Pumpkin Banana Bread

I made this Pumpkin Banana Bread for a virtual bridal shower for Megan of Delicious Dishings. Jen over at Beantown Baker is hosting the virtual event and we’re all posting a baked good for the bride-to-be!

And so it begins.

Pumpkin recipes are going to be all over the internet. So are butternut squash recipes. And did I mention more pumpkin?

Tomorrow is the official start of Fall, and I thought that this Pumpkin Banana Bread is the perfect way to welcome my favorite season.

Plus I know that Megan will like this. She and I have pretty similar tastes when it comes to sweet treats.

There is something about the warm scent of baking bread wafting throughout my apartment that makes me feel very content. And the smell of fresh banana bread is extra intoxicating, because I love indulging with a thick slice for breakfast or brunch.

For this bread, I adapted my favorite banana bread recipe from Joanne Chang of Flour Bakery; coincidentally, Megan used to work at Flour. I changed things up a bit to accommodate pumpkin puree, pumpkin pie spice, and rum. The rum makes the wholesome bread a little sultrier, and veers it towards bananas foster. Also, I’ve been adding rum to my last three baking projects. I may have a rum problem. But I digress.

I baked this batch in three mini loaves, because baby versions of anything are adorable.

I also made a small cup of cream cheese frosting, to lavishly smear on top or spread on slices.

Between that cute little mason jar and the mini loaves (and do you see the cute baby pumpkins in the background?), you can tell that I have a penchant for little adorable baby things.

(Dear future boyfriend, if you are reading this, I was just kidding about the rum problem. And I promise that I am not obsessed about actual babies.)

I am a little obsessed about frosting, though. And cake.

But this is not cake, it’s bread. In fact, it’s bread that’s bordering on healthy, because I replaced the oil and an egg with pumpkin puree. There is no butter in it, either. Except in the frosting. And… there’s lots of sugar.

Whatever, it’s pumpkin banana bread with a sublime cream cheese frosting. Make it for breakfast. Make it for brunch. Make it for dessert, a bridal shower, a late night snack. Just make sure you don’t forget the rum.

Yield: 3 mini loaves

Pumpkin Banana Bread


1 2/3 all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup pumpkin puree
3 1/2 bananas, very ripe, mashed
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup dark rum
2/3 cup walnuts, toasted


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line the bottom of a loaf pan (or three mini loaf pans) with parchment paper. You can also just spray it with baking spray or lightly brush it with butter.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, beat sugar and egg with a whisk until light and fluffy, about 10 minutes.
  5. Add pumpkin puree, mashed bananas, sour cream, vanilla, and rum. Mix to combine. Fold in dry ingredients and nuts.
  6. Pour into a loaf pan/s and bake for about 45 minutes.

recipe adapted from Flour's famous banana bread

For the cream cheese frosting, I used Martha Stewart’s recipe but cut all proportions in half. To roast the walnuts, just pop them in a 350 F oven for 8-10 minutes.

What’s your favorite recipe using pumpkin? Enjoy the Fall season, everyone! And don’t forget to check out the line-up of baked goods for Megan’s virtual bridal shower!


56 Responses to “Pumpkin Banana Bread”

  1. #
    Meghan posted September 21, 2012 at 7:52 am

    This looks delicious!

  2. #
    Emily @ A Cambridge Story posted September 21, 2012 at 7:53 am

    I love all the fall recipes that popped up for this occasion! Frosting the pumpkin bread is such a good call :)

  3. #
    Daisy posted September 21, 2012 at 9:05 am

    Happy virtual bridal shower to Megan! This bread looks so yummy. I love that you have been baking with rum!

  4. #
    Megan posted September 21, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I love the mini loaves and the mini cup of cream cheese frosting. We definitely do have similar tastes! Thanks for the lovely post!

  5. #
    Shannon posted September 21, 2012 at 9:07 am

    with all those mini-sized things, you’d almost think it was for a baby shower ;) hehe, this looks absolutely phenomenal, and I know Megan would love it! As would I. Can you send over a mini loaf?

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted September 21, 2012 at 9:45 am

      Heehee Shannon I would but I only have a couple of slices left :p

  6. #
    Erica @ In and Around Town posted September 21, 2012 at 9:54 am

    This bread looks too decedent to be called bread! That frosting would have a hard time making it to bread, I would be too busy eating it!!!

  7. #
    Mary Lou Roberts posted September 21, 2012 at 10:14 am

    Looks like a wonderful recipe, Bianca! I make fresh pumpkin puree each fall, much better than canned I think and freezes well, and I can’t wait to try this recipe with it!
    Keep us the good work!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted September 21, 2012 at 12:16 pm

      Thanks, MaryLou. Making fresh pumpkin puree is a great idea. Hope all is well!

  8. #
    Hannah posted September 21, 2012 at 11:26 am

    I’ve been dreading the start of fall because it heralds winter, but perhaps if I focus on finally learning about this pumpkin-in-sweets fanaticism that you Americans have, I’ll feel better :P

  9. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen posted September 21, 2012 at 11:32 am

    Wow, this looks amazing. Great way to celebrate her bridal shower AND fall!

  10. #
    OliePants posted September 21, 2012 at 11:48 am

    I’ve always made either pumpkin or banana bread. never both – I have already bookmarked this!

  11. #
    Amy posted September 21, 2012 at 12:22 pm

    I don’t get the sense there’s the pumpkin or butternut squash, or fall in general, craze here in Glasgow and I’m missing it so bad! Especially pumpkin beer! :) But I’m going to see if they have pumpkin puree at the grocery here so that I can make this and have a little taste of fall. :)

  12. #
    Ashley posted September 21, 2012 at 12:42 pm

    This looks incredible! Cream cheese icing, pumpkin and banana bread…rum! You’ve got everything I could’ve wanted. I can’t wait to try it!

  13. #
    AllieNic @ Frisky Lemon posted September 21, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    Frosting is an INCREDIBLE idea for pumpkin banana bread…I know what I’m doing this weekend…making (and eating) frosting ;)

  14. #
    Claire @ Live and Love to Eat posted September 21, 2012 at 1:27 pm

    Oh my, this looks amazing! :)

  15. #
    Lea @ Healthy Coconut posted September 21, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    This looks so good. I’m waiting until it cools down a little bit before I use my oven. But I’m bookmarking it, I have plenty of pumpkin still leftover from last year.

  16. #
    Erica posted September 22, 2012 at 2:23 am

    Adore pumpkin and banana bread, so I love the idea of combining the two! Great contribution

  17. #
    Elizabeth posted September 22, 2012 at 7:36 am

    Yum. You know I love a layer of good cream cheese frosting. I think Megan would definitely approve :)

  18. #
    El posted September 22, 2012 at 12:30 pm

    The bread looks devine. Meghan is one lucky lady.

  19. #
    Rhonda posted September 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    While fall is just a dream here in AZ (it will be 103 today) I would devour a whole loaf of that, and of course take out that cup of cream cheese frosting. Looks SO good

  20. #
    Amy @ Elephant Eats posted September 22, 2012 at 9:36 pm

    Yum, this bread looks so good…especially the frosting! Now that autumn is here, bring on the pumpkin recipes! And I love all miniature things too…

  21. #
    tommy posted September 22, 2012 at 11:57 pm

    i can’t like this enough…in fact, i love love love it!

  22. #
    Taryn posted September 23, 2012 at 11:06 am

    This looks fantastic! I love banana bread, and I love pumpkin bread, but I’ve never tried them together. Great idea! I also love that you had this virtual bridal shower – very sweet.

  23. #
    Simply Life posted September 23, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    oh wow! this bread looks SO good! which I could have this ready for breakfast tomorrow morning!

  24. #
    Honey What's Cooking posted September 24, 2012 at 9:38 pm

    i can’t believe you made the bread without butter or oil.. incredible. i’ll have to bake this up for my family … they are much older so they’d really appreciate it. i loveeeeeeee cream cheese frosting.. maybe i’ll do a glaze with that. :-)

  25. #
    Amy (Savory Moments) posted September 26, 2012 at 6:25 am

    This bread looks so great and I love that there’s no oil in it! Great fall recipe. I am so glad to see pumpkin back.

  26. #
    CCU posted September 26, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    I reckon this would be a perfect wake up call in the morning :D

    Choc Chip Uru

  27. #
    Mama's Gotta Bake posted September 30, 2012 at 11:54 am

    Wow! total comfort food. I particularly love the frosting!

  28. #
    Trista posted October 8, 2012 at 1:52 pm

    This is very yummy & easy. Made it to compliment soup on Columbus day! My husband & boys loved it!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 9, 2012 at 10:22 am

      Hi Trista, thank you for the comment and letting me know that you and your family liked this! I kinda wish I am having a slice right now, actually… :) Enjoy the rest of the week!

  29. #
    Katie posted October 11, 2012 at 12:29 pm

    Ugh so mad at myself! I added the whole 15oz can of pumpkin :( will have to try again on a day when I’m less sleep deprived and can follow directions.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 12:32 pm

      Hi Katie! That would prob still work. If you haven’t discarded it yet, the bread will just be extra cake-y :)

  30. #
    Sarah posted October 11, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    I just bought all the ingredients for this!! :) I may or may not do the rum, though. If I don’t use rum, should I put something else liquid-y to replace it? Also, Do you store the bread with the frosting in the fridge so the cream cheese doesn’t go bad? Thanks!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 11, 2012 at 4:26 pm

      Hi, Sarah! Oooh I am glad you’re planning to make this. Definitely no need to use the rum, and I’ve actually made this recipe some other time and completely omitted it (without adding a substitute) and it still turned out good. However, you can also add two extra tablespoons of sour cream or pumpkin puree – that would ensure that the bread stays moist. I did store the bread in the fridge, covered in plastic wrap, and kept the cream cheese frosting in a separate jar. If you are frosting it already though, you can just place the whole loaf with icing on a tupperware. Enjoy!

  31. #
    Sarah posted October 12, 2012 at 1:14 am

    Thanks so much! I’m making this Saturday (I’m about to graduate college, I thought I should learn to bake something besides break off cookies LOL). I’ll let you know how it goes!

