Cinnamon Pecan Banana Bread

Cinnamon Pecan Banana Bread overhead picture | hearth health happiness
Moist, flavorful, and delightfully aromatic. Welcome to the banana bread recipe that will have your guests swooning.

Cinnamon Pecan Banana Bread…

plus two ingredients you didn’t know you wanted.

What special, magic hold does banana bread have on us? It’s the go-to vehicle for bananas that are past their prime, a comfort food offering when a friend or neighbor needs a “pick-me-up,” and a popular holiday gift from home bakers everywhere. Perhaps we love smashing food and letting our inner child have a moment or allowing the banana flavor to serve as a canvass to employ our own, unique ingredients (blueberry banana bread, banana nut bread, and more). What I love most about this cinnamon pecan banana bread recipe is the special twist created with pecan meal and Greek yogurt to make it flavorful, moist, and almost lighter-than-air. 

Cinnamon Pecan Banana Bread overhead picture | hearth health happiness

Cinnamon Pecan Banana Bread

Melanie Lorick
Banana bread with a nutty kick
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup chopped plain pecans
  • ½ cup pecan meal
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix flour, pecan meal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a larger bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, Greek yogurt, mashed banana, eggs, and vanilla extract until all ingredients are completely mixed together.
  • Using a spatula, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, gently folding to incorporate. Once all ingredients are combined, fold in the chopped pecans.
  • Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. A skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean when the bread is done.
  • Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack until completely cooled. If needed, loosen the bread from the sides of the pan using a knife with thin blade.

Notes

Greek yogurt does not interact well with aluminum pans, so be sure to use a pan that is made from a different material. My pan is ceramic, which works quite well.
I prefer to whisk my dry ingredients together to ensure everything is evenly combined.
If unable to use pecan meal, I suggest using 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and increasing the amount of chopped pecans to 1 cup.
ALERT: Your home will smell incredible as this bakes. Be careful when you make this…doing so on an empty stomach is dangerous! 🙂
Keyword banana bread, easy, Pecan meal, Pecans
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Baking with Greek Yogurt

Why it’s helpful

Greek yogurt is a versatile ingredient to keep on hand in your refrigerator, especially if other dairy products like buttermilk and heavy cream don’t frequent your kitchen space. If a recipe calls for cream, buttermilk, sour cream, and more, there is typically a way to substitute with Greek yogurt. In my opinion, keeping Greek yogurt on hand is more cost effective because it allows you to add dollops to various dishes throughout the week (our favorite use is topping chili, our Chipotle salad bowls, or slow cooker quinoa meals with Greek yogurt and a little shredded cheese). 

Tips for successful Greek yogurt baking

  1. Use a ceramic, or non-aluminum baking dish. When it comes into contact with aluminum, the acid from the yogurt does not play nicely with metal. Best to avoid. 
  2. Use full-fat or 2% Greek yogurt. Now is not the time to worry about calories. Cut those elsewhere. Time and place, people. Time and place.
  3. Some versions of Greek yogurt may impact the consistency of the final product. I did not find this to be the case with this recipe, but pay close attention to the texture of your yogurt before adding to batter. I ensure that it is stirred thoroughly and consistent throughout, before incorporating it with the other ingredients. 

Pecan Meal

Most bakers are well versed in adding chopped nuts to breads, cakes, pies, and more. In fact, pecans are a bit unique in that their halves can adorn a baked item for decorative purposes while also getting toasted and chopped for the main dish. Picture a gorgeous pecan pie with its halves arranged in a unique pattern – all kept intact and selected carefully to avoid imperfections – but the bits inside the pie are lovingly combined with butter and sugar to give you a perfect balance of yummy flavor and great consistency. However, many overlook pecan meal as a fun option to add a mild, nutty flavor to many recipes. 

Pro-tip: Toast the pecans in a skillet over medium heat for a few minutes before tossing in the food processor. This extra step will give really unleash the nutty flavor. Working with older pecans? A gentle toast also helps mask any possible off-flavors. 

And a unique cinnamon pecan banana bread recipe is born…

Overhead shot of cinnamon pecan banana bread individual slice | hearth health happiness
cinnamon pecan banana bread loaf overhead shot with wooden spoon and a handful of pecans | hearth health happiness

Not only is the flavor profile very nice – the nutty flavor of the pecans really balances the sweetness of the bananas – but I cut the amount of oil in HALF with the addition of plain Greek yogurt.  I would suggest serving this as a weekend breakfast (there is just something special about weekend breakfasts), or dessert any day of the week. It is delicious at any temperature, but I love warming it and topping with a little butter. The bread is already moist, so not much butter is necessary. Yay!

If you decide to try this recipe, snap a pic and tag me on Instagram @hearthhealthhappiness. I would love to see your final masterpiece. 

Cinnamon Pecan Banana Bread overhead picture | hearth health happiness

Cinnamon Pecan Banana Bread

Melanie Lorick
Banana bread with a nutty kick
No ratings yet
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 50 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 8

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup chopped plain pecans
  • ½ cup pecan meal
  • ½ cup packed brown sugar
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350° Fahrenheit. Grease a loaf pan and set aside.
  • In a medium-sized bowl, mix flour, pecan meal, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a larger bowl, combine the brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, Greek yogurt, mashed banana, eggs, and vanilla extract until all ingredients are completely mixed together.
  • Using a spatula, slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, gently folding to incorporate. Once all ingredients are combined, fold in the chopped pecans.
  • Pour batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour. A skewer inserted into the middle of the loaf should come out clean when the bread is done.
  • Let cool in pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack until completely cooled. If needed, loosen the bread from the sides of the pan using a knife with thin blade.

Notes

Greek yogurt does not interact well with aluminum pans, so be sure to use a pan that is made from a different material. My pan is ceramic, which works quite well.
I prefer to whisk my dry ingredients together to ensure everything is evenly combined.
If unable to use pecan meal, I suggest using 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour and increasing the amount of chopped pecans to 1 cup.
ALERT: Your home will smell incredible as this bakes. Be careful when you make this...doing so on an empty stomach is dangerous! 🙂
Keyword banana bread, easy, Pecan meal, Pecans
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Until next time, cheers to your #hearthhealthhappiness!

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