This marble Matcha Banana Bread is a fun twist to the delicious classic banana bread recipe. It is dense yet moist, with a deep flavor from the brown butter, and a hint of earthiness from the matcha green tea.
Ever since I made this classic banana bread with brown butter, I can’t help but use brown butter in this Matcha Banana Bread recipe too. Once you try it, you can’t go back to regular butter in banana bread.
The deep flavor of brown butter truly enhances the entire recipe, it goes really well with banana, and gives the bread this nutty flavor even without using any nuts in the batter. I chose to do marble Matcha swirls to add hints of earthiness but not too overpowering Matcha flavor.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- Banana – mashed banana is obviously the star ingredient in this matcha banana bread recipe and cannot be substituted. It is best to use very ripe bananas for maximum flavor.
- Butter – not just any butter, we’ll use brown butter here to enhance the flavor even further.
- Egg – I’m using 2 eggs in this recipe.
- Vanilla – pure vanilla extract is used to enhance the flavor even though our main flavor will be banana and matcha. Vanilla adds a more complex flavor profile
- Sugar – I love using brown sugar in banana bread for additional flavor depth and richness. But if you don’t have brown sugar, you can substitute granulated sugar 1 to 1. Dark or light brown sugar will both work.
- Flour – I use all purpose flour. If you want to make this gluten free, try Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur gluten free flour. Readers have successfully substituted gluten free flour in some other recipes. However, I have not tried it with this particular recipe.
- Leavening agents – I use both baking soda and baking powder. The baking soda will be activated by the acidity in the brown sugar, so if you’re not using brown sugar in this recipe, replace baking soda with baking powder.
- Salt – I always use kosher salt in all my recipes. If using table salt, use half as much.
- Matcha powder – I’m using culinary matcha powder for cooking and baking, from a Japanese grocery store, but the Amazon version linked here is the exact brand I use. There is no need to use a more expensive version. But make sure you’re not using a matcha green tea mix which may already be sweetened.
How to make Matcha Banana Bread Step-by-Step
- First, make the brown butter and allow it to cool.
- Mash the bananas with a potato masher and add eggs, vanilla extract, along with the cooled brown butter and beat until smooth.
- Add brown sugar and mix until combined.
- In a small mixing bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and stir in the salt. Add flour mixture to the liquid mixture.
- Fold with a spatula until a chunky batter forms. It’s okay if you have a few streaks of flour left in the batter.
- Divide the batter into two bowls, and sift matcha powder into one bowl.
- Mix the matcha powder into half the batter, quickly, until combined.
- Use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to drop batter into a buttered and lined loaf pan, alternate the color.
- Bake at 350°F for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached.
Can I add matcha to the whole batter instead?
Yes, absolutely. I only use 1 tablespoon of matcha in half the banana bread batter to create marble swirls. However, I also tested a version using 2 tablespoons of matcha in the entire batter. The result was too strong for my taste but you could certainly use 1 or 2 tablespoons of matcha for your entire loaf.
If you’re going to add matcha to the entire batch, you don’t need to divide the batter into two. Simply add the matcha powder with all of the dry ingredients in step 4 and fold it into the wet ingredients. This will simplify the process a bit.
Variations and add-ins
The flavors of banana, brown butter, and matcha shine in this matcha banana bread. There is no need for any extra spices and add-ins. But you can customize your banana bread to your heart’s desire, try adding:
- White chocolate chips since they go well with matcha, especially if you increase the amount of matcha and add it to the entire loaf. I think the white chocolate chips will cut the bitterness of the matcha.
- Semi or milk chocolate will also work in this case.
- Chopped walnuts or pecans for a little crunch and texture like these Banana Nut Muffins.
Baker’s Tips & FAQs
What can I do if I don’t have ripe bananas?
Use overripe bananas for the most banana flavor. But if your bananas aren’t ripe yet, and you want to use them right away, you could “ripen” them in the oven until their peel turns black. Set the oven at 300F and bake the bananas with peels on for 20-40 minutes.
