A moist and tender quick Banana Bread, loaded with bananas, and topped with a crunchy crumb topping and browned butter icing.
Last week, I a had bunch of extra bananas ripening on the counter, so I threw them in the freezer, with one thing on my mind….banana bread. Now I know there zillion banana bread recipes out there, (I have several different versions myself), but this one has a special twist because it’s topped with a a fabulous crunchy crumb topping AND browned butter icing!
The key to take any banana bread recipe to the next level, is to use frozen bananas. The next time your bananas get a little past their prime for eating, put them in the freezer to save until you are ready to bake. They will turn black, but don’t worry, they will keep in the freezer for up to 6 months. Freezing them makes them sweeter and creates a banana bread that is LOADED with luscious banana flavor. When thawed, your bananas are also easier to mash. They should be the consistency of banana puree. This particular recipe uses sour cream to make it extra moist and 3 large bananas to LOAD it with banana flavor!
How do you feel about nuts in your banana bread? I have made this recipe both ways…with and without nuts. It depends on who the lucky recipients are. If you do use nuts, I suggest toasting them a bit to give them a richer nut flavor. To toast them, just put them in a single layer on a sheet pan. Bake them at 375 degrees F. for 5-10 minutes, until they begin to brown. Let them cool, then fold them into the batter.
Now let’s talk about the two things that make this banana bread extra special….crumbs and icing. If you are in a hurry, you can skip the streusel topping, and just make this as regular banana bread. But it only takes a few minutes to mix up the crumb mixture and it really does create an extraordinary, crunchy top.
The second thing you are going to love about this banana bread is the browned butter icing. Have you browned butter before? Like toasting nuts, it’s another quick little thing that makes a whole lotta difference in the flavor! By using browned butter, your icing has a rich, almost nutty flavor. The directions for browning butter are in the recipe. Just be careful not to brown it too long, as it goes quickly from golden brown to burned. Take it off the heat when it is a shade lighter than you think it should be, then transfer it to a heat safe bowl. You can make extra and store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, just melt it back down before using.
Just look at that crumbly top! Did you know the word streusel is a German word that means “a sprinkling”? There a number of variations of streusels, but basically it is a combination of sugar, flour, cinnamon, butter and possibly nuts. I didn’t use nuts in the topping, but if you are in an “extra nutty” mood, you could add a half cup of chopped nuts to the streusel mixture.
That’s it! Easy Peasy, extra special bread for breakfast or a coffee break. So, plan ahead….put some bananas in the freezer today, and you can bake a loaf of this heavenly bread tomorrow. Your family will thank me! Happy Baking!
Banana Nut Bread with Streusel Topping
- Crumb Topping:
- 1/2 cup flour
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1/4 cup butter melted
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter softened
- 2 eggs lightly beaten
- 2-3 medium bananas mashed (1 cup)
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts if desired
- Browned Butter Icing:
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 2-3 tablespoons milk
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease bottoms of 9x5-inch loaf pan; line with parchment paper if desired; set aside.
In small bowl, combine 1/2 cup flour, 1/2 cup powdered sugar, 1/4 cup melted butter and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon until combined; mixture should be crumbly. Set aside.
In large bowl, combine sugar and 1/2 cup butter; blend well. Stir in eggs. Add bananas, sour cream and vanilla; mix until well blended.
Add flour, baking soda, salt and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; stir just until moistened. Fold in nuts if using.
Pour batter into prepared pan. Sprinkle streusel topping evenly over batter. Bake for 55-65 minutes, until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes. Loosen sides from pan; remove bread from pan and place on cooling rack to cool.
In small saucepan, melt 3 tablespoons butter over medium low; continue cooking butter whisking constantly, and watching carefully, until butter just begins to turn light brown.
Remove from heat as soon as it begins to brown and pour into medium bowl. Add 1 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk gradually, stirring and adding more until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle icing over bread.