Yield: 1 loaf chocolate tahini swirled banana bread // Total Time: 1 hr. 30 min. // Disclaimer: This post includes affiliate links. //
Moist brown butter banana bread, swirled with two layers of chocolate tahini.
Chocolate Tahini Swirled Banana Bread
Tahini, while delicious in savory dishes, is also SO GOOD in sweet baked goods! If you don’t know what tahini is, it is ground sesame butter and it’s delicious. Today we’re taking chocolate tahini and swirling it into a chocolate chip brown butter banana bread, twice, then topping that bread with sesame seeds for a nice crunch. It’s the perfect balance of sweet, moist, earthy, crunchy & chocolatey. Oh, this banana bread also comes together in one bowl (as all banana bread should). So let’s get into it!
What is brown butter?
Brown butter is super simple to make so don’t worry! It’s just regular butter that is cooked on the stove until some of the moisture evaporates, allowing the milk solids in the butter to be toasted. The result is this butter with an amber hue and little speckles that has a toasted and slightly nutty aroma.
Because the butter gets cooked for a while, you do lose most of the moisture present in butter – just another reason I highly recommend weighing your ingredients! You should have 90g of butter left from the 113g at the start. Any less and you’ll want to add some water to the butter to bring it to 90g, or you’ll end up with a less-moist banana bread.
Weigh your ingredients
Weighing your ingredients is important for getting the recipe perfect and getting consistent results. Not weighing your ingredients can lead to adding too much or too little of an ingredient which can give you some undesirable results. This kitchen scale is super cheap and worked well for me when I was starting out! If you don’t have access to a scale, here is the best way to measure flour: fluff up the flour with a fork, then use a spoon to scoop it into your measuring cup. Use a knife to level off the top of the cup, then use as directed.
Mix the batter carefully
After adding in your flour, you’ll want to be careful to only mix until that last streak of flour disappears into the batter to avoid over-mixing. Over-mixing your batter leads to developing more gluten in the batter, which will make the banana bread more tough and chewy.
Room temperature ingredients
It is important for the ingredients to be at room temperature so that they properly incorporate with each other. If you have ever had your batter look curdled, it is most likely due to the ingredients separating from being at different temperatures. Take out the eggs and sour cream at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hr 30 min. before starting the recipe. A little hack that I do is to run the eggs under hot water for 1 minute to bring them to room temp., and microwave the sour cream in 5-second intervals until it’s no longer cold (but not hot.)
How to tell when your banana bread is done
It’s always a little game with telling if your loaf is done. Sometimes it will look done, but it’s still super wet in the center, and now since you’ve opened the oven door, you risk the loaf collapsing in the middle, which is never desirable. This banana bread took me ~55 minutes in an 8×4″ loaf pan at 350F. I would recommend waiting until at least 45 minutes to check on your banana bread, so long as you know your oven isn’t running hotter than it claims to be. When checking for doneness, you’ll want to take a toothpick and stick it down the exact center of the banana bread. If it comes out with a few moist crumbs, you’re good to take it out! If it’s still a little wet, put the bread back in the oven, checking in 5-minute intervals for doneness.
Ingredients and substitutions
All purpose flour: for structure and chewiness.
Baking powder & baking soda: for helping the bread rise. Baking powder gives the loaf a cakier texture, and baking soda interacts with the brown sugar and sour cream to give it some lift.
Salt: to help balance and bring out the sweetness of the bread.
Unsalted butter: for tenderness and flavor. You can use salted butter in place of the unsalted, just be sure to omit the extra salt from the cookies. We’ll also be browning the butter for some extra delicious toasty flavor. If you’re looking to make this dairy-free, Miyoko’s Creamery vegan butter has the ability to brown just like regular butter and works like a charm.
Granulated sugar & light brown sugar: a combination of both helps to both add moisture and lock moisture into the bread. Brown sugar also adds a deeper, molasses-y flavor.
Banana: you will need ~2 very ripe medium-sized bananas.
Eggs: for binding and for moisture.
Sour cream: for moisture and making sure the bread stays tender. You can substitute in buttermilk or greek yogurt as well.
Mini chocolate chips: for texture and for having a little bit in every bite. You can omit the mini chocolate chips or replace them with regular-sized chips, a chopped baking bar, etc.
Chocolate tahini: the star of the show that gets swirled twice throughout the banana bread. You could replace this swirl as you wish really, with regular tahini, chocolate peanut/almond butter, nutella. The possibilities are deliciously endless. Here is the tahini that I used.
Sesame seeds: optional for baking on top of the loaf.
