Island Banana Bread with Buttered Rum Sauce from the Bahamas

This island banana bread is moist, packed full of flavour and naturally sweetened! The addition of shredded coconut, macadamia nuts and a delectable buttered spiced rum sauce takes this Bahamian dessert to a whole new level.

An Overview of Bahamaian Cuisine

Welcome to the Bahamas! We are now almost two weeks into our cooking around the world challenge and by some miracle, our kitchen (and friendship) is still going strong.

We have to be honest here. After the struggles of our Antiguan black bean cakes, we were a little trepidatious about facing another Caribbean cuisine. Similar to Antigua, the traditional dishes of the Bahamas feature a lot of seafood, and not a huge selection of vegetarian options. There is a strong Latin American influence on Bahamian cuisine, which is particularly evident in the spices used.

As you’ll see below, there are very slim pickings when it comes to savoury dishes that are meat-free. But hey, who needs proper food when you have cocktails and dessert to get you through the day?

Popular Bahamian Recipes

  • Pigeon peas and ricea very common side dish in Bahamian cuisine, this rice dish is made with pigeon peas, celery, tomatoes and thyme (for vegetarian version, make it/ ask for it without the pork)
  • Pea and dumpling soup– similar to the above, this soup contains pigeon peas, stewed tomatoes, assorted vegetables and flour dumplings (again, ask for vegetarian version without the ham)
  • Johnnycakes– this is unofficial bread of the Bahamas, made of milk, butter, flour and sugar and cooked in a pan
  • Sky Juice– a popular Bahamian cocktail prepared with coconut water, gin, and condensed milk
  • Guava duff This local dessert folds guava into pastry dough and boils it, serving it with a rum custard sauce
  • Rum cake– Bundt cake made with a buttered rum sauce
  • Island banana bread– banana bread made with shredded coconut and often topped with chopped macadamia nuts before baking.

Making Island Banana Bread with Buttered Rum Sauce

We were very close to making a cocktail and calling it a day for the Bahamas when we stumbled upon a site that listed “Island Banana Bread’ as one of the most popular dishes in the Bahamas. Now, we know the internet is brimming with misinformation, so we have no idea if this is true or not. However, banana bread made with shredded coconut and topped with macadamia nuts sounded too good to pass up.

So we decided to run with it, or should I say, rum with it. In an attempt to make the recipe a little more “Bahamian”, we made a buttered rum sauce (similar to what goes on a Caribbean rum cake) to serve with our island banana bread. The results were simply DIVINE.

We made our banana bread slightly healthier than your average recipe, replacing refined sugar with maple syrup, coconut oil instead of butter, and adding in yogurt to make the bread extra moist and delicious. Of course, this is all slightly counteracted by the indulgent buttered rum sauce we served the bread with, but hey, life is all about balance.

How to make island banana bread

Our island banana bread is seriously easy to make and only requires one bowl (hurray for less clean-up). The buttered rum sauce is also super simple to whip up. It is SO worth the extra five minutes of effort as it takes the banana bread to a whole new level. Here are the basic steps/ timings for this recipe:

  1. Mix together all the banana bread ingredients in large bowl.
  2. Pour into a loaf tin and cook for 55 minutes.
  3. Combine ingredients for buttered rum sauce in pan, boil until thick and pour on the banana bread!

Ingredient notes for banana bread

  • Bananas– We used 3 large bananas in this recipe to equal about 1 1/2 cups of mashed banana. If your bananas are on the smaller side, use more. Whatever you do, make sure the bananas you use are nice and ripe. The riper the bananas, the sweeter and tastier your banana bread will be
  • Flour- We used a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat flour for our banana bread recipe as we found this combination to give the best texture and taste. However, you can use one or the other if you so desire.
  • Spiced rum– We used kraken spiced rum for our sauce. You can use any spiced or dark rum you like!
  • Dairy-free alternatives- We used normal milk and greek yogurt in our banana bread. However, if you are dairy-free, you can substitute for any plant-based milk or yogurt. For the sauce, you can sub regular butter for vegan butter or coconut oil.

