This burnt miso brown butter banana bread is probably the most reckless and extra banana bread on the internet. With an incredibly moist and rich crumb, laced with caramelized of bananas, savory burnt miso and nutty brown butter, and then topped with a sesame pecan streusel, it’s almost rude how much flavour she has. 

This burnt miso brown butter banana bread has been in the works for over a year now and I’m excited to finally be able to share it with all of you. This recipe truly holds a special place in my heart because I began developing it during a really hard time in my life. Probably the lowest point I’ve been at and for some reason, baking banana bread gave me both a sense of comfort and stress.

After making burnt miso paprika brown butter whipped hummus, I wanted to venture into the sweet-realm of this wonderful combination and what better way to do so than with banana bread? I LOVE banana bread, it’s already delicious, so there was no way adding a bit of salty-umami, brown butter nutty toasty goodness could go wrong.

I was so happy and excited about how my third round of testing went and was ready to post it but this is also the time I fell really deep into this perfectionist trap. Loaf after loaf, I began nit-picking at every single little detail. I kept trying to aim for the most perfect banana bread that every single person would love. I lost vision of what ‘perfect banana bread’ even was or meant. It doesn’t even really make sense because what does perfect banana bread even mean when everyone has their own specific preferences? Some people like it light and fluffy, like bread while others like it rich, moist and decadent. Some like it ultra sweet while others prefer it toned down. Some people like chocolate and nut-filled banana bread and others like it simple. Some like chunks of bananas in it and others can’t stand the gooey little chunks. Some like a crunchy topping while others prefer to have nothing on it. I kept trying to one-up the previous loaf and tick off every box. If it came out moist, my brain registered it as too moist. If it came out more fluffy, I thought people would like it with a tighter crumb. It was a vicious cycle that ultimately led to a ridiculous amount of banana bread in my freezer, a really heated and hot kitchen and killed my productivity.

I think after my 20th loaf, Eric said to me: ‘you’re associating this banana bread too closely to other aspects in your life. You keep thinking this banana bread isn’t good enough, which is making you doubt your ability to do everything else ‘perfect’ and right. You’re trying so hard to perfect something you think you can control (the banana bread), instead of the things you know you can’t completely control thats going on in your life right now (for context, health related). Step back for a second and go back to it in a few weeks with a fresh pair of eyes and a new mindset and this damn banana bread will probably come out how you first envisioned it’. *as he eats the sunken banana bread out of the loaf pan*⁣

One year, and 35 loaves later, here she is. And guess what? In the end, I decided on my third and fifth recipe test. Not the 20th, the 25th or even the 35th.

The first version is for my friends that love their banana bread ultra moist, rich and sweet. The second version is for my friends that still love a rich and moist banana bread but also lighter and fluffy and less sweet. They’re both vegan, eggless and dairy free. The third version, which I will share soon is light and fluffy. The kind of banana bread you can enjoy for breakfast, almost like a sponge cake.

Ingredients

This recipe uses pretty staple banana bread ingredients with the addition of a few that make this recipe ~extra~ special:

  • miso paste: white or sweet white miso paste. I like to use a combination of both.
  • butter: if using vegan butter, ensure it browns! I always use my homemade vegan butter or Miyoko’s cultured butter.
  • refined coconut oil: or soy milk replaces the liquid that is cooked off from browning the butter. Dairy-free butter is typically made of a higher ratio of saturated fats to unsaturated fats, which is why it is solid at room temperature. Replacing the cooked off liquid with coconut oil instead of a non-saturated oil will ensure a rich and moist loaf without coming off too greasy or wet.
  • flax egg: only for version #2
  • sour cream: I use Earth’s Own non-dairy sour cream.
  • vanilla extract
  • ripe bananas
  • sugar: you can use all cane, all brown or a mix of cane and brown sugar.
  • apple cider vinegar
  • all purpose flour
  • spelt flour: you may substitute for whole wheat pastry flour or more all purpose flour
  • spices: cinnamon and nutmeg will not make this loaf taste like a spiced loaf, rather it enhances the banana flavour.
  • baking powder
  • baking soda

You can bake this banana bread as is or add a sesame pecan sugar topping or sesame pecan streusel for some extra crunch!

