This pumpkin banana bread is incredibly moist with a delicious pumpkin spice flavor and the perfect banana bread texture. Using both pumpkin and bananas creates a loaf that’s perfectly tender. But it’s the pumpkin and warm spices that will make you fall in love with this fall treat!
Pumpkin bread and banana bread are both classic recipes that are perfect no matter your kitchen experience, and this pumpkin banana bread combines the best of both worlds. It has a delicious pumpkin spice flavor thanks to pumpkin puree, brown sugar, vanilla and warm spices. Then adding mashed bananas makes the loaf even more tender and moist. There’s a slight hint to banana in the bread, but I find you mainly taste the pumpkin. Don’t worry – the combination is delicious.
Ingredients You’ll Need
For this recipe, here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 ⅔ Cups All-Purpose Flour. Be sure to measure the flour correctly, either whisk it first then spoon into dry measuring cups and level off the top or use a scale (it will weigh 208 grams or 7.4 ounces). Too much flour and the loaf can get dry.
- 1 Teaspoon Baking Soda & ¾ Teaspoon Baking Powder. I found the combination of the 2 created the best rise.
- ¼ Teaspoon Salt. If you only have salted butter on hand, you could leave this out. I always prefer using unsalted butter and adding in the salt because it gives me more control. Different brands of salted butter use different amounts.
- Spices: 1 ½ Teaspoons Cinnamon, ½ Teaspoon Ginger Powder, ¼ Teaspoon Ground Nutmeg, ¼ Teaspoon Ground Cloves. I like this loaf with a good amount of spices. If you want to use premixed pumpkin pie spice, then use ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 1 ½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice instead of the spices and amounts listed above.
- ½ Cup Unsalted Butter, melted. After testing this recipe with both oil and melted butter, I prefer the flavor using melted butter. Plus, the banana and pumpkin add so much moisture that you don’t need the extra moisture that comes form using oil.
- ½ Cup Brown Sugar and ½ Cup Granulated Sugar. I love combo of sugars for flavor. If you want the loaf less sweet, you could reduce the granulated sugar by ¼ cup.
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 Cup Mashed Bananas. You’ll need 2-3 brown bananas, just make sure to measure the 1 cup after mashing. You want bananas that are very brown and spotty so that they have any moisture. Just cut out any bruises.
- 1 Cup Pumpkin Puree. Note that it’s 1 cup, not one full can. Pumpkin puree (which is pure pumpkin) is not the same as canned pumpkin pie filling. Be sure to use pure pumpkin.
- ½ Cup Chopped Walnuts
- or 1 Cup Chocolate Chips
Making the Pumpkin Banana Bread
This recipe comes together with very little effort without an electric mixer. It uses the muffin method – meaning you mix together the dry ingredients in one bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients in another bowl, then mix them both together. Here’s the rundown.
- Start by preheating the oven to 350F degrees (180C or 170C on a convection oven). Then you’ll line the bottom of your loaf pan with parchment paper and grease the sides. I strongly prefer this method compared to just greasing the pan because I find the loaf slides out so much easier after baking.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the dry ingredients: flour, cinnamon, ginger, ground nutmeg, ground cloves, baking soda and salt. The combination of spices is what gives the perfect pumpkin spice flavor. In the recipe notes, I’ve included a substitution to use pumpkin pie spice instead of all the spices listed.
- Then in a separate bowl you’ll whisk together the wet ingredients. I always start by whisking together just the melted butter, sugars, eggs and vanilla to remove any sugar lumps. Then whisk in the pumpkin puree and mashed bananas.
- Make a well shape in the dry ingredients. Then pour the wet ingredients into the well.
- Gently fold the ingredients together using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon. It is key to do this gently. Over mixing can cause the bread to be tough instead of tender.
- When the mixture looks about 80% combined, optionally fold in the chopped walnuts or chocolate chips.
- Pour/spoon the batter into your prepared tin and pop in the oven to bake.
