Dulce de Leche Plays Double Duty in This Easy Banana Bread Upgrade

SimplyRecipes DulcedeLecheBananaBread LEAD 6 e5b5faf9ef414e0c9a9b10a95f2eca75

One of the things that my mom used to make for me as a kid were these fried bananas that she would drizzle with condensed milk. For my banana bread riff, I really wanted to play with this idea. The combination of dulce de leche and bananas is so good and so nostalgic for me!

The Secret Ingredient: Dulce de Leche

Incorporating dulce de leche into the batter was a no-brainer because the dulce de leche works double duty in adding the rich creamy and milky notes, while also adding the caramelized notes that play so well with the crunchy cinnamon streusel that adorns the top of the loaf. 

Tips for Making This Banana Bread

If you’re making this loaf for the first time, make sure to use a scale to weigh your ingredients so you aren’t incorporating any more flour than needed. The loaf doesn’t rely on overripe bananas, so you can easily make this whenever you have extra bananas on hand!

Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

More Tasty Quick Bread Recipes

What Is Dulce de Leche?

Made by slowly cooking milk and sugar together until the mixture is thick and caramelized, dulce de leche is a popular sweet treat in Latin America. It is glossy and just thick enough to be spreadable and has a sweet, milky, rich, caramelized, and toasty flavor. It can be enjoyed as-is but is frequently used as a filling, topping, or ingredient in other sweets like cookies, cakes, and more.

Look for dulce de leche in small cans in the baking aisle next to the sweetened condensed milk or in the Latin American food section of the grocery store.

How to Store and Freeze

This banana bread keeps best without the dulce de leche drizzle, so add it just before serving. The cooled bread will keep, tightly wrapped or in an airtight container, for up to 4 days at room temperature. It can also be tightly wrapped and frozen for up to a month.

This recipe, unlike most banana bread recipes, is best made with ripe bananas, not over-ripe, mushy bananas. Look for bananas that are all yellow.

One standard 13.4-ounce can of dulce de leche is more than enough to make the bread and the drizzle.

For the banana bread

  • Cooking spray

  • 1 1/2 cup (190g) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar

  • 3/4 cup dulce de leche

  • 3 medium ripe bananas, roughly chopped

  • 1/3 cup (76g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly

  • 2 large eggs

For the streusel and optional drizzle

  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature

  • 1/4 cup dulce de leche, optional

  • About 1 tablespoon milk, optional

  1. Preheat the oven and prepare the pan:

    Start by preheating the oven to 350°F, then lightly spritz a 9×5 or 8 1/2x 4 1/2-inch loaf pan with non-stick spray.

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  2. Combine the dry ingredients:

    To make the bread, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a medium bowl. Set aside.

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  3. Mix the sugar, dulce de leche, and bananas:

    In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the granulated sugar, dulce de leche, and chopped bananas. Fit the stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on medium-low. After 30 seconds, scrape down the sides of the bowl, then beat the ingredients for 30 more seconds.

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the bread batter:

    Reduce the speed to low, then add in half of the flour mixture 1/4 cup at a time (to avoid a flour cloud). Once half of the flour mixture has been added, pour in the melted butter, followed by the eggs. Once the eggs have been incorporated, add in the remaining flour and mix just until combined, scraping down the sides and paddle as needed.

    Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, then make the streusel.

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  5. Make the streusel:

    In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, brown sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Add in the butter and use your hands to work it into the flour until you have a crumbly mixture that has the consistency of wet sand. Sprinkle the streusel on top of the batter.

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  6. Bake the bread:

    Bake the loaf until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 50 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes (less time for a 9×5 pan, slightly more time for an 8 1/2x 4 1/2-inch pan). Let the loaf cool completely in the pan.

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

  7. Add the optional drizzle and serve:

    If desired, add a dulce de leche drizzle. Heat the dulce de leche, loosely covered, for 10 to 15 seconds in the microwave, just until warmed. Add the milk and mix to thin it slightly; you can add more, a small splash at a time, if needed. Drizzle it over the top before slicing and serving.

    The bread (without the drizzle) will keep for up to 4 days tightly wrapped or in an airtight container.

    Love the recipe? Leave us stars and a comment below!

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

    Simply Recipes / Mark Beahm

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
334 Calories
11g Fat
53g Carbs
6g Protein

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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 8
to 10
Amount per serving
Calories 334
% Daily Value*
11g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 34%
66mg 22%
203mg 9%
53g 19%
Dietary Fiber 2g 6%
Total Sugars 32g
Vitamin C 4mg 18%
Calcium 74mg 6%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 249mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.

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