Best ripeness for banana bread

The ripeness of the bananas you use will great affect the texture and flavour of the banana bread. The greener the banana, the more under-ripe it is and the more starch it contains. Using under-ripe bananas will yield a drier, un-flavourful loaf. The spottier or darker the banana, the more sugar it contains. Using bananas that are TOO ripe will result in a loaf that isn’t ‘moist’ but rather, mushy and gummy. It may also cause the banana bread to sink once pulled out of the oven. The best ripe-ness of bananas is yellow with dark brown speckles.

Using frozen bananas? Be sure to strain off some of the liquid or the batter will be too wet and will not bake correctly. Alternatively, you can add the banana juice to a sauce pan and reduce it to make a banana syrup (typically reduced to a little less than half), and blend it in with the wet ingredients. The total amount of banana + syrup should still equal the amount listed.

Banana bread loaf pan sizes and colour

Another factor that will greatly affect banana bread is the size and colour of the pan. I have tested this recipe with every pan size I own and above it a chart to show necessary adjustments and baking times for more common, different size pans.

In addition, here are a few more sizes to choose from:

  • 8 x 4 inch (6.5 x 3 inch base): 55-60 minutes
  • 5.5 x 3 inch: 35-40 minutes
  • mini loaf pan (that comes in a muffin-tin) 2-2.5 x 3-3.5 inch: 30 minutes
  • round 9 inch pan: 25 minutes
  • square 9×9 inch cake pan: 35 minutes 

A darker pan will cook faster and darken quicker. This is because darker metal pans absorb more heat in the oven and intern, will heat up the banana bread faster resulting in an overly dark loaf. To prevent this, bake in a lighter pan or lower the temperature by 25 ºF and adjust the baking time slightly (usually needs a slightly longer baking time).

How to make burnt miso brown butter banana bread

Both versions are made exactly the same, aside from making and adding the flax egg for version 2.

  1. Prep: Line or grease a loaf pan. I like to line the length of the pan and grease the short ends leaving an inch UN-GREASED which helps with a taller loaf. The batter has something to ‘cling on’ to, without the entire loaf getting stuck to the loaf pan.
  2. Make topping: optional, but highly recommended. You can opt to use just demerara sugar, demerara sugar + sesame + nuts of choice (pecans FTW), or a pecan sesame streusel to get extra ~fancy~.
  3. Burn miso: Spread miso paste on a silicon mat about ¼ cm / ⅙ inch in thickness bake for 8-10 minutes until surface is BURNT.
  4. Flax egg: version 2 uses a flax egg. To make it, simply whisk together flax meal and water and let it gel-up while preparing the other ingredients.
  5. Brown butter: Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium. Once it begins to foam, swirl the pan and cook until golden and smells nutty and toasty. Immediately transfer to another bowl to stop the cooking process. Measure the total amount and make up the loss of water with oil or soy milk.
  6. Mix dry ingredients: Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a separate bowl. Add the spelt flour and whisk together.
  7. Blend wet ingredients: Scrape the miso paste into the bowl with the butter along with one banana, sour cream, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth. You may also blend it in stand blender, but be sure to scrape out every last bit back into a bowl.
  8. Mash bananas: Mash the remaining bananas and add to the bowl. If you prefer no chunks of banana in your banana bread, ensure it’s well mashed.
  9. Mix wet ingredients: Add the mashed bananas, flax egg, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk until well combined.
  10. Mix wet and dry ingredients: Add the DRY INGREDIENTS TO THE WET INGREDIENTS. Use a spatula and mix, using folding motions until all the flour is incorporated.
  11. Bake: Pour into prepared loaf pan. Tap the loaf pan on the counter 3 times to remove excess air bubbles. Add the topping of choice. Bake for 65-75 minutes for a 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan.
  12. Cool and rest: Remove from loaf pan and cool on a wire rack for one hour. You can serve after cooled down, however this loaf truly tastes better the next day and following. Wrap the entire loaf with cling wrap and let it rest overnight.

