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Brown Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread by Baking The Goods

Brown Butter Pecan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

  • Author: Becky Sue of Baking The Goods
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices


Warm, nutty brown butter notes intermingle with banana and vanilla in the base of this moist and tender loaf. It's studded with crunchy pecans, dark and milk chocolate chips and a slight sprinkle of briny sea salt flakes and hits on all of the comforting flavor notes. One slice is never enough.


  • 10 tablespoons unsalted butter (- divided)
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt (+ 1/2 teaspoon for pan)
  • 2 large bananas (- very ripe)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar (+ 1 tablespoon for pan)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (- I use half milk and half dark chocolate)
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1 tablespoon sparkling or raw sugar (- optional)
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt flakes (- optional)


  1. Begin with browning the butter. First, melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Swirl the pan occasionally to be sure the butter is cooking evenly. As soon as the butter melts, transfer 2 tablespoons of melted butter to a 9"x5" loaf pan for greasing and set aside.
    Keep swirling or stirring the butter in the pan. It will start to turn from yellow to a deeper golden color and toasty bits will start forming around the edges. When the butter begins to foam up and give off a nutty aroma, the brown bits will start to really show up. Take it off the heat immediately to avoid burning. Pour the butter and scrape the browned bits into a heatproof bowl or liquid measuring cup to cool down while you prepare the other ingredients.
  2. Prep the loaf pan: I like to use sugar in place of flour when prepping my loaf pans. The sugar gives the exterior of the loaf a slightly crunchy, sweet shell. I also mix in salt for a little mystery.
    Mix about 1 tablespoon of granulated sugar with 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt. Brush the reserved melted butter (previously transferred to the loaf pan) to grease interior of the pan, along the bottom and all the way up the sides. Add sugar and salt mix (or flour) then shake and tap the pan until the mix sticks to the butter on all sides. Set pan aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350° F. Give the pecans a rough chop, then spread evenly on baking sheet. Toast the pecans for 8-10 minutes, until they begin to smell toasty and nutty. *This step isn't totally necessary but it will give the nuts a deeper, toasty flavor.
  4. Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a mixing bowl and whisk together.
  5. Peel the bananas into a large bowl and mush them with the back of a wooden spoon until they resemble a puree. Then whisk in the brown sugar, granulated sugar and cooled browned butter until smooth. Followed by the eggs and vanilla.
  6. Add 1/3 of the dry ingredients and stir just until the the dry ingredients are absorbed. Then add half of the milk. Mix together and repeat with half of the remaining dry ingredients and the remainder of the milk. Finally add the rest of the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.
  7. Add the 3/4 cup of chopped and toasted pecans and 3/4 cup chocolate chips (reserve remaining pecans and chocolate chips for topping). Stir until just combined.
  8. Transfer the batter into the prepared 9"x5" loaf pan. Then sprinkle with the remaining chopped pecans and chocolate chips. Followed by the sparkling or raw sugar (optional but it adds a welcome sweetness and crunch to the top).
  9. Bake at 350°F for 60-70 minutes. The loaf should turn a deep golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean when ready.
    If you're opting to add the sea salt flakes (highly recommended), sprinkle whatever amount is appropriate for your tastebuds over the top of the loaf while the chocolate is still melty so they stick!
    Allow to cool in the pan for at least 15-20 minutes, then carefully invert the loaf and remove it from the pan. Transfer it to a cooling rack to finish cooling a bit before slicing. But definitely slice into that baby while it's still warm and the chocolate is melted!


For maximum shelf life and freshness, store in the refrigerator, tightly wrapped for up to 5 days. 


Rewarm in a warm oven for a few minutes before serving to get those dreamy, melty chocolate chippers going. 


This recipe can easily be baked into muffins instead of a loaf. Just butter and sugar or line a muffin tin and fill 3/4 full with the batter. Bake at 375°F for 15-18 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Should yield 12-14 muffins. 


You can swap in Whole Wheat or even go gluten free with Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Baking Flour. I’ve made this recipe into muffins using GF flour and they came out beautifully tender. 

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour