Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread Maui Recipe

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Twelve Hours In Coach For A Loaf Of Banana Bread One Former Maui Resident Explains

Aunty Sandy’s Banana Bread – Road to Hana – Maui Hawaii

From Bon Appétit

It wasnt the memory of trade winds rustling palm fronds that brought me back. Or of buttery sand between my toes while watching a fiery sun hang above the Pacific. What got me on a plane to travel halfway around the world was the recollection of dense, pungent, freshly baked banana bread.

For nearly a decade in the 80s, I kept a home on Maui. I was living a hectic life in New York, but whenever I felt overrun by the worlds demands, Id escape there. Maui was my haven, and my small hut beside the beach my sanctuary. They were simpler days , and back then, Maui was a simpler, more local place. Those days are gone, but they live in details of memory. Maybe its the power of the whole comfort food thing, but there is no more potent Maui memory for me than the smell of warm, moist banana bread. Lately Ive felt the need for that simplicity in my life again. So Ive returned. Perhaps its a fools errand, but Im chasing a feeling, and something tells me it resides in a homemade loaf of one of Mauis specialties.

I begin my search high on the slopes of Haleakala, the 10,000-foot volcano that dominates the island. The air is cool the clouds hang. A jacaranda is flush with purple flowers. By the side of a two-lane track in the up-country community of Kula, theres a plantationstyle shack with a green corrugatedmetal roofGrandmas Coffee House.

Id never say were the best. Al leans close and grins. But were unique.

It is.

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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 isnt 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.

Road To Hana Banana Bread

Below is a brief listing of the different places to try banana bread from this amazing region of Maui.

Twin Falls 40 to 50 minutes from Kahului. This farm stand harvests its own fruit from the valley just a few steps away. Their banana bread is pretty good when they have it. On a short walk to a small waterfall and pool you will see banana and coconut trees. Please dont pick them though, its Kapu! .

Aunty Sandys A road to Hana banana bread icon, Auntie Sandy has run this stand for 30 years. Other than having some amazing bananas to work with, she says her secret ingredient is the butter.

Halfway to Hana Another well-known spot on the banana bread trail is the Halfway to Hana stand. Another 30 year veteran of Keanae, Auntie Marilyn and Nita Chongs stand is located on the main road just past the Keanae turnoff overlooking the peninsula. They have some wonderfully moist banana bread, possibly because they use shortening. Everyone has their particular recipe

Hana Farms This is a fairly large operation by Hana standards. Made with butter and five flavors to choose from Hana Farms also has their jams and jellies, a hot sauce, and hot coffee and smoothies. Lots of bang for your buck here!

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Banana Bread Recipe Similar To Aunt Sandy


Feeling down.. so reminiscing on the past good times. Aunt Sandy’s Banana Bread came to mind. Absolutely amazing. I’m sure it’s a trade secret so I cant recreate it… but want to try for something close.

Any advice/recipes? I never liked Banana Bread until I had it on

Apple bananas are the “secret” to many recipes here. But you can still have good bread :-).

There are a bunch of threads with banana bread recipes .

The problem is finding anything on these Forums. So if nothing catches your interest from SW’s link above, use the search function on this Forum and the other Islands as well.

And I find that the old standbys are the best … check old cookbooks you may have around. .

Actually I have a great banana bread recipe with oatmeal in it. Wonderful texture …

Edited: 2 years ago

Maui Banana Bread Ingredients/ Substitutions

50 Awesome Things to Do on Maui
  • Bananas. So this is probably the most important ingredient. your bananas must be super ripe though so that they are soft, sweet, and favorable. if they are not ripe enough you may end up with a flavorless bread
  • Butter. So this one is controversial. I always use to be very loyal to only using oil in my bread instead of butter. only because oil has a higher fat content and makes for a more moist bread. but in Maui, I learned that the all-time famous “Auntie Sandys” uses butter so I decided to give the butter a try again. This bread still comes out very moist… so it worked. But of course, you can switch this out for vegetable oil.
  • buttermilk. This adds so much moisture to our bread. you can also replace it with yogurt.
  • Pineapple. I add these because I was inspired by my time in Maui. But you can either leave this out or add any fruit of your choice. Just remember, if you use fruit with a lot of water to squeeze the water out. Other fruit like berries should be fine on their own.
  • Macadamia nuts. I add these because Maui is full of them! But they are kind of expensive. so if you are not feeling them feel free to replace them with any nut that provides the delicious crunch.
  • Lastly, if you try out this recipe, be sure to leave a comment/rating on how it turned out. I love hearing from you guys and will try my best to reply to every comment! And dont forget to tag me on !

