Filed Under: Bread | Breakfast | Dessert

Butter Pecan Banana Bread

By Tessa Arias
  |  
April 26th, 2022
4.86 from 14 votes
4.86 from 14 votes

Homemade Butter Pecan Banana Bread is a fun twist on the classic banana bread recipe with a buttery, nutty flavor and soft, moist yet crunchy texture. It's our new favorite!

Yield: 1 loaf

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook: 1 hour

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: Like banana bread taken up a notch with ultra rich, buttery, sweet, and nutty flavors. Be sure to use overripe bananas for the sweetest banana flavor.
Texture: I know people hate this word, but this banana bread is super moist, there’s no other way to say it! It’s ultra soft yet rich with crunchy bites of pecans throughout.
Ease: Buttering the pecans does dirty an extra dish but it only takes 5 minutes. We also use an electric mixer in this recipe to get the lightest yet richest texture. So just a bit more work than your average banana bread recipe.
Pros: The perfect balance of textures, not too dense and not too light. Plus the flavors are just wonderful. Such comfort food!
Cons: None.
Would I make this again? Absolutely.

I think you’re going to adore this Butter Pecan Banana Bread recipe.

I cannot type the word banana without think of Gwen Stefani’s Hollaback song. B-A-N-A-N-A-S. I remember listening to that song far too many times in junior high school with my neon blue first generation iPod mini.

That’s… bananas.

If I got that song stuck in your head for the rest of the day, my apology is this super moist Butter Pecan Banana Bread recipe. Yes, I did just use the word moist so maybe I should apologize again. But it’s only because this is my favorite banana bread recipe.

This loaf is ultra rich and buttery, but not too dense. It’s super soft and moist with perfect crunchy bites of pecans throughout. It’s weird because I’m usually not a huge fan of nuts in baked goods, but for some reason I adore them in banana bread recipes.

Grab a cup of coffee or tea and enjoy a slice of this Butter Pecan Banana Bread with some fresh butter slathered on top.

How to Make Butter Pecan Banana Bread

Ingredients for Butter Pecan Banana Bread:

  • Butter – you’ll need butter for both the loaf and the buttered pecans. Use unsalted butter in baking so you control the amount of salt used.
  • Pecans – chopped pecans are one of the star ingredients of this recipe! You’ll love the crunchy pecans studded throughout this moist banana bread.
  • Salt – also used in the buttered pecans, fine salt balances out the sweetness of the loaf.
  • All-purpose flour – make sure your dry ingredients are measured correctly, so you don’t end up with dry or dense banana bread.
  • Baking soda – learn more about the differences between baking soda and baking powder here.
  • Cinnamon – pairs perfectly with the nutty flavors in this loaf.
  • Granulated sugar – sweetens as well as moistens this banana pecan bread recipe.
  • Eggs – helps bind everything together and provide structure.
  • Bananas – it’s not banana bread without mashed bananas. Use very overripe bananas for the best texture and sweetness.
  • Sour cream or plain full-fat yogurt – helps achieve a tender, moist texture.
  • Vanilla extract – stir in a splash of vanilla to help make this the most flavorful banana bread recipe.

Can I add chocolate chips to this recipe?

Yes! Add a scant cup of semisweet chocolate chips, folding in with the flour and pecans as written in the recipe.

How ripe should bananas be for banana bread?

Be sure to use very overripe bananas. They should be very soft and covered with dark brown speckles. Overripe bananas not only provide the sweet flavor but also help to add more moisture to banana bread. If you have more overripe bananas than you need for this recipe, you can always peel them, mash them, then freeze for baking up later. Or use them in smoothies!

How to ripen bananas quickly:

To speed up ripening, place bananas in a paper bag and store in a warm area for a day or two. The peels create ethylene gas, which fills up the bag and helps them ripen faster.

