This delicious pecan banana bread recipe is the perfect way to use up those overripe bananas. It incorporates pecans for a wonderful nutty texture and flavor. Swap out walnuts if you like!
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If you've ever made banana bread, you know it is a genius way to use up leftover bananas. I'm talking about those bananas that are ripe and sometimes maybe even TOO ripe. Maybe the outsides are black and the insides are mushy. Who cares? Banana bread will happily accept your mushy bananas.
Over the years, I've grown to adore banana bread. And this pecan banana bread recipe makes me even happier. Pecans pair perfectly with the bananas to give this bread a slightly nutty flavor and a wonderful texture. It's a cake-like texture that is moist and delicious! I'm not even sure why it's called bread. It's really like a delicious pecan banana cake that's just baked in a loaf pan!
The perfect dessert that you can also eat for breakfast, because I'm not here to judge. (And I've definitely had this banana bread for breakfast). Honestly, I think it's the best banana bread I've ever had.
But I won't go on and on about my love for banana bread. Let's talk about what you need to make it, some variations to make it your own, and how to make it!
- Bananas - These need to be ripe, overripe, or past the point of using them for anything else. You don't want firm bananas. They need to be spotted, at least. This means all the sugars are coming forth and that they will mash easily and incorporate in with the other ingredients.
- Pecans - Do you have a pecan tree in your yard or close by? Score! My grandma had one in her yard. But these days, I have to buy my pecans at the store. They are easy to find at most grocery stores. You may even be able to get them in the bulk section for cheap!
- Butter - This recipe calls for softened butter, so take it out of the refrigerator a bit before you're ready to make the banana bread.
- Granulated sugar - Just your typical sugar.
- Eggs - This recipe uses 3 eggs.
- Flour - All-purpose white flour! You could try whole wheat, but honestly I haven't tested it out myself to know how it affects the flavor/texture.
- Baking soda - Always make sure your baking soda hasn't expired!
- Salt - A little bit of salt helps balance all the ingredients.
- Vanilla Extract - A dash of vanilla adds a nice flavor. I always use the pure stuff, not the imitation vanilla.
- Chocolate chips - Chocolate chips are a great addition to banana bread! Add a handful to the batter right before baking if you desire.
- Coconut (and maybe a splash of rum) - For a truly tropical banana bread, add some shredded coconut to the mix and maybe a teaspoon or two of rum.
- Leaving out the pecans - Maybe you don't like pecans. Maybe you're allergic to nuts. If so, just leave the pecans out of the recipe.
- Walnuts - Walnuts are a great substitution for the pecans!
- Cinnamon spice - Add a teaspoon of cinnamon and half a teaspoon of cloves to make a cinnamon spice banana bread.
Tools to use:
- Loaf pan - If you don't have one of these, you'll want a loaf pan! Make banana bread, pound cake, regular bread, and meatloaf in this baby. We've had this one for years, but get whatever one you love!
- Kitchen Aid Mixer - This is worth the splurge. I got one for Josh years ago for Christmas because he loves to bake. Now I use it just as much. We use ours ALL the time. They come in so many colors, so you can pick your favorite and leave it out on your countertop like we do!
How to make the pecan banana bread:
So first. Before even making the pecan banana bread, make sure your bananas are ripe enough. They should at the very least be spotted like these bananas below.
Next, take a loaf pan and grease and flour it. You can either use butter or cooking spray to grease it, then add a bit of flour to coat the pan. Pat the pan a few times and shake out any excess.
In a medium bowl, take your bananas and mash them all up!
Chop up your pecans. I like to have a bit of variation in the sizes, so that there are some tiny pieces and some larger pieces.
In a stand mixer or with a hand mixer, cream together your butter and sugar until pale yellow and fluffy.
Then you add the eggs and bananas to the mixture, beat a bit more. In another bowl, add the flour, baking soda and salt and mix together. Then add that to the batter, add the vanilla, and mix until all combined. Stir in most of the chopped pecans by hand. (Now is also when you'd add chocolate chips or coconut if you're adding in extras like that).
Pour into the loaf pan and top with the leftover chopped pecans.
Bake, let cool, and then enjoy!
Looking for more easy desserts? Check out these!
Pecan Banana Bread
- ½ cup butter, softened
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 bananas ripe or overripe
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp vanilla
- ⅓ cup pecans, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, add the bananas and mash with a fork until crushed.
- Roughly chop up your pecans so that there are some tiny pieces and some larger pieces for variety.
- Grease and flour a loaf pan, shaking off any excess flour.
- In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), add the butter and the sugar. Cream together on a high speed until light and fluffy. Mixture should be a pale yellow.
- Add the crushed bananas and the eggs to the mixture and beat until combined.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine.
- Add the flour mixture and the vanilla to the batter and beat until just combined.
- Add most of the chopped pecans to the bowl (reserving a few for sprinkling on top), and stir into the batter with a spoon or spatula.
- Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Sprinkle the remaining chopped pecans on top.
- Bake for 55 minutes until nicely browned and a toothpick comes out clean.
- Cool on a wire rack, and then enjoy!