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    Gordon Ramsay Visited This Beloved Maui Banana Bread Stand

    Banana bread that makes you curseit’s that good, the celebrity chef said.

    What better way to celebrate one of Mauis many marvels than on Feb. 23, National Banana Bread Day. The best loaves are often found at quaint farm and fruit stands in the islands countryside. Typically, these breads are baked from scratch with locally grown apple bananas and made following instructions from heavily guarded family recipes.

    The charming farmstand on the Keanae Pennisula known as Aunty Sandys Banana Bread is synonymous with these sweet loaves. Every morning, hot bread comes fresh out of the oven and is ready to melt in your mouth.

    View this post on Instagram

    Its Aunty Sandys recipe that makes her farmstand not only a road to Hna landmark, but a destination for culinary enthusiastsincluding the notorious Gordon Ramsay.

    While scouring the most unique and remote locations for culinary inspiration and cultural experiences in National Geographics Gordon Ramsay: Uncharted, the globetrotting chef was lured to the Keanae Peninsula. Undeterred by treacherous weather, he trekked to Aunty Sandys to taste her famed banana bread in an episode that premiered in 2019. In the snippet shared to YouTube this February, Ramsay quipped, I cant wait to see what all the fuss is about.

    210 Keanae Rd., Keanae, 248-7448,

    A Humble Loaf Elevated

    But, every once in a while, you discover something that elevates the ordinary and gives you a whole new appreciation. Which is what happened when we found this loaf.

    This winter, on a Hawaiian vacation, we drove the famous Road to Hana on beautiful Maui. The precarious road is breathtaking, and not for the nervous. We drove a twisting road through lush jungle, past waterfalls and one-lane bridges over soaring canyons. This road requires the driver’s complete attention, which is difficult, considering the beauty of the surroundings.

    Luckily, there are lots of spots to pull over and soak in the sights and sounds of that beautiful paradise.

    One of these stops brought us to a roadside stand selling fruit, coffee, and banana bread.

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    Julias Best Banana Bread

    This well-known West Maui shop, a family-owned bakery inside a bright green treehouse, is a must-stop that Maui visitors say is worth the drive. The large, moist, fluffy loaves that resemble cake more than bread are full of flavor and melt in your mouth. Top it off with Julias lilikoi butter and its a match made in heaven.

    9 a.m. to 5 p.m., 7465 Kahekili Highway , Kahakuloa and a second location near Nakalele Blowhole, .

    Aunty Sandys Keanae Landing

    Hawaiian Banana Bread

    The longtime reigning queen of Mauis banana bread purveyors, Aunty Sandys, which also serves hot dogs and kalua pig out of a little stand at picturesque Keanae Landing, has been a family-run business for over 30 years. Butter is one of the key ingredients in this rich, moist loaf, probably the most renowned on Maui.

    Closes at 2:30 p.m. daily, 210 Keanae Road, Haiku, Maui, 248-7448.

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    The Rise Of Bananasand The Bread That Serves Them

    In a land where apple orchards and pear trees prevailed, the bananabotanically considered to grow from an herbaceous plant was once an exotic breed in North America.

    But in 1870, Captain Lorenzo Bakera Massachusetts sailor and businessmanarrived in Jersey City with 160 bunches of bananas hed picked up in Jamaica. The bright, sweet banana was readily embraced, but given its cloying flavor, tender meat, and high price, it was most commonly thought of as a glamorous accent to desserts, popping up as garnishes on puddings and cakes.

    The introduction of modern refrigeration in the 20th century rendered bananas less a special treat than a brilliant possibility. Americans began integrating it into their breakfast menus, while Bakers enterprise, the Boston Fruit Company, expanded into two of the best-known fruit brands on Earth: Dole and Chiquita.

