Filed under: Fall / Quick Breads
November 14, 2018

Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread

When pumpkin abounds in the autumn, it’s hard to resist sneaking it into all your bakes. Here’s a way to mix it into your everyday banana bread, making a typical bake something truly autumn.

5 from 5 votes
Yield: 1 loaf
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Classic banana bread meets classic pumpkin bread: two wonderful breads in one. 


banana pumpkin bread


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

Pumpkin bread meets banana bread in this perfectly moist and flavorful mash-up.
banana pumpkin bread
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Yields: 1 loaf
5 from 5 votes


  • 1 ½ cups all purpose 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
  • cup or 60g canola oil
  • cup or 100g 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.

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Recipe Reviews

  1. 5 stars
    This banana bread recipe is my husband’s favorite. he requests it all the time!! The only thing I do to make sure it comes out nice and moist is add some milk or applesauce, and it never fails to turn out perfect!

  2. 5 stars
    I was looking for a pumpkin bread and this one was so easy and turned out delicious. WOW. The tip for the fresh grated nutmeg was excellent, thank you! So fast to whip up and bake. I also loved the tips for making a pretty banana slice topping. I’m going to be using that a lot on my baking now!

  3. 5 stars
    Such a wonderful bread! Very flavorful with a great texture. I had very ripe bananas and cut the sugar back a bit to compensate. Turned out great! Thank you for the recipe!

  4. Can I add sugar to the top of this to get a nice caramelized crust similar to your chocolate olive oil zucchini bread?