Everyone knows that banana is one of the classic island flavors, and there’s nowhere better to get moist banana bread than on the Hawaiian island of Maui. Their Hawaiian banana bread recipe lives in legend among bakers and tourists alike. And everyone has an opinion on who does it best.
What makes Maui’s version the best banana bread? Is it the sweet bananas, the tangy taste, or the spongy, moist loaf? A loaf of banana bread from Maui is one of the best things out there, so definitely don’t miss our tips on where to get the best banana bread on Maui. That way, when you take your Maui vacation, you’ll know just where to go!
Let’s talk more about why this treat is so special before we give you our list of the best places to stop.
What makes Maui banana bread special?
Many have speculated on what ingredients make Maui banana bread special. Is it the Maui apple bananas that are so iconic to the Hawaiian islands? Is it the butter, the added ingredients, or could it possibly be the Aloha?
There isn’t a consensus on what makes Maui banana bread so special, but many believe it has something to do with apple bananas, a smaller variety grown locally on the Hawaiian islands. Other possible ingredients include macadamia nuts, chocolate chips, coconut, lilikoi, and of course, Aloha.
Many farm stands have been baking their own special banana bread with apple bananas grown on their properties for generations. What could be more special than that? Some growers will throw in fresh, local fruit, as well, like the popular lilikoi, which is a variety of passionfruit.
Some quick tips for recreating Maui banana bread at home
Here are some other, non-banana ingredients that can be used to make a special bake at home.
Sub these for the butter:
- Coconut oil
- Sour cream
Add these to the mix:
- Cinnamon sugar
- Local bananas
- Macadamia nuts
- Shredded coconut
- Coconut milk
There are a variety of flavors iconic to Maui and the Hawaiian islands in general. So, take some inspiration from them when baking banana bread at home.
When your bake just seems TOO wet
Of course, we’ve all been guilty of this. What do you do when your mixture is just too wet to cook? How can these Maui miracle workers balance the moisture level of their mixture so perfectly?
Be careful when adding fresh fruit to any bread mixture, especially banana, which is already very dense and moist.
A wet loaf means hours in the oven and arranging tin foil on top to prevent burning. Pay attention to your moisture content. Quick bread batter should be thick like pudding but not runny. Check our article on how long banana bread lasts for more info on this.
One of the classic looks of Maui banana bread is the mini loaf pans they’re baked in. Mini loaf pans cut down on your bake time and allow you to work with a wetter, denser batter, as they’ll cook in less time.
Best banana bread on Maui: The List
Really, when it gets right down to it, the best banana bread you’ll eat on Maui will come from whichever farm stand you pull off the road and visit.
However, here’s a list of some of the more famous spots to try on Maui. If you go to any of these shops, and they’re open, there’s no way you’ll be disappointed.
Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread
An unassuming little farmstand that’s been visited by everyone including Gordon Ramsay, Aunt Sandy’s has the reputation for being the best banana bread on Maui. Auntie Sandy’s banana bread recipe calls for hot, melted butter instead of softened and a truly impressive amount of bananas! It’s just after mile marker 16 on the Hana Highway, and Sandy and her family bake the best example of Hana banana bread.
Julia’s Best Banana Bread
Another very well known spot is Julia’s Best Banana Bread. A beautiful little stand on twisting roads, this bright green treehouse invites you to come and try some of the best banana bread on Maui.
If you brave the Kahekili highway to get to Auntie Julia’s, you’ll be well rewarded. Hawaii Magazine tells us the lilikoi butter is not to be missed.
Four Sisters Bakery
One of the common themes here is that many of these spots are family run businesses. Four Sisters Bakery is no exception.
Named for the owners’ daughters and famed by Maui Magazine for Haupia Pie, don’t miss their banana bread, either! It’s in town, too, so you don’t have to brave the steep back roads and winding coastal paths of Maui to get there.
Grandma’s Coffee House
Grandma’s Coffee House is another favorite place not just for delicious banana bread with Maui grown bananas but for amazing coffee, too!
Who doesn’t love a little coffee to go with a sweet bakery treat? Their coffee is locally sourced and traditionally processed. You’ll love the quaint feel of the coffee shop and the consistent hours, too.
Maui Banana Bread Co.
Lucky for you, if you forgot to pick up a loaf on vacation in Maui, you can order online from the Maui Banana Bread Co.
The owner Kiendra Fleck frequently takes her bread to the Kahului Swap Meet. So, if you’re still on island, don’t miss her stand!
Can I take banana bread home from Maui?
So, you’ve found the best banana bread on Maui, and you want to share it with all the poor suckers back home who didn’t get to vacation in the most beautiful place on Earth. Are you allowed to pack it in your bags and take it home?
The USDA allows travelers to bring baked goods back to the mainland in their luggage. You may bring a food item back to the mainland if it has been processed. Since banana bread has been cooked, it is safe to travel with and does not need to be declared. However, make sure to check the USDA’s website for complete guidelines.
TSA allows baked goods to be packed in a carry-on, as well. So, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to snack on your bread on the plane.
Best banana bread on Maui – final thoughts
With their local ingredients, homegrown charm, and the added benefit of being in the most beautiful place in the world, it’s no wonder some of the best banana bread comes from Maui. A simple recipe, one that enhances the naturally sweet flavor of the banana with a little brown sugar can’t be beat.
Perhaps the real reason the best banana bread comes from Maui is that when you enjoy it, you’re enjoying it in Maui. Eating a slice while driving down the famous Hana Highway, watching coconut trees sway, or gazing up in awe of the West Maui Mountains…how could it taste anything less than perfect?
Let us know in the comments if you’ve been lucky enough to try this island delicacy and where you got it. Did you visit anyone on our list, or did you find some rare, unknown gem of a farmstand?