Burnt Sugar Banana Walnut Bread

Banana Walnut Bread with Burnt Sugar and Whiskey Frosting - Baker Bettie

I like to think that there aren’t many things in life that truly scare me. Heights, spiders, flying, death. I mean, I don’t absolutely love the idea of these things, but they are not subjects of major worry for me.

But if I am being completely honest with you and myself, there is one major thing that scares me: Being wrong. When I really think about it, the fear of being wrong drives most of my anxieties and insecurities.

Banana Walnut Bread with Burnt Sugar and Whiskey Frosting - Baker Bettie

But really, is being wrong so bad? I guess it can be if the fact that I am wrong is never discovered. Ignorance is not always bliss. Because there is always something significant to learn when I discover and accept that I am wrong. It is something to embrace, and I am working on it.

I saw this video recently and it really helped me make sense of this fear. If you have 18 minutes, it is well worth the watch. 

Banana Walnut Bread with Burnt Sugar and Whiskey Frosting - Baker Bettie

It’s like burning things. If done by accident things usually go too far and it can be completely ruined. But done purposely and just right, burning and charring can enhance the flavor in an insane way.

Like purposely burning sugar. Hello delicious caramelization! It is crazy how much something can transform by being purposely burnt. It adds such an incredible depth of flavor, it is unreal. Banana bread reaches a new level when burnt sugar is added to the experience. Also, burning things is just really fun. I might have a slightly unhealthy obsession with it…

Burnt Sugar Banana Walnut Bread with Whiskey Burnt Sugar Frosting
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for the burnt sugar syrup
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cup boiling water
for the banana bread
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
4 large ripe bananas, mashed
1 stick butter, melted (1/2 cup)
2/3 cup burnt sugar syrup
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted and divided
for the whiskey frosting
1/2 stick butter, softened
burnt sugar syrup
2 TBSP whiskey or bourbon
2-3 cups powdered sugar


    for the burnt sugar syrup
  1. Heat the sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Shake the pan back and forth to ensure even caramelization while watching the sugar closely.
  2. Remove from the heat when the sugar becomes a dark amber color and slowly stir in the boiling water. Set aside to cool.
  3. for the banana bread
  4. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Oil a loaf pan and set aside.
  5. Sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and set aside.
  6. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and sugar for about 10 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  7. Add the mashed banana, melted butter, and 2/3 cup of the burnt sugar syrup to the egg sugar mixture and stir until combined.
  8. Add the dry ingredients into the wet and stir just until combined. Fold in 3/4 cup of the walnuts.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 350ºF for 60-75 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean from the center.
  10. Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  11. for the whiskey burnt sugar frosting
  12. In a large bowl, beat the sugar until creamy.
  13. Add the remaining burnt sugar syrup, the whiskey and 2 cups of the powdered sugar. Beat until combined.
  14. Add more powdered sugar until the desired consistency is reached.
  15. Frost the cooled bread and top with the remaining 1/4 cup of walnuts.