I want you to go bananas, to-day! Okay, I really just want you to go buy yourself four bananas, and do it today. Don’t eat them yet…and if you have to do what I do, make a sign warning off anyone (husband!) who might not listen when you tell them HANDS OFF.You’ll want to make this INCREDIBLE Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread as soon as you can, but very ripe bananas are needed before you can even start. In fact, maybe just buy two bunches and freeze the second, because this bread won’t last long in any kitchen.
I discovered the recipe many years ago and tried several versions until this stood out as a clear winner. You won’t want to change one thing about the ingredients. If you don’t like nuts, you may omit the walnuts but nothing else, trust me. I tried adding more pineapple, less pineapple, no coconut, no cherries, and kept coming back to the perfect combination I’m sharing with you now…
Not only is this bread pretty, it’s so full of flavor and moist texture, I’m warning you, it’ll be hard to eat “just a bite”. Also, it needs no adornment whatsoever but you could glaze the top or sprinkle some powdered sugar over it, but why?… This is divine just as you see it.
The recipe makes two nice size loaves, but you can also make one loaf and 12 muffins if you want the option of popping a few in a bag on-the-go. Perfect for gift giving; just be sure to include a copy of the recipe.
The combination of bananas, maraschino cherries, crushed pineapple and coconut adds a moistness that keeps getting better for days after you bake the bread. And walnuts add the perfect chunky bite. I melt coconut oil to add to the recipe for even more intense tropical flavor; use your own preference for oil here, but do not substitute with applesauce. This is not the time for that.
I mentioned how perfect this bread is for gift giving but if that’s your intent, be sure to save some for your own house. When I made the loaf and muffins you see here, the guys at my house pleaded with me not to share any of it! I kept telling them it was too much for us, and they swore that they needed every bit of it (It’s been a while since I last made it). So to you who were going to be benefactors the other day, I’m ripening more bananas as we speak so don’t worry, Hawaiian Banana Nut Bread is in your future. A special note to my friend who is one of my best taste-testers, I know… no walnuts for you.
I hope you try this bread soon. It’s delicious and appropriate any time of year and with any meal of the day or all by itself. Just make sure there’s enough to share because stingy behavior seems to be a side effect.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 cup chopped walnuts
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup melted coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
- 2 cups mashed very ripe banana (4 medium bananas)
- 1 (8 ounce) can crushed pineapple, drained
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup flaked coconut, preferably unsweetened
- 1 cup maraschino cherries, drained and diced
- Preheat oven to 350F degrees. Grease two 9x5 inch loaf pans.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, sugar and cinnamon.
- Add the walnuts, eggs, oil, banana, pineapple, vanilla, coconut and cherries; stir just until blended. Pour batter evenly into the prepared pans.
- Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a tooth pick inserted into the center of a loaf comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
- *If you're making muffins, preheat oven to 350F degrees and bake for 22-25 minutes. Muffins are done when a toothpick comes out almost clean.