    Best Banana Bread On Maui: The List

    Really, when it gets right down to it, the best banana bread youll eat on Maui will come from whichever farm stand you pull off the road and visit.

    However, heres a list of some of the more famous spots to try on Maui. If you go to any of these shops, and theyre open, theres no way youll be disappointed.

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    A Simple Aunty Sandys Banana Bread Recipe

    The recipe results to a super moist, rich and sweet banana bread. It is a perfect addition for breakfast.

    Prep Time: 10 minutes

    • 3 ½ cups all-purpose flour
    • 5 overripe bananas, mashed
    • Coconut oil, canola oil or cooking spray
    • Parchment paper
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  • Add mashed banana to the dry mixture
  • Melt the margarine and fold it into the mixture when hot.
  • Mix thoroughly and then pour the batter into an oiled or greased bread pan. You can still use the parchment paper in this step.
  • Bake for 45 minutes at 330 degrees F. If its not light gold brown, bake for additional 5 minutes.
  • Let it cool, then put it on a plate. Let it rest for 10 minutes before serving.
  • A Hawaiian Banana Bread Recipe

    Aunty Sandy

    Who here loves banana bread?! There is nothing like waking up to a fresh warm loaf of this delicious treat. Aunty Sandys, located in Hana, Maui, is a family owned business that is famous for their banana bread. You will definitely want to make sure to put this on your Hana bucket list! I recommend getting a couple loaves. You will be craving for more the next day! We would like to share a Hawaiian banana bread recipe. For those days when you are craving a tasty treat, or missing Hawaii, pop into the kitchen and try this out!

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    Aunt Sandys Banana Bread

    An unassuming little farmstand thats been visited by everyone including Gordon Ramsay, Aunt Sandys has the reputation for being the best banana bread on Maui. Auntie Sandys banana bread recipe calls for hot, melted butter instead of softened and a truly impressive amount of bananas! Its just after mile marker 16 on the Hana Highway, and Sandy and her family bake the best example of Hana banana bread.

    Halfway To Hana Banana Bread Recipe

    Halfway to Hana Banana Bread Recipe. My version of the insanely delicious banana bread you get at the stands on the road to Hana, Maui.

    I miss Hawaii. It’s been over a year since we have traveled there. With my husband in school full time now as well as working full time, vacation days are non-existent. It is ok for now since the benefit of my husband changing careers will outweigh the temporary situation of him gone every day with work and school.

    Until we can get another vacation to Hawaii, I am going to post a lot more Hawaiian recipes, and Hawaiian inspired recipes on my blog. Like this banana bread recipe.

    I have made this banana bread recipe at least thirty times in the past few months. Maybe even more. I will buy several bunches of bananas to ripen, make several loaves then have no time to photograph.

    So we start eating them before I photograph. And give away to friends and neighbors before the bread goes bad. I also have several loaves in my freezer. My family is loving the overabundance of banana bread at home, I am running out of freezer space!

    I have also made them into muffins and mini muffins and have added those modifications into the recipe notes.

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    When Your Bake Just Seems Too Wet

    Of course, weve 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 theyre baked in. Mini loaf pans cut down on your bake time and allow you to work with a wetter, denser batter, as theyll cook in less time.

    Can I Take Banana Bread Home From Maui

    Road to Hana Banana Bread Taste Test

    So, youve found the best banana bread on Maui, and you want to share it with all the poor suckers back home who didnt 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 USDAs website for complete guidelines.

    TSA allows baked goods to be packed in a carry-on, as well. So, theres no reason you shouldnt be able to snack on your bread on the plane.

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    Hawaiis History Of Bananas

    Hawaiis history of bananas carries a different story. Its believed that Polynesians brought bananas with them on the canoes they sailed across the Pacific, giving rise to the proliferation of varieties that bore resemblance to the Cavendishthe most prevalent type of bananabut were distinctly their own: the spiky Iholena, for example, and the yellow-orange Maoli.

    Bananas thrived in Hawaii and throughout the Western Pacific Islandