Cherry Pecan Banana Bread

Who wants to make super moist banana bread? Everyone, that’s who. Cherry Pecan Banana Bread is hands-down the best quick bread I’ve ever made.

This easy banana bread recipe makes two big loaves. I love how thick and creamy the batter is, made with cream cheese to keep the bread extra moist and tender.

Cherry Pecan Banana Bread Recipe

Fat slices of cherry pecan banana bread on a red platter.

Howdy! Chef Alli Here. Let’s Get You Cookin’….Shall We? 🙂 

My Grandma Lucille made banana bread quite often – I loved it.  I also loved the banana cakes (always with cream cheese icing) that she made – always moist and tender.

Grandma always told me that the best banana breads and cakes are made with the blackest, most over-ripened bananas you can find.

And guess what? I soon learned that’s she’s exactly right.  Whenever I wind up with bananas that nobody eats and they get black and mushy, I peel them and smash the flesh with a fork.

You can keep mashed bananas in the freezer until you’re ready to make banana bread or banana cake – it works great.  Also, sometimes when I’m in a bind and don’t have mashed bananas on hand, I substitute banana baby food – sounds weird, but it works.

What Ingredients Will I Need to Make Cherry Pecan Banana Bread?

Glaze

  • Powder sugar
  • Zest of an orange
  • Kosher salt
  • Jamaican Rum or orange juice

Banana Bread

  • Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Mashed ripe bananas
  • Vanilla extract
  • Maraschino cherries
  • Flour, baking soda, baking powder, kosher salt
  • Pecans

Are There Secrets to Making Moist Quick Breads? 

Yes! There are two big secrets for making really good quick breads of any kind: 

  1. Don’t over mix the batter once you add the dry ingredients! Adding the dry ingredients is typically one of the last steps of making the batter. Using a large mixing spoon or silicone spatula, gently FOLD IN the dry ingredients, just barely incorporating the ingredients together.Over mixing the batter when the flour is added is one of the biggest causes of tough quick breads.
  2. When the loaves of bread are done, immediately glaze each one, then cover tightly with foil and let cool. The glaze and foil both seal in condensation that is created from residual heat. In turn, the moisture from the condensation makes its way into the loaves of bread and that’s why the end product is very, very moist!This trick also works well for baked cakes fresh from the oven.Slices of banana bread on a red platter.

Recipe Tips for Making Quick Breads 

  • After you add the dry ingredients, cherries, and pecans to the ingredients in your mixing bowl, be sure that you don’t over-mix the batter. The ingredients only need to be combined at this point – very important!
  • The best bananas for making banana bread are the ones that are black and mushy. You know, the ones that are way over-ripened that you want to toss out.
  • Over-ripened bananas can be tossed into a freezer bag and saved for later use.  I recommend that you go ahead and peel the bananas, then smash them  with a fork before putting them into the freezer bag.  This makes it a quicker process when you are ready to use them.
  • Feel free to add chopped walnuts instead of pecans in this recipe.  We prefer pecans, but walnuts are delicious as well.
  • When the banana bread comes out of the oven, immediately drizzle it with the rum glaze, spreading it evenly over the top of each loaf. Next, cover each bread pan with foil, tightly crimping it around the edges of each pan. Let the bread cool completely with the foil covering.
  • If you prefer not to use Jamaican Rum in the glaze, the orange juice still makes a delicious glaze that really compliments the banana bread.
  • Make sure the banana bread is completely cooled before enjoying it.  Warm quick breads can seem a bit gummy – let them cool first and the flavor will be much more distinct and enjoyable.Cherry Pecan Bread slices laid on a cutting board.

Parchment Paper in the Oven

In case you’re worried about putting paper in the oven, I felt the same way, originally. However, rest assured it’s perfectly fine to put parchment paper in the oven – you won’t cause any fires.

