This Banana Bread with Crunchy Pecan Topping recipe is a favorite of our holiday recipes while also making a great gift. Purchase small recyclable tin loaf pans, pick out some pretty ribbon and get your apron on! We have added a few alternative ingredient suggestions for the vegan or milk allergy crowd to LOAR contributor Diane Bittiker’s delicious recipe. Upon cooling, wrap up your precious loafs with plastic wrap and tie a ribbon around this perfect gift idea for the person in your life that would love a little sweet treat!
Banana Bread with Crunchy Pecan Topping recipe by Diane Bittiker
(With Milk Free Substitutions for Milk Allergies)
8 ounces cream cheese (softened) — Can substitute with Vegan Sour Cream
1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter (softened) — Can substitute with Vegetable Shortening
3 very ripe banana’s (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 & ¼ cups all purpose flour
1 tablespoon ground flax*
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup chocolate chips (optional) — Can substitute with Dark Chocolate Chunks
Crunchy topping ingredients:
1 cup chopped candied pecans
2/3 cup sugar
Sugar to sprinkle on top
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 9 X 5 loaf pans.
Combine the dry ingredients (flour, ground flax, baking powder and baking soda), and set aside.
Combine the cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and butter, then mix until well blended and creamy. Slowly add the eggs.
Add the dry ingredients and mix until just blended.
Add the banana’s and mix just enough so there are still chunks of banana in the batter. (Add optional chocolate chips and mix.)
Pour into the prepared pans.
Sprinkle the candied pecans** on the batter and pat down lightly.
Sprinkle the top surface very liberally with sugar and bake for 45-50 minutes until a wooden skewer inserted into the loaf comes out clean.
Cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack.
It is hard not to JUST eat the topping when this bread is done!
*You can buy it at most stores but I get mine at Trader Joe’s. I think it is near the flour etc. It does not have to be added to this recipe but I sneak it in most recipes because of its nutritional value. omega-3’s!! Plus FIBER!
**To make candied pecans simply heat the sugar in a nonstick frying pan and as it melts slowly add the pecans, tossing continuously until the pecans are well coated.
Posted November 19, 2008; updates November 16, 2015