Roasted Banana Bread with Walnuts




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A slice of roasted banana bread

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.

Roasted Banana Bread with serrated knifeYup, 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!)

A stack of thick slices of roasted banana bread

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?

 

A slice of roasted banana bread

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…

roasting bananas for roasted banana breadRoasted banana bread batter in a bowl

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.

Brushing melted butter on a loaf of roasted banana bread

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.

A tumble of thick roasted banana bread slices

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.

A stack of roasted banana bread with walnuts


Reader Rave ~

“Absolutely, as you said, the BEST Banana Bread ever!! The favor is delicious! Your directions were perfect. Thank you!!”  ~ Beth


I spotted this recipe over at foodgal.com, and it comes from the Bestia cookbook.  I’ve adjusted it ever so lightly.

Roasted Banana Bread with Walnuts
Rate this recipe
21 ratings

Category: quick bread, dessert

Cuisine: American

Yield: makes 2 loaves

A slice of roasted banana bread

Roasted Banana Bread with Walnuts is absolutely the best banana bread I've ever tasted. Roasting the bananas elevates this classic quick bread to gourmet status.

Ingredients

    bread
  • 5 large or 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 (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (10 ounces) walnut halves and pieces
    butter topping
  • 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
  • granulated sugar for sprinkling

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  5. In a separate bowl whisk the mashed bananas, buttermilk, vanilla, and lemon juice.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

More delicious banana recipes to try ~

 

 

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18 Comments

  • Reply
    Linda
    May 23, 2019 at 7:27 am

    Would this work as muffins? Thanks

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 23, 2019 at 7:59 am

      I don’t see why not. It’s dense like most banana breads, so as long as you know to expect that.

  • Reply
    linda Shapiro
    May 12, 2019 at 7:16 am

    Always want to ask if the juice that is from the roasted bananas should also be added? I’ve made this once before and did add it – no problem, although this morning seems like extra juice.

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 12, 2019 at 7:34 am

      I would add it. When I roasted my bananas I didn’t get much juice, but whatever you have, add.

  • Reply
    Emily
    May 2, 2019 at 5:42 am

    Dang, girl! Roasting the bananas is a brilliant tip! I made this yesterday without the walnuts (there was only a tiny bit in my stash) and subbing plain yogurt for the buttermilk, and It Is Heaven!

    My addition was 2 tsp of Penzey’s cake spice – I love that mix of cinnamon, anise, nutmeg, cloves, etc, it seems like was made for banana bread! But even without it, I’m sure this recipe would be outstanding. And I love that there is a second loaf stashed in the freezer right now!

  • Reply
    Beth Bowling
    April 23, 2019 at 12:36 pm

    Absolutely, as you said, the BEST Banana Bread ever!! The favor is delicious! Your directions were perfect. Thank you!!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 23, 2019 at 8:11 pm

      You’re the first bonafide reviewer Beth, thanks!

  • Reply
    Laura
    April 22, 2019 at 3:58 pm

    Sue, I’m always game to try a better banana bread! Can’t wait to give this one a whirl! Thanks for the recipe!

  • Reply
    Katherine
    April 22, 2019 at 8:55 am

    Sue, have you made this banana bread with gluten-free flour? Any reason to think it would not work ok? Also, I would prefer to cut the sugar way back. Would I need to substitute something else to take the place of the bulk of the “missing” sugar? Thanks!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 22, 2019 at 9:25 am

      I haven’t made this gf, but I would recommend trying a good gf baking blend from Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour, for example. The structure of the bread is moist and dense, so I think it shouldn’t be too much a problem. Reducing sugar is tricky, you can try reducing it by as much as 1/4 without issue, and you might want to check out my Paleo Fruit and Nut Bread, which is basically a gluten, dairy, sugar free banana bread :https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/paleo-fruit-and-nut-bread/

      • Reply
        Katherine
        April 22, 2019 at 4:18 pm

        Thanks for your suggestions, Sue. I have made your Paleo Fruit & Nut Bread in the past and enjoyed it. These days I’m trying to keep myself in nutritional ketosis, so as amazing as the Roasted Banana Nut bread sounds, it just may not work for me at this time, though I do wonder how it would turn out using almond flour. There are people who substitute erythritol for sugar in baked recipes, but unfortunately it doesn’t agree with me.

        • Reply
          Sue
          April 22, 2019 at 5:03 pm

          I’m not a fan of artificial sugars anyway, but I wonder if a version of this with almond flour and the roasted bananas would be sweet enough, just with the bananas. Now you’ve got me curious.

  • Reply
    Cary
    April 22, 2019 at 7:06 am

    I agree with you, I don’t usually just eat a banana but banana bread is a whole different story. I do have a question though, what size loaf pan did you use for this recipe? I can also envision this baked in a cake pan and slathered with cream cheese frosting. Talk about taking things to the extreme. Thanks for a great recipe.

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 22, 2019 at 7:15 am

      I recommend standard loaf pans, 9×5, I’ll add that to the directions. I actually don’t have two identical loaf pans, I have a mixed lot, so one of mine was longer and skinnier, but they both turned out fine, at the same baking time. Hope you like this as much as I did.

  • Reply
    Tricia | Saving Room for Dessert
    April 22, 2019 at 4:14 am

    Oh my, I can smell it baking now. I am a nut for walnuts so bring them on! I can’t believe how many bananas you put in the batter – this is a must try!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 22, 2019 at 6:51 am

      The smell is insane, and you neeeeed to try it Tricia!

  • Reply
    angiesrecipes
    April 22, 2019 at 3:12 am

    Heavenly! I like the additional butter sugar glaze as the finish. YUMMY!

    • Reply
      Sue
      April 22, 2019 at 6:49 am

      Heavenly is the word, Angie :)

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