Miso Banana Bread

Banana bread is a timeless classic and I know I’m not the only one who has an irresistible urge to make banana bread with overly ripe bananas left on the counter. After making banana bread several times, I wanted to try something different this time and I found the most perfect ingredient to help take this to the next level – miso.

This secret ingredient transforms the traditional banana bread recipe into a beautifully delicious and complex umami-rich treat. It makes for an unforgettable combination!

When I was testing this recipe, I made the mistake of adding both salt and miso, which resulted in the most saltiest banana bread I’ve ever eaten. It was absolutely horrible and inedible and let’s just say, lesson learned lol.

When I reattempted it, I made sure only to use miso, and it turned out SO delicious! The bread was super moist, and the saltiness from the miso was just right.

Why you’ll love this recipe

Miso in banana bread may sound unconventional and probably not the first ingredient you’d think to add but it makes the banana bread extraordinarily special. Commonly used in Japanese cooking, miso is naturally savory and salty, which complements the sweetness of the overripe bananas beautifully. 

While miso is known to be intense in flavor and saltiness, it doesn’t overpower the banana at all! Instead, it results in a moist and tender banana bread with deep and rich flavors. To add a cozy autumn touch to the recipe, cinnamon and nutmeg are also included in the banana bread mix. If you’re looking to experiment with new flavors without losing the integrity of the beloved traditional banana bread, this is the one. Serve this with a cup of tea or coffee for the ultimate snack or dessert!

How do I prepare Miso Banana Bread?

My miso banana bread recipe is easy and approachable no matter what level your baking skills are. To start, just follow the steps below:

Step 1: Preheat the oven

Preheat your oven to 350° (175°C).

Step 2: Mash the bananas

Place 4 peeled bananas in a bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Step 3: Cream butter and sugar

In another bowl, combine softened butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and white miso. Mix with a handheld mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy – which should take about 5 minutes. 

Then, add the mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix for 30 seconds until everything is well combined.

Step 4: Prepare the dry ingredients

Sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer into the bowl with the banana mixture. Gently fold until well combined. Be sure not to overmix! If you notice visible threads of flour, it’s totally ok. 

Step 5:  Prepare the loaf tin

Spray all sides of the loaf tin with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the tin and spread the top for an even layer.

Step 6: Top with bananas

Cut the last banana in half and place it on top of the batter.

Step 7: Bake

Bake for 60 to 90 minutes. Make sure to check for doneness at the 60-minute mark by sticking a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, it’s ready! It needs more time if it comes out with crumbs or sticky batter. Keep checking for doneness every 10 minutes until it’s ready.

Step 8: Cool and serve

Remove the banana bread from the oven and allow it to cool for at least 30 minutes. When it’s cool, slice a piece or two for serving. Enjoy!

Baking Tips for Miso Banana Bread

To help make the process of making banana bread easier, here are a few tips you can keep in mind:

  • It’s incredibly important to use the correct miso for this recipe. You want to use white miso or ‘shiro miso’ because it’s milder and sweeter compared to the other miso varieties. 
  • Overripe bananas are the key to delicious banana bread! The riper the bananas, the sweeter it will be. 
  • Be sure to soften the butter at room temperature so it’s easier to mix when creaming with the sugars. Take the butter out of the fridge at least an hour beforehand. 
  • If you prefer a darker and richer banana bread, you can use more brown sugar than white sugar.
  • Traditional banana bread usually calls for the addition of salt however, since we are already using miso which is very salty, you can skip the salt completely. 
  • When combining the batter ingredients, be sure to mix until it’s incorporated. You want to avoid overmixing because that can result in a dense loaf. 
  • Remember to grease the loaf tin, even if it’s non-stick, so it’s easier to remove the miso banana bread after baking.
  • To check for doneness, use a toothpick and stick it into the center of the banana bread. If it comes out clean, it’s done however, if it comes out with crumbs or sticky batter, it needs more time in the oven. 

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ripe bananas: ripe bananas are the star of this recipe. You want to opt for overripe bananas as they are sweeter. 

Unsalted butter: butter helps make the banana bread light and crumbly. 

White sugar: white sugar will add sweetness to the banana bread and balance out the savory flavor of the miso. You can substitute it with brown sugar. 

Brown sugar: brown sugar makes the banana bread moist and softer because of its molasses content. You can substitute it with white sugar. 

White miso: white miso or ‘shiro miso’ adds an intense savory and umami flavor to the dish.

Eggs: eggs act as a binder to combine all of the ingredients of the banana bread. It also provides a rich flavor. 

