Banana Bread with Pecans

This is seriously the BEST Banana Bread with Pecans! It’s moist and tender, with pecans inside and on the top. It’s the perfect use for those overripe bananas.

three slices of banana bread with pecans on top of a wooden serving board with ripe bananas in the background.

I’ve tried a number of banana bread recipes over the years, and I hadn’t found a favorite. Until now!

This Banana Bread with Pecans recipe is truly the best out there.

The secret? An extra stick of butter. It’s true—butter makes everything better.

There’s not one but TWO sticks of butter in this recipe for one loaf. And, it’s loaded with pecans, both inside and on top.

It is banana nut bread perfection, with a moist crumb and plenty of crunch from the pecans.

The recipe is from an early 1980s junior league cookbook from South Carolina (which is where my Old Fashioned Pecan Pie recipe is from, too).

The instructions for the banana bread are pretty loose (2 or 3 eggs, use self-rising flour if you’d like, etc.) but I tested a few versions and the one printed below is the winner.

I usually smear some butter on top of my quick breads (like Zucchini Banana Bread or Grandma’s Date Nut Bread), but this banana & pecan loaf needs nothing at all!

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slices of banana pecan bread on a wooden serving board.

What makes this the best banana bread with pecans

  • Most recipes for quick bread have one stick of butter for one loaf. This one has TWO sticks of butter. It’s a game changer.
  • Pecans everywhere! There are plenty of chopped pecans both inside and on top of this loaf. And, the pecans are toasted for the best flavor.
  • Simple flavors. There’s no cinnamon, nutmeg, or any flavor additions in this loaf. This lets the flavor of the ripe bananas and the pecans shine through.


ripe bananas, flour, sugar, butter, and other ingredients on a white table.
  • You’ll need two medium-large ripe bananas for this recipe. They should have lots of brown spots or even mostly brown—no green bananas here!
  • Two sticks of butter make this banana loaf extra tender and moist.
  • A splash of vanilla extract complements the banana pecan flavor perfectly.
  • Use toasted pecans for this recipe for the best flavor (follow instructions below if yours aren’t toasted already).

How to make a moist banana bread with pecans

Start by creaming together the unsalted butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. This is just like making cookies—take your hand mixer and go at it!

hand mixer creaming butter and sugar in a glass bowl.

Add the eggs one at a time, and beat in between.

Then, drop in the bananas and vanilla extract. No need to mash the bananas first. That’s what the hand mixer is for!

egg and banana mixture in a glass bowl with a hand mixer.

Then, put the hand mixer away! This next part is key to a soft and tender banana bread. We’re going to fold in the dry ingredients (all-purpose flour, baking soda, and salt) by hand. If you do it with a mixer, the loaf can get tough.

banana bread batter with pecans in a glass bowl with a yellow spatula.

Fold in the pecans, too, then spread the batter into a greased 9×5 inch bread pan that’s lined with parchment paper.

The parchment paper isn’t completely necessary, but I think it makes removing the loaf SO much easier. I just line the bottom of the pan—no need to line the sides.

Spray the pan first with cooking spray, then add the parchment. The cooking spray will help the parchment stick to the pan. You can also use binder clips to hold the sides out of the way while you pour in the batter. Just be sure to remove them before baking!

banana bread batter in a parchment lined loaf pan, topped with chopped pecans.

Bake the banana loaf for 60–70 minutes at 350°F, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The loaf should bake in the center of the oven.

Start checking the loaf at 50 minutes for browning. If it’s browning too quickly, place a sheet of aluminum foil loosely over the top of the bread to prevent further browning.

Let the loaf cool for 15 minutes in the pan, then use the parchment paper as a sling and remove the loaf from the pan. Let cool for at least 20 more minutes before slicing (so it doesn’t fall apart when slicing!).

baked loaf of banana bread topped with pecans in a loaf pan.

Tips for moist banana bread

  • Don’t over mix the batter. Use a spatula to fold in the dry ingredients and the pecans.
  • Use overripe bananas. Not green, not even yellow—they need to have lots of brown spots for the best flavor and an extra moist loaf.
  • Over baked banana bread can be dry. Bake the loaf in the center of the oven. Check the loaf with a toothpick at 60 minutes. If there are still wet crumbs attached, give it another 10 minutes.
  • Butter! This loaf has two whole sticks. And it makes for a super moist banana bread.
slices of banana bread topped with pecans on a wooden serving board.

How to toast pecans

Toasted pecans create the best flavor for this banana pecan loaf! You can either purchase pre-toasted pecans, or toast your own.

Here’s how to toast your own. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread chopped pecans on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and toast for 7–9 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. Let the pecans cool before adding to the batter.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe into muffins?

Yes! Scoop the batter into greased a greased muffin tin (⅔ of the way full) and bake for 20–24 minutes at 350°F. It’ll make 12–14 muffins.

How can I prevent banana bread from browning too much?

If the top of the banana bread is getting too dark but the center isn’t done, place a piece of aluminum foil loosely over the top of the loaf as it bakes. This will drastically slow/stop the browning.

Can banana bread be frozen?

Banana bread can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap the loaf tightly in plastic wrap, then in aluminum foil. Slide into a resealable freezer bag, and freeze. Defrost overnight at room temperature.

Does banana bread have to be refrigerated?

You can keep banana bread either at room temperature or in the refrigerator. However you store it, cover it tightly so it doesn’t dry out.

How can I ripen bananas faster?

Place bananas in a paper bag, along with an apple, and fold the bag closed. Let it sit at room temperature for several days. The apple produces ethylene gas that speeds ripening.

banana bread loaf topped with pecans with slices cut out, next to a bunch of ripe bananas.


Here are a few ideas to make this banana pecan bread your own:

  • Swap the pecans for chopped walnuts
  • Stir ½ cup of mini or regular sized chocolate chips into the batter
  • Add some warm spices with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Swap the pecans for dried fruit such as raisins, cranberries, or blueberries
three slices of banana bread stacked on top of each other on a wooden serving board.

More quick bread recipes

I love quick bread for an afternoon snack. This banana bread with pecans especially is delicious with coffee. Here are a few other old fashioned quick breads for snacking:

Have you tried this recipe? Please leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating and/or comment below!

📖 Recipe

three slices of banana bread with pecans stacked on top of each other on a wooden board.

Banana Bread with Pecans

Published by Kate
This banana loaf is SO moist and tender! The pecans are inside and on top for lots of toasted pecan flavor.
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Brunch
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings
Calories 417 kcal


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 medium-large ripe bananas
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup finely chopped toasted pecans, divided


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan and/or line with parchment paper.
  • Place the butter and sugar in a large bowl and cream together using a hand mixer (a stand mixer works, too).
  • Beat in the eggs and vanilla.
  • Add the bananas (no need to mash first) and beat those in, too.
  • Stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt with a spatula. Then, stir in ½ cup of the pecans. Do not use a mixer for this step—it will make the loaf tough.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and top with the remaining ¼ cup pecans.
  • Bake for 60–70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove from the pan and let cool fully.
  • Slice and serve.


Make sure your bananas are yellow with lots of brown spots on them. For the best banana flavor, you do not want any sort of green on the bananas. 
Don’t have toasted pecans? Toast them on a sheet pan in a 350°F oven for 7–8 minutes, or until golden brown and fragrant. 
Speed ripening of the bananas by placing them in a paper bag, along with an apple, for several days at room temperature.
You can replace the pecans with walnuts or chocolate chips, if you’d like.
The loaf can be stored at room temperature or in the refrigerator. Make sure it’s tightly covered. It can also be frozen, wrapped in plastic wrap and foil, then placed in a resealable freezer bag. It’ll be good in the freezer for about 3 months.


Calories: 417kcalCarbohydrates: 46gProtein: 5gFat: 25gSaturated Fat: 12gPolyunsaturated Fat: 3gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 82mgSodium: 242mgPotassium: 160mgFiber: 2gSugar: 23gVitamin A: 634IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 21mgIron: 2mg
Keyword banana bread with pecans
Did You Make This Recipe?Please leave a star rating and comment below!

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  1. 5 stars
    Wow! This recipe is spot on! Tender, sweet, delicious! The only thing I did different was add a little cinnamon which I add in all banana bread recipes. I will be sharing this recipe with my friends and family.
    I’m excited to find other recipes from y’all! 🫶

    1. I’m so glad that you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to leave a review.

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