Chocolate tahini swirled banana bread q&a
Do I need to use ripe bananas?
I know it can be quite frustrating if you don’t have any ripe bananas on hand, but you do need to use a very ripe banana for this recipe. Ripe bananas provide are a different texture, sweeter, and more flavorful than green or yellow bananas. If you don’t have any ripe bananas, simply buy some at the beginning of the week and leave them out with the intention of making a banana recipe at the end of the week! If you need the bananas ripe NOW, I’ve seen that you can bake them in the oven until they turn brown (although I have never tried this method).
Can I double this recipe?
Of course! Just double all the ingredients and bake them in two 8×4″ or 9×5″ loaf pans.
How can I make this dairy-free?
Making this recipe dairy free is as simple as swapping out the dairy with dairy-free alternatives really! If you still want to make brown butter, I HIGHLY recommend using Miyoko’s Creamery because their vegan butter still browns (and I think that’s amazing.) Otherwise, use your favorite non-dairy butter stick, skip the browning process and just melt the butter. Then, just use your favorite non-dairy sour cream or yogurt, dairy-free chocolate chips and you’re good to go!
How can I make this egg-free?
You can try flax-eggs, I’ve heard good things about them but I have never tried them for myself. Otherwise, you can change the method and recipe around a little bit like so:
- Forget browning/melting the butter. Bring your butter to room temperature and beat it for 3 minutes with both sugars, then beat in the banana.
- At this point, you’ll add in the room temp. sour cream, and add in 100g (~3 1/2 oz.) of room temp. whole milk and beat until combined.
- Continue on with the recipe and you’re good to go! I use this method in my one-banana eggless banana muffins and honestly, you can’t even tell that the egg is missing!
How to store banana bread
Like most baked goods, this banana bread will taste the best on the day that it is baked. However, you can keep it stored in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 4 days.
Why do you measure in grams?
My recipes are all written in grams because it is the most accurate way to bake. When you use a kitchen scale, you ensure that your baked goods turn out as close to the written recipe as possible. Plus, the cleanup is way easier when using a scale! I will provide standard cup measurements but please note that I have not tested the recipe using cup measurements and therefore can not guarantee your recipe will come out how mine did. Here is my favorite kitchen scale, and here’s an article about why I use a kitchen scale, and why you should too!
A note on oven temperature
Ovens vary and fluctuate in temperature. For example, I always have to set my oven to 330°F if I want it to bake at 350°F. If you love to bake like I do, I highly recommend getting an oven thermometer. They are super helpful for letting you know when your oven might be lying to you! I use this one.
Tools and ingredients
You can find all my favorite tools and ingredients that I use on my Amazon Storefront page, here!
Did you make this chocolate tahini swirled banana bread?
If you made this chocolate tahini swirled banana bread I would love to see them and know your thoughts! Please leave a comment and review down below, and tag me on Instagram @freshbeanbakery. If you have any questions about the recipe I will gladly do my best to answer them in the comments below!
Chocolate Tahini Swirled Banana Bread
- 113 g unsalted butter (½ c.)
- 100 g light brown sugar (½ c.)
- 50 g granulated sugar (¼ c.)
- 200 g ripe banana (~2 medium bananas)
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 60 g sour cream room temperature (¼ c.)
- 240 g all purpose flour (2 c.)
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- ½ tsp. salt
- 75 g mini chocolate chips (⅓ c.)
- 56 g chocolate tahini (¼ c.)
- 2 tbsp. sesame seeds
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 175°C. Grease and line an 8×4" or 9×5" loaf pan with butter and parchment paper.
- In a small saucepan set over medium heat, brown the butter. Stir the butter occasionally until it turns amber in color and develops little brown specks. Take the butter off the heat and transfer to a medium sized bowl.
- Set the brown butter in the freezer for 5 minutes to cool down a little.
- Once the butter has cooled a little, whisk in the light brown sugar and granulated sugar.
- Add in the banana and mash it into the mixture.
- Add in both eggs and the sour cream, and beat the mixture until well combined.
- Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and chocolate chips. Lightly fold the mixture together just until no flour streaks remain.
- Pour ~½ of the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Drizzle 28g (2 tbsp.) of tahini over the batter, then use a knife to swirl it around.
- Pour the remaining batter over the tahini, then drizzle another 28g (2 tbsp.) of tahini on top and swirl it around. Top generously with sesame seeds.
- Bake the bread for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out with just a few moist crumbs. I recommend starting to check on the bread around the 45 minute mark.
- Wait for the bread to fully cool to room temperature before slicing. Serve and enjoy!
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