Serving suggestions for banana bread

If you want an enjoyable banana bread experience, you can spread a slice with plain ol’ butter. If you want an extraordinary banana bread experience, drizzle a slice with our ridiculously delicious buttered rum sauce. Trust us. You won’t regret it.

Other sweet treats to make

Island Banana Bread with Buttered Rum Sauce

Island Banana Bread with Buttered Rum Sauce

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This island banana bread, inspired by the Bahamian dessert, is going to become your new favourite! Shredded coconut, macadamia nuts and a buttered spiced rum sauce take this banana bread to a whole new level.

Ingredients

Banana bread:

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup milk of choice
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, or sub dairy-free
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp all spice
  • 1 cup white flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup desiccated coconut

To top:

  • Chopped macadamia nuts
  • Shredded coconut

Buttered rum sauce:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tbsp spiced rum

Instructions

Make the banana bread:

  1. Preheat over to 165˚C (325˚F) and grease a loaf tin with coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together melted coconut oil and maple syrup. Add eggs and continue to whisk. Add mashed banana, milk, yogurt and vanilla extract and mix with a wooden spoon.
  3. In the same bowl, mix in baking soda, salt, cinnamon and allspice. Gradually stir in the flour and desiccated coconut until combined.
  4. Pour batter into greased loaf tin and bake for 55 minutes (or until toothpick comes clean out of the centre). After 45 minutes, remove from oven and top with chopped macadamia nuts and shredded coconut, then return to oven to finish baking. Allow to cool for at least 1 hour before serving.

Make the buttered rum sauce:

  1. Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat, then whisk in sugar and water and bring to a boil. Continue to boil for a few minutes, until mixture becomes thick (but still pourable). Remove from heat and stir in spiced rum. Pour over banana bread to serve.

Did you make this recipe?

Leave a comment & review above or share a photo on Instagram tagging @polkadotpassport so I can reshare your creations!

Liked this island banana bread recipe? Pin it for later!

Island banana bread recipe from the Bahamas (banana bread with buttered rum sauce)
Nicola Easterby Bio Image

Hey, I'm Nicola!

I am a travel + food blogger on a mission to discover the best destinations & dishes in the world. Thanks for joining the adventure!

READ NEXT:

Sticky Toffee Pudding Gingerbread Cake

Sticky Toffee Pudding Gingerbread Cake

What do you get when you combine sticky toffee pudding with gingerbread and add cream cheese icing? The ultimate festive cake! If you're looking for a cozy festive dessert, look no further than this sticky toffee pudding gingerbread cake. This cake is moist, rich and...

read more
Raw Snickers Slice (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

Raw Snickers Slice (Vegan + Gluten-Free)

If you are looking for a vegan/ gluten-free alternative to a Snickers bar, you need to try my raw Snickers slice. It's layered with peanut butter mousse, caramel and chocolate and is truly delectable! This raw Snickers slice is my GO-TO when I am craving something to...

read more
Pönnukökur: Icelandic Pancakes Recipe

Pönnukökur: Icelandic Pancakes Recipe

Pönnukökur, or Icelandic pancakes, are thin, crepe-like pancakes filled with thick, creamy skyr yogurt and topped with fresh berries. You need to try this healthy & delicious breakfast from Iceland! Almost every country in the world seems to have a version of...

read more

READ NEXT:

Our Dream South of France Wedding

Our Dream South of France Wedding

This is what it looks like to have a 3-day wedding in the South of France! On the 23rd of August 2023, James and I finally got to have the wedding celebration of our dreams. We had sixty of our nearest and dearest flying from all over the world to join us for three...

read more
HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m quitting…

HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT: I’m quitting…

Guys. I have a HUGE announcement to share. I am quitting travel for good. Or at least, that was what I imagined I’d have to do as soon as I turned 30. I thought this would be the age where I’d finally have to settle down, trading in plane tickets for kids and a house...

read more
Travel Tips for Visiting New York City

Travel Tips for Visiting New York City

Image source They say variety is the spice of life, and nowhere is this truer than in New York City: the iconicbustling metropolis home to countless restaurants, cultural attractions and no less than ninemillion people (as well as many well-known fictional characters...

read more
Skip to Recipe