This Hawaiian banana bread is such a fun and unique twist on a beloved classic.
If you’re sitting there thinking you couldn’t possibly eat another slice of banana bread, I get it. We went a little crazy during lockdown, didn’t we?!
But I think enough time has passed for us all to really enjoy this Hawaiian banana bread. It’s a little different, but still just as moist and flavorful as you would expect.
If you’ve ever tried Hummingbird Cake, you know how incredible the combination of bananas, pineapple, cinnamon, and nuts can be.
And after just one bite, you’ll feel like you’re in the tropics!
Hawaiian Banana Bread
I love the flavor of bananas. It’s maybe one of my all-time favorites, making banana bread a big guilty pleasure in my house.
But I get that some people aren’t as fond of it as me or find banana bread a touch bland.
Well, that will all change with this fantastic pineapple, walnut, and cherry recipe. It’s soft, moist, loaded with flavor, and has just the right amount of crunch.
Using crushed pineapple will help ensure it evenly distributes throughout the batter, and just a teaspoon of cinnamon will add a warm undertone that complements the whole loaf.
For this recipe, you will need:
- All-purpose flour – Be sure you have all-purpose and not self-raising or cake flour. With self-raising flour, you will need to adjust the baking soda amount, and with cake flour, the weight is usually different.
- Salt – This baking staple enhances the flavors in the batter.
- Baking soda – Most loaf recipes use baking soda instead of baking powder due to the amount of acidity often found (from the sour cream, buttermilk, lemon, or bananas).
- White sugar – This will add enough sweetness without adding too much moisture. Though you could use brown sugar (which contributes moisture and a deeper flavor), this recipe is already full of banana, pineapple, and cherries, so that it will be super tender.
- Cinnamon – This will give you a hint of warmth and a heavenly smell to fill the kitchen.
- Chopped walnuts – Walnuts can be slightly bitter, fruity, and even earthy depending on the time of year. But they are mild enough to add just the right amount of nutty flavor and provide a much-needed crunch to the soft loaf.
- Eggs – Eggs are used to help bind everything together and to help the loaf rise. They also provide a richness from the yolks that you won’t get from an egg-substitute.
- Vegetable oil – Be sure to use a neutral-tasting oil so you don’t get any hints of flavor in the finished loaf.
- Bananas – The riper, the better! You’ll want to look for lots of brown, with just a few yellow spots.
- Crushed pineapple – Sweet and tart, using crushed pineapple will help ensure a moist crumb and that every bite gets a pop of tropical flavor.
- Vanilla – Because all good baking recipes need vanilla!
- Maraschino cherries – Not only are they super colorful, but they also add a subtle almond flavor.
Tips for the Best Banana Bread
I’m sure that by now, you’ve perfected your method. I made so much banana bread last year that I could probably do it in my sleep.
But just in case, I have some great tips to make sure this loaf comes out perfect.
- When I say “ripe,” I mean ripe! Using yellow bananas will not give you the same, deep flavor that you can smell from brown (and even black!) bananas. They should be so ripe that they’re almost gooey.
- Mash those bananas thoroughly so you’re not left with any slimy chunks.
- Be sure to drain your pineapples to prevent a watery mess.
- I wouldn’t recommend using pineapple chunks or just chopping a fresh pineapple. You’ll need the crushed kind to make it moist and even.
- Whatever bake time you see for loaf recipes, I always check about 10-15 minutes prior. All ovens are different, so keep an eye on it for the last 10 minutes or so.
- To check that it’s done, insert a toothpick, or sharp knife, right in the center. It should come out clean.
- When mixing your batter, don’t over-work it. Just stir gently until the flour is no longer visible.
- Don’t leave the loaf in the pan to cool. Let it cool for about 10 minutes, and then turn it out onto a wire rack.
- This loaf will only get better the longer it sits. I like to make mine the day before I need it, so that it can mature in plastic wrap for the moistest and most flavorsome loaf ever.
Serving Ideas for Hawaiian Banana Bread
When it’s fresh, I like nothing more than a cup of coffee with a thick slice of banana bread.
Of course, a smear of butter or sweetened cream cheese wouldn’t be out of place.
If, like me, you made several loaves at once and are going banana-bread blind, here are some other fun serving suggestions:
- Banana-bread pudding – Be sure to dry out your bread first, either by leaving it out overnight or by toasting it in the oven.
- Banana bread biscotti – Drizzle with dark chocolate for extra indulgence.
- Banana Bread Waffles – Serve them with Bananas Foster sauce.
- Bacon and cheese sliders – I know it sounds crazy, but it really works!
- Serve on the side of Hawaiian Shoyu Chicken.
Can this Banana Bread be Frozen?
Absolutely! Always be sure that the loaf has cooled completely, and wrap thoroughly.
I like to use a few layers of plastic wrap and then put the loaf in a freezer-proof Ziplock bag.
This will last 2 to 3 months in the freezer and should thaw out perfectly.
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