For a delicious and moist banana bread with a Southern twist, make some praline banana bread! This recipe is easy to make, especially if you use store-bought pralines! No pralines? Use pecans and check the notes in the recipe. This banana bread recipe is too good to skip.
Can you ever have too many banana bread recipes, darlings? Because I don’t think so. And I’m saying this as someone who lives in a house where only 50% of the people will eat it! That’s saying a lot. This praline banana bread was inspired by the first kid-free trip the Godfather and I got to take together – a weekend in New Orleans. It was absolutely lovely, darlings. The city is so unique. We spent the weekend walking everywhere, taking in the sights, and sampling as much of the food as we could. And the dessert we tried the most was the praline.
As a Southern girl, I have always adored pralines, but this was the first time I’d had a chance to try a variety. I spent WEEKS after we got home perfecting a pumpkin praline recipe. I’ll post it for fall, promise. This trip was my first opportunity to really sample a variety of pralines that hadn’t been mixed into ice cream or other desserts. I love how sweet and rich they are. A decadent treat perfect to share.
Naturally, this culinary experience inspired a new mission. One in which I find all sorts of recipes in which to get my praline fix, and right now, that’s this praline banana bread. It doesn’t matter if you use store-bought praline pecans or make them yourself. I know pralines are getting easier to find no matter where you are because the local warehouse store is carrying huge buckets of them.
I didn’t have any pralines on hand at 8 p.m. the night I decided to make this recipe for the first time. So, I made a batch following this recipe by Betty Crocker. It turned out but wasn’t quite the same as the lovely New Orleans candy shop pralines I loved. Still great for this recipe though.
If you don’t want to make or buy praline pecans, I’ll include a note for modifying the recipe. You’ll have to add a bit more brown sugar to offset the sweetness lost by using plain nuts in place of the pecans, but no matter! Feel free to substitute any nut you have on hand – walnuts are another classic in banana bread recipes.
The key to making a really amazing banana bread is in the ripe bananas. The spottier the better. Generously freckled bananas are not only sweeter, but they also mash easily. When it comes to banana bread, we want simple! And mashing with a fork is about as simple as it gets. So don’t let your “mature” bananas go to waste! They’re the BEST for bread.
I also like to use a mix of brown and granulated sugars in the banana bread. The increased moisture content in the brown sugar tastes great and helps make the best banana bread, in my opinion. In this recipe, I think brown sugar also pairs beautifully with the deep caramel flavor of the praline pecans.
To make this recipe without plain pecans, use all brown sugar and add a little more. The praline candy on the pecans does add sweetness to the bread. To compensate, we add less sugar to keep this banana bread from becoming cloyingly sweet.
I hope you enjoy this recipe for praline banana bread, darlings! Happy baking!
- 16 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 cup lightly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup chopped pecan pralines, divided
- Preheat your oven to 350 F, then grease and line a loaf pan with parchment paper (see notes).
- In a bowl, mash your peeled, ripe bananas using a fork. Set aside.
- In a mixing bowl or the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugars.
- Stir in the eggs one at a time, scraping the bowl after each addition. Add the vanilla extract Fold in the mashed banana.
- In another bowl, sift or whisk together the flour, salt, baking soda, and 2/3 of the chopped pralines.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 batches, stirring just until combined.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and top with the remaining chopped pralines.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes until the bread is a deep golden and a tester inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean (a moist crumb or two is fine).
- Allow the bread to sit in the pan for 5-10 minutes before removing to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store completely cooled bread in an airtight container on the counter 2-3 days, in the refrigerator up to 1 week, or up to 3 months in the refrigerator.
- If you do not have pralines, don't fret! Use 2/3-3/4 cup chopped pecans (I eyeball this depending on mood and how much I have on hand). Don't use any granulated sugar, and use a full cup of brown sugar. Dark brown sugar gives the deepest flavor, but light brown will work too. Use what you have, the bread will be delicious!
- You don't have to line your loaf pans, but I recommend it. I line my loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving enough extra over each of the long sides to act as a "handle". That way, it's very easy to remove the bread after baking.
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