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Jamaican_Banana Bread Recipe, Food Gypsy

Ripe Jamaican Banana Bread

Everywhere bananas grow, there’s a delicious banana bread recipe! Jamaican Banana Bread tastes like the Caribbean – super ripe bananas, brown sugar, coconut and rum! (Of course, there’s RUM.)

Jamaican Banana Bread is darker and richer than most banana bread recipes, and it’s often glazed with a sweet rum or lime drizzle and finished with lime zest.

True confession time: we’re not down for overly sweet banana bread at our house, but I’ve included the glaze in the recipe for cultural accuracy and for those more glucose inclined. (Sticky is gooooood.)

Just Add Rum

The dark rum in this recipe is part of the overall moisture, flavour profile and aroma of Jamaican Banana Bread. Three tablespoons for the recipe, and the rest is for cocktail hour!

But, let’s say you’re not rum friendly. Just swap out the booze for apple cider vinegar for a bit of acidity and flavour boost. This counters the molasses backing of the brown sugar, for a balanced taste.

Let’s Talk RIPE Bananas

I often see recipe videos for banana bread that start with the mashing of firm, starchy bananas. Bananas that are often still yellow or lightly freckled, instead of OVER RIPE bananas which are the best bananas for Jamaican Banana Bread or any banana bread.

Let’s discuss…

Bananas start life as green fruit, turning bright yellow as they ripen. But they don’t stop there. As bananas continue to age, the starch begins to decompose inside the fruit, and turn into simple sugars. This breakdown of starch is evident on the skin, as bananas begin to spot, freckle and turn brown. This process of decay and ripening also makes bananas softer, and easier to mash.

The IDEAL banana for banana bread is an over-ripe, mottled, mostly brown banana, past the eating stage.

But this is where things get interesting – this is when I freeze bananas to make banana bread even better!

Bananas Are Not The Boss Of You

I gift banana bread a lot. That’s one of the reasons I often bake banana bread in tinfoil loaf pans. Those I gift to are always amazed at how much more banana-y my banana bread is, and that’s because I FREEZE the bananas once they are overly ripe, then thaw as needed.

When frozen, those sugars that were developing inside the mottled banana skin, come to the foreground. The starch of the fruit almost completely disappears and you’re left with a dark, sweet, syrupy, banana pulp.

This is the secret of GREAT banana bread.

It also liberates you from being at the mercy of ripening fruit. Make your banana bread when you feel like it. (Or when the frozen bananas start falling out of the freezer every time you open it.)

You are in charge. Not the bananas.

Jamaican Banana Bread, Food Gypsy

Try A Whole WORLD of Amazing Banana Bread

Check out our Hawaiian Banana Bread with pineapple and coconut or test the Banana Bread Sour Cream Coffee Cake or just stick with simplicity, you can never go wrong with Mom’s Best Banana Bread or Classic Banana Muffins.

What’s one more banana bread recipe between friends, right?!

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Jamaican Banana Bread, Food Gypsy

Jamaican Banana Bread

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5 from 1 review

  • Author: Cori Horton
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 loaf 1x
  • Diet: Vegetarian


Everywhere bananas grow, there’s a delicious banana bread recipe! Jamaican Banana Bread tastes like the Caribbean, with super ripe bananas, brown sugar, coconut and rum!


Units Scale
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup mashed OVER ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream or plain Greek yogurt
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum (substitute: apple cider vinegar)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, coconut or rum extract (optional)
  • 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon shredded unsweetened coconut (divided)
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Non-stick spray

GLAZE (optional)

  • 1/2 cup confectioners sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons rum, or lime juice
  • 1 lime, zest only


1. Pre-heat oven to 350°f (175°c). Prepare your 9 x 3 loaf pan, coating it well with non-stick spray. In a large bowl, cream together softened butter and brown sugar until light and smooth.
2. Add eggs, bananas, yogurt, rum and vanilla (etc) if using and stir wet mix well with a wooden spoon or spatula.
3. Add coconut and mix lightly. Then add flour, baking soda and salt, and mix lightly with a whisk on top, to blend. Then fold your dry ingredients into your wet mix – until JUST combined.
4. Transfer batter to waiting prepared loaf pan. Top with unsweetened coconut and bake at 350°f (175°c) for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of your Jamaican Banana Bread comes out clean.
5. Once cool enough to handle, remove from the pan and cool on a baking rack.
6. Glaze: Combine confectioners sugar and rum (or lime juice) in a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Drizzle with a spoon, or a fine-tipped piping bag, over the top of your Jamaican Banana Bread once cool then slice and… yum!

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 Minutes
  • Category: Quick Breads
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: Jamaican

Cori Horton

Cooking in her home kitchen just outside Ottawa, Canada; Cori Horton is a food photographer and recipe blogger. A Cordon Bleu-trained Chef, Cori spent five years as the owner of Nova Scotia's Dragonfly Inn and has been sharing all things delicious - right here - since 2010.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Hi, I truly appreciate this recipe you posted. Could we discuss your topic in more detail on AOL? It would be a pleasure to talk to you.

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