bunch of things, but followed the main threads and am so grateful to have landed on a new fantastic banana bread. I added mandarin zest as well as the juice which really made the orange flavor pop. Also used 4 bananas instead of 2 and reduced eggs to 1 (banana is often an egg substitute, and this worked great). I cooked the bananas in the empty brown butter pan to caramelize the sugars, and I think it developed the flavor in a lovely way. The resulting bread was so moist and pillowy, the best texture I've gotten with a banana bread. Thought I had overcooked the streusel because it was the texture of cookie dough and wouldn't "pour" (added the sugar while butter was melting), but it seems taht didn't matter - it turned out great in the end and added a wonderful crunchy topping. Cooked 45-55 minutes. Highly recommend!
     
    lyncucu March 23, 2019
    I make a vegan version using gluten free flour and my family loves this recipe! I reduce the fat and the sugar and no one is the wiser. It takes more time in prepping but it's worth it!
     
    anita February 3, 2019
    Question addressing using less sugar: if you reduce the sugar in either the streusel, the cake, or both, do you have to substitute anything or change the proportions of the other ingredients? Or just use less sugar?
     
    lyncucu March 23, 2019
    I reduce the sugar in both and didn't make any other adjustments and its comes out moist and delicious!
     
    Imogen February 2, 2019
    Whole family agreed this was the tastiest, stickiest, crunchiest (but perfectly moist and fluffy in the main cake part) banana bread they had ever had. I think the streusel could have done with a little more salt and a little less sugar, as could the cake, but it was incredibly good.
     
    Nalie S. December 3, 2018
    Used an additional banana, reduced the sugar, and pecans instead of peanuts. I was told by many that it was the best banana bread they’ve ever had. Making it again this week :)
     
    anita August 31, 2018
    Swapped out OJ for apricot brandy. Will be my go- to banana bread recipe now.
     
    Divya April 11, 2018
    loved the recipe... but for next time will surely reduce the sugar...
     
    Divya April 11, 2018
    loved the recipe... but for next time will surely reduce the sugar...
     
    erin August 18, 2017
    Followed almost to the letter, with the exception of the orange juice (which we didn't have) replaced by whiskey (which we did - a damning indictment of our household). I also threw in some cinnamon and nutmeg. The cake is delicious enough to make on its own if I'm not up for streusel in future, but it was really the work of moments and quite transformative. I'm so glad I went with the recommended peanuts rather than switching for pecans: it gave the bread a lovely breakfasty-peanut-butter-y edge that wasn't too rich, despite appearances. Made the mistake of baking in an 8-inch loaf so took a good 50 mins to cook and had some spillage. Heartily recommended.