Easy as, well, Mango Banana Bread

by Terry B on April 24, 2013

Ripe mango and bananas, chopped walnuts and vanilla create a flavorful, not-too-sweet dessert bread. Substituting canola oil for butter lightens it up. Recipe below.


That’s right. The guy who never bakes has baked again. But a bread like this is so easy that it doesn’t feel like baking. There’s no sifting, no kneading, no waiting for dough to rise (and punching it down and waiting some more). You don’t even need to haul out the mixer for this bread—a wooden spoon will do just fine.

Of course despite the name, Mango Banana Bread is really more of a loaf cake than a bread. And therein lies some of the ease. You’re not producing a temperature-humidity-time-sensitive dough; you’re making a batter. At least for me, batters are much more forgiving.

For everyone else too, it seems. In looking at banana bread recipes, my starting point for this one, I found that ingredients (and quantities of said ingredients) varied impressively. Three bananas, five bananas. Two cups of flour, a mere 1-1/4 cups. One egg or two, milk or no milk. Baking soda only (and not much of that) or baking soda and powder. Butter or oil or (yikes) margarine. And yet all produced results people were happy to share.

So why mangoes? For starters, they’re in season right now. Yes, since they’re grown everywhere from Asia to South and Central America, Spain, the United States (Florida, California and Hawaii), Australia and Africa, you’ll find them in the supermarket pretty much year-round. But from April through June, they’re especially plentiful, flavorful and affordable. The mango’s orange/melon/apricot flavor works equally well with sweet and savory dishes, showing up in salsas, sorbets, chutneys and even cocktails.

And in this delicious, moist bread. The diced mango pieces soften into bits of tropical brightness that melt on your tongue. The bananas add the trademark mellow sweetness that makes banana breads a perennial favorite. And the chopped walnuts deliver an earthy, nutty, delicate crunch.


Mango Banana Bread
Serves 12

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 eggs, beaten
2 ripe bananas, mashed
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup canola or cooking oil (plus extra for greasing baking dish)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large, ripe mango, peeled, pitted and diced (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 5×9-inch glass baking dish with a little of the oil. Set aside. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Stir to mix thoroughly. In a separate bowl, mix eggs, bananas, sugar, oil and vanilla. Add banana mixture to flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Fold in mango and walnuts. Transfer batter to baking dish.

Bake in center of the oven until a wooden pick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean, about 50 minutes (check at 45 minutes—oven temperatures vary). Transfer baking dish to a wire cooling rack and let cool for 15 minutes. Carefully work around the edges of the bread with a thin, flexible baking spatula to loosen it and turn it out onto the rack. Let the bread cool completely before serving (that was the hardest part of this recipe).


{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

sara April 24, 2013 at 1:27 am

This looks amazing! Love the idea of adding mango to banana bread…total tropical paradise! :)

Marye Audet April 24, 2013 at 2:33 am

Adding mango to banana bread sounds amazing! I think this is going on my to bake list but with macadamias maybe….

Britton @ coffee beans online April 24, 2013 at 8:13 am

This sounds interesting and I’ve never tried a mango bread but I’ll be baking this one for my tea time this weekend.

kitchenriffs April 24, 2013 at 3:55 pm

I love mango season! One of my favorite fruits. I’m surprised I never thought to use it in a bread like this. Well, maybe I’m not surprised — I’m so busy being greedy and eating them, they never survive long enough to be made into bread! But this definitely looks like something I should try — banana bread is great to start with, and adding mangoes must be ambrosia. Really good recipe. BTW, for making regular bread, you might want to try some of the no-knead recipes. They really work, and active time is very little. Anyway, fun recipe — thanks.

randi April 24, 2013 at 3:59 pm

We make a lot of banana bread and only recently I have started making it with variations so this is perfect! Thanks!

Terry B April 24, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Thanks, Sara!

Marye, I think macadamia nuts would add even more to the tropical vibe.

Britton, it goes beautifully with tea or coffee. Or with a glass of wine (he says from experience).

Kitchenriffs, I also like mango cut up in a simple salad with a balsamic vinaigrette.

I hope you try it, Randi. I don’t usually brag about my efforts here, but this bread was really awesome.

Ronnie Ann April 25, 2013 at 12:38 am

What a perfect golden brown top! Looks great. Love that you baked and yet dared to bake again. My oh my Terry … will wonders never cease.

Terry B April 25, 2013 at 1:37 am

Thanks, Ronnie Ann. It’s not that I absolutely fear baking. But it usually seems like an awful lot of tedious work, and I often feel less in control than I like.

[email protected] April 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm

Mangos are on sale right now and I want to make this bread right away. A much needed Spring treat.

Ted April 25, 2013 at 6:51 pm

The banana and mango combination sounds just great. I know from experience that a lot of different kinds of fruit go well with bananas. I can’t wait, but I can’t get to it until this weekend. Thanks for a wonderfully sounding recipe.

Anita April 26, 2013 at 2:40 am

You know I love this site to begin with, but this – this was just one of those moments of total serendipity. I honest to goodness had two bananas and a mango that I had a bad feeling I wouldn’t get to before they went bad… and then I read this! Yes, exactly two bananas and one mango! OK, the mango was small, so I thawed a few chunks of frozen mango to add, but I’m still going to buy a lottery ticket tomorrow. Anyway, I am now enjoying a cup of tea and a really yummy, not too sweet, warm snack. Thank you so much!

Two things – first, at 50 minutes I still had goo all over the skewer I poked in – but I’ve had a suspicion that my stove is off, so I’m thinking it’s my oven, not the recipe. Building management is getting a call :) Second – why a wooden spoon? Why not metal or a rubber spatula?

Thanks again!

Terry B April 26, 2013 at 4:31 am

Hope you like it, Angela and Ted!

Anita, thanks for this lovely comment! A wooden spoon first because it is an absolutely elemental kitchen tool, the most basic thing that should be in every kitchen. It connects us to those who have cooked before us for centuries. On a more practical level, it is gentler on the ingredients. In this case, you just want to combine them, not overmix. A rubber spatula will do the same. A metal spoon would beat up the mango bits too much, I think.

Marie May 11, 2013 at 4:20 pm

Mango and banana together, wish I would have thought of that! Thanks for this delicious and easy to make recipe.

Peta Holo June 15, 2013 at 2:03 pm

Looks delicious. Can I use a metal baking dish instead?

Terry B June 15, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Thanks, Marie!

Peta, you should be fine using a metal baking pan. Interestingly, though, whether you use shiny or dark metal makes a difference in cooking times and even temperature. Here are some tips on baking with glass or metal from the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension in Lancaster County.

Katie June 25, 2013 at 12:29 am

This looks so good. I have never thought about adding mango to banana bread but it totally makes sense. I’m going to give this one a whirl later this week…once my bananas are ripe enough :)

Terry B June 25, 2013 at 1:52 am

Hope you like it, Katie!

vivian c May 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm

tried this recipe since i have all the ingredients: tree ripen bananas and sweet mango from our yard; used chopped pecans instead. although i made mine in mini muffin pan, they were delicious non the less. i’m ready to make more and share with family and friends. what a memorable way to celebrate Memorial Day 2014!!
thank you!!

Dani H October 16, 2014 at 10:12 am

How did I miss this? Especially since you so rarely bake, Terry. Banana bread is one of my all-time favorites so I’ll definitely be trying this recipe!

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