Brown Butter Banana Muffins

The winner of my banana bread recipe testing
50 minutes Total Time
15 minutes to prep
20 minutes to bake
15 minutes to cool
12 muffins

Everyone has a banana bread recipe and I've tried many. I decided to pick my favorite by baking up four recipes in one weekend and comparing. (I still have the leftovers in my freezer.) Sometimes when I do these bake-offs to pick the best recipe there is no clear winner, but this time there was. The recipe from 177 Milk Street had the most banana flavor, the best texture, and was also the easiest to make. The only “complicated” step is browning the butter, which is simple as long as you watch the butter. I prefer muffins to bread because it is easier to portion and they cook faster. The only other thing I've changed from the recipe is the spices. You can see the original recipe by signing up for their free online course “The Spice Kitchen”. 

You can adjust the spices to your taste. The spices I am using here enhance the banana flavor. I use bananas that are too ripe to eat but not totally black. If bananas are getting too speckled, I will peel them and place them in a freezer bag in the freezer. 

This recipe can be made in a bread loaf pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 350° and bake for 50-60 minutes. 



  • Gather and prep ingredients. Preheat oven to 400°. Grease a muffin pan with butter or spray.
    Step 0
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
    Step 1
  • In a sauce pan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Continue to cook the butter after it has melted, stirring often, to brown the butter. The butter will foam during this process. When the foaming settles down it is close to done. You want to see some browned bits at the bottom of the pan. The butter will be fragrant at this point.
    Step 2
  • Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
    Step 3
  • Add the mashed bananas and whisk together.
    Step 4
  • Whisk in the brown sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Whisk until smooth.
    Step 5
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients (or add the wet ingredients to the flour, depending on which vessel is larger.) Stir with a spatula until just combined and no streaks remain.
    Step 6
  • Portion batter into a greased muffin tin. Sprinkle each muffin with 1/2 teaspoon of turbinado sugar (or white sugar) if using.
    Step 7
  • Bake for 18-20 minutes until muffins are browned and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool for 5 minutes in the pan. I like to pull the muffins out after this initial cooling and tilt them in the pan to allow more air circulation while continuing to cool.
    Step 8
  • Leftover muffins freeze well. The sugared top will be less crunchy, but otherwise, these will be as good as fresh when defrosted.
    Step 9

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