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Brown Butter-Cardamom Banana Bread

1 9-inch Loaf

1 hour 15 minutes 25 minutes active

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Banana bread is one of the most common baked goods made at home, and most of them taste just that — common. We wanted a revved-up recipe that would produce flavorful results without additional effort. So we paired one of banana’s most complementary spices – cardamom – with nutty browned butter. Blooming the cardamom in hot butter draws out the spice’s aromas, producing a more complex flavor in the finished bread. We found we needed two leaveners. Baking powder alone gave the bread lift but turned out a pale loaf. Baking soda resulted in a well-browned top but a dense crumb. Combining the two was perfect. Measuring the bananas in a 1-cup dry measuring cup was important; the difference in moisture between 4 small and 4 large bananas could throw off the balance of the ingredients. While we preferred the deeper flavor of dark brown sugar here, light brown works just as well. Sprinkling granulated sugar over the top of the loaf just before baking created a crisp, brown crust that we loved.


9-inch Loaf


Don’t measure the bananas by number, as differences in sizes can throw off the balance of ingredients. Measure them using a dry measuring cup instead.

1 hour 15 minutes

25 minutes active


  • 260

    grams (2 cups) all-purpose flour

  • 1

    teaspoon baking powder


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Barbara W.
May 2, 2024
Will it work with whole wheat flour?
I did not make this yet. Will whole wheat flour work?
Doreen S.
April 16, 2024
Great Banana Bread!
This was easy to make dairy free with my favorite butter substitute. Firm on the outside, moist on the inside. The cardamom was just right.
Maya G.
February 23, 2024
My 4 year old grandson says it's the best he's ever had!
I have to make it every time I visit.
Bella K.
February 13, 2024
Brown Butter-Cardamom Banana Bread
Very easy to make, with a very different taste. Firm on the outside and light on the inside. I will be making this bread again.
erica t.
February 1, 2024
First you notice the smells...
...and then you bite into this delicious banana bread. The cardamom takes simple banana bread to an entirely new level. Loved!
Roberto C.

Delicious and nice texture but too salty! Used salted butter and 1 teaspoon coarse salt as directed; try less salt or unsalted butter next time.

M R P.

I made this today and it was perfection! My husband has a love of cardamom as well as walnuts and specifically asked for banana walnut bread - so I added a good bunch to the recipe. Other than that it was perfect exactly as written. Will be making this again.

Annie W.

I've made this recipe twice. The first time, I found the cardamom taste overpowered the banana and it didn't taste banana-ey enough. The second time, I made some changes: (1) used 2.5 oz of whole wheat flour in place of 2.5 oz of the all purpose flour, (2) reduced cardamom to 1/4 tsp, (3) added 1/4 tsp of cinnamon, (4) added roasted walnuts, (5) used a 9-inch cake pan instead of the loaf pan, and (6) I shingled thin banana slices around the perimeter of the pan before sprinkling with sugar. It was done in 40 minutes (it may have been done earlier, but I didn't check it until 40 mins). It's a delicious banana cake!

Martha D.

I also found it too salty. I will cut back. I wonder if the brand of kosher salt makes a difference

Patricia D.

It does ..this is probably amount for Diamond brand. Morton is different amount...don’t remember the conversion.

Karen H.

I think coarseness makes a difference - if your kosher salt is fine, it may be too much.

Christy K.

Covid-19. Day 26. I have one black banana. I certainly don’t want to waste any food these days. The one black banana measures out to 1/2 cup ( smashed). Holycow- I’m gonna have to reduce this recipe to 1/4 of its usual volume. It’s turned out tiny and tasty. Glad I had a tiny pan.

Paulette O.

Were you successful? I hate to waste ripe bananas but usually only hove one. I thought about freezing them until i had enough but cutting the recipe might be a good option.

Ann L.

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Jessica D.

Awwww I saw the tip about measuring the bananas just now, while waiting for my banana bread (with exactly 4 bananas) to finish cooking. Hope it still turns out well!

Shelley B.

Fantastic but next time will add pecans or walnuts

Jennifer M.

is it possible to convert these recipes to weight instead of volume?

Linda W.

Definitely needs walnuts. Salt and cardamom levels were fine.

Ingrid F.

I've made this recipe 3 times now and will make it at least 30 X more to come. I did not find it a bit salty, I used Kosher Diamond Salt...that make a difference since the flake's volume takes up more room than regular salt, so half the weight. I love cardamom and did not find it too much even though I freshly ground my cardamom.

Steven P.

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Fiona G.

Are we sure about the 3/4 Cup of brown sugar? I didn’t find it sweet enough.

Nina R.

I liked this, I didn’t find it too salty but I did find the cardamom overwhelmed the banana. I absolutely love cardamom but I want to taste the banana in banana bread! I think walnuts would be a nice touch.

Charissa B.

Has anyone tried this using a Gluten-free all purpose flour?

yvonne d.

This banana bread is incredibly delicious and I have made many times. I personally dial back on the cardamom and add cinnamon as well. I use an 8x8 pan since that's what I have, and it finishes in 30 minutes. Based on other comments I'm guessing Milkstreet has made adjustments to the salt- the 1/2 teaspoon of table salt is perfect. Highly recommend! Browning the butter is a game changer!

Nicolette W.

I wanted more cardamom flavor. I will add more next time. My four bananas were not quite enough to make 2 cups, but it still turned out tasty.

Cathyanne N.

FABULOUS! I don't like banana bread at all - but get tired of throwing out overly ripe bananas. This is amazing. I truly believe the cardamom made all the difference. I may even make this as gifts. Truly wonderful - the perfect texture and flavor. I baked mine for 47 minutes so watch the time.

Ashley H.

Delicious! I didn’t find it too salty but it’s definitely cardamom forward. I think nuts or cocoa nibs/chocolate chips could be good

Lorena G.

My FAVORITE banana bread! I've made this recipe more than 10 times and I love it especially with walnuts added. My husband is not a fan of the cardamom, but I love the scent of the spice. We usually make this in a mini loaf pan of 8 2"x4" loaves for 20-25 minutes and they're perfect!