This insanely delicious banana pecan bread is infused with pure maple syrup and toasted pecans. This recipe is easy to make and can be prepared in 20 minutes. Take it to the next level with a swirl of maple cream cheese frosting on top!
This incredible banana pecan bread is the perfect thing to bake for all those cozy feels you need right now. We know the world doesn't need another banana bread, but this is the last and only one you will need. Packed with tons of maple pecan flavor and texture, this snacking cake is best served with your favorite hot drink. Why not try our Non Alcoholic Mulled Wine or go all out with our Peanut Butter Hot Chocolate!
You need this pecan bread in your life, it's perfectly fluffy and packed full of toasty flavors. Or, if you're after something a bit more fruity, why not try our Pear & Chocolate Crumble, Pear Cake or Apple Oatmeal Muffins. To be honest though, you really can't beat topping this banana bread with our maple cream cheese frosting.
We know you'll love this recipe so don't forget to leave us a comment and rating in the recipe card below. We've done all the testing, so you can be assured this recipe is fool proof. Follow the links below to get to where you need.
⭐ Why you'll love this recipe
Reasons you need this banana pecan bread in your life:
Easy - this recipe is really straight forward and easy to follow. There are only a few additional steps to create the extra flavor you need in this pecan bread.
Frosting - we give you the tips on making our (optional) maple cream cheese frosting that just takes this banana bread to the next level. You will NOT regret it.
Flavor - pecans have a wonderful natural caramel flavor to them which make this banana pecan bread extra special, especially when combined with maple syrup.
Unique - our unique twist on banana bread will convert even the avid haters to lovers. It truly is the best way to have banana bread.
Waste free - use up those overripe bananas that always seem to be around, it's a great way to use them, along with using them in smoothies like our blackberry strawberry banana smoothie.
You only need simple ingredients for this banana pecan bread. Here's what you need:
Pecans - we incorporate pecans into this banana pecan bread in two ways. You'll toast and blitz half of them into a flour and the others are roughly chopped. This gives great texture and flavor to the bread.
Bananas - you'll need nice and ripe bananas, they smash really easily and add the moisture and acidity we need to activate the raising agents.
Maple syrup - we recommend using pure maple syrup for the caramelly, almost smoky notes of flavor it provides. You can use whichever grade you can get hold of.
Cream cheese - for the cream cheese, we don't have block cream cheese in the UK, so make sure that if you do, you soften it at room temperature first.
Butter - as Julia Child would say, "with enough butter, anything is good!" We use unsalted as we season our bakes separately.
We know you love to mix things up with customizations and substitutions, so here are some of our recommendations for this pecan bread recipe:
Nuts - change up the nuts. You can toast some walnuts instead, or even hazelnuts. We love the pecans, maple pecan is a classic combination, but most nuts would work well.
Coffee - Add a spoonful or two of espresso powder into the batter along with the cinnamon to give it that coffee twist.
Chocolate chips - we think chocolate chips would be great in this banana pecan bread, especially if you don't fancy making the frosting. White chocolate chips would be amazing. Check out our chocolate chip zucchini bread too.
Melted butter - if you prefer a slightly denser banana bread you can use melted butter instead of whipping it. We haven't tested this pecan bread this way but we're confident it will work.
Make into other things - this recipe is a great base for muffins or even other cakes; try out our Maple Pecan Pear Cake.
🔪 How to make banana pecan bread
Banana bread is really easy to put together. The hardest part is waiting for it to bake! But we can assure you, this maple pecan banana bread is well worth the wait.
- Start by toasting your pecans in a preheated oven for 5-8 minutes until fragrant. Set aside to cool.
- Split the pecans in half and blitz one half in the food processor to a fine grade and roughly chop the other half. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer or bowl with a hand mixer beat the soft butter with brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each egg. Add the maple syrup, vanilla extract and mix until smooth.
- Add the mashed bananas and mix throughout the wet ingredients (the mixture may look split, this is completely normal and will come together when dry ingredients are added.)
- Add the blitzed and finely ground pecans into a bowl with the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Mix until combined.
- Add the dried ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold through the chopped pecans. Pour the mix into a lined baking pan.
- Bake the banana pecan bread for 50-65 minutes until golden brown and a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before frosting and slicing.
Maple cream cheese frosting
Follow these simple steps for a lump free smooth and delicious maple cream cheese frosting for your banana bread:
- Soften the butter by beating it in a bowl with a hand mixer to ensure there are no lumps.
- Add the cream cheese and beat together with the butter.
- Add the confectioner's sugar along with the maple syrup and vanilla extract.
- Mix until light and fluffy and completely smooth.
👩🏻🍳 Expert tips
Make sure to read and follow these expert tips to ensure complete success with this banana pecan bread recipe:
Blitzing pecans - we recommend being careful when blitzing the pecans. Let them cool fully before blitzing, but also pulse on and off so you don't turn them into a pecan butter. They express their oil very quickly.