Tips for Using Parchment Paper and Why It’s Super Handy 

  • Parchment paper is a life saver sometimes.  It makes baking easier because there’s not nearly as much clean up after baking a batch of cookies or a pie that wants to over flow.That parchment can go right into the trash and you can simply wipe off the baking sheet.
  • In this recipe, the parchment sling is very handy since it ensures that you can easily lift the loaf of banana bread right out of the bread pan – such a reassurance.Who wants to bake a quick bread and have the bottom part stay in the pan, ruining your loaf? So frustrating. Use a parchment sling to prevent accident every time.And a parchment sling can be used for baking and lifting nearly any type of bread that’s baked in a loaf pan.
  • Sometimes parchment paper will turn a big brown as you bake, especially in this instance where the parchment paper is hanging over the sides of the loaf pan.  This is okay.

How to Make Cherry Pecan Banana Bread with a Jamaican Rum Glaze 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut a piece of parchment paper for each loaf pan; spray each loaf pan with nonstick spray. Insert the parchment paper into each loaf pan, spraying it with nonstick spray, as well. (This is the sling that will lift your banana bread out of the pan later on.)

Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl; set this aside. In a separate large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese with the butter until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, along with the sugar; beat well until the mixture is well incorporated.

Smash the over-ripened banana flesh, then measure out 1 1/2 cups; add the bananas to the mixing bowl, along with the vanilla extract.

Drain and chop the maraschino cherries.  Add the cherries, pecans and reserved dry ingredients to the mixing bowl.

Using a spatula or large mixing spoon, FOLD the ingredients together, JUST UNTIL THEY ARE BARELY COMBINED. DO NOT OVER MIX AT THIS STAGE! (or your banana bread will be tough in texture)

Divide the banana bread batter between each prepared loaf pan, placing it right on top of the parchment paper; spread the batter out evenly, letting the parchment lay down over the sides of the pan.

Place the loaf pans into the preheated oven on the center oven rack. Bake for 55-60 minutes, uncovered, or until a cake tester (or toothpick) inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean. I usually begin testing each loaf for doneness right about the 45-50 minute mark so I don’t over bake my banana bread.

Remove the loaves to a cooling rack; drizzle with the prepared rum glaze, gently spreading it out evenly with a spatula.

When the banana bread has cooled, remove the foil. Use a butter knife to loosen the bread at each end (where there is no parchment paper) by sliding the knife between the bread and the side of the pan.

Using the parchment sling, lift each loaf of banana bread out of each pan and onto a cutting board or platter; slice each loaf as desired.

Store the banana bread in an air tight container, or wrap very well with plastic wrap and store in the freezer until you’re ready for it.  This banana bread freezes well!

More Favorite Recipes to Enjoy – 

Printable Cherry Pecan Banana Bread Recipe 

Slices of cherry banana bread overlapping each other on a platter.

Cherry Pecan Banana Bread

Who wants to make super moist banana bread? Everyone, that's who. This Cherry Pecan Banana Bread is hands-down the best quick bread I've ever made. This easy banana bread recipe makes two big loaves and I love how thick and creamy the batter is, made with cream cheese to keep it extra moist and tender.
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 25 minutes
Servings: 24 slices
Calories: 271kcal

Ingredients

Glaze

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • pinch of kosher salt
  • 3 Tbs. Jamaican rum may substitute orange juice

Banana Bread

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter softened
  • 8 oz. pkg cream cheese softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas approx. 3-4 bananas
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 16 oz. jar maraschino cherries well drained and chopped
  • 1 cup toasted chopped pecans

Instructions

Make the Glaze

  • In a small bowl, combine all of the ingredients, whisking until smooth.

