Brown butter cinnamon rye banana bread is made with rye flour to give it a Nordic twist. The browned butter adds a nuttiness to this sweet bread. It’s wonderful warm from the oven, great for breakfast, or even for dessert!
Banana bread is one of those things you can put together easily and quickly. It’s very forgiving and can easily be customized by swapping different flavorings or ingredients. I thought this would be a fun way to use rye flour, so I played around with it and came up with a fantastic recipe.
Rye flour has a nutty, malt-like flavor. It makes a slightly denser or heartier bread because it doesn’t contain much gluten (it’s not gluten-free however) which is why all-purpose flour is also added. Rye flour also produces a darker and richer banana bread and enhances flavors like brown butter and cinnamon.
The browned butter adds a buttery nuttiness to the bread. Because the butter is melted, there’s no need to cream the butter and sugar. The brown sugar just dissolves right into the browned butter. Easy!
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Over ripe bananas: Bananas should be extra ripe.
- Dark rye flour: Adds a nuttiness and dark color to the bread.
- Unsalted butter: I prefer to use unsalted butter when baking. Salted butter generally contains more water than unsalted and can throw off the gluten development, making baked goods a bit mushy.
- Dark brown sugar: I love the deep, molassesy flavor of dark brown sugar and I think it complements the rye flour perfectly.
- All-purpose flour: This provides the gluten necessary to give structure to the bread.
- Eggs: Help bind the ingredients and provide structure.
- Vanilla extract: Add another layer of flavor.
- Baking soda: Helps the bread rise.
- Cinnamon: Rye and cinnamon complement each other.
- Salt: I used sea salt.
Brown the butter
- Slice the butter into Tbsp-sized pieces so it melts quickly and evenly.
- Add the butter to a light-colored pan and melt it over medium heat. Stir the butter to keep it moving around the pan.
- As the butter melts it will start to foam and the milk solids will fall to the bottom of the pan. These are what toast and brown, giving brown butter that nutty flavor and brown color.
- Keep stirring. In about 5-10 minutes the butter will turn a golden brown and start to smell nutty and buttery. Watch carefully! The butter can burn very quickly once it browns.
- Immediately remove the brown butter from the heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl to stop the cooking process.
Make the Banana Bread
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Grease a 9 x 5″ loaf pan.
- In a large mixing bowl, mash the bananas with a fork.
- Stir in brown butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla, mixing until blended.
- In another bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients – rye flour, all-purpose flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture and mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes.
- Remove bread from pan and place on the rack to cool completely or eat it warm from the oven!
- Use very ripe bananas. Bananas get sweeter as they ripen, so overripe bananas will add more natural sweetness and banana flavor to the bread.
- Use a light-colored pan when browning the butter. You won’t be able to see the color of the milk solids in a dark pan and will be more likely to burn the butter.
- Don’t overmix the batter. Overmixing develops too much gluten which results in a tough bread. Mix it only until you see faint streaks of flour in the batter. Don’t worry, there’s enough moisture in the bread that the streaks will hydrate, and you won’t end up with clumps of flour in your bread.
- Grease the pan. Spray the pan with cooking spray or use butter or oil so the bread easily comes out of the pan.
Variations and Substitutions
- Change up the spices. Try ginger, cardamom, cloves, or allspice. Play around with different spice combinations.
- Add nuts, like walnuts, pecans, pistachios or macadamias.
- Mix in some chocolate. Try dark chocolate, milk chocolate, or even bacon flavored chocolate!
How Long Does Rye Banana Bread Last?
It will last up to 3-4 days at room temperature or in the refrigerator, and up to 6 months in the freezer.
How to Store Rye Banana Bread
I usually store my banana bread on a plate wrapped in plastic wrap and either leave it on the counter or the refrigerator. You can also freeze it. Slice it up, then wrap the sliced loaf in plastic wrap, or wrap each slice individually, and put everything in a zipper top freezer bag. To serve, defrost on the counter or refrigerator for a day or so.
More Recipes You’ll Love
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- Egg Butter Mushroom and Garlic Pasta
- Glazed Lemon Cardamom Quick Bread
Brown Butter Cinnamon Rye Banana Bread
- 3 large bananas, about 1 1/2 cups, mashed
- 8 Tbsp unsalted butter (plus more for greasing the pan)
- 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup dark rye flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
To Brown the Butter:
- Slice butter into Tbsp-sized pieces.
- Add butter to a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently.
- As butter melts it'll start to foam, and the milk solids will fall to the bottom of pan.
- Keep stirring for 5-10 minutes, or until the butter turns a golden brown.
- Immediately remove brown butter from the heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl to stop the cooking process.
To Make the Bread:
- Preheat oven to 350°F with rack in center position.
- Lightly grease a 9x5x3 loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, stir together mashed bananas, browned butter, brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla,
- In a separate bowl, mix together flours, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
- Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients, stirring until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake the bread for about 55-60 minutes, until the bread feels set on top, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Remove bread from the oven. Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then loosen the edges, and turn bread out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.