Pineapple Coconut Oil Banana Bread
I’m no stranger to banana bread recipes. I have 30 Favorite Banana Bread and Banana Recipes
But this is the first time I’ve used coconut oil and it won’t be the last. The results are magical.
This bread makes me think of spring, warmer weather, and of being on a tropical vacation. Like all my banana bread recipes, it comes together with a whisk and just one bowl. No mixer, no creaming ingredients, nothing fussy.
Paradoxically, when baking with coconut oil, it doesn’t impart a blast of in-your-face coconut intensity. I liken it to a vacation-scented flavor rather than licking a bottle of tanning oil. There’s barely a hint of detectable coconut flavor, perfect for those who aren’t fond of coconut.
I think when most people object to coconut, it’s shredded or flaked coconut that they’re thinking of. Those forms have very distinct and powerful flavors and scents. And there’s that stringy texture that’s also a consideration. I love coconut oil, but even I have to be in the right mood for shredded coconut.
I’m always in the mood for coconut oil because of the moistness, softness, and tenderness it lends. If you absolutely don’t want to bake with coconut oil, you can use melted or browned butter, canola or vegetable oil. I’ve done them all, but coconut oil is my new favorite.
Courtesy of the coconut oil, buttermilk, and bananas, this bread is springy-soft and bouncy. It’s like a trampoline I wish I could jump on because it’s so cushioney, soft, tender, and ridiculously moist.
The pineapple and it’s natural juices also tenderize the bread. I used frozen pineapple chunks from Trader Joe’s, and stirred them in straight from the freezer. You could swap out the pineapple for mango, peaches, nectarines, strawberries or your favorite frozen or seasonal fruit.
A tip when baking with frozen fruit such as blueberries or strawberries, is to stir them in frozen rather than first thawing them. They’re less mushy, fragile, and they run and bleed less all over the batter.
The recipe makes two smaller 8-by-4-inch loaves and I’d imagine you could bake it as muffins or some muffins plus a little loaf. I find loaves to be faster and easier; filling one big pan versus twelve muffin wells, but do what you like. Don’t try to bake it as one big 9-by-5 loaf because I fear it would either overflow or the center wouldn’t cook through before the tops and sides became too browned.
The sweetness from the bananas and pineapple, coupled with the coconut oil, made these loaves scrumptiously good. This is pineapple-banana bread, rather than banana-pineapple, and the coconut oil is hardly noticeable. It’s in the background and adds flavor you can’t quite put your finger on, but you’ll want more of it.
The pinch of nutmeg I added was a departure from my usual cinnamon-fiending ways. Nutmeg adds a nuttiness, warmth, and fullness of flavor. It’s almost like using browned butter and adds a homey quality. It’s less intense than cinnamon, and a perfect compliment for the pineapple.
Feel free to freeze the second loaf for a rainy day. Or give it away to a friend. Or just hog it. They’re pretty small loaves and go fast.
I made this bread the night before I started my 3-day juice cleanse and it was one of the first things I ate after the cleanse. Knowing I had it waiting for me on the other side of those three days was wonderful. Scott and I both agreed it’s some of the best banana bread we’ve ever had, and not just because we’d been drinking juice for 3 days. But I think of it as pineapple bread.
Four days after I made it, it was still totally fresh, soft, and it’s perfect as-is. Or make it even more perfect with a Browned Butter Vanilla Glaze.
Enjoying a hearty, thick-cut slice, with chunks of pineapple staring back at me, is where it’s at.
Pineapple Coconut Oil Banana Bread
The bananas, buttermilk, and coconut oil help this bread stay fluffy, springy-soft, tender, and ridiculously moist. The pineapple dominates the flavor profile and this is more pineapple-banana than banana-pineapple bread.The coconut oil is hardly detectable, perfect for those who don’t love coconut. The ingredients are whisked together in minutes without needing a mixer and in just one bowl. The recipe makes two medium-small loaves, perfect for gifting or freezing.
2 large eggs
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted (canola or vegetable oil, or browned or melted butter may be substituted)
1/3 cup buttermilk (1/4 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream may be substituted)
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, optional but recommended
pinch salt, optional and to taste
1 to 1 1/4 cups mashed ripe bananas (2 large or 3 small ripe bananas)
1 cup pineapple, diced (I used frozen; mango, peaches, nectarines, strawberries or blueberries may be substituted)
- Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 8-by-4-inch loaf pans with floured cooking spray; set aside. (I have not tried it but I suspect you could bake as muffins, mini loaves, or in a Bundt pan, adjusting baking times accordingly).
- In a large bowl combine the eggs, coconut oil, buttermilk, sugars, vanilla, and whisk to combine. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, optional salt, and stir to just incorporate; don’t overmix because the gluten will overdevelop and bread will be tougher. Stir in bananas. Stir in pineapple (if using frozen, just add it frozen, no need to thaw it first. If using fresh or canned, make sure it’s well-drained or it could water-down the batter).
- Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for about 45 minutes, or until top is golden and set, a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean (banana bread is gooey and it may not come out perfectly clean). If bread is browning too fast on the top, you may wish to lower your oven temperature to 325F in last 15 minutes of cooking, or tent the pan with foil; although I don’t suspect this will be an issue. Allow bread to cool in pan for about 15 minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Bread will keep for up to 1 week in an airtight container or large Ziplock at room temperature (I wrap my fully cooled bread in Clingwrap, then I place it in a gallon-sized Ziplock). Second loaf may be frozen for up to 3 months. Optionally serve with Browned Butter Vanilla Glaze or Make Pineapple Butter rather than Strawberry Butter.
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Have you tried baking with coconut oil?
Have a favorite banana recipe?