How to tell if banana bread is done baking

The most accurate way to test doneness is by using a thermometer; the internal temperature should read around 200-205 F / 93-96 C.

Visual signs that it is baked:

  1. edges slightly pull away from the loaf pan and are deep, dark and brown.
  2. loaf should bounce back when pressing gently on the top of the loaf with your fingert tips
  3. when inserting a skewer into the loaf, it should come out clean or with a few cooked crumbs

Tips for the best banana bread

  1. Use ripe bananas, but not TOO ripe: Green bananas are starchy and low in sugar which can result in a crumbly dry banana bread. On the flip side, extremely ripe bananas may cause the banana bread to be overly dense and can sometimes become gummy. Yellow bananas with speckled with black spots have a well balanced ratio of sugar and starch.
  2. Use whole grain flour: Whole grain water absorbs more moisture than all purpose flour. For this reason, it creates a thicker batter which helps with the high-peak rise of the loaf. However, you can opt to substitute with all purpose flour and still bake a delicious loaf.
  3. Measure ingredients with a kitchen scale: Baking is science and if the wet to dry ingredient ratios are off, the loaf will either come out dry or under-cooked. Bananas come in all different shapes and sizes so please weigh out your bananas.
  4. Follow the recipe instructions step by step: don’t cut any corners and be sure to add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients! This is important to ensure that the batter isn’t over-mixed or left with pockets of flour.
  5. Use a light coloured pan: using a light pan will prevent the loaf from cooking and browning too quickly.
  6. Calibrate your oven: make sure your oven is properly calibrated by using a oven thermometer, this will prevent any over or under baking issues.
  7. Demerara sugar: At the very minimum, I highly encourage you to add demerara sugar for that crunchy crust. It really goes pull this whole recipe together to create the most delicious banana bread.

How to Store Leftover Banana Bread

Once completely cooled, wrap the entire loaf. It will keep for up to 4 days at room temperature, one week in the fridge and one month in the freezer. To freeze, slice into desired servings and wrap each piece individually. Freeze on a baking tray and then transfer to a freezer safe container or bag.

Recipe FAQs

  1. Can I use a different size loaf pan? Yes, please see above for the cooking time for different loaf and cake pan sizes.
  2. Can I make these into muffins? Yes! Fill the muffin tins shy of 1/4 inch and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until cooked through.
  3. Can I bake two loaves at once? Yes. Bake at the same time for the same amount of time.
  4. Can I use frozen bananas? Yes, however be sure to strain off some of the liquid as it can make the batter too wet.
  5. Can I swap the flax eggs with real eggs? I haven’t tried swapping the flax eggs for real eggs in this recipe, but I do think it will work. I will have a version using eggs out soon that is much more light, fluffy and airy.
  6. How do I tell if my banana bread is done baking? Visual cues (read above), use a thermometer or do a skewer check. The internal temperature should be about 200 F – 205 F.
  7. Why did my banana bread collapse? There are several reasons why banana bread collapses. I have tested this recipe over 25 times so I guarantee that the ratios of wet to dry ingredients is not the culprit. The most common causes of bread collapsing is if it is underbaked. Ensure your oven is calibrated properly and do not open the oven to check on it mid-baking as it will decrease the ovens temperature.

