Kona Inn Banana Bread

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Kona Inn Banana Bread is the amazing banana bread recipe well known to Hawaii’s famous Kona Inn.  This recipe is a great copycat of the banana bread they serve at Kona Inn.

sliced Kona Inn Banana Bread

The Kona Inn is a restaurant situated on the water in Kona, Hawaii.  It began as a 20 room hotel in the 1920’s that attracted Marlin fisherman, and it was a solidly booked, popular place.  It has transitioned into being a well-visited and highly regarded seafood restaurant, and is no longer a hotel.  Nowadays, Kona Inn focuses on serving dinner and drinks. This Kona Inn Banana Bread is a nod to what they served long ago when the property hosted overnight guests.

What makes Kona Inn Banana Bread so good?

This is not your normal banana bread recipe.  It’s made with cake flour, so it’s more of a sweet, cakey treat than a bread.  And it’s absolutely packed with banana- 3 cups, which is much more than usual.  Kona Inn Banana Bread doesn’t rise high like the banana bread recipes you’re used to making.  It’s a shorter more dense loaf, and it’s quite delicious!

loaf of Kona Inn Banana Bread

How to tell if a banana is ripe?

Green bananas, or bananas that are slightly green are not usually desirable to eat.  Once a banana has turned yellow, it’s considered ripe enough to eat.  When it begins to gain brown spots, that’s an indication that the sugar content in the banana is rising.  I like to use bananas for banana bread when it has lots of brown spots.  

If your bananas are becoming too ripe and you’re not ready to bake banana bread, you can always freeze mashed bananas to be used later. Measure out the desired amount of mashed banana according to your favorite banana bread recipe and either put the measured amount in sandwich bags or plastic containers. Freeze. When you are ready to bake banana bread, remove the mashed banana from the freezer, thaw, and use.

Sliced Kona Inn Banana Bread

How to ripen bananas more quickly:

Sitting on your counter at room temperature, green or slightly green bananas will take anywhere from 24 to 48 hours to ripen. To ripen more quickly, place bananas in a brown paper bag and close loosely. Ethylene will build up and circulate within the bag, speeding up the ripening process.  You can add a ripe tomato to the bag to help speed up the process.

Heat can speed up the process greatly, but bananas can’t be overly green to use heat to ripen. Put unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and place in an oven set at 300ºF. Keep an eye on them, and when the peels become shiny and black– they’re done!  You can also try quick-ripening in the microwave. Poke a banana in a few spots with a fork or sharp knife.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Check for softness.  If not soft enough, microwave 30 more seconds or more until desired softness has been reached.

sliced Kona Inn Banana Bread

What’s the best way to freeze banana bread?

Wrap banana bread loaves in plastic wrap.  Then put the wrapped banana bread loaves in a large zip baggie and freeze.  That’ll keep the banana bread pretty well preserved in the freezer, and it can stay in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.

Here are a few more banana bread recipes you might enjoy:

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5 from 3 votes

Kona Inn Banana Bread

This banana bread recipe from Hawaii's Kona Inn is packed full of bananas!
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 16 servings (2 loaves)
Calories 314kcal
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Keyword kona inn banana bread


  • 2 cups granulated white sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 3 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 6 medium)
  • 4 large eggs, well beaten
  • 2 ½ cups cake flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Lightly spray two 9-inch loaf pans with nonstick spray.
  • In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the bananas and eggs, beating until well-mixed.
  • Sift together the dry ingredients three times. Add the banana mixture and mix just until moistened. Do not over mix.
  • Divide the batter between the two prepared pans. Bake 45 minutes to 1 hour, until firm in the centers and the edges begin to separate from the pans.
  • Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from pans. 


  • These freeze beautifully.  Just wrap well with plastic wrap and then put into a large zip baggie to seal completely.


Serving: 1slice (each loaf cut into 8 slices) | Calories: 314kcal | Carbohydrates: 45g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 83mg | Sodium: 304mg | Potassium: 143mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 28g | Vitamin A: 450IU | Vitamin C: 2.5mg | Calcium: 16mg | Iron: 0.5mg
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  • Nancy wrote:

    This is the best ever. My friends are always so jealous of my BBd. I have made it for 30 years after receiving the cook book from Jr League of Palo Alto from a neighbour. But I threw the books out during a move. So glad to find it online! Have it memorized now.

  • Susan wrote:

    I have baked this recipe several times and while it is awesome tasting, it often does not cook all the way through or stocked to the bottom of the pan. Has anyone baked it in 4 smaller, mini loaf pans and if so, at what temperature and for how long.

  • Nancy Snyder wrote:

    I have been making this bread for 30byears. The moistest ever! And simple

  • Tamara wrote:

    I love this recipe and also have been making for years—and got it directly from the Kona Inn about 35 years ago. I do add toasted pecans to it now, but good either way!

  • Natalie wrote:

    I love banana bread! Looks so delicious and would make a great addition to brunch!

  • debbie wrote:

    Word for word straight from the Fannie Farmer Baking book – I have been making this for years. In no way a copycat recipe unless you consider copying straight from a cookbook copycat.

    • Lori Lange wrote:

      Interesting– I don’t have that cookbook. I picked up the recipe while in Hawaii years ago… so I guess that’s the recipe that Kona Inn used to use. Who knows who created it!