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banana bread slices stacked

Banana Bread with Crunchy Crumble Topping

Banana bread is what we call “for the people”. It’s easy to make and made with simple ingredients – (1) pantry ingredients that you probably already have on hand and (2) those bananas you didn’t get a chance to eat that are turning brown on your kitchen counter. It is also one of the most nostalgic baked goods I can think of. I feel like everybody’s Southern grandmother made/makes banana bread. It’s a recipe that envelops your taste buds and feels like a warm hug. Banana bread is quintessential comfort food, and here’s how to make it moist, flavorful, and unforgettable.

Your grocery list

Pantry Items

  • All-purpose flour
  • Brown sugar
  • White sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Kosher salt
  • Walnuts
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Ground nutmeg


  • Very ripe bananas


  • Buttermilk
  • Large eggs
  • Unsalted butter


  • Spiced rum (optional)

banana bread sliced and stacked

Equipment/Tools You’ll Need

  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring spoons/cups
  • Rubber spatula
  • Electric hand mixer or stand mixer
  • Loaf pan
  • Nonstick baking spray or parchment paper, for easy removal
banana bread with pecan butter
Banana bread with pecan butter spread


staggered slices of banana bread

Banana Bread with Crunchy Crumble Topping

Lena B.
Made with bananas, warming spices, and a little optional spiced rum – this banana bread is moist with the added crunch from the crumble topping.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 10 minutes
Course Breads
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf


  • Baking sheet for roasting nuts
  • Mixing bowls
  • Measuring cups/spoons
  • Rubber spatula
  • Electric hand mixer or stand mixer
  • 9" x 5" loaf pan
  • Nonstick baking spray and/or parchment paper
  • Wire rack for cooling


For the banana bread batter

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • a dash of nutmeg
  • ½ cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 4 very ripe bananas mashed with a fork or masher
  • 3 tablespoons buttermilk
  • 1-2 tablespoons spiced rum optional
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup walnuts toasted and chopped

For the crumble topping

  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter slightly softened and cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts


Roast the walnuts

  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Spread walnuts out on a baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes or until fragrant.
  • Grease and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan (or line it with parchment paper). Set aside.

Making the crumble topping

  • Add the flour, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl and mix until combined. Cut in the butter using your fingers or a pastry blender, until it resembles coarse crumbs. Stir in chopped walnuts. Set aside.

Making the batter

  • In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Set aside.
  • Cream the butter and sugars in a large mixing bowl until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well in between each addition. With a wooden spoon, stir in the mashed bananas, buttermilk, rum, and vanilla. Slowly stir in the dry ingredients. Once the flour is incorporated, stop right there. DON'T over-stir. Gently fold in walnuts. The batter will be thick.

Baking and Cooling

  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the crumble topping evenly over the batter. Bake the bread for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Remove the bread from the pan and continue to cool on the wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature.


  • If you aren’t using rum, increase the amount of buttermilk to 4 tablespoons (or about ¼ cup).
  • After removing the loaf from the oven, allow it to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before attempting to remove it. Allow it to cool completely before slicing IF you have the patience… It will be hard! Trust me, I know. It’s not a necessity, but if you want clean (less crumbly) slices, the cooler the better.
  • Using baking spray alone should be enough to get your loaf out of the pan, but adding a strip of parchment paper (about the same width as the pan with a little extra sticking out to use as handles) will make it even easier to remove, slice, and serve.
  • Serve slices plain, with a nut or cookie butter, cream cheese, and/or fruit.
Keyword Banana, Walnuts






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