Vanilla extract: vanilla extract adds a sweet flavor and aroma to the banana bread. Be sure to use high-quality vanilla extract. My favorite brand is Nielsen-Massey

All-purpose flour: all-purpose flour is the base for the batter. If you can’t find it at the store, you can combine 70 grams of bread flour and 60 grams of cake flour for every cup of all-purpose flour.

Baking powder: baking powder will make the banana bread rise. 

Cinnamon: cinnamon adds a sweet and spiced flavor and aroma to the banana bread. You can substitute it with nutmeg or omit it completely.

Nutmeg: nutmeg adds a nutty and earthy flavor that complements the cinnamon. You can substitute it with more cinnamon or omit it from the recipe.

Topping Variations & Additions:

If you want to play around with toppings for your miso banana bread, here are a few ingredients that I think would go well with the recipe:

1. Nuts – if you want to add some texture to your miso banana bread, you can always go right with crushed nuts. Feel free to use any type you prefer, including peanuts, walnuts, or almonds. Mix them with the batter, sprinkle them on top, or do both for maximum texture!

2. Chocolate chips – for a more indulgent banana bread, add chocolate chips to the batter. Whether it’s milk, white, or dark chocolate chips, it will give your banana bread a deliciously gooey surprise. 

3. Raisins – raisins may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but they provide a chewy texture and a hint of sweetness. Similar to the nuts, you can mix them with the batter or add them on top.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do you sift the dry ingredients?

Sifting the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg helps break down lumps. It also creates a lighter batter because it incorporates air into the ingredients. To sift, pour the dry ingredients into a fine mesh sieve and gently tap the sides with one hand. If you find any lumps, you can push them down with the back of a spoon to break them apart. You can also use a flour sifter, which can be found on Amazon

What happens if you overmix the batter?

If you overmix the batter, it will result in a dense and rubbery banana bread. To prevent this, stop mixing the batter once all of the ingredients are combined together. You’ll know you overmixed the batter if it looks runny or slack. You can’t fix an overmixed batter, so be careful not to get too carried away when mixing!

How do you store Miso Banana Bread?

You can store miso banana bread in an airtight container on the counter. Make sure it stays dry so it can last for 2 to 3 days. If you want to extend its lifespan, you can also store the loaf in the fridge so it can stay fresh for 7 days.

Looking for more easy and delicious Japanese-inspired recipes?

1. Miso Udon Noodle Soup if you can’t resist a hot bowl of noodles, you’ll want to give this recipe a try. It combines the flavors of miso and udon noodle soup to create a comforting dish that hits the spot.

2. Easy Chicken Katsucombine your love for crispy fried chicken and Japanese cuisine with this easy chicken katsu recipe. Serve it with my Coco Ichibanya Curry recipe, and you have one delicious meal!

3. Mentaiko Udonindulge your taste buds in this creamy mentaiko udon recipe. I used a bit of gochujang in the sauce to give it another layer of spicy and umami flavors that complement the fish roe quite nicely.

4. Salted Salmon Onigiri (Shiozake)salted salmon is one of my favorite fillings for onigiri, and I’m so glad it’s easy to recreate it at home with this recipe. It’s quick and simple, but it’s spicy and umami flavors are definitely out of this world.

5. Steak Donburi (Beef Steak Rice Bowl)if you’re in the mood for steak, this donburi recipe will surely hit the spot. Don’t forget to add an egg yolk on top to make it more indulgent!

Miso Banana Bread

Servings 8 people
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 5 ripe bananas peeled + divided
  • 8 oz unsalted butter softened at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tbsp white miso
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

  • 220g (1 3/4 cup) all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg grated

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 350F/175C.
  • Place 4 peeled bananas in a bowl and mash with a fork. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine softened butter, white sugar, brown sugar, and white miso. Mix with a handheld mixer or stand mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add mashed bananas, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix for 30 seconds until combined.
  • Sift the all purpose flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Transfer into the bowl with the banana mixture. Gently fold until well combined. Be sure not to overmix!
  • Spray all sides of the loaf tin with non-stick cooking spray. Pour the batter into the tin and spread the top so it's an even layer.
  • Cut the last banana in half and place it on top of the batter.
  • Bake for 60 to 90 minutes. Make sure to check for doneness at the 60 minute mark by sticking a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, it's ready! If it comes out with crumbs or sticky batter, it needs more time. Keep checking for doneness every 10 minutes until it's ready.
  • Allow to cool for at least 30 minutes. Serve and enjoy!
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: American, Fusion, Japanese

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