Halfway to Hana Banana Bread Recipe. My version of the insanely delicious banana bread you get at the stands on the road to Hana, Maui.
I miss Hawaii. It’s been over a year since we have traveled there. With my husband in school full time now as well as working full time, vacation days are non-existent. It is ok for now since the benefit of my husband changing careers will outweigh the temporary situation of him gone every day with work and school.
Until we can get another vacation to Hawaii, I am going to post a lot more Hawaiian recipes , and Hawaiian inspired recipes on my blog. Like this banana bread recipe.
I have made this banana bread recipe at least thirty times in the past few months. Maybe even more. I will buy several bunches of bananas to ripen, make several loaves then have no time to photograph.
So we start eating them before I photograph. And give away to friends and neighbors before the bread goes bad. I also have several loaves in my freezer. My family is loving the overabundance of banana bread at home, I am running out of freezer space!
I have also made them into muffins and mini muffins and have added those modifications into the recipe notes.
I know there are countless banana bread recipes online, I debated even posting this recipe on my blog. I have a banana bread recipe already on my blog ( inspired by travels to the Big Island of Hawaii) but I decided to go ahead with it since I am missing Maui oh so very much. Banana bread is popular all throughout Hawaii, but I believe the banana bread found in stands along the road to Hana are the most famous.
If you visit Maui, a drive to Hana is should be in your itinerary. It is a gorgeous drive, a must do in ones lifetime. Take it slow, enjoy the sites along the very curvy drive. It is only 52 miles from Kahului to Hana, but it consists of 620 turns, some of them hairpin, 59 bridges, many of them one lane only.
The drive can take several hours one way, and I suggest to make a day of it. Make as many stops as you can to hike to waterfalls, visit the botanical gardens to see the famous rainbow Eucalyptus trees, take photos of scenic overlooks, purchase handmade goods from locals selling their wares along the roadside turnouts.
It is truly an experience that I think everyone should do. If you tend to get car sick, this is a drive better done in an open vehicle such as a jeep to keep the fresh air flowing, and of course taken slowly. Stop for lunch in Hana, go to Hamoa beach. One of the most gorgeous beaches on Maui.
Gorgeous black sand beach with crystal clear aqua water. Hamoa Beach is stunning. No wonder it is one of the most photographed beaches on the planet.
Example of the roads you will come across during the drive. Some paved, some needing paved, some you don’t tell your rental car company that you drove on. But the views are breathtaking.
The roads are more open on the backside of Haleakala. Highway 31 which turns into highway 37. More places to stop for photo opportunities without people wanting to get around you.
We traveled past Hana, to the Pools of ‘Ohe’o, also known as the seven sacred pools, but there was nothing sacred about them. It was as crowded as Disneyland is on a summer day. It was standing room only in the pools, there were so many people I couldn’t get any good photos without at least 40 strangers in every pic.
We decided next time we visit Maui that we will spend a night in Hana, get up early and get to the Pools of ‘Ohe’o first thing in the am, before the crowds.
We also decided since it was such a gorgeous day to drive all the way around the backside of Haleakala instead of driving back to Kahului.
If the weather is good. If there is a chance of rain or it is raining I don’t suggest taking this route, it can wash out with mudslides easily. Definitely check the weather before heading this way.
If you are like us and don’t buy enough banana bread for the trip to Hana and back, or to Hana and around the backside of Haleakala ( past Kipahulu and Kaupo,) and you end up in upcountry Maui in Kula, definitely buy more than you think you will need.
The banana bread goes great with the road trip. Then when you are home and you dream of your Maui vacation, make this banana bread recipe and daydream about your next trip to the islands.
One thing that stands out with Hawaiian banana bread is the bananas they use in their recipes. They are made most often with apple-bananas, which are the most commonly found on the islands. They are a smaller, sweeter banana that unfortunately you can’t bring home (darn agriculture rules) like you can pineapples.
My suggestion is when using bananas found in stores ( Cavendish are the typical ones that we see in the States) is to let them get pretty ripe, lots of brown spots, but not all the way brown. Those will add too much moisture to the bread. And don’t forget to eat with cream cheese slathered on, or butter if you prefer. I love cream cheese with banana bread!
- 3 1/2 C (420 g) All Purpose Flour
- 3 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
- 2 C light brown sugar, packed
- 1 C (2 sticks -226g) unsalted butter, melted
- 4 Tbsp Coconut oil, melted
- 4 Large eggs, room temperature
- 1 TBSP Vanilla extract
- 1/2 C Sour Cream, room temperature
- 3 C mashed overripe bananas (Yellow with spots, not all the way brown, 6-8 bananas)
- Optional Ingredients:
- 1. 1 C chopped roasted and salted Macadamia Nuts, lightly toasted. Add in to the flour mixture first before mixing with wet ingredients.
- 2. Cream cheese, softened - to spread on top of banana bread slices when served
- Preheat oven to 330 Deg F for at least 30 minutes, position rack to lower third of oven. Grease and flour two 9x4 inch aluminum loaf pans.
- In a small bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder and soda, salt and cinnamon. Add in the chopped macadamia nuts if using, and stir until well coated. Set aside
- In a larger bowl whisk together the melted butter, oil, eggs, sugar, vanilla and sour cream. Add in the mashed bananas, stir well. Add in the flour and nut mixture and stir until no streaks of flour remain. Pour into prepared pans.
- Bake pans side by side in center of rack for 45-60 minutes. Check the loaf at 45 minutes to test for doneness, using a toothpick to see if there is still raw batter in the middle, if so keep baking checking at 5 min intervals until done. If the top is getting too brown for your liking place a piece of foil over the top for the remainder of baking. Bake until deep golden brown and a tooth pick inserted into the middle has a few crumbs on it but no raw batter is left. 50-60 minutes total. Mine always take 55 min max to bake.
- Let cool in pan for 10 minutes then invert to a wire rack to cool completely. Keep wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and then foil at room temperature up to a week or up to 3 months in freezer.
- You can sub in your favorite nut if you don’t wish to use macadamia nuts. Just make sure they are toasted before adding to flour mixture.
- Aluminum pans work best. Glass or darker colored pans will brown the bottom and edges of the bread too quickly which may result in burnt sides and the middle still raw.
- You can bake these at 350 deg. I found that lowering to 330 allows the middle to cook through without the edges burning. This all depends on your oven and if it runs hot or colder.
- This recipe can easily be doubled and tripled for multiple loaves.
- You can also make this recipe into muffins. Set oven temp t0 350 Deg F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners, fill each well about 3/4 of the way full. Bake for 18-22 minutes. Let cool in pan for a few min, then cool completely on a wire cooling rack.
- For mini muffins set oven temp to 350, line mini muffin pan with paper liners, bake for 12-13 minutes. Let cool in pan for a few min, then cool completely on a wire cooling rack.