This Roasted Banana Bread with Walnuts is the best banana bread recipe I’ve ever made…seriously. Want some? You’ll need an entire bunch of bananas, some buttermilk, a full bag of walnut halves, and a bottle of vanilla extract with more than a dribble left in it. Oh, and you’re going to need a sharp serrated knife to cut through all those walnuts. This is going to be good.
Yup, this Roasted Banana Bread with Walnuts is absolutely the best banana bread I’ve ever tasted. Roasting the bananas elevates the banana bread you know and love to gourmet status.
I’ve told the story on the blog before about how I’ve always been sensitive to raw bananas, and have never been able to eat them. I can only eat them after they’ve been cooked, and so I’ve developed a passion for banana breads and cakes over the years. I’ve got lots of recipe on the blog, so when I say this is the best banana bread recipe I’ve ever tasted, please listen. (If you need further corroboration, my husband, who hates banana bread, flipped over it!)
This banana bread is just plain awesome. That banana loaf I’m always craving from Starbucks pales in comparison. Why is that? Let me explain: this banana bread has all the characteristics of a great banana bread, and then some.
First, it’s made with butter, so it doesn’t have that greasy texture that some breads made with vegetable oil can have. And yet it’s moist with a soft cake-y crumb.
Second, the banana flavor is deep, smooth, and rich, not overpowering, I think that has to do with the roasting. A generous amount of vanilla in the batter helps too.
Third, the sheer amount of walnuts makes it extra crunchy, and means the flavor of the walnuts comes through.
Fourth, and I’m almost embarrassed to bring this up, but the recipes calls for a lashing of melted butter and a shower of sugar while it’s still hot from the oven. Who am I to argue?
It’s kind of fun to roast the bananas, and just look at the transformation! I suggest lining your baking sheet with foil to avoid any unnecessary clean up. This step can be done ahead of time if you like, just store the mashed banana in an airtight container in the fridge. It’s a great trick to know about any time you crave banana bread but don’t happen to have ripe bananas. Take note: if your bananas are already quite ripe, roasting willI may need to roast all my bananas from now on…
I used my KitchenAid stand mixer because there’s a lot of batter and it makes mixing so much easier. You’ll need two loaf pans for this recipe. The second loaf will come in handy, and you’ll know why after you take your first bite.
The smell coming out of the oven at right around the 50 minute mark will drive you insane.
There’s a wives tale that says a cake is done when you start to smell it, and I’ve found this is often true. At the very least smell is a good indicator that you should check in on your cake. Just look through the oven window, don’t open the door unless you absolutely have to. But once you can smell the aroma of warm banana wafting through the house, you know you’re getting close.
Go ahead and slice it nice and thick, you only live once ;)
This banana bread gets even better the next day, so wrap it in foil after you’ve enjoyed it, and continue to enjoy it for days to come. If you have a toaster oven, try lightly toasting it, or butter and grill it, New England style, on the stove top.
Like most quick breads, this freezes beautifully, so take the second loaf, wrap it well, and stash it in the freezer for a rainy day.
Reader Rave ~
“Absolutely, as you said, the BEST Banana Bread ever!! The favor is delicious! Your directions were perfect. Thank you!!” ~ Beth
Roasted Banana Bread with Walnuts
- standard 9x5 loaf pans
- parchment paper (optional)
- 5-6 medium bananas unpeeled they can be ripe, or very ripe
- 4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 3 Tbsp buttermilk
- 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
- 1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 cup or 2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs at room temperature
- 2 1/2 cups or 10 ounces walnut halves and pieces
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter melted
- granulated sugar for sprinkling
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Line a baking sheet with foil and arrange the bananas on it. Bake for 30 minutes. The bananas will get black and oozy. Let them cool for 15 minutes, then peel and mash the bananas. I did this in my food processor, just pulsing till they were broken down, but you can do it by hand. Set aside. You should have about 2 cups. I had a little extra and I threw it all in :) You can never have enough banana!
- Turn the oven down to 325F Lightly grease and line 2 standard 9x5 loaf pans with parchment. The parchment should have long ends hanging off the sides so you can lift the bread out later for slicing.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl whisk the mashed bananas, buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon juice.
- Cream the butter in a stand mixer, on high, for 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and add the sugar to the mixer, beat on high for another 5-7 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time, on low, scraping down the bowl as needed to get everything incorporated. Beat in the wet ingredients, just until fully blended. Then add the flour and mix just until combined with no white flour remaining.
- With the mixer on low, fold in the walnuts. Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish by hand with a silicone spoonula or spatula, taking care to get any unmixed ingredients from the bottom of the bowl.
- Turn the batter into the two prepared loaf pans and spread out evenly. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes, or until the breads are risen, slightly golden, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter on it.
- While the bread is hot from the oven, brush with the melted butter and sprinkle liberally with sugar. Let cool for 15 minutes, and then remove the bread from the pans to cool further.
- Makes 2 loaves to serve 20.
More delicious banana recipes to try ~
- Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Lemon Buttercream
- One Banana Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
- My Favorite Banana Blondies
- Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream