Caramelized bananas, rum, and coconut make this Caramelized Banana Bread anything but ordinary. This rich, melt-in-your-mouth recipe is finished with homemade cream cheese frosting to make every bite sensational!
About this recipe
This isn’t just any moist banana bread recipe. The ultimate trio of caramelized bananas, rum, and coconut adds richness and density to this Caramelized Banana Bread, making it incomparable to any other. The soft, tender crumb and rich, coconutty flavor make this recipe next level delicious!
It doesn’t take much to turn a regular banana bread into something special and in this case, the caramelized bananas paired with coconut and rum add a whole new level of flavor. The bread is surprisingly easy to make, meaning you can have batch after batch to enjoy for breakfast, dessert, or as an indulgent snack!
Looking for more variations on classic banana bread? Be sure to try my Banana Bread with a Crunch and Sourdough Walnut Banana Bread recipes!
Why caramelized bananas?
Your everyday banana bread recipe will call for overly ripe bananas. These bananas are soft and sweet on their own, but there’s so much room for improvement! Caramelizing the bananas in brown sugar and rum is the best way to intensify the decadent flavors.
Caramelized banana bread ingredients
- Bananas - There’s no such thing as a “too ripe” banana! When your bananas are spotty and freckly, they’re perfect. Never toss your old bananas as they can be frozen and used in future loaves of banana bread, banana cupcakes, cakes, or smoothies.
- Brown sugar - Used to caramelize the bananas and sweeten the bread. The sugar helps the sliced bananas become darker, nuttier, and intensifies the sweet flavor.
- Rum - The deep, caramel flavors of dark rum complement this coconutty and sweet banana bread really well.
- Coconut oil - For moisture and richness. You can also use olive oil here.
- Maple syrup - This adds another rich layer of flavor while adding moisture to the bread.
- Coconut flakes - Because coconut and rum are such a perfect pairing!
- Cream cheese frosting - You’ll need unsalted butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla paste for the cream cheese frosting. Frosting your banana bread is optional but so worth it!
How to make banana bread with caramelized bananas
This banana bread recipe is enhanced with deliciously sweet caramelized bananas you can quickly make on the stove top. Follow these easy-to-follow instructions to make the perfect loaf:
Step 1: Caramelize the bananas. Sprinkle the peeled and halved bananas with brown sugar. Place them in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until they’re golden brown and caramelized. Deglaze the pan with some rum, flip the bananas, and cook until they’re golden brown on all sides. Transfer to a mixing bowl.
Step 2: Combine the dry ingredients. Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl.
Step 3: Combine the wet ingredients. Mash the cooled caramelized bananas with a fork, then add the eggs, coconut oil, brown sugar, maple syrup, and rum to the bowl.
Step 4: Mix the batter and bake. Add the dry mixture and coconut flakes to the bowl with the wet ingredients. Mix gently to combine, then pour the batter into a loaf pan. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Step 5: Make the cream cheese frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese together until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Slowly mix in the powdered sugar and vanilla paste until everything is well combined. Spread it over the cooled banana bread, then serve and enjoy!
Tips for the best banana bread
- Are your bananas still green? Give them a ripening kickstart by placing them in a brown paper bag on the counter for a few days.
- Room temperature ingredients are essential for making the perfect banana bread batter.
- Measure by VOLUME, NOT by bananas! Not all bananas are the same size, so weighing the bananas ensures consistency and perfect results.
- Do not overmix. Gently mix the ingredients in the batter until they’re just combined. Overmixing will give you a dense or chewy bread.
What else can I add to my banana bread?
It’s hard to believe you can make this recipe even better, but with mix-ins, it’s possible! Fold any of these into the finished batter for even more flavor:
- Chopped almonds or walnuts.
- Chocolate or white chocolate chips or chunks.
- Dried cranberries, dates, or pineapple.
Looking for an alternative to the cream cheese frosting? Try this brown butter buttercream instead.
Frequently asked questions
I recommend using dark, spiced rum with plenty of warming flavors. Captain Morgan and Bacardi Gold are two budget-friendly rums that are perfect for baking. You can use white rum if that’s all you have at home, but the flavor will be more subtle.
Allow your banana bread to cool completely before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerating in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 1 week.
For more tips on how to store banana bread, head over to my in-depth guide!
Wrap the individual slices in a few layers of plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe airtight container or bag. They freeze nicely for up to 3 months. When you’re craving a slice of fresh banana bread, grab a frozen slice, let it thaw on the counter for a couple of hours, and enjoy!
More sweet dessert and enriched breads to try
As always, I love seeing your creations and hearing from you! If you try making this Coconut, Rum & Caramelized Banana Bread, please leave a review or share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest - for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter!
