Kona Inn Banana Bread

I can’t tell you much about the Kona Inn, but if you’re craving some delicious banana bread I promise this recipe will bring you satisfaction.

When Stepmother left me and my sister as young adults she knew we would be left craving some of the fine baked goodies we were brought up on so she was kind enough to leave us each with a thoughtfully prepared binder of her favorite recipes. I’ve held on to my binder all of these years since then, and this banana bread recipe is one of my all time favorites. It turns out so moist and flavorful you will be tempted to eat it all before it has a chance to cool.

Kona Inn Banana Bread

Yields: Two Loaves, Prep Time: 20 minutes, Baking Time: 45-60 minutes


  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup softened un-salted butter
  • 6 ripe bananas, mashed (approximately 3 cups)
  • 4 eggs, well-beaten
  • 2 1/2 cups cake flower
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
  2. With an electric beater, cream together sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add bananas and eggs, beating until well mixed.
  3. Sift together dry ingredients three times. Blend with banana mixture, but do not over mix.
  4. Pour into (2) lightly greased loaf pans. Bake for 45 minutes to one hour, until firm in the centers and the edges begin to separate from pans.
  5. Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from pans.
  6. These freeze beautifully.

30 Responses to “Kona Inn Banana Bread”

  1. I am a little surprised that you would post “the best you will ever taste”. I have been making banana bread for nearly FORTY (40) years, and I’m not so sure that mine isn’t the BEST banana bread ever.

    WHY? Because I am a PROFESSIONAL CHEF who graduated from Peter Kump’s Culinary Institute in Brooklyn.

    I guess your recipe may taste okay, but it will not compare to the taste of my 40-year-old recipe. I really get upset with amateurs making statements like you made.

    Thank you.

  2. Oh and by the way . . . go ahead and delete my comment since you feel the need to “moderate” it.

    I DO NOT need “moderation” . . . read that “CENSOR” my thoughts.

    I am an American citizen (immigrated from Italy) and I do NOT approve of censorship.

    Oh, and by the way, I am also an executive at the SeriousEats website. You might want to check that out!

  3. Hello chiffOnade,

    If your banana bread recipe is so great you should post it here and let our readers decide which one is better. I would love to try it.

    For the record, I don’t moderate comments unless they are spam. You are free to share your thoughts with the world here.

    BTW, I’ll bet my sister’s olives are better than yours. Just kidding…

    I trust you are staying clear of the law these days? Good luck with that.

  4. Hi ChiffOnade-

    Why go on someone else’s site and post such a nasty comment ??? These sites are for enjoyment, learning, sharing and such. And the fact that you mentioned Serious Eats should be an embarassment to them due to your rude and inappropriate comments. Perhaps Peter Kumps offers a class in humility and kindness?

  5. Hey Will, you’ve finally posted again! The banana bread looks good.

    I think you can ignore chiff0nade. She’s posted on my blog before and her comments were useless. Do a google search on her name and I think you’ll find out all you need to know.

  6. Have you ever tried as muffins- I wonder if it comes out as good- any thoughts?
    Thanks for sharing!

  7. i, for one, am always up for trying a new banana bread recipe, especially one that may be the best banana bread ever.

    (and chilffonade has done the same thing on my site)

  8. I LOVE banana bread! It reminds my of my grandma…what delicious memories!

  9. Hey Chiffonade … I have an old cookbook, written by PROFESSIONALS, and those PROFESSIONALS call Kona Inn Banana Bread “The best banana bread you will ever taste.”

    So there.

    And to all the other normal people who might read this, I can say that the claim is true. It is divine. I often add walnuts, but either way it is great. And as the professionals pointed out, it keeps moist indefinitely.

  10. Michelle,
    I’ve never tried this recipe as muffins,and I don’t remember if our stepmother, Michele, ever did either. Because the bread is so rich and moist, I bet it would be very good that way (I’m guessing you’d want to reduce the baking time a little). Will’s post inspired me to make some for myself this week, so I’ll try a muffin version and let you know how it turns out!

  11. Thank you everyone for your input and support, including Chiffonade who got the ball rolling. I look forward to hearing how this recipe turns out in muffin form.

  12. Tried the banana bread muffins yesterday, and they did indeed turn out well. I made one pan of muffins, and one pan of bread and I may prefer the muffins! If anything, they are even lighter and moister than the bread, with plentiful, chewy crust. I baked mine for 30 minutes and that was about perfect.

    I’ll also point out that the recipe is pretty flexible. I didn’t sift the flour, substituted a portion of brown sugar, and didn’t measure the bananas exactly, and it still turned out nicely. In fact, I got a richer colored crust and more marbling than my brother!

  13. I can’t believe this. My mom has been making this exact banana bread recipe since I was a kid and it’s still a family favorite. In fact I made it last night for our upcoming weekend trip. We also add chocolate chips at the end. And despite the first comment – I do believe this is the BEST recipe! On another note, if you dig salmon, check out the recipe contest my company is hosting at http://marxfoods.com – we’re giving away 15 Pounds of Wild Salmon.

