This is the BEST caramel banana bread. I love banana bread; it makes the perfect breakfast, snack OR dessert. It also gives new purpose to the sad little bananas on my counter that get too ripe too fast. This HOMEMADE sea salt caramel makes it melt in your mouth. My method for making this is a little unconventional, but it's insanely simple. It turns out great every time, so hear me out!
I recently purchased my first food processor and it is a serious game changer. I incorporate it into an inappropriate amount of recipes and I love it so much. I ended up buying the mini version of it because I felt like I needed the whole food processor family. Not to get too carried away with this topic, (because I could and do often) but I find myself window shopping on Cuisinart's site to see if they have invented new attachments. I have convinced myself that I need all of them or possibly even backups of ones I have now. I want to grow old with this appliance. ?
OK, back to the bread. I make the whole recipe in the food processor, I don't even smash the bananas! First you start with a stick of room temp (or warmed) butter. Add in brown sugar and granulated sugar and blend until smooth and fluffy. Eggs and vanilla come next, then your bananas. Once all the wet ingredients have been added, I blend in salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder - saving flour as my last step.
Gradually add in flour until blended and smooth. If you want to add chocolate chips or walnuts (or both) add them, and pulse your processor a few more times. It's ready for the oven!
Bake at 350° for about 35 minutes if you are making the batch in a 4x8 inch pan. If you are making it in multiple mini pans it bakes closer to 20-25 minutes.
Now lets talk about this sea salt vanilla caramel sauce. The only thing that tastes better than caramel is caramel from scratch. Homemade caramel always seemed like an intimidating recipe, until I started looking up how it is made. It's 5 ingredients and 1 pot. Who knew sugar + cream + salt + butter + vanilla = magic? This banana bread holds its own, so please don't get the impression that it NEEDS this caramel sauce. YOU need this caramel sauce, okaaaay? Ok.
BEST Caramel Banana Bread
- ½ cup butter salted OR unsalted
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 3 bananas 3-4 bananas depending on size
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup OPTIONAL: walnuts
- ½ cup OPTIONAL: chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°
- Add a stick of room temp (or warmed) butter to your food processor OR in a large mixing bowl
- Add in brown sugar and granulated sugar and blend until smooth and fluffy.
- Add eggs and vanilla and continue to blend
- Add in bananas blend until smooth
- Once all the wet ingredients have been added blend in salt, cinnamon, baking soda and baking powder.
- Gradually add in flour until blended and smooth.
- If you want to add chocolate chips or walnuts add them and pulse your processor a few more times.
- It's ready for the oven! Spray an 4x8 loaf pan OR several mini loaf pans and fill about ⅔ of the pan with an even layer of batter.
- Bake at 350° for about 25 minutes for mini loafs OR 40 minutes for a 4x8 inch pan. Bake until a toothpick can be inserted into the center and comes out clean.
Sea Salt Vanilla Caramel
- Add granulated sugar to a sauce pan over medium heat and slowly stir. Sugar will begin to clump and then slowly melt into an amber liquid.
- Once all clumps are gone take melted (liquid) sugar off heat. Add in heavy cream and stir. Caramel will bubble, mix until cream and sugar are completely blended
- Add in butter vanilla and sea salt and mix until blended
- If mixture has formed clumps (don't panic) put it back on heat and carefully stir until smooth
- Leave caramel to cool in pan for about 20 minutes. Once cooled transfer it to a jar or bottle. Keep stored in the refrigerator
- BEFORE YOU SERVE: My favorite way to eat this banana bread is sliced on a plate with caramel drizzled over it and warmed for about 30 seconds in the microwave (depending on your microwave). ENJOY!