  32. #
    Ben's Grammy posted October 13, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    I made this bread..however mine didn’t rise very high…looked good when I took it out of the oven but it dropped to about 1 1/2 inches high…baked it for an hour before it tested done. As I was putting the ingredients together I noticed no oil or butter is this right? I checked online for other pumpkin banana bread recipes and even the low fat recipes call for some oil.
    Just wondering…the bread still tastes really good — just not very high.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 13, 2012 at 5:44 pm

      Thanks for trying the recipe and letting me know your feedback. Yup, I didn’t use any butter nor oil in the bread. Mine also was not high; it was very dense and moist. Not sure why it dropped that short though… What size baking pan/s did you use? I used three mini baking loaves and the bread hardly dropped/flattened after coming out of the oven. Sorry if I’m not much help, but I’m glad it still tasted good :)

  33. #
    Honey What's Cooking posted October 15, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Bianca, I made this recently and it was HEAVENLY. I made some tweeks to make it healthier though. I’ll share my version soon. Thank you so much for sharing, I’m going to be baking for my sister.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted October 17, 2012 at 12:36 pm

      I am so glad you liked it! I hope your sis does too!

  34. #
    Rachel @ Healthy Chicks posted October 17, 2012 at 5:47 pm

    YUM. Bookmarking now. AND pinning ; ) I love anything & everything pumpkin – thanks for the perfect fall recipe Bianca!

  35. #
    Patty posted October 17, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Make this when you’re home for Christmas!! This and your lemon bars, please : ) Excited for December!! You, yoga, HK, and lots of dessert!

  36. #
    Rebecca posted November 1, 2012 at 8:52 am

    Made this last night — delicious! My kids asked for it again for breakfast this morning.

    I only had spiced rum, and didn’t want to risk destroying the recipe, so I left the rum out altogether, and added just a bit more sour cream as you suggested. I also used a large loaf pan, and it took a good hour to finish.

  37. #
    Kirstin posted November 3, 2012 at 7:05 pm

    Made this today….I was so excited since yesterday I tried another pumpkin banana bread and it didn’t work. It was rising beautifully but seemed to be taking forever…at an hour it was still not done when tested with a toothpick…I used a large loaf pan. I eventually turned oven off and just let it sit in the oven covered with foil. when I lifted the foil it had fallen (sunken in a bit) and I still don’t think it’s done…it was a total hour and a half and beginning to look too done on the edges so I took it out. I haven’t dared to cut in to it yet. I’m just wondering if a few people had great results…what’s going wrong? I followed directions exactly and make breads frequently so not a novice baker…..Maybe I need to put less banana in? More flour? It smells amazing (C:

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted November 3, 2012 at 9:09 pm

      Hi Kirstin, thanks for writing in. I’ve had several people follow the recipe and have received great feedback, but two people (including you) have reported sunken breads… I am really not sure why that happens, although I do think that at 1 1/2 hours, you were right to take it off the oven. I’m not sure if you ended up cutting into it already but I bet it would just be extra dense/moist – I would even recommend chilling it to further “set” it. As for changes, you are right – you can put less bananas in (just use 3 or even 2 1/2), add a little bit more flour (I’d say 2 tablespoons). You can also bake it at a lower temp (325 F) for 75 minutes. Last but not least – make sure you are not overmixing the batter. (I know you mentioned you’re not a novice baker but I am including this tip in case other readers read the comments section and experience the same problem….) I’m sorry it didn’t turn out as originally expected, but I hope it was at least still edible! Good luck, and let me know if you give it another shot :)

  38. #
    Rebecca posted November 9, 2012 at 7:04 pm

    I used just 3 medium-sized bananas.

    Making it again tonight!

  39. #
    Jenn posted November 12, 2012 at 11:29 am

    Hi, so I don’t have sour cream, anything else I can substitute?

    Oo also I don’t drink rum so I don’t have any. I have vodka…would that work??

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted November 12, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Hi, Jenn! Try substituting brandy, bourbon, amaretto or frangelico – OR you can leave it out completely. I’ve never baked with vodka so I’m not going to recommend that. If you are omitting the rum completely, you can add two tablespoons of pumpkin puree. As for a replacement for sour cream, you can try Greek yogurt, creme fraiche, even applesauce or more pumpkin puree. Good luck!

  40. #
    Ashley posted December 2, 2012 at 1:01 pm


  41. #
    Christine Smith posted December 3, 2012 at 5:37 pm

    I made this today and it was SO GOOD. Dense and moist, just gorgeous. I used plain nonfat yogurt instead of sour cream because I didn’t have any. I didn’t have rum either, so I took a chance and used Kahlua instead … it came out yummy! Thanks, this is a keeper!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted December 3, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Hi, Christine! Thanks for letting me know. Kahlua is a great substitute, next time I will do that… and add chocolate chips :)

  42. #
    Patty posted July 15, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    Just realized you forgot to make this for us! Haha, so you better do it in November ;)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted July 15, 2013 at 9:07 pm

      Haha or December 17, according to Monic’s suggestion of when I can come home…


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