If you’re looking for a Hawaiian banana bread recipe that’s a cut above the rest, have I got a great one for you! Until today I’d never even heard of Maui Banana Bread. Now that I’ve tried it, I can’t wait to share the recipe!
Can I Make a Tropical Banana Bread?
That was the question on my mind as I stared at the recipe of Maui Banana Bread that I found on the Cookidoo site. I’ve made banana bread many times before. I’ve got a great one that incorporates mayonnaise.
But. . .a banana bread with both coconut and pecans? That, I didn’t have.
So, I decided to give it a whirl. Maybe this tropical banana bread would work out, after all!
Can I add Coconut to Banana Bread?
Yes, you can! In fact, this is one of the many options you’ll find if you visit Hawaii.
Additions like pineapple, coconut, and macadamia nuts are all the rage in tropical banana breads. And you’ll find them all in a very fascinating place on Maui called The Road to Hana.
What is the Road to Hana?
Doesn’t that picture make you want to take a Maui vacation? Gorgeous! The road to Hana is a twisting road with scenic overlooks. Picture yourself surrounded by coconut trees and lush tropical vegetation.
According to Nomads with a Purpose:
The Road to Hana is known as one of the most beautiful drives in the world due to its lush forest, coastal views, and stunning beaches but it’s not all rainbows and sunshine. It’s extremely crowded, touristy, and can easily be an overrated attraction if you don’t do it right. Fortunately, in this blog, we’re covering all the tips and hacks to make your trip on the Road to Hana a success.
Hawaii is known for its rich banana breads. And, along the Road to Hana you will find many, many places to stop and purchase “Maui” Banana Bread, rich with a variety of fillings.
Banana Bread from the Island of Maui
Check out this article from HawaiiMagazine.com:
On Maui, banana bread is serious business. The sweet, filling, locally made treat found all over the island is usually made with the apple bananas that grow abundantly thanks to Maui’s tropical weather and generous rainfall, but you’ll also find some vendors that use other fruits and fillings, such as mango and pineapple, or chocolate chips, coconut or macadamia nuts. For many of the island’s banana bread vendors, recipes are closely guarded secrets, and opinions on whose bread is “best” can be impassioned. Here’s the ranking on which Maui banana bread loaves came out on top this year, according to our readers.
Hana Banana! (A Tasty Alliteration)
Now, say it with me three times in a row, just for fun:
- Hana Banana Bread
- Hana Banana Bread
- Hana Banana Bread
Somewhere along the Hana Highway there’s a place called Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread where (according to Legend) you can find the best Banana Bread on the island!
No doubt you’re salivating as you think about the Maui Banana Bread you’re about to make. Perhaps it will rival Aunt Sandy’s! This is, after all, one of the best banana bread recipes you’ll ever try!
Well, wait no longer! It’s time to check out the ingredients!
Maui Banana Bread Ingredients
I’ll place a full printable recipe card at the bottom of this post but here’s a quick peek at what you’ll need. These are simple ingredients you probably have on hand.
This is called a quick bread because it doesn’t require yeast or rise time.
- shredded coconut
- pecan halves (or pieces)
- vegetable oil (you can add melted butter instead if you like)
- room temperature eggs
- all-purpose flour
- ground cinnamon
- baking soda
- sugar (for topping)
How to Make Luscious Tropical Maui Banana Bread
Note before we begin: You’ll need a food processor or some sort of chopper to process your coconut and pecans ahead of time.
Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Prepare two loaf pans with non-stick baking spray. Place parchment paper on the bottom and spray it, as well.
Process coconut and pecans together in your food processor or chopper. You can use a Ninja or something similar. I have a new Thermomix, so I used that. Place in small bowl and set aside.
In a separate medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
Peel bananas and break them into pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
Add sugar and oil and mix until incorporated.
Add eggs, one at a time, mixing between each one. (If you like, you can whisk eggs in advance.)
Scrape batter from edges of bowl.
Slowly work in your dry ingredients, mixing at low speed. Fully incorporate but don’t over mix.
Add half of the coconut/pecan mixture, reserving the rest. Lightly mix.
Divide the banana mixture between the two loaf pans.
Spread the remaining coconut-pecan mixture on top. Lightly press down so that it sticks to the batter. (If you skip this step some of the nuts and coconut will fall off when you flip the bread out of the pan. Ask me how I know.)
Sprinkle loaves with granulated sugar.
Place on medium rack in preheated 350 degree oven. Bake 50 minutes or until bread turns golden and a toothpick comes out clean. (Bake time will vary slightly depending on the size and depth of your pan.)
Remove from oven and place pans on wire rack to cool.
Cool for ten minutes then turn out onto wire rack to continue cooling. (Wait until you can safely handle the slightly cooled loaf.)
I recommend you allow this bread to fully cool before attempting to cut. (Check out those coconut flakes, y’all!)
Slice and serve!
To store banana bread cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Maui bread will stay good 3 – 4 days at room temperature. You can refrigerate if you want it to last a bit longer.
Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag to freeze this bread up to two months.
What to Expect from this Maui Banana Bread
Y’all, I knew I was in trouble the minute I peeked inside the oven. I love all-things-tropical and this bread was absolutely gorgeous. It might just become my go-to banana bread recipe due to its versatility.
I say “I was in trouble” because I’m currently on Weight Watchers and doing my best not to eat sweets. But I knew I had to at least take a couple of bites so that I could report in with you guys, to let you know my thoughts.
That crunchy coconut pecan topping is everything. It’s so divine.