To ripen bananas today, place whole unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet in a 300°F oven for about 30 to 40 minutes, or until the skins are darkened and the fruit is soft. This doesn’t quite yield the same effect as allowing the bananas to ripen naturally, but it’ll work in a pinch.

comparison of ripe bananas for how to tell when bananas are ripe enough for baking muffins

How to mash bananas:

Mash the bananas very well by hand with a fork or potato masher. I find mashing with an electric mixer or hand mixer makes the batter too thin to rise well, often leading to bread that’s slightly mushy in the center or even slightly sunken in the center.

How to make banana bread MOIST:

Besides using overripe bananas, also be sure to measure your flour correctly. This makes a world of difference between moist banana bread and dry banana bread. Lastly, avoid overmixing the batter once the wet and dry ingredients have been combined, otherwise you’ll end up with dry and rubbery banana bread.

The best banana bread pan:

The pan I recommend using is a METAL 9 by 5-inch loaf pan.

Glass and ceramic pans can take MUCH longer to bake. Not just banana bread, but brownies and sheet cakes too. You also risk the banana bread collapsing in the center and being underbaked in the middle. If you only have a glass or ceramic pan, add anywhere from 5 to 20 minutes to the baking time and use my tips below for judging when banana bread is done cooking.

Additionally, use the correct size loaf pan for best results: 9 by 5-inches.

I know that an 8 1/2 by 4 1/2-inch pan seems practically identical, but the difference in volume capacity is 15%, and that has a surprisingly large impact on the final loaf. If you use the smaller pan size, you may end up with a loaf that spills over the edges and sinks into an underbaked sad crevice in the center. If that’s all you have, remove about 15% of the batter from your bowl before pouring into the pan (feel free to bake the excess in a muffin tin instead, following the baking temperature and time from my Bakery Style Banana Muffins recipe).

How long to bake banana bread:

Bake your banana bread until it registers an internal temperature of 200 to 205°F. Use an instant read thermometer inserted into the center. This is the best and easiest way to ensure your bread is perfectly cooked through but not overdone.

You could also insert a toothpick, and the loaf is done baking when there are a few moist crumbs still attached.

Why is my banana bread gummy?

Banana bread can get gummy if the batter was overmixed or the loaf was underbaked.

How to store banana bread:

Cover and store cooled banana nut bread at room temperature for 2 days. The flavors will actually intensify as the bread sits! If your bread has started to stale, brush both sides with butter and toast in a skillet until slightly caramelized.

How to freeze banana bread:

Tightly wrap the completely cooled loaf or slices in aluminum foil and place in a resealable freezer bag. Freeze for up to three months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature. If thawing an entire loaf, you can also refresh the loaf by popping into a 325°F oven for about 10 minutes.

More Banana Recipes You’ll Love:

4.86 from 14 votes

How to make
Butter Pecan Banana Bread

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Homemade Butter Pecan Banana Bread is a fun twist on the classic banana bread recipe with a buttery, nutty flavor and soft, moist yet crunchy texture. It's our new favorite!

Ingredients

For the butter pecans:

  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup (113 grams) pecan halves, chopped
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine salt

For the banana bread:

  • 1 1/2 cups (191 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons (225 grams) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 1 1/2 cups (354 grams) mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)*
  • 2 tablespoons (28 grams) sour cream or plain full-fat yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

For the butter pecans:

  1. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the pecans and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture is lightly browned, 5 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool.

For the banana bread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan (don’t use an 8 ½ by 4 1/2-inch pan, the batter will overflow).
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the sugar and eggs on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reducing to low speed, gradually add in the melted and cooled butter. Add the bananas, sour cream, and vanilla, beating until just combined.

  4. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the dry ingredients and pecans. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 1 hour, or until golden brown on top and the center springs back when gently pressed. Bake time for glass or ceramic pans may be longer.

  5. Let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes before removing from loaf pan to cool completely.
  6. Banana bread can be stored tightly wrapped in plastic for up to 3 days at room temperature or 2 weeks frozen (thaw overnight at room temperature before serving).