  14. It look’s to good to be through I am definitely going to try this

  15. [...] REALLY tedious and pricey to make so I may just make some muffins instead. Found a recipe for Banana Bread that makes really good muffins too (with walnuts!) so I may try that before the boy comes back [...]

  16. This recipe was indeed from the Chef at the once-very-famous Kona Inn, in Kona on the island of Hawaii. We often visited there when I was growing up. Max I. Mori was well respected, and many of his recipes were in a little cookbooklet that you could purchase at the Kona Inn.

    This is, indeed a wonderful recipe. I have made it and shared it for over fifty years — and everyone loves both the loaf-shaped banana bread as well as the muffins I sometimes make.

    Back in 1963, just prior to my graduating from high school (in Honolulu) my girlfriend and I made several loaves of this bread and sold it door-to-door for 75 cents each … and we thought we were making big money! We would go to the local market in Manoa Valley, ask them for “old bananas” (the very ripe ones work best … and we blended them in the Osterizer along with the eggs). They just asked that we bring them a loaf every once in a while.

    I always look forward to overripe bananas, because that’s when I make some of the Kona Inn Banana Bread for us to enjoy.

  17. [...] Kona Inn Banana Bread adapted from Last Crumb [...]

  18. I just made a half batch of this and am desperately trying to quell the urge to eat it for dinner.

    Its simplicity is the key. It doesn’t need sour cream, chocolate, or other embellishments. Just a hearty amount of butter and banana!

    This is the best banana bread I’ve ever had, by far.

  19. Mmm. I gotta make Matt try this, without the nuts, of course.

  20. I just made this–it’s in the oven right now. I hope it turns out good! I added some vanilla extract to the mix but otherwise I stuck to the recipe. I also creamed the butter and sugar by hand with a fork…that was a bit of a workout lol!

  21. Wow! These turned out wonderful. The first banana bread I have ever made that did not sink in the middle, get tough, or stick to the pans :)

  22. wow with all these great comments i have to try this!!

  23. [...] Banana Bread from Last Crumb [...]

  24. I have made this recipe at least once a week this year and it is indeed the best banana bread ever. Oh, and I have a culinary degree;)

  25. I have been making this recipe for over 15 years and it is incredible. This bread is all about the bananas and it is extremely moist and rich, closer to a cake. Other flavor components would take away from the original recipe, so make one loaf the original way and experiment with the other loaf if you must.

    I think it begs for chocolate and I usually add mini chocolate chips tossed in flour at the end of the recipe. I bake it in mini loaf pans which are perfect for holiday giving. I let them cool and refrigerate or freeze the small loaves. My family prefers this bread cold, right out of the refrigerator, thinly sliced. Honestly, I have found my favorite recipe and have not tried many others. When I have, I have been disappointed and wondered why I wasted the bananas.

    Is this the best banana bread ever made? People, please! Can’t you see it is all relative? If you like cinnamon, nutmeg and other spices in your bread, it is not the best recipe for you. You would never associate this with the classic banana bread that you are used to. Also, despite the misleading name, there are no tropical components like pineapple or coconut in this bread. So if tropical is the way you roll, then this will not be in the running. Take your whole wheat flour and egg substitute somewhere else. Changing ingredients around to make it low fat will not give you the correct results.

    If you want to taste a buttery-rich-banana-bread/cake-concoction (with a little chocolate for good measure) that you can feel good about eating for breakfast, then this is the recipe you need to try. I promise it will win you over.

  26. Chiffonade, seriously. This is a place to post recipes, not a place for you to get out all of your anger against the world. You need to lose the rage .

  27. I really liked your blog post, I certainly think its essential to keep one self upto date.

  28. Chiffonade, I am so suprised that anyone would make such a dirty dig at someone who is willing to share their treasured family recipes. You are so disrespectful. I am trying the recipe today and I am sure it will be the best I’ve ever tasted; simply because the recipe was given from the heart and not the sleeve.

  29. Who ever posted that first comment: chiffOnade needs to shut it, and go make her own bread. She thinks she’s all that, when really, she likes this bread, she just wont admit it. So take it as a compliment. And if her bread was so good, why is she looking at other recipes??? Yeah.

  30. First off I hate when people come to my site and are nasty… who do they think they are. Everyone has an opinion on food I may say I make the best banana bread in world how ever some may not like it so that we why we all have opinions! but I must say the Kono Island Banana bread is my Favorite and I am so glad I ran across your post as this is so close to my recipe of banana bread I lost during our move. The only thing I do different is I add things in such as chocolate chips, M. Cherries and other things as well to make it fun. Thanks again for posting this and remember… I all tell my friends that if someone is nasty that its just because one thier momma didn’t bring them up right and/or they are jealous that they didn’t come up with it first :)

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