Few things could epitomize the term comfort food more than pumpkin banana bread. There’s a wholesome sweetness to this that transcends most other bread recipes. The scrumptious scent of banana and pumpkin is guaranteed to fill your house with deliciousness. Then there’s the flavor. Recipe creator Hayley MacLean has been featuring her delicious creations on her Instagram, happy.healthy.hayley. In this bread, MacLean combines a sweet vegetable with a superfruit into a hearty loaf that will have you and your guests coming back for more.
This pumpkin banana bread recipe is a unique choice that works just as well for breakfast as it does for dessert. It tastes best right out of the oven, although you can easily heat up the slices just before serving. "I love serving this slightly warm with a bit of butter and a cup of hot coffee first thing in the morning," says MacLean. "[It’s] the best way to start an autumn day!" Now that we have you excited to try some, let’s get started.
Gather the ingredients for pumpkin banana bread
This pumpkin banana bread is nothing short of magical, and as you should know, making magic takes some doing. This ingredient list seems a bit long, but it’s worth it. Start in the produce section with two large ripe bananas. If this is where the nuts and dried fruits are, also pick up a small bag of walnuts and a small bag of cranberries, if you’d like either of these optional ingredients in your bread.
In the refrigerated section, pick up some butter (one stick, since half a stick makes about ¼ cup) and a small container of Greek yogurt, as you’ll only need 2 tablespoons. You can also pick up eggs if you don’t have any at home, and note that you’ll only need two for this recipe.
The real stop will be the baking aisle. There, you should pick up a can of pumpkin puree (you’ll need 1 cup), a jar of honey, some vanilla extract, and a small bag of white whole wheat flour (you’ll need 1 ½ cups). "I like using white whole wheat flour because of the extra nutrition it provides," says MacLean. "It uses all parts of the wheat berry, providing more vitamins and minerals as opposed to regular all-purpose flour." In addition, you’ll need baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, salt, and brown sugar, plus a bag of dark chocolate chips, though that’s optional.
Mash the bananas
Despite the long ingredient list, this recipe only needs about 10 minutes of prep, plus 15 minutes of resting. The first thing you should do is preheat the oven to 350 F, then grease an 8×4-inch loaf pan. Then you will be ready once all the rest of the ingredients have been blended into the perfect pumpkin banana bread mixture.
While the oven warms up, put your two ripe, room temperature bananas into a bowl, and mash until smooth. "You can mash this with a fork or a masher, a fork is just much easier to clean up," says MacLean This should be about 1 cup, but make sure to measure it before moving on to the next step. When they’re ready, "the consistency should be smooth with a few lumps remaining to add little bites of banana throughout."
Put this bowl aside, and get out another bowl. You’ll need three mixing bowls in total.
Blend your banana pumpkin mixture
In this new mixing bowl, cream together your room temperature butter and the brown sugar, making sure it’s well combined. "To cream together the butter and sugar, you can use a fork, a whisk, a hand mixer, or anything else that will help the sugar combine with the butter and form a homogeneous mixture," MacLean explains.
Now, add in that mashed banana from the first step, along with the pumpkin puree. Finally, bring in the Greek yogurt, the honey, the eggs, and the vanilla extract. Mix everything in the bowl until it becomes one smooth blend, then put this bowl aside, and pull out another mixing bowl.
Finish your pumpkin banana bread blend
This second mixing bowl will be your baking ingredients. Pour in your white whole wheat flour, your baking soda, your baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and the salt. Whisk everything together until you have one dry blend. Then, gradually add these dry ingredients to your wet ingredients from the previous step, stirring until the two sets of ingredients are just combined. MacLean says you can use a mixer for this, but she does find that folding in the next ingredients is best done with a spatula to avoid over-mixing.
Fold in the walnuts, cranberries, and dark chocolate chips, or any combination of these, if you decide to use them to add more flavors and sweetness to your bread. "The cranberries, nuts, and chocolate all add different textures and flavors to the bread," MacLean explains. "I made them optional, because you can add one of them, any combination of them, or none at all based on your preferences. It will be delicious no matter how you make it!"
Let the batter rest in the loaf pan, then bake
Pour the blend into your greased loaf pan, and let this rest, uncovered, for about 15 minutes. "Resting the batter allows any air bubbles brought in during the mixing process to escape along with ensuring the baking soda in the bread does not cause the bread to rise too much during the baking process."
After the 15 minutes are up, put the loaf pan into your pre-heated oven, and bake for about an hour. Check it with a toothpick — if your toothpick comes out clean, it’s ready.
Place the pan on a wire rack to cool. "This will take at least 15 minutes to cool enough to be removed from the loaf pan," MacLean explains. Once it’s cool enough, extract your loaf, slice it, and serve with pads of butter on the side. Trust us when we say that everyone in your house will be delighted with this baked treat. Be prepared — it will not last very long!
Few things could epitomize the term comfort food more than pumpkin banana bread. There’s a wholesome sweetness to it that transcends most other bread recipes.
- 2 large ripe bananas (1 cup, mashed)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
- ⅓ cup honey
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- ¼ cup dark chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Grease an 8×4-inch loaf pan.
- In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until smooth. Check to make sure there is 1 cup.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and brown sugar until well combined.
- Add the mashed banana, pumpkin puree, Greek yogurt, honey, eggs, and vanilla extract, and mix well.
- In another mixing bowl, whisk together the white whole wheat flour, baking soda, baking powder, pumpkin pie spice, and salt.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and stir until just combined.
- Fold in the optional walnuts, dried cranberries, or dark chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan, and allow to rest, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- After resting, bake for about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
- Place on a wire rack to cool before removing from the pan to serve.