Home Recipes Jamaican Banana Bread

Jamaican Banana Bread

Give your usual banana bread a fun and exotic twist!

Jamaican banana bread is spiked with rum and topped with toasted pecans and coconut for the ultimate tropical experience.

It even has a rich and buttery caramel frosting to boot! Banana bread has never tasted this good.

Close Up of Jamaican Banana Bread Loaf and Two Slices with Toasted Coconut and Toasted Pecans
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Jamaican banana bread is just as moist and packed with flavor, but with a few extras to make it even more irresistible. 

Whether you serve it for breakfast, dessert, or an afternoon snack, this banana bread will not disappoint.

If banana bread is becoming too basic for you, this boozy version is a must-try. 

Jamaican Banana Bread

Jamaican banana bread will never be faulted for being one-note. What makes it a cut above the rest?

Well, apart from being insanely moist, it’s also packed with flavor and texture.

First of all, it’s loaded with cream cheese and rum. They blend really well with bananas, giving you the perfect harmony of flavors.

Next, it has pecans and coconut that add a wonderful crunch to the moist bread.

Finishing it off is an ultra-buttery frosting that’s also loaded with pecans and coconut. How can you say no that?

Top View of Jamaican Banana Bread Batter in a Glass Bowl on a White Marble Table


For the Bread

  • Bananas. The blacker the peel, the better. Overripe bananas will give you super sweet and moist bread.
  • All-Purpose Flour. The base of the bread. 
  • Butter. For extra richness and moisture.
  • Cream Cheese. The secret ingredient that makes this banana bread extra special. Creamy and tangy cream cheese adds a wonderful flavor contrast to the sweet bread.
  • Sugar. For sweetness.
  • Egg. For binding the batter together. Always use room-temperature eggs for baking banana bread.
  • Baking Powder and Soda. The leaveners that will make the bread rise.
  • Rum. Another secret ingredient that sets this bread apart. Use dark or spiced rum such as Captain Morgan for better flavor.
  • Pecans and Coconut. For added texture and tropical flavor!

For the Topping

  • Brown Sugar. Since it contains molasses, brown sugar has a deeper, sweeter flavor than granulated sugar. 
  • Butter. When added to brown sugar, butter creates a bold caramel-like frosting.
  • Lime Juice. Just a dash of zesty flavor to contrast the sweetness.
  • Rum. To liven up the frosting.
  • Pecans and Coconut. Again, for added texture and tropical flavor.

Tips for the Best Loaf

  • Measure the ingredients accurately. Too much of the wet ingredients will prevent the bread from rising.
  • Do not overmix the batter, otherwise, the banana bread will be flat and dry. Use the eclectic mixer only for beating the butter, cream cheese, and eggs. After that, mix in the rest of the ingredients manually with a whisk.
  • Use overripe bananas – ones with brown, almost black peels. These bananas have the highest moisture content and are at the peak of sweetness.
  • Grease the pan well. It will be difficult to get the bread out of the pan if you don’t.
  • Pour the same batter into a muffin tin to make muffins!
  • If you notice the surface of the bread browning too soon, cover it loosely with aluminum foil.
  • You can use walnuts or cashews instead of pecans. They all pair with bananas well.
  • Do not leave the bread in the loaf pan for more than 10 minutes, or it’ll become soggy at the bottom.
  • Cook the glaze long enough until the brown sugar is completely dissolved. Otherwise, you’ll get a gritty glaze. Don’t worry, it will only take about a minute.
Jamaican Banana Bread with Toasted Coconut and Pecans Cooling in a Loaf Pan on a Wire Rack

Making and Keeping Banana Bread Moist 

Here’s a cool hack to ensure your banana bread is ultra-moist: cook the bananas on the stove.

Mash the bananas and cook them with butter in a saucepan over medium heat until the butter is melted. Reduce the heat and let the mixture simmer for 3 to 5 minutes.

Let the bananas cool for 10 minutes before use.

To keep the banana bread moist, store it in a plastic bag and refrigerate for up to 5 days.

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How to Ripen Bananas

Craving banana bread, but your bananas aren’t that ripe yet? You don’t have to wait another day! There are several ways to speed up the process.

The fastest way is to bake the bananas. Place them unpeeled on a cookie sheet and bake at 300 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 to 30 minutes.

Expect the peels to turn brown and the flesh to be softer and sweeter. 

Cool the bananas for 10 minutes before use.

Another trick is to microwave the bananas. Peel and microwave for 30 seconds or until they sizzle. It won’t make them sweeter, but they’ll be a lot more tender.

That said, this technique is more applicable for slightly ripe bananas.

If you’re not in that much of a rush, you can simply store the bananas in a paper bag along with ripe apples.

Apples contain ethylene, the chemical responsible for ripening fruit.

Place the paper bag in the hottest area of your house, such as by the window or atop the fridge. With this hack, your bananas will be ready in a day or two.

More Banana Bread Variations

Starbucks Banana Bread
Hawaiian Banana Bread
Bisquick Banana Bread

Jamaican Banana Bread



Prep time


Cooking time






  • For the Bread
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 tablespoons cream cheese, softened

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 1 egg

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 2 teaspoons baking powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup overripe bananas, mashed

  • 1/2 cup milk

  • 2 tablespoons rum

  • 1/2 teaspoon lime zest

  • 2 teaspoons lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

  • 1/4 cup flaked coconut

  • For The Topping
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar

  • 2 teaspoons unsalted butter

  • 2 teaspoons lime juice

  • 2 teaspoons rum

  • 2 tablespoons toasted pecans, chopped

  • 2 tablespoons flaked coconut


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease 8×4-inch loaf pan with oil or butter.
  • Beat together 2 tablespoons of butter and cream cheese at medium speed until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the sugar until well-combined. Beat in the egg.
  • In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In another separate bowl, stir the bananas, milk, 2 tablespoons of rum, lime zest, 2 teaspoons lime juice, and vanilla extract until combined.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the cream cheese mixture in 3 batches, alternating with the banana mixture.
  • Gently mix in 1/4 cup of toasted pecans and 1/4 cup coconut flakes.
  • Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool bread in the pan for 10 minutes and transfer onto a wire rack.
  • While the bread is cooling, prepare the topping. Combine the brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of butter, 2 teaspoons lime juice, and 2 teaspoons rum in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly for 1 minute, or until the sugar has dissolved, and the mixture is smooth.
  • Remove from heat and add in 2 tablespoons of pecans and 2 tablespoons of coconut.
  • Spoon over the topping while the bread is still warm. Let the bread cool completely before serving. Enjoy!

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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