One thing I do to make sure I always have ripe bananas on hand is to freeze any leftover overripe bananas I don’t use. I peel them, and wrap them individually in plastic before storing them in a freezer bag. When using frozen bananas, simply thaw the frozen bananas and mash them.
Can I skip matcha in this recipe?
Sure you can, but then this would just be a regular banana bread recipe, which is still super delicious with brown butter in this case.
Why is my banana bread dense?
This matcha banana bread recipe is a cake-like quick bread so the texture should be like a dense cake. But it should still be moist. If your banana bread is dense and dry, you may have used too much flour or you may have over mixed the batter.
Sometimes if you don’t have enough flour, or too much liquid, or your leavening agents are not working properly, you can end up with a very dense pudding-like texture that has no open crumb.
How to tell when your banana bread is done baking?
Similar to baking a cake, test the doneness of your banana bread by inserting a cake tester or a toothpick in the middle of the loaf.
- If wet batter comes out stuck to the toothpick, it is obviously not done.
- If it comes out with just a few crumbs attached, your bread is done.
- If it comes out completely dry, you may have already over baked your bread.
How to store this matcha banana bread?
Store leftover banana bread slices in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. If the weather is particularly warm, refrigerate your banana bread and warm it in the microwave for 10 – 15 seconds before serving.
Refrigerated banana bread will last 1 week. Beyond that, they won’t taste as fresh, and I recommend you freeze them instead.
Can I freeze leftovers?
Banana bread freezes really well. I like to slice it into individual slices first, then wrap them tightly in plastic and store in a freezer bag. You can defrost individual pieces for your enjoyment anytime the mood strikes.
Frozen banana bread will last 3-4 months. Beyond that, it will still be safe to eat but it may start to develop freezer burn or just don’t taste as fresh.
How to serve Matcha Green Tea Banana Bread
- If you want matcha on matcha, serve this bread with a mug of homemade matcha latte.
- Matcha also goes well with coffee, believe it or not, so serve it up with a glass of Vietnamese iced coffee on a hot afternoon for a refreshing treat.
- When I needed a quick dessert, I defrosted previously frozen matcha banana bread, topped them with homemade whipped cream and strained mixed berry compote. Even the kids loved it!
- Leftovers are also fantastic for making Banana Bread French Toast!
More delicious quick bread
- Blueberry Coffee Cake
- Orange Cranberry Bread
- Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Bread
- Spiced Zucchini Bread
- Jalapeno Cheddar Cornbread
- Lemon Banana Bread
Matcha Banana Bread
- 4 oz unsalted butter (113 g, brown)
- 1 ⅓ cup mashed bananas (320 g, about 2 ½ to 3 bananas depending on size)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¾ cup light brown sugar (150 g, lightly packed)
- 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour (230 g)
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon matcha powder (5 g)
- Melted butter for pan
- To brown butter, heat unsalted butter in a light color saucepan over medium heat. Once the butter melts, it will become foamy. When the foam subsides, you will see clear bubbles, start whisking continuously at this point to keep the milk solids from burning. When the butter is caramel in color and smells nutty, turn off the heat and set aside to cool. This will take approximately 8 minutes and 30 seconds.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Brush a loaf pan with some melted butter and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the sides. Brush the parchment paper with more butter. Set aside.
- Mash the banana with a potato masher and add the cooled brown butter to it. Whisk together to combine.
- Add brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, and beat until smooth.
- Sift flour, baking soda, and baking powder into a small mixing bowl. Stir in the kosher salt. Add the flour mixture to the liquid mixture and fold until just combined.
- Transfer half of the batter into another bowl. Sift in the matcha powder and fold to combine the matcha into the batter as quickly as you can.
- Use an ice cream scoop or a spoon to drop batter into the prepared loaf pan, alternate the color.
- Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean with just a few crumbs attached.
- Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before removing it from the pan and let it cool further on a wire rack.
- Use ripe bananas for the best flavor.
- Frozen bananas will also work, simply thaw and mash.
- If you don’t have ripe bananas, you can “ripen” them in the oven. See Tips and FAQs section for more info.
- Banana bread can be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days, refrigerated for up to a week, and frozen for up to 4 months.
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