We tested and tested this banana bread until we got it just right! And boy, this recipe is a winner. The peanut butter adds a subtle nuttiness and gives the banana bread a super-moist, tender crumb. The riper your bananas are, the sweeter your banana bread will be, so adjust the brown sugar to your liking. While you might be tempted to skip the brown sugar on top, it truly makes this recipe. The loaf develops a nice crust and the bananas become rich and caramelized in the oven. Serve the banana bread as is, or smeared with more peanut butter or good salted butter.
Rate this recipe!
¼cupunsalted butter(4 Tablespoons), plus more for greasing, at room temperature
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan, shaking out the excess flour.
In a medium bowl, sift the 1½ cups of flour with the baking soda and salt. In a small bowl, mash 3 of the bananas with a fork until chunky.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle or in a large bowl and using an electric hand mixer, cream the brown sugar, peanut butter and the ¼ cup of butter at medium speed, scraping down the sides as needed, until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. At low speed, beat in the milk until smooth. Then beat in the egg, vanilla and mashed banana until combined. Using a spatula, fold in the dry ingredients until just combined (be careful not to overmix).
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Slice the remaining banana lengthwise and arrange on top of the batter cut side up. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons of brown sugar. Bake the banana bread for about 1 hour, or until caramelized on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool for 30 minutes. Turn out the banana bread onto the rack and let cool completely before slicing.
If you are using salted peanut or almond butter, then reduce the kosher salt to ½ teaspoon.
MAKE AHEAD The banana bread can be wrapped in plastic and kept at room temperature for up to 3 days.