If you’ve never baked with lavender before, this Lavender Banana Bread is a great introduction. Brushed with Lemon Glaze for extra pizzaz!
An epiphany in the form of banana bread
I used to be hesitant when it came to making things with dried flowers. I suppose a lot of that hesitation came from the fact that I could not predict whether the end product would be received well or not by the people who consume the things I make (aka friends and family). So I just kept shoving the idea to the back of my mind. Of course, I did eventually realize this was a completely wrong approach. If there’s one thing I learned over the years as a foodie, it’s that with food, the most crucial step is to TRY. I have been surprised a great many times after trying dishes and recipes I was expecting not to like but ended up actually loving.
And so, when I came across a seller carrying dried lavender and dried rose buds for some very decent prices on Shopee, I made my purchase before I could talk myself out of it again. To make a long story short, I am officially on-board with this whole baking with dried flowers thing. At the end of the day, it’s not much different from baking with herbs. It brings something really unique to baked goods when used wisely in the right amount– like in the case of this Lavender Banana Bread.
Being a noob at baking with dried flowers, I really wanted to document this moment. However, I also found myself hoping that I would not get complaints about the banana bread tasting like lavender soap. (You know, the same way people sometimes associate mint desserts with toothpaste even if it doesn’t really come off the same…) The good news is, I did not get any negative feedback with this recipe. As a matter of fact, this Lavender Banana Bread has become one of my favorite creative iterations of a classic banana bread. Ever.
It was literally a moment of epiphany. (Thank you, Broma Bakery!)
But like I said, these moments of unexpectedly delightful food-related surprises are what foodies like us live for, right? I am just so glad I took a lot of photos of the process and the result of my making of this Lavender Banana Bread. Now I can immortalize this moment on my blog!
The wonders of Lavender Banana Bread
You’ve probably heard about the magical ingredient called browned butter and how it adds an extra something to baked goods. This recipe actually takes that a step further by infusing the lavender flavor into the browned butter, rather than the more typical procedure of rubbing the lavender into the sugar. It then uses some of that butter-cooked lavender and throws it into the batter. The result is a Lavender Banana Bread that has just the right amount of lavender– as in not too understated, not too in your face.
The scent of the bread is more lavender dominant, but once you take a bite, you can definitely still taste a strong banana flavor alongside the floral lavender. I was honestly scared that the lavender might be too much for most people, so I decided to swap out the lavender glaze from the original recipe in favor of a lemon one. And guess what? It worked perfectly! It added a lively zing to the banana bread. Lemon actually complements both banana and lavender flavors so I wasn’t worried on that aspect. Since the glaze is a runny one as opposed to the type that hardens into a crisp solid white, it made the Lavender Banana Bread shiny and even more attractive. The glaze is supposed to be optional, but it’s a highly recommended addition.
Now because I was so happy with the result of this Lavender Banana Bread, I became confident enough to try a rose-infused drink as well. I decided to write about the drink in a separate post so that this one won’t be too long. (I took so many photos for this pairing!) You can read about the Rose Cardamom Latte I paired with this Lavender Banana Bread HERE.
My notes on this recipe
Use overripe bananas.
This is like the number 1 rule for me. For maximum banana flavor in banana bread, you want to use overripe bananas.
Be mindful when browning the butter.
This process has you melting and cooking the butter until it turns a golden brown. I always brown my butter over medium heat. Some recipes will tell you to constantly stir the butter to keep it moving, but I find that the butter ends up sputtering onto my hands and it can be painful lol. What I do is leave the butter to cook for stretches of time, but I swirl it around often to encourage even cooking and to prevent burning at the bottom of the pan. Once the butter starts the foaming and sizzling process (as seen in my video) it actually browns quickly so it’s best not to step away from the stove while the process is ongoing.
Browning butter takes at least 5 minutes but no more than 10 minutes in my experience. However, rather than timing it, it’s much easier to use other indicators to tell that it’s ready. For one thing, the butter will start smelling incredibly nutty (yes, you can smell this even with the lavender). It will also turn a golden caramel-like hue, and will have some brown (NOT black) bits at the bottom of the pan. The bits at the bottom are actually toasted milk solids and will add flavor to your baked goods so dump them into your batter! By the way, once the butter is ready, transfer it to another bowl to stop the cooking process.
Do not over-mix the batter to keep the banana bread tender.
When you’re working with the wet ingredients and the dry ingredients in their separate bowls, mixing them as many times as you like is okay. BUT once you combined the flour and wet ingredients, be careful not to over-work the batter. If you mix it too much, the flour will encourage gluten formation, resulting in a tougher rather than tender banana bread.
If you love lavender, you can use lavender glaze in place of the lemon one below.
The original recipe from Broma Bakery uses lavender syrup, but I personally love the contrast the lemon syrup adds to this. The choice is yours!
Lavender Banana Bread
For the banana bread
- 2 Tablespoons dried lavender buds
- 6 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (180 mL) plain whole-milk yogurt
- 1½ cups sugar, (can reduce to 1¼ cups, if desired)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 large overripe bananas, mashed
For the glaze
- 3 Tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup confectioners' sugar
- Dried lavender buds, for optional topping
Make the banana bread
- Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC). Line a 9-x-5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, making sure you have overhang "handles" on the sides.
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, add lavender and butter. Cook until the butter foams, sizzles, and turns golden, at least 5 minutes. Swirl the pan often to promote even cooking and prevent burning. Brown deposits will begin forming at the bottom of the pan and that's normal. Once the butter is a caramel color, remove from heat. This is your lavender-infused browned butter.
- Immediately transfer the butter to another bowl to stop the cooking process, but strain out the lavender buds through a fine mesh sieve, reserving 1 teaspoon of the cooked lavender for the batter. Allow the infused browned butter to cool for a few minutes.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, yogurt, sugar, cooled browned butter, and vanilla. Mix until well-combined and homogenous.
- Using a spatula, fold in the mashed banana and reserved teaspoon of cooked lavender. Gradually fold in the flour mixture in three additions, mixing just until combined. Stop mixing once the last streak of flour disappears. (Don't forget to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as you mix to make sure there are no random pockets of dry ingredients hiding there!)
- Pour batter into the lined pan and bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. Start checking the bread at the 50-minute mark. If it's browning too much but is not yet cooked inside, tent loosely with foil.
- Remove bread from oven and allow to cool in the pan on a wire rack until just warm to the touch.
Make the glaze
- In a small bowl, whisk together lemon juice and sugar. Unmold banana bread and brush glaze generously all over the bread. Make sure to brush not just the tops but also the sides of the bread. The bread will gain a lovely sheen from the glaze and a nice lemony punch.
- Sprinkle the tops with a few pieces of lavender buds for decoration, if desired. Allow the glaze to absorb and the bread to cool until just warm before slicing.
Watch how it's made
All images and videos on this blog are owned by The Tummy Train and Clarisse Panuelos. Unauthorized use of content, removal of watermark, or edit and reupload is prohibited and will constitute theft.