More banana bread recipes to try

SAVE IT FOR LATER! ↓

If you recreate this Burnt Miso Brown Butter Banana Bread recipe let me know how you liked it by leaving a comment and rating below or by tagging me on Instagram @Okonomikitchen, I love seeing all of your tasty recreations!
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Burnt Miso Brown Butter Banana Bread


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 6 reviews

  • Author: Lisa Kitahara
  • Total Time: 95 minutes
  • Yield: 9 servings 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This burnt miso brown butter banana bread is probably the most reckless and extra banana bread on the internet. With an incredibly moist and rich crumb, laced with caramelized bananas, savory burnt miso and nutty brown butter, and then topped with a sesame pecan streusel, it’s almost rude how much flavour she has. 


Ingredients

Units Scale

Version #1 super rich: 

  • 34 tbsp (5463 g) saikyo, sweet or white miso paste*
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter that browns
  • 1 tbsp refined coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 cups (220 g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/3 cup (40 g) spelt or whole grain flour of choice
  • 500 g (about 2 cups mashed) ripe bananas
  • 1/3 cup (75 g) non-dairy sour cream
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 g) unpacked brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Version #2 moist, light & fluffy:

  • 34 tbsp (54-62) saikyo, sweet, or white miso paste
  • 2 flax eggs (2 tbsp flax meal + 5 tbsp water)
  • 1/2 cup dairy free butter that browns
  • 1 tbsp soy milk
  • 1 1/2 cup (220 g) all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp (40 g) spelt flour (or whole grain flour of choice)
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 420 g (about 1 2/3 cups mashed) ripe banana
  • 1 1/2 tbsp non-dairy sour cream
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup cane sugar
  • 1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

Sesame Pecan Sugar Topping

  • 2 tbsp demerara sugar
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds
  • 1/3 heaped cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Sesame Pecan Streusel Topping

  • 1/4 cup (30 g) all purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp turbinado sugar
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1/3 cup pecans
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds

Instructions

Version #1:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line or grease a 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Spread miso paste on a silicon mat about ¼ cm / ⅙ inch in thickness bake for 8-10 minutes until surface is burnt.
  3. In the meantime, make the brown butter. Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium. It will begin to foam. Swirl the pan and continue to cook until golden brown and toasty. Immediately remove from heat and pour into another bowl, measuring the total amount of butter (there should be about 85-95 g left). Add  additional oil to make up 1/2 cup (114 g) of butter.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a separate bowl. Add the spelt flour and whisk together.
  5. Remove miso paste from oven and reduce heat to 350 F.
  6. Scrape the miso paste into the bowl with the butter along with one banana (170 g), sour cream, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Mash the remaining bananas and add to the bowl. If you prefer no chunks of banana in your banana bread, ensure it’s well mashed. Add the sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and whisk until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and use a spatula and mix, using folding motions until all the flour is incorporated.
  8. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Tap the loaf pan on the counter 3 times (this removes excess air bubbles). Add the topping of choice.
  9. Bake for 65-75 minutes. This bread will get very dark, but will not taste burnt.
  10. Remove from loaf pan and cool on a wire rack for one hour. You can serve after cooled down, however this loaf truly tastes better the next day and following. Wrap the entire loaf with cling wrap and let it rest overnight.

Version #2:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 F. Line or grease a 8.5 x 4.5 inch loaf pan.
  2. Spread miso paste on a silicon mat about ¼ cm / ⅙ inch in thickness bake for 8-10 minutes until surface is burnt. Make the flax egg by whisking together ground flax seeds and water, and set aside.
  3. In the meantime, make the brown butter. Add the butter to a small saucepan over medium. It will begin to foam. Swirl the pan and continue to cook until golden brown and toasty. Immediately remove from heat and pour into another bowl, measuring the total amount of butter (there should be about 85-95 g left). Add  additional oil or non-dairy milk to make up 1/2 cup (114 g) of butter.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and baking soda into a separate bowl. Add the spelt flour and whisk together.
  5. Remove miso paste from oven and reduce heat to 350 F.
  6. Scrape the miso paste into the bowl with the butter along with one banana (170 g), sour cream, apple cider vinegar and vanilla extract. Use an immersion blender and blend until smooth.
  7. Mash the remaining bananas and add to the bowl. If you prefer no chunks of banana in your banana bread, ensure it’s well mashed. Add the flax egg, sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg, and whisk until well combined. Add the dry ingredients and use a spatula and mix, using folding motions until all the flour is incorporated.
  8. Pour into prepared loaf pan. Tap the loaf pan on the counter 3 times (this removes excess air bubbles). Add the topping of choice.
  9. Bake for 65-75 minutes. This bread will get very dark, but will not taste burnt.
  10. Remove from loaf pan and cool on a wire rack for one hour. You can serve after cooled down, however this loaf truly tastes better the next day and following. Wrap the entire loaf with cling wrap and let it rest overnight.