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

*If you'd like to make your loaf with a banana on top as shown in the photos, you will need an additional banana, sliced horizontally. Add half of the banana to top of loaf prior to placing in oven.
Course : Dessert
Cuisine : American
Keyword : banana bread, butter pecan banana bread

This recipe was originally published in 2014 and updated in 2022 with new photos and recipe improvements. Photos by Joanie Simon.

Tessa Arias
Author: Tessa Arias

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Tessa Arias

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

Find Tessa on  

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Recipe Rating




  1. #
    Ksenia — July 19, 2022 at 2:15 pm

    After 1.20 it’s not ready.
    Are you sure about 325 F?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — July 20, 2022 at 9:08 am

      Hi Ksenia! Yes, that’s the correct temperature. It sounds like something may be off for it to be taking so long to bake! What type of pan are you using? The pan Tessa recommends using is a metal 9 by 5-inch loaf pan. Glass and ceramic pans can take MUCH longer to bake – and will dry out the exterior of the loaf in the process. The wrong size pan can also throw off the bake time. I also suspect your oven could be running cold. Ovens are almost always lying to us about their real temperature, and can be off as much as 40 degrees! Check out Tessa’s full article on oven temperature, and the importance of using an oven thermometer! Lastly, if you are using the correct type and size of pan, and you are using an oven thermometer, perhaps something in the recipe was mis-measured? If you measure by volume, rather than weight, it’s super easy to accidentally add too much flour or sugar, which can throw off the chemistry of the entire recipe. Tessa talks about how to measure accurately in this article here! I hope something here helps, and please feel free to reach out for further assistance in troubleshooting – we are always happy to help!! Happy baking 🙂

  2. #
    Gwen — June 19, 2022 at 6:02 pm

    AMAZING. Literally the best banana bread I have EVER MADE!!!

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 20, 2022 at 11:50 am

      Yay!! So thrilled to hear you enjoyed this banana bread so much, Gwen!!!

  3. #
    Margherita Baldini — June 16, 2022 at 3:07 am

    Hello From Ontario Canada…just to clarify if you want to put the banana on the top..is it a ripe banana or fresh?

    • #
      Kiersten @ Handle the Heat — June 16, 2022 at 7:14 am

      Hi Margherita! (and hello to Canada!) You could use a just-ripe or overripe banana on top, but we typically use overripe on top (as well as in the banana bread itself) just for that extra hit of banana flavor, since overripe bananas carry so much more flavor. Hope that helps! 🙂

  4. #
    Tom — May 7, 2022 at 6:49 am

    This is going to be my “go to” recipe from now on!

    • #
      Emily — May 12, 2022 at 10:12 am

      So happy to hear that!

  5. #
    Nora — April 30, 2022 at 3:26 am

    Do you think this would sink in the middle if several individual paper loaf pans /or copper loaf pan/were used to bake this recipe??

    • #
      Emily — May 3, 2022 at 3:09 pm

      Hi Nora! We haven’t tried either of those, so I can’t say for sure! Let us know how it goes if you give them a try.

  6. #
    Judy — April 29, 2022 at 5:17 pm

    All I have is glass loaf pans!!! Do you need to adjust time and temperature?

    • #
      Emily — May 3, 2022 at 3:11 pm

      Hi Judy! Check out the pink tip box above the recipe for more details, Tessa explains the adjustments needed when using glass pans 🙂 Can’t wait to hear what you think of this recipe!

  7. #
    Forbes PERKINS — April 1, 2022 at 4:23 pm

    I like this banana bread. Beginners luck. It came out great first time. Next three times not so much. Underdone every time. Checked my oven temp with thermometer. It was 25 degrees low. So I compensated and added some extra cook time. Still underdone and collapsing while cooling. Measured and followed recipe perfectly. But then I read Handle the Heat tutorial on why cakes collapse and read the magic words 200F -205 F degrees and bought an instant read thermometer for the cakes internal temperature. What a difference that knowledge has made in the results of my baking. Wish I’d known sooner.

