Caramelized Banana Bread with Walnuts

Every kitchen needs the perfect, moist banana bread recipe.  This is it.

 Course Dessert
 Prep Time 20 minutes
 Cook Time 1 hour 10 minutes
 Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes


  • 2 cups walnuts
  • 3 large ripe bananas sliced lengthwise
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 1/4 cups (275 g) brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs beaten
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup plus 1.5 tbsp (140 ml total) whole milk
  • 5 tbsp (70 ml) avocado oil or canola, sunflower etc
  • 5 dashes black walnut bitters optional but so good!
  • 2 cups plus 3.5 tbsp (275 g total) AP flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg


  1. Toast the walnuts in a non-stick skillet at med-high until fragrant and lightly browned. Set aside to cool, then chop up.
  2. In the same skillet set at med-high, add a slight amount of butter (2 tsp?) and let it warm at the bottom of the pan.Add the banana slices. Toast each side for 1 to 2 minutes. You are looking for nice brown caramelizing to happen. Turn and do the same to other side. Remove and mash with a fork till ‘smooth’.

  3. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (170 C) Spray and line a 9×5 (23x12cm) loaf pan with parchment so that it hangs over the longer edges.

  4. Place bananas, sugar and eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat at med speed till well combined.Reduce speed and add 1/2 tsp salt, the milk and the oil. Add the bitters if using.

  5. Sift together (I use a whisk) the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon. and nutmeg.

    Slowly add to bowl (at reduced speed) Once all is in, mix at med speed till well combined.

    Stir in the walnuts and pour the batter into the prepared pan.

  6. Bake for about 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Start checking after 1 hour. (Depending on the pan etc, I have had it take 1 hour and 20 minutes)  Leave to cool for 10 minutes. Then remove by using the parchment paper and place on a cooling rack to finish cooling completely.

  7. You can keep in airtight container for up to 5 days, or go ahead and freeze some of it!

Recipe Notes

I love using bitters in my cooking and baking. They’re not just for ‘Old Fashioneds’ anymore! You can find them in a lot of bar supply establishments (here in Toronto we have BYOB) or even upscale grocery stores are starting to carry them. I like the assortment that Fee Brothers or Dillons has.
There are times when cacao nibs is also a lovely addition. Remove some of the walnuts and add 1/2 to 2/3 cup of cacao nibs when adding the walnuts. I will understand if you only use the 1/2 cup amount- cocoa nibs can be bitter- chocolatey yes, but no sweetness to them.  They add a lovely texture though.  Or instead of cacao nibs, try 2/3 cup chopped bittersweet chocolate.
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s ‘Plenty More’

Recipes From Nature

Hi, I’m Nina! I'm a culinary school graduate sharing easy, healthy recipes rich in seasonal produce and whole foods. Let's get cooking!