The bread itself is lush and rich, loaded with banana flavor. Talk about a moist banana bread recipe!
This reminds me a bit of my Hummingbird cake, without the pineapple. Who knows? Next time maybe I’ll throw some of that in! Then I’ll really feel like I’m vacationing in the tropics. I won’t even have to travel along Maui’s road to enjoy it!
Variations on this Recipe
Pineapple: To turn this into a Hummingbird style bread, replace some of the banana with crushed pineapple (no juice). Maybe add three bananas and 2/3 cup crushed pineapple. Talk about a moist loaf!
Banana pudding: Hear me out. Bake this like a cake in cake pans and layer with banana pudding. You could even top with banana pudding and whipped cream.
Cranberries: I think cranberries would be delightful with the sweet bananas in this recipe.
Macadamia Nuts: Chop them and add in place of pecans. Yum!
Mini Loaf Pans: These would make wonderful gifts, baked up in mini loaf pans. Your friends and loved ones will feel like they’re traveling along the Hana highway with you!
Cream cheese frosting: I think this would be luscious with my cream cheese frosting slathered on top! To make the frosting add 1 stick butter, 1/2 cup room temperature cream cheese, and two cups of powdered sugar.
Sour cream: You can add sour cream in place of vegetable oil, if you like. It will add fat to the recipe, along with tartness.
Bananas Foster: Add mashed bananas, brown sugar, and butter to a saucepan and create a topping guaranteed to turn this Maui banana bread into the most delicious banana bread recipe out there!
There are so many different flavors of banana bread to try!
Other Banana Breads from Out of the Box Baking
Caramel Pecan Banana Bread:
If you love a simple but delicious banana bread, rich with caramel pecan flavors, this is the recipe for you! Best of all, it starts with a box of cake mix, so it’s super simple to make!
Starter Discard Banana Bread:
If you’re a sourdough person, you’ll love this starter-infused banana bread option. This is a delicious sweet treat.
Cranberry Banana Bread
I was so surprised to learn that cranberries pair beautifully with bananas. This is one of my favorite banana bread recipes. . .ever!
Other Tropical Favorites from Out of the Box Baking
If you enjoy Maui’s version of banana bread, here are some other tropical delights you’re sure to love:
Easy Pineapple Coconut Cake with Lime: If you’re in the mood for a summery cake filled with tropical flavors, you’ve come to the right place. This delicious Pineapple Coconut Cake with Lime will make you feel like you’re on a Caribbean beach, ocean waves crashing in the background.
Easy Coconut Cream Pie: In this post I show you how to make my very favorite pie of all time: Coconut Cream Pie. It’s lush, rich, sweet, and loaded with coconutty goodness! Perfect for special occasions or any day of the week!
Easy Key Lime Pie: If you love the light, tart flavor of lime and the luscious creamy texture of cheesecake, you’re going to love this simple key lime pie. It’s an easy-bake pie you’re sure to adore!
Easy Chocolate Coconut Balls: If you’re a fan of those yummy Mounds bars you find in the supermarket, you’re going to flip over this simple recipe. These easy Chocolate Coconut Balls as just as good and simple to make!
That’s it for this post. I hope you enjoy this luscious Maui Banana Bread recipe. This is one of those recipes you’ll turn to again and again, especially when you’ve got overripe bananas on hand.
I had a lot of fun learning something new. And hey. . .I’m always looking for ways to use up speckled bananas! (So much so that I devoted an entire post to it.)
See this recipe at
About the Author
Janice Thompson is an author, baker, and all-around mischief maker! She has overcome a host of baking catastrophes, including a toppled wedding cake, to learn more about the baking process. Janice has published over 150 books for the Christian market but particularly enjoys writing recipes and baking devotions. To learn more about Janice or to drop her a note, visit her About the Author page.
- 1 cup coconut
- 1 cup pecan halves (or pieces)
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 5 bananas
- 3 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar (for topping)
- Note before we begin: You'll need a food processor or some sort of chopper to process your coconut and pecans ahead of time.
- Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Prepare two loaf pans with non-stick baking spray. Place parchment paper on the bottom and spray it, as well.
- Process coconut and pecans together in your food processor or chopper.
- You can use a Ninja or something similar. I have a new Thermomix, so I used that. Place in small bowl and set aside.
- In a separate medium bowl whisk together flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Peel bananas and break them into pieces. Place in a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer.
- Add sugar and oil and mix until incorporated.
- Add eggs, one at a time, mixing between each one.
- Slowly work in your dry ingredients, mixing at low speed. Fully incorporate but don't over mix.
- Add half of the coconut/pecan mixture, reserving the rest. Lightly mix.
- Divide the batter between the two loaf pans.
- Spread the remaining coconut-pecan mixture on top. Lightly press down so that it sticks to the batter. (If you skip this step some of the nuts and coconut will fall off when you flip the bread out of the pan. Ask me how I know.)
- Sprinkle loaves with granulated sugar.
- Place on medium rack in preheated 350 degree oven. Bake 50 minutes or until bread turns golden and a toothpick comes out clean. (Bake time will vary slightly depending on the size and depth of your pan.)
- Remove from oven and place pans on wire rack to cool.
- Cool for ten minutes then turn out onto wire rack to continue cooling.
I recommend you allow this bread to fully cool before attempting to cut.
- Slice and serve!
- To store banana bread cover with plastic wrap or place in an airtight container. Maui bread will stay good 3 - 4 days at room temperature. You can refrigerate if you want it to last a bit longer.
- Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag to freeze this bread up to two months.