Miso Banana Bread

June  3, 2021
29 Ratings
Photo by Rocky Luten
  • Prep time 15 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Makes one 8.5’’ x 4.5’’ loaf
Author Notes

I've recently been obsessed with miso, putting it in pasta, sauces, and now, in banana bread! The miso here works surprisingly well, giving the classic banana bread a whole new layer of robust savoriness, just like the best salted caramel and dark chocolate with sea salt. I took inspiration from a recipe by Jamie Bissonnette and Ken Oringer, two James Beard Award–winning Bostonian chef-icons, and adapted their idea into another banana bread recipe that I’ve been using for some time now, one I picked up from a restaurant-bakery I used to work at in Kuala Lumpur. —Jun

Test Kitchen Notes

Featured in: This Unexpected Ingredient Is the Key to a Better Banana Bread. —The Editors

What You'll Need
Watch This Recipe
Miso Banana Bread
  • 3 to 4 (240g) overripe bananas, plus one more for garnish
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons shiro (sweet/white) miso
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. Peel all the bananas, and mash up all but one with a fork. (That last one we’ll use as a garnish.)
  2. Heat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and ready a lined loaf tin for your banana bread batter.
  3. In a mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the butter, sweet miso, caster sugar, and brown sugar on medium speed until it turns light and fluffy. This should take 2 to 3 minutes. Then, add in the mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla extract and mix for 30 seconds. The batter might start to look a little chunky and split at this point; don’t fret, this is perfectly normal. Finally, add in the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder and cinnamon) and mix for another 20 to 30 seconds, until a smooth batter forms.
  4. Pour the banana bread batter into the lined loaf tin. Then, take that extra banana you saved in step one, and slice it in half lengthwise. Place them on top of the batter, cut side up. (See the photo above for reference.)
  5. Bake the banana bread in the oven for 60 to 75 minutes, rotating once 45 minutes into the baking process. To check for doneness, prick it in the middle with a skewer or cake tester; the cake is done when the skewer comes out clean. When done, let it cool in the tin for 30 minutes before digging in.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

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    Jenn Ugo

19 Reviews

K March 12, 2023
A superb banana bread. So easy to make and so full of flavour. I very rarely bake but I had leftover white miso and several sad looking bananas so I gave this recipe a whirl. I will be making this again. Highly recommend!
cookingathome January 21, 2023
I really enjoyed this recipe and made it for a supper club with a “bonkers” theme - odd flavor combos. I used a bit less sugar than called for (just the brown sugar) and divided it into two pans to bake because mine were about half as deep as the recipe called for and it came out very nicely. I shortened the bake time to about 45-50 minutes because of the shallower pans too. Also I’d likely add more banana to the mix as it wasn’t as banana flavored as I wanted it to be.
Alek M. December 23, 2022
This is my new favorite banana bread recipe!
Paige I. October 19, 2022
I've been looking for my go-to banana bread recipes for years. Finally am I stoked on a loaf. I added a bit of hawaij (for coffee) and sprinkled black sesame and turbinado sugar on top. Amazing.
Meredith July 14, 2022
Not sure about the adaptation here with no buttermilk, half the butter, and less miso. I love the original recipe because it's most, rich and less sweet than conventional BB. Anyone made both and compared?
a H. February 4, 2023
Yes, 3 Tbsp buttermilk, 1/2 cup of olive oil and 2 Tbsp miso. It came out very moist and delicious!
Tam May 22, 2023
I've baked both iterations and I think the original is, like you said, more moist and umami? tasting, even when I used only whole wheat flour. I cannot taste the addition of cinnamon in this recipe. I've since reverted back to only using the original recipe for those reasons. I still love and trust most of the recipes found here.
lisa G. May 29, 2022
This is the real deal. Sweet, salty, moist, banana-y....I doubled it and added a tahini/halva crumble to the top. Amazing. Make sure you use a larger size loaf pan. This is a must-bake!
mad353 May 27, 2022
This recipe is amazing! I substituted maple syrup for the caster sugar and it was delicious!
meero January 4, 2022
absolutely incredible. this is the most delicious banana bread recipe i have ever made! the miso really adds a depth of flavor to the banana bread and i will now never make a loaf without it :)
Jenn U. June 3, 2021
10/10 this is the ultimate banana bread. The miso cuts the sometimes overwhelming sweetness of traditional banana bread w/ a savory edge. the miso gives it an addictive, finger-licking quality, im blown away by the result. im never looking back, thank you Jun great recipe!!
Mimi April 4, 2021
I love the recipe and the savory edge, but I definitely needed a 9x5 pan, as the batter spilled over the edge of my 8x4 pan and made a big mess in the oven.
Suganthi L. March 7, 2021
I would love to make this recipe but can't have eggs. Would this turn out ok if I use flax egg? Should I consider any other modifications? Thanks for your help.
Laura December 20, 2020
Best banana bread I've made! I followed the recipe exactly and wouldn't change a thing. I'm usually a fan of adding mix-ins, but I think this recipe is perfect as-is. Texture was very moist, and the loaf had a nice crust. The miso flavor was not easily detectable, but I liked that this banana bread wasn't too sweet.
Ellen November 12, 2020
Delicious! Despite the 1 cup of sugar it doesn't taste too sweet- more savory- and a nice texture too.
GViV April 19, 2020
I used almond flour instead of regular flour and to came out rather deflated, but tasted great. next time if I use almond flour I am going to add more baking powder.
Rosa J. November 3, 2019
I now prefer this to the classic banana bread recipe, and that's saying a lot! I've made it twice now, the second time as muffins.
Vincent L. February 5, 2019
Excellent recipe! And oh, the pervasive smell of the decorative bananas caramelising at the last few minutes is just heavenly. Thank you!
Rassil E. February 4, 2019
This was so delicious. It gave the banana bread a depth that I never realized was needed. I used flax seed meal instead of the eggs (just because) but I'm sure it would be just as delicious with the eggs.