If you’re looking for a banana recipe that makes two loaves — one for the family and one for friends, The Junior League of Palo Alto and their Private Collection 2 have you covered! Their famous Kona Inn Banana Bread calls for six bananas, so there’s loads of banana flavor. And in addition to that, it’s made with shortening rather than butter, so it keeps well and has a very appealing texture. You can use Crisco, Spectrum, Star Agreena or something like Nutiva to keep the banana bread dairy free.
Kona Inn Banana Bread
As mentioned, the source of this recipe is Private Collection 2 by the Junior League of Palo Alto. I found the book at a used book sale, and over the years have heard from friends who also own and love this book. Inevitably, someone mentions the banana bread. This recipe is very old and well-loved, so I’m looking forward to hearing what you think.
Loaf Pan Size
The original Kona Inn Banana Bread recipe makes two 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inch loaves, but you can also divide it into six mini loaves as shown above. Nuts are optional, but the bread is on the sweet side so I recommend keeping the nuts in just to cut the sweetness. Also, the original version doesn’t contain vanilla, so feel free to leave it out.
- Bananans — I use 670 grams of peeled bananas. That’s about 1 1/2 pounds
- All-Purpose Flour — Regular AP flour, but bread flour should work too. I’ve not yest tested this with a 1:1 gluten free flour
- Baking Soda
- Granulated Sugar — 2 cups may seem like a lot, but it helps keep the bread moist. I don’t think the banana bread is overly sweet, but it is a sweeter one.
- Shortening — There’s no reason why you can’t make Kona Inn Banana Bread with butter, but I recommend trying it at least once with the shortening just to get an idea of what the texture is like. The texture might be the reason people like it so much. If you have a scale, you can weigh the shortening.
- Vanilla — The vanilla is optional but good.
- Eggs — You can substitute with Egg Beaters if you need to.
- Nuts — Pecans or walnuts work best. They’re a nice counter to the sweetness of the bread, so I recommend using them if you like nuts.
More Junior Leage of Palo Alto Recipes
Kona Inn Banana Bread
- 6 large very ripe bananas peeled (670 grams)
- 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour (350 grams)
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups sugar (400 grams) — Can use as low as 370
- 1 cup vegetable shortening (190 grams)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract optional
- 4 large eggs room temperature
- 1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 8 ½ by 4 ½ inch loaf pans. Dust with flour.
- Mash the bananas with a fork or potato masher and set aside. They should still be slightly lumpy.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda and salt.
- In a mixing bowl, using a rubber scraper or large mixing spoon, mix together the shortening and sugar so that it is like a gritty paste. If using vanilla, add that too. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating with the scraper (or spoon) until mixed. Mix in bananas, then add the nuts if using.
- Using the rubber scraper, fold in the flour mixture and stir until fully blended, then stir in the walnuts.
- Divide batter between the pans and spread evenly.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until fully cooked.