- The loaf will need to bake for about 55-65 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Note: Oven times vary as much as 15-20%. Therefore, don’t be alarmed if your loaf takes longer than 1 hour. When it’s done baking, an inserted toothpick should come out clean or with a few crumbs. If you gently touch the top of your loaf with your finger, it should feel firm or slightly springy to the touch. If you notice the top of the loaf starting to be quite brown, but it’s not cooked through yet, tent a piece of aluminum foil overtop of the pan and continue baking.
This pumpkin banana bread freezes beautifully. You can either freeze the entire loaf (unsliced), or freeze slices individually. Make sure the loaf is completely cooled first.
- To freeze the entire loaf, wrap tightly in plastic at least 2 times so that all the seems are covered. Then wrap in aluminum foil or place in a freezer bag. To thaw, place in the fridge until thawed.
- To freeze slices, wrap each slice in plastic. Then place slices in a freezer bag. To thaw, remove the slices you’d like to thaw and thaw in the fridge (with slices still wrapped in plastic).
**Always thaw in the fridge. If you thaw on the counter, you can end up with the middle still frozen but the edges gummy.
Moist, flavorful and with a delicious pumpkin spice flavor – this pumpkin banana bread is banana bread that’s ready for fall! And if you need more delicious pumpkin recipes for breakfast, morning coffee or afternoon tea, then be sure to try:
- Pumpkin Bread with Cream Cheese Glaze
- Pumpkin Streusel Muffins
- Apple Coffee Cake
- Pumpkin Coffee Cake
Pumpkin Banana Bread
- 9x5 inch (23x13 cm) loaf plan Do not use an 8x4 inch loaf pan - it is too small for this recipe
- 1 ⅔ cup all-purpose flour (208 grams)
- 1 ½ teaspoons cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ginger powder
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon ground cloves feel free to use a little less if you prefer
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter (112 grams) melted
- ½ cup brown sugar (100 grams)
- ½ cup granulated sugar (100 grams)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup pumpkin puree (240 ml) NOT canned pumpkin pie filling
- 1 cup mashed bananas (240 ml) about 2-3 large bananas
- ½ cup chopped walnuts optional
- Preheat the oven to 350F (180C or 170C on a convection oven). Line the bottom of a 9x5 inch (33x23 cm) loaf pan with baking paper and lightly grease the sides.
- In a large bowl whisk together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a separate large bowl whisk together the melted butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar, eggs, vanilla, mashed bananas and pumpkin puree. There will be lumps from the banana, but you don't want to see pieces of egg or lumps of brown sugar.
- Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour the wet ingredients into the well.
- Gently fold the ingredients together using a rubber spatula or wooden spoon.
- If adding in chopped walnuts, when the ingredients look about 70-80% combined, add in the chopped walnuts and fold in. Only mix the batter until combined. Some lumps from the banana are expected.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.
- Bake in the preheated oven placing on a rack in the middle or bottom third of the oven. Bake for about 55-65 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few crumbs. Check around 45 minutes. If the top is brown already but it is not done baking, tent a piece of aluminum foil over the pan.
- Cool in the pan for at least 25 minutes before carefully transferring to a wire rack to continue cooling.
- Spices: Instead of using all the spices listed, feel free to use ½ teaspoon cinnamon and 1 ½ teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice
- Bananas: Make sure to use brown bananas. For 1 cup, you will need about 2-3 bananas.
- Pumpkin: Be sure to use pumpkin puree (canned or homemade) and not canned pumpkin pie filling. Measure out 1 can of pumpkin - you will not use the entire can.
- Bake Time: Oven can vary by 15-20%. Do not be alarmed if the bake time is longer than 65 minutes in some ovens.
- Storage: Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 5 days. Loaf can be wrapped tightly in plastic, then wrapped in aluminum foil or placed in a freezer bag and frozen. Thaw in the fridge.
- Nutrition: Details provided are an estimate only and based on 1 slice, assuming the loaf in cut into 10 equal slices and made with walnuts.