This easy deliciously moist pumpkin spice banana bread cake is the best of both worlds, especially for anyone who can’t wait for pumpkin spice season to swing back around. Fragrant (overly ripe) bananas and homemade pumpkin pie spice perfume these tender loaves with just the right amount of warm spice and intense banana flavor while crunchy, buttery pumpkin seeds add texture and even more flavor to each bite. This is definitely not just a banana bread recipe to make in the fall — it’s great any time of year and it’s a really easy recipe for kiddos to help make. I’ve included step-by-step recipe photos at the end of the post to make it even easier for anyone new to making banana bread.
This recipe is based on the Banana Cake we used to serve at a restaurant where I worked as the pastry chef assistant. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
Pumpkin Spice Banana Bread Batter Ingredients
- 2 cups all-purpose flour (260 to 280g)*see notes for correctly measuring flour below
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (6g)
- 1 teaspoon + 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt (4.5g)
- 2 teaspoons homemade pumpkin pie spice (or storebought), or more to taste (6g)
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature (113g)
- 1 1/2 cups pure cane sugar (or granulated sugar) (300g)
- 3 large eggs, room temperature (150g)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (8g)
- 1/2 cup buttermilk, room temperature (120g)**see recipe card notes for making faux buttermilk
- 1 cup (8 ounces) mashed overly ripe bananas (2 1/2 to 3 bananas) (300g)
Pumpkin Seed Crunch Garnish
- 1 cup toasted pumpkin (pepita) seeds (150g)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted (28g)
- 2 tablespoons coarse raw sugar (28g)
- pinch of salt
*I use 00 flour when I’m in Italy, and the weight of different flours varies based on the humidity content and absorption potential of the flour you’re working with. Just be sure to use the ‘scoop and level’ method to measure your flour into measuring cups and spoons and the recipe works perfectly every time.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C + Prep the baking pans. Turn on the oven and generously butter two loaf pans (or spray with non-stick cooking spray). Add about 1/2 cup of flour to one pan and turn the pan while tapping it to ensure the flour coats every surface well. Tap out the excess flour into the second loaf pan and repeat. Tap both pans well to remove excess flour, set aside.
- Make the pumpkin seed crunch. Toast the pumpkin seeds in a skillet set over medium heat just until golden brown and they start to pop and crackle. Remove them to a bowl, add the melted butter, sugar, and a pinch of salt and stir to combine, set aside.
- Measure + whisk the dry ingredients. Whisk the dry ingredients together well to ensure everything is evenly distributed and set aside.
- Cream the butter + sugar. Using a handheld mixer (or stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment), cream the butter and sugar together on medium speed until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes).
- Add the eggs + vanilla. Crack 3 eggs into a small prep bowl and add the vanilla. With the mixer running on medium-low speed, add eggs one at a time waiting about 5 seconds in between each addition blending just until the eggs are incorporated. The addition of all three eggs should take no longer than 15 seconds to incorporate. Turn off the mixer.
- Incorporate the flour mixture + buttermilk. Add about 1/2 of the flour mixture to the creamed mixture. Turn the mixer on low speed to gently incorporate the ingredients. With the mixer still on, add about 1/3 of the buttermilk, then add some more flour, then a 1/3 more of the buttermilk, then add the last of the flour, ending with the last of the buttermilk. Turn off the mixer and gently stir the mixture with a rubber spatula to finish combining the ingredients.
- Add the bananas. Add the mashed bananas and gently stir with a rubber spatula until everything is just combined. Divide the batter evenly between two loaf pans and tap the pans on the countertop about 10 times to remove any air bubbles from the batter. Top each loaf pan with equal amounts of pumpkin seed crunch.
- Bake the pumpkin spice banana bread. Place the loaf pans onto a baking tray into the oven on the middle rack and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when poked directly into the middle of each loaf. Remove from the oven and allow the banana bread to cool for 15 minutes in the loaf pans, then gently remove the loaves and place them right-side-up onto a cooling rack to finish cooling to room temperature. When loaves have completely cooled, you may slice and serve. Pumpkin Spice banana bread should be stored wrapped in sustainable cling film and placed into an airtight container on the counter for up to 3 days, or longer in the refrigerator. It may also be frozen for up to 3 months in the freezer. Enjoy!
- Store banana bread wrapped well at room temperature and placed in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for longer.
- You may add up to 3 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice if desired.
- I personally like to bake banana bread the day before I want to eat it. To me, it always tastes even better the second day after all the flavors have had time to meld together, but of course, it’s delicious on day one too.
- If you don’t have buttermilk, you have two easy options:
- Make soured milk (aka faux buttermilk). Add 1 tablespoon (14g) freshly squeezed lemon juice to a measuring cup and fill with enough whole milk to reach the total amount of buttermilk called for in the recipe. Stir and allow to rest for at least 10 minutes on the counter before using.
- Make homemade buttermilk by making homemade butter first. Add very cold heavy cream to a quart Mason jar that’s been chilled in the freezer for at least 30 minutes (even longer is better). Pour very cold heavy cream into the jar, tighten the lid and shake vigorously until the mixture starts to separate and butter has formed. Strain the butter solids out. The strained liquid is homemade buttermilk. Freeze unused buttermilk for making pancakes, scones, waffles, or biscuits.
For all the rest of the helpful tips and techniques for how to make the best banana bread ever, check out the main post where I’ve included them. Plus, the step-by-step recipe photos.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 45 minutes
- Category: Quickbreads
- Method: Oven Bake
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 slice
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