Classic banana bread meets classic pumpkin bread: two wonderful breads in one.
For years now, come October I have a day where I see brown-spotted-bananas on my counter but ahhh, it’s autumn and all I want is PUMPKIN bread, not banana. And inevitably, every year, the next thought that comes to mind is, what if I combine them? Banana’s bring that lovely sweetness and pumpkins give that soft texture I love. And pumpkin spice shouldn’t be selfishly reserved to pumpkins only, amirite?
Pumpkin Bread meets Banana Bread
So this year I finally said I’m going to crack it. I set to work examining 4 different banana bread recipes (the best of the best, obviously) against 4 different pumpkin bread recipes, to see what was common to both. My idea was to make one base for the whole bread, split it in half and stir in pumpkin to one and banana into the other then swirl the two breads together for a marbled effect. In my first batch, I had used only cinnamon and nutmeg and I got a lovely, if subtle, swirl. When I went full pumpkin spice with the cloves, ginger and allspice, I found the darkness of these spices made the swirl indistinguishable. Whichever you choose, I know you’ll love the combination of these two bread favorites.
Tips to make pumpkin spice banana bread
- You’ve heard it before but I’ll say it again – the browner the better. Have your bananas been speckled for a day or two? Wait another day or two. The more brown spots, the yummier your bread will be.
- Like most cakes made with fruit and oil, this one is especially scrumptious the day after it is made. Store at room temp, in an airtight container.
- Toasted pecans make a fabulous addition here: use 1/2 cup pecans, chopped toasted in 1 tablespoon butter for about 5 minutes, until the fragrance of the nuts is released. Add them to the batter once they are cool.
How to make a sliced banana topping for banana bread
Want to get that attractive topping? Place a peeled banana on its side and use a paring knife to cut about 1/4 of its width lengthwise. This firs step is to remove some unnecessary bottom weight that would otherwise cause the banana to sink into the batter. Now cut banana the same way a second time (also about 1/4 of its total width) and flip over (the middle is the prettier because it shows more tiny seeds) and put it on top of the batter once it is in its pan. Tbh, I actually did not like the soft mushy banana top post-bake so if you are not into that don’t bother. If you want it for the looks – go for it!
Recipe for pumpkin spice banana bread
Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread
- 1 standard size loaf pan
- 1 ½ cups of flour or more precisely, 180 grams
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg ground is fine but freshly shaved is divine
- 1/4 - 1/2 teaspoon ginger depending on how strong you like it, optional
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 egg
- 1 cup light brown sugar
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- ⅓ cup pumpkin puree
- 2 large bananas mashed with a fork
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter and flour a standard size, 9×4, loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, spices, baking soda, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and oil, pumpkin and banana. Add the egg and whisk well.
- Whisk in the dry ingredients until you have a smooth batter. There will be lumps of banana, this is fine.
- If you like, you can add a thin, long slice of banana to the top.
- Bake for about 50 minutes.
- Cool for 5-10 minutes in the pan and then remove and set on a cooling rack. The bread is best the next day.