Tropical Banana Nut Bread

Tropical Banana Nut Bread

Your search for the ultimate banana bread ends NOW.

That’s a pretty bold statement, huh?

First of all, I’m assuming that you have been searching for the so-called “ultimate”, never-fail, can’t-stop-eating, wish-I-had-made-more-than-one-loaf, don’t-even-think-of-asking-me-to-share-it-with-you banana bread.

Tropical Banana-Nut Bread

Then again, everyone needs a good, reliable banana bread recipe up their sleeve.

Why?  Because…..everyone, at one time or another, ends up with a bunch of overripe bananas in their fruit bowl.  Everyone except my parents, that is.  I think my dad eats about 3 bananas each day.  If my mom wants to make banana bread, she needs to hide a bunch of bananas in that cabinet or else they’ll magically disappear before they have time to ripen.

We all know that the best thing to do with fragrant, speckled, ripe bananas is to make banana bread.  Smoothies are a good option, too, but it’s hard to bring your co-workers a banana smoothie that you’ve just made for all of them to share.  Banana bread will make you popular.  A group smoothie most likely will not.

Tropical Banana Bread

Second, stating that this is THE banana bread recipe to end all banana bread recipe searches among a sea of hundreds of banana bread recipes implies that I am confident that you will love it.  While I can’t guarantee a win for your taste buds (you may hate cardamom), I know that mine are already begging me to bake another loaf.

Tropical Banana Bread 3

This bread is dense and moist and full of banana-y flavor, thanks to the combination of banana puree and diced ripe banana.  The coconut and macadamia nuts add sweetness and texture, and the combination of spices create an enticing aroma that makes the 70-minute baking time seem like an eternity.

While it’s virtually impossible to resist cutting a slice immediately after the bread is baked, I think it tastes best the next day, after the loaf has been wrapped in plastic and allowed a nice long nap on the counter.

Tropical Banana Nut Bread

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour, 15 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 25 minutes

Yield: 1 large loaf

Serving Size: 1 slice

Tropical Banana Nut Bread

This tropical version of classic banana bread is spiced with cardamom, cinnamon and nutmeg and incorporates coconut and macadamia nuts to give it an island-kissed twist. Diced bananas in addition to a generous amount of pureed bananas ensure a moist texture and maximize flavor.


  • 1/2 cup (125 mL) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas, pureed until smooth
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (500 mL) flour
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1 mL) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 mL) ground cardamom
  • 1 cup (250 mL) chopped macadamia nuts
  • 1 cup (250 mL) diced ripe but firm banana
  • 1 cup (250 mL) shredded, sweetened coconut (see note)
  • Large flake unsweetened coconut and dried banana chips for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease a large, 10X5-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment.
  2. In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. Add the pureed bananas and the vanilla; mixing until thoroughly combined.
  4. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and cardamom.
  5. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, mixing until all of the dry ingredients are moist and well blended.
  6. Add the the macadamia nuts, diced banana and coconut and stir until evenly incorporated. Decorate the top of the loaf by scattering large flake coconut and dried banana chips (optional.)
  7. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula or a knife. Bake 60-75 minutes or until the bread is browned and cracked and a cake tester or thin knife inserted comes out clean.
  8. Cool the loaf in the pan on a wire rack for 10 to 15 minutes before removing it from the pan. Cool completely and wrap tightly in plastic wrap to store.


You can substitute unsweetened coconut or large flake unsweetened coconut for the sweetened coconut, if desired. Small loaf pans can be used in place of the one large loaf pan -- the recipe should yield 3-4 smaller loaves.

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