    • #
      Emily — April 6, 2022 at 3:02 pm

      Sorry to hear that you had issues, but I’m so glad you found our article on collapsed cakes/loaves! This recipe is actually one that we’re currently in the process of updating (was originally published in 2014) with additional tips as well as updated photographs. I’m so glad that you were able to confirm that your oven temperature was low and compensated for that. What size baking pan are you using and what type? This recipe works best in a 9-by-5-inch metal loaf pan. We have experimented using a slightly smaller size (8 1/2 x 4 1/2), and needed to increase the baking time by about 5-10 minutes. Glass and ceramic pans would need even longer time to bake (about 10-15 minutes extra), and some did result in collapsed loaves. We plan on publishing the updates within the next couple of months, so I encourage you to try this recipe again then 🙂

  8. #
    Aimee — February 23, 2022 at 9:25 am

    Can I substitute brown sugar instead?

    • #
      Emily — February 23, 2022 at 10:37 am

      Hi Aimee! Granulated and brown sugar are two very different sugars. You’re more than welcome to experiment, but especially with such a large amount of sugar, know that the outcome will be different! Please let us know how it goes if you give it a try.

  9. #
    Linda — February 18, 2022 at 5:56 pm

    Can I omit the yogurt?

    • #
      Emily — February 22, 2022 at 4:56 pm

      We haven’t tried omitting completely! You’re welcome to experiment, but the sour cream/yogurt does add extra moisture and a bit of flavor.

  10. #
    yaya — July 15, 2021 at 5:11 am

    So goooodd but a bit too sweet for my liking

  11. #
    Narrisa — February 9, 2021 at 1:17 pm

    Can you please tell me if I can make this eggless? Is so, what can I substitute the eggs with?

  12. #
    Deneen — January 14, 2021 at 6:36 pm

    I have found my new banana bread recipe! This was easy and delicious. I will add more pecans next time.

    • #
      Tessa — January 15, 2021 at 10:02 am

      So glad you enjoyed this recipe!

  13. #
    Latrice Broadnax — December 9, 2020 at 9:52 am

    My family LOVES this banana bread! Thank you!!

    • #
      Tessa — December 10, 2020 at 1:23 pm

      Yay! So happy to hear that!

  14. #
    Lynn — September 22, 2020 at 8:56 pm

    I made this for my family and toasting the pecans and butter made this banana nut bread over the top scrumptious. My family loved it!

  15. #
    Giovannia — September 20, 2020 at 5:07 pm

    This is the most amazing banana bread I have ever made. I made it the first time I’m a 9×5 pan let it cook an hour but a little of the center did not get done, the next I used 2 smaller pans cooked it 59min. And it was great could not stop eating it. I highly recommend this recipe. Can’t wait to mk it and give for gifts. I can’t say enough about the flavor and taste of this bread. Thank u

  16. #
    Leslye Irwin — September 6, 2020 at 8:13 pm

    This was the best recipe I’ve tried! Note: for me, the toasted pecans were done in about 3-1/2 min. I took them off at 4 mins because they were starting to burn.

  17. #
    Joe Cotellese — May 21, 2020 at 6:35 am

    This recipe tasted delicous but it was too wet. The next time I make it I’m either going to back off on the bananas or add more flour.

  18. #
    Angela — May 6, 2020 at 8:37 pm

    Definitely my new go to recipe! I’ve made it several times with no changes. I made muffins this time and they are like pillows. Very light and airy unlike some recipes that make a heavier muffin. They’re so good that I couldn’t finish one before rating this recipe. Oh I did add 1/2 tsp of cinnamon instead of 1/4 tsp.