Sesame Pecan Sugar Topping

  1. Sprinkle demerara sugar, sesame seeds and chopped pecans on top the loaf before baking.

Sesame Pecan Streusel Topping

  1. Mix the flour and sugar together in a bowl. Add chunks of butter in and crumble with your hands. Mix in the pecans and sesame seeds. Crumble over the loaf before baking.
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 65 minutes
  • Category: Baking
  • Method: Oven
Konnichiwa

About Lisa

I'm Lisa, a home cook, recipe developer and founder of Okonomi Kitchen. Here, you'll find a mix of classic and modernized Japanese recipes, and creative, plant-forward meal inspiration using seasonal ingredients. I hope to share more about Japanese cuisine and culture through food and recipes.


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9 Comments

  1. Hi Lisa, I’m a long time follower of yours and this is my first time making a sweet with your recipe. My breakfast was INCREDIBLE! Love the salty touch in combination with the sweetness of bananas. Just perfect.
    Love, Giulia






  2. I’ve made this several times now and it is a hit every time! The burnt miso smells incredible while you are making it. So funky and rich. I make version two and the texture is so soft. Lisa always has the most creative and delicious recipes!

  3. Thanks Lisa for sharing this amazing recipe! I personally tried version two, did a double batch right away and used two eggs for it. I find the advice of keeping it in a foil for a day/ over night as very useful. It is sooo moist, fluffy and delicious at the same time.

  4. I’ve been eyeing your burnt miso brown butter banana bread recipe for forever and I finally made it today!! It’s official: all other banana bread is ruined for me. This is the only banana bread that I will eat from now on. I had a couple friends over who tried it too and they agreed. It’s just insane. I want to bring it to a potluck in the future and just casually drop it down like it’s nothing and for everyone to lose their minds over and demand to know who brought it 😂. I made version 1 and I’ll send you a couple pics. I’ll post to my profile and tag you in it in the next day or two.






  5. This banana bread was so yummy and delicious. And my 3 year old was such an excellent helper mashing all the bananas and wet ingredients together. After all, it was her 2 bananas I was using since she will only eat a banana in the day we buy them, but never a day after and so I’m left with extra bananas starting to brown which are just perfect for banana bread. I had all the ingredients and although I made some small adjustments it was still absolutely delicious. I’ll be making this again, when I’ve got more browning bananas sitting in my fruit bowl. Thank you for this great recipe!

  6. This Burnt Miso Banana Bread is incredible! I made Version 2 yesterday and I am just blown away! It’s definitely amoung the best cakes I have ever had! Also love the Sesame Pecan Streusel Topping!
    I have two remarks: To me it tastes very sweet so I will reduce the amount of sugar a little bit the next time around. But sugar sensitivity (as well as with salt) varies quite a bit from person to person so that is just a remark not criticism – my boyfriend on the other hand likes the sweetness as it is.
    Second: Although I used a pan with a volume like the ones mentioned the dough flowed over in the oven quite a bit so it was a mess to clean up. Still: The taste totally made up for the extra work 😀 Will have to find a bigger pan for the next time.






  7. Super moist, sweet, savoury & umami — easily the best banana bread I’ve ever made :’) Always look forward to recipes by the amazing Lisa!! 🍌🍞😌☁️