Over mixing - we want to protect the light fluffy texture of the banana pecan bread so don't overmix the dry ingredients into the wet. Stir just until combined.
Paper liner - buy some loaf tin liners, they make your life so easy and we're all about saving time and hassle.
Baking time - start testing for doneness at 50 minutes using a cake tester, it needs to come out clean.
⏲️ How to store banana bread
As much as we would definitely try to consume this banana pecan bread in a single day we don't always manage it, here's how to store it:
Fridge - if you've chosen to use our maple cream cheese frosting, we recommend storing this banana bread in the fridge for up to 4-5 days. Make sure it is wrapped up though.
Freezer - for longer term storage you can store slices individually wrapped in the freezer (for faster defrosting). Or the whole banana bread if you prefer. However we recommend that you don't freeze it with the frosting on top. Freeze for 3 months.
Room temperature - if you keep this banana bread un-frosted, you can store it wrapped up at room temperature for 3-4 days. If frosted, store in the fridge as above. If it's humid in your house, store in the fridge either way.
💭 How to reduce food waste
We can all do better to reduce our food waste in the world nowadays, here are some suggestions on how to do this:
Freeze overripe bananas - if you have a bunch of overripe bananas peel them, lay on a baking sheet lined with parchment and freeze. Once frozen, store in a freezer bag for cakes and smoothies another time. You can do this peeled, unpeeled or even smashed up.
Freeze leftovers - leftovers are often forgotten about. Wrap them up and freeze them and you can defrost for another time.
Serve others - make as much as you will consume, freeze the rest or put a smile on your friends' or families' faces by taking them some slices. Or simply invite others to join you to enjoy this banana pecan bread.
🥗 Recipe FAQs
Make sure you bake the banana bread at the correct temperature. We suggest baking it in the lower half of the oven, especially if you have a fan-assisted/convection oven. This will ensure that the banana pecan bread does not burn before it's cooked through. Start checking to see if the banana bread is cooked after 50 minutes, by inserting a cake tester or toothpick into the thickest part of the bread. If it comes out clean, the bread is baked.
We recommend using an 8 ½ x 4 ½" loaf tin for this banana bread. You can use a slightly smaller or larger one but you'll have to adjust the baking times accordingly. We also recommend lining the pan fully with parchment paper to ensure the bread bakes evenly - in fact, the paper loaf pan liners you can buy are perfect for this!
Yes! We recommend not frosting the banana pecan bread and slicing it up. Wrap the slices individually in cling film and place them into a freezer bag in the freezer for up to 3 months. Defrost them whenever you want a snack!
🥘 Related recipes
Love this banana pecan bread recipe? Then you may want more of our baking recipes. Here are some suggestions to get you started:
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Banana Pecan Bread with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 cup pecans, 115g
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, 115g
- ⅓ cup soft brown sugar, 70g, packed
- 2 large eggs
- ½ cup pure maple syrup, 120ml
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 medium or 2 large bananas, mashed, 250-275g peeled weight, 1 cup mashed
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, 210g
- 1 teaspoon baking soda, bicarbonate of soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F. Lightly grease and line an 8 ½ x 4 ½" loaf pan with parchment paper or a loaf pan liner.
- Spread the pecans out on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for 5-8 minutes until fragrant. Set aside to cool completely.1 cup pecans
- Add ½ cup of the pecans to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until finely ground - but take care that you don’t blitz them into butter! Roughly chop the remaining pecans.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and brown sugar until light and fluffy.½ cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature, ⅓ cup soft brown sugar
- Next, beat in the eggs one at a time until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary. Add the maple syrup and vanilla and continue beating until combined and smooth. Mix in the bananas until combined.2 large eggs, ½ cup pure maple syrup, 1 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 medium or 2 large bananas, mashed
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the finely ground pecans, flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and gently stir in until just combined. Fold in the chopped pecans.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-65 minutes. Start testing at 50 minutes - you want a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the loaf to come out clean. If it’s not ready, return to the oven and continue to check in 5 minute intervals. Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Whilst the banana bread is cooling, make the frosting. Beat together the cream cheese and butter until combined. Add the powdered sugar, maple syrup and salt and continue to beat until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides if needed.5 tablespoons cream cheese, cold (see notes), 2 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, 1 ½ cups powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup, ⅛ teaspoon fine sea salt
- Once cool, frost the top of the cake with the cream cheese frosting. If desired, top with chopped pecans and a drizzle of maple syrup. Makes 12 slices.
- Nutritional information is for a slice of banana bread with frosting.
- Bake in the lower half of your oven to ensure the bread doesn't brown too quickly. Start checking for doneness after 50 minutes.
- Don't over blitz the pecans, just pulse them until fine. You don't want pecan butter.
- Only frost the banana bread once it has completely cooled.
- If you live in the UK and will be using cream cheese from a tub (like Philadelphia) make sure it's cold when you make the frosting. If you live elsewhere and are able to get hold of block cream cheese, make sure it's room temperature. You might also find that you need to use less powdered sugar.