  19. #
    Anna — April 13, 2020 at 11:31 am

    I made this two nights ago and it is SO good! It doubled really well. The only thing I changed from the recipe was to sub out plain greek yogurt for sour cream. I just didn’t have sour cream on hand. I found my new Banana Nut Bread recipe! Thanks!

  20. #
    MerryChristmas Claus — November 14, 2019 at 10:28 pm

    I made this tonight and it will be the hit of my husband’s morning. His favorite breakfast treat is banana bread… and anything with pecans is always a hit. I had salted pecans on hand and adding the extra salt would have made it overly salty so I added a bit of brown sugar to the pecans to make them a bit more praline and butter pecans. I have to say they came out perfect by following everything else in your recipe, especially toasting the pecans. Would never have thought of that.

    You are right the recipe is just chewy enough to be delicious, yet soft enough to be a great banana bread. This recipe is not at all dry or dense, just light and fabulous. Thanks!

  21. #
    Jackie — August 4, 2019 at 2:15 pm

    I was wondering if you have ever used this to make ice cream sandwiches? I was thinking buttered pecan ice cream would be very good.

  22. #
    Carolina — January 29, 2019 at 4:31 pm

    What sugar is? Brown?

  23. #
    Mary — April 2, 2018 at 7:33 am

    Can I use regular butter instead of unsalted?

  24. #
    Phyllis Ferrentino — December 20, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    I love this butter pecan banana bread – moist & delicious – the only thing – it fell a little bit in the middle while cooling – not sure why – I know sometimes the baking soda may be an issue ? I added what was called for in the recipe – howeve, it did not affect the wonderful Tate

    I am going to make this recipe for Xmas gifts this year ❤️

    Ty & Merry Christmas
    Phyl Ferrentino

  25. #
    Annabelle — October 15, 2016 at 10:02 pm

    OK Tess, I’ve read several of your recipes and would like to make them but please tell me how you are calculating your flour amounts? 1 cup flour = 4.25oz, if this is not the case, please tell me the oz you are measuring the flour?

  26. #
    Jessica — August 2, 2016 at 12:52 pm

    I’ve only got two bananas! Should I cut back the other ingredients by 1/3 also or just go for it?

  27. #
    Tracy — December 27, 2015 at 8:33 am

    Amazing, sweet, moist and simply delicious!
    This is my “sweet indulgence”. Small slice is all you need to feel satisfied and it’s a good thing with all the goodies in this bread. I cut butter back by 1/4 stick and increased my yogurt by 1 tablespoon. Turned out great:)

  28. #
    Gordon — December 18, 2015 at 12:00 pm

    how much pecan?

  29. #
    Ana — June 9, 2015 at 7:18 am

    I’m gonna make it… love banana bread… thank u for the recipe

  30. #
    Sheri — December 20, 2014 at 12:54 pm

    I know I am late to the part with this banana bread, but I just made some today for gifts. This is the best banana bread ever! Thank you so much for the recipe and your food blog! BTW-I love your recipes and reading your blog!

    • #
      Tessa — December 20, 2014 at 4:38 pm

      Thank you so much!! Thrilled to hear that. Merry Christmas!

  31. #
    Laleh — October 2, 2014 at 3:49 pm

    I baked it 3 times . It is a perfect banana bread thanks for recipe.

  32. #
    Gaby — June 30, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Butter pecans in banana bread is the best idea ever!

  33. #
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — June 30, 2014 at 6:58 am

    I could eat the whole loaf by myself! Love this!

  34. #
    Cookbook Queen — June 30, 2014 at 5:44 am

    B-A-N-A-N-A-S. UGH. All day.

    Butter pecan + Banana Bread + Perfection.

  35. #
    Taylor @ Food Faith Fitness — June 30, 2014 at 3:21 am

    So I hate and love you today.
    Bad news first:
    I totally forgot about that song…and now it’s stuck in my head forever.
    Good news:
    Banana bread is my husband OBSESSION, so he will go nuts (had to) for this version! Pinning 🙂

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