Make the Banana Bread

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  • In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour with baking powder, soda, and salt; set aside.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the butter with the cream cheese and sugar until very soft; beat in the eggs, one at a time, then add the mashed bananas and vanilla.
  • Using a spatula, gently fold in the prepared flour mixture, chopped cherries, and pecans, combining every thing JUST UNTIL THE INGREDIENTS ARE INCORPORATED. DO NOT OVER MIX AT THIS STAGE!
  • Cut a wide sheet of parchment paper the length of each bread pan, placing the parchment paper into each one, creating a "sling", letting each end hang down over the long edges of each pan.  Spray each pan and the parchment paper with non-stick baking spray.
    Divide the prepared banana bread batter between the two prepared pans, spreading it out evenly on top. Trim the parchment paper on each side of the pans so that there's still enough hanging over the edge to be able to lift the loaves from the bread pans after they have baked.
  • Bake the banana bread, uncovered, for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of each loaf comes out clean.
  • While the loaves are baking, prepare the glaze. In a small bowl, whisk all of the ingredients together until smooth.
    When the loaves are done and come out of the oven, drizzle the prepared glazed over the top of each one. Cover each loaf of bread with foil, sealing it around the edges of each pan. and let cool completely.
  • When bread has fully cooled, use a knife to loosen from the ends of each pan, then use the parchment paper "slings" to lift each loaf from its pan. Place the loaves into into an air tight container. Bread freezes well, also.

Notes

 
  • After you add the dry ingredients, cherries, and pecans to the ingredients in your mixing bowl, be sure that you don’t over-mix the batter. The ingredients only need to be combined at this point – very important!
  • The best bananas for making banana bread are the ones that are black and mushy. You know, the ones that are way over-ripened that you want to toss out.
  • Over-ripened bananas can be tossed into a freezer bag and saved for later use.  I recommend that you go ahead and peel the bananas, then smash them  with a fork before putting them into the freezer bag.  This makes it a quicker process when you are ready to use them.
  • Feel free to add chopped walnuts instead of pecans in this recipe.  We prefer pecans, but walnuts are delicious as well.
  • When the banana bread comes out of the oven, immediately drizzle it with the rum glaze, spreading it evenly over the top of each loaf. Next, cover each bread pan with foil, tightly crimping it around the edges of each pan. Let the bread cool completely with the foil covering.
  • If you prefer not to use Jamaican Rum in the glaze, the orange juice still makes a delicious glaze that really compliments the banana bread.
  • The parchment sling ensures that you will always be able to easily lift the loaf of bread out of the bread pan – such a reassurance.  A parchment sling can be used for baking nearly any type of bread.
  • Make sure the banana bread is completely cooled before enjoying it.  Warm quick breads can seem a bit gummy – let them cool first and the flavor will be much more distinct and enjoyable.
Course: Dessert, Quick Bread
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana bread, quick bread

Nutrition

Calories: 271kcal | Carbohydrates: 37g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 39mg | Sodium: 116mg | Potassium: 87mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin A: 332IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg

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Let’s Get You Cookin’,
Chef Alli

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Chef Alli

Chef Alli is a home-grown Kansas girl on a mission to strengthen families through enabling kitchen confidence, educating the family cook, and encouraging better food relationships. She believes with her whole heart that time spent with our loved ones and our overall quality of life is greatly enhanced by nutritious food made at home with simple, wholesome ingredients. She loves being able to connect and share this passion with others through her website, her social media presence, and her coveted speaking engagements.

Blog Comments

Banana bread is my favorite and I most certainly can feel a glaze in my future. Thanks for this recipe.

Chef Alli – I make this often and it’s always well-received! My favorite banana bread recipe by far. It DOES freeze beautifully and I’ve taken it to brunches, camp-outs, reunions, new neighbors, etc. and everyone loves it and asks for the recipe. Thanks for another “keeper’.
Karen

Hi Karen –
I know exactly what you mean. It’s my favorite banana bread recipe, as well, and I like it that it’s just a bit different than most – a nice twist! Thanks for letting me know that you enjoy it – I so appreciate it.
Sincerely,
Chef Alli

5 stars
?? can’t wait to try this!

This Cherry Banana Bread doesn’t disappoint and I’m so excited you want to try it – we love the glaze on top, too.
Let me know your thoughts,
Chef Alli

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