Banana bread is one of those comfort foods that always brings a smile or makes you feel cozy inside. Bourbon banana bread? It really kicks the whole comfort food thing up a notch! Boozy baking makes this feel like a much more grown up banana bread recipe.
For about 20 years, I make my tried and true banana bread recipe…but after a few months of recreational baking while stuck at home, a little experimentation helped pass the time. A few dozen bananas later, bourbon banana bread was born.
If you’re worried about it, the bourbon does bake out of the batter. Or, you can use bourbon extract if you want the flavor without the bottle of booze.
There’s less sugar on the inside of the bread than the original because the outside has more with the few fun additions this version has. If you choose to leave the caramel crisp bottom or the coconut top out, you might want to add back in a little more sugar. (Although my mom says she only every uses half the amount I call for when she makes my banana bread and loves it.)
Lemme describe what happens when you bake this up. The brown sugar and butter in the bottom caramelizes, creeps up the sides of the pan and gets a thin little crispy sugar layer that adds a buttery crisp that is so amazing. On top of the bread, a thick layer of coconut toasts and crisps up for treat that makes a party in your mouth. You’re going to hate me after you make it because you’re not going to be able to stop eating it.
The bourbon’s not overpowering as prescribed in the recipe, but if you want your bourbon banana bread with a little more zing…add more bourbon to the batter, or sprinkle a bit over the top when you’re finished baking.
- ½ cup butter, softened
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
- 3 tablespoons bourbon or 1 tablespoon bourbon extract
- 3-4 mashed VERY ripe bananas
- ½ cup buttermilk or sour milk
- 2 c flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/4 cup butter
- 3/4 cup sweetened coconut flakes
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer; add eggs and mix well. Add sour milk (or buttermilk), vanilla, bourbon and bananas to mixture. Add dry ingredients to creamed mixture and blend well.
- Grease your loaf pan.
- Spread 1/2 cup brown sugar evenly on the bottom of the pan, then top with 1/4 cup butter cut into slices. Add batter.
- Top batter with an even layer of coconut.
- Bake for 70 minutes. Adjust your time down if you're baking in small pans. The smaller the pan, the shorter the cook time. I suggest checking your bread every 5 minutes after 25 minutes to see if a toothpick comes out clean if you aren't using a standard loaf pan. Once the toothpick inserted into the
center comes out clean, the bread is done!
Making banana bourbon muffins
This bourbon banana bread recipe makes spectacular muffins. I think I actually like the recipe better as muffins, because the sugar caramel crisp gets all the way around the muffin as it bakes.
There’s not much change in the way they are made, but I’ve supplied baking instructions for both large (like the photos) and small muffins below.
The recipe alterations for muffins:
Large muffins: put 1/2 tablespoon brown sugar in each cup. Add a 1/2 tsp of butter, then 1/3-1/2 cup batter. Top with coconut. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
Small muffins: put 1 teaspoon brown sugar in each cup. Add 1/4 tsp butter, then fill cups with batter to 2/3 way full. Top with coconut. Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.