Coconut, Rum & Caramelized Banana Bread
- 9x5 Loaf Pan or Pullman Pan
- 3 (360 g) Bananas
- 2 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- 2 tablespoon Rum
Cream Cheese Frosting
- ¼ Cup (56.75 g) Unsalted Butter
- 1 Cup (227 g) Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 1 Cup (120 g) Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 1 tablespoon Vanilla Paste, or vanilla extract
Coconut Banana Bread
- 1 ½ Cups (187 g) All-Purpose Flour
- 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
- ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Caramelized cooled bananas from above
- 2 Eggs
- ⅓ cup (73 g) Coconut Oil or Olive Oil , liquid
- ⅓ cup (74 g) Light Brown Sugar, packed
- ¼ cup (80 g) Maple Syrup
- 2 tablespoon Rum
- 1 Cup (85 g) Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- Slice bananas in half and coat each side with brown sugar3 Bananas, 2 tablespoon Brown Sugar
- Add coated bananas to a saucepan and heat on medium until the base of the bananas start to turn golden brown
- Pour in half of your measured rum to slightly deglaze the pan, then flip each banana so that the opposite side has a chance to caramelize as well2 tablespoon Rum
- Add the rest of your rum to deglaze once more and then remove the caramelized bananas from the pan to cool completely.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat together the softened butter and cream cheese on medium speed until it’s smooth and somewhat fluffy.¼ Cup Unsalted Butter, 1 Cup Cream Cheese
- Scrape down the sides, then add in the powdered sugar slowly and vanilla paste1 Cup Powdered Sugar, 1 tablespoon Vanilla Paste
- Place cream cheese frosting in a plastic bag or pastry bag and cut off the tip. Add a dollop of frosting onto each muffin, sprinkle with salted crumble and enjoy!
Coconut & Rum Caramelized Banana Bread
- Preheat your oven to 350°F
- Add flour, baking soda and salt into a medium bowl and whisk until all ingredients are combined. Set aside.1 teaspoon Baking Soda, 1 ½ Cups All-Purpose Flour, ¼ teaspoon Salt
- In a separate bowl, mash cooled and caramelized bananas with a fork until the majority of your bananas are smooth in a large bowl.Caramelized cooled bananas from above
- Add the eggs, melted coconut oil, brown sugar, maple syrup and rum to the mashed bananas. Then add your mixed dries and coconut mixing to combine.2 Eggs, ⅓ cup Coconut Oil or Olive Oil, ⅓ cup Light Brown Sugar, ¼ cup Maple Syrup, 2 tablespoon Rum, 1 Cup Unsweetened Coconut Flakes
- Pour mixture into your 9 x 5 sprayed and buttered loaf pan and bake until a tester comes out clean, about 45-50 minutes.
- Allow your bread to cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan and cooling completely. Then top with cream cheese frosting and coconut before enjoying!
- What kind of rum should I use? I recommend using dark, spiced rum with plenty of warming flavors. Captain Morgan and Bacardi Gold are two budget-friendly rums that are perfect for baking. You can use white rum if that’s all you have at home, but the flavor will be more subtle.
- How do you store banana bread? Allow your banana bread to cool completely before wrapping it tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerating in an airtight container or ziplock bag for up to 1 week.
- How do you freeze banana bread? Wrap the individual slices in a few layers of plastic wrap and place them in a freezer-safe airtight container or bag. They freeze nicely for up to 3 months. When you’re craving a slice of fresh banana bread, grab a frozen slice, let it thaw on the counter for a couple of hours, and enjoy!
Just tried this recipe and it makes drab banana bread come alive!! Highly recommend!
I'm oh so glad you enjoyed Cynthia!!
I’ve always liked banana bread, but never loved it. That is, until I tried this one! This is literally the best banana cake ever! My new go to. Caramelizing the bananas adds a whole level of flavor, and the rum makes it moist and even more flavorful. Will be doing this for all my banana desserts now 🙂 I didn’t have coconut on hand and skipped the frosting and it is so so so amazing on its own. I looked through a ton of recipes before deciding on this one, and I can say with certainty, THIS is the recipe you should make. And go follow her Instagram, the recipes are amazing 🤩
Such sweet words - thank you for sharing your thoughts! I am so glad you enjoyed this banana bread, Samantha!!
This recipe is just genius! I was sold as soon as I heard "caramelized bananas" and they truly make a world of difference. I used 4oz cream cheese and about 1/4 cup butter, 2/3 cup powdered sugar, and 1/2 T vanilla bean paste for the frosting. I didn't get as much rise as I was hoping but that could be because I am getting used to using a new-to-me oven. Great recipe, Emily, and very creative!!!
So glad you enjoyed Lindsay!! Thanks so much for sharing your thoughts!
This recipe is super duper awesome. I like it so much! No need extra power or tools. Thanks Emily for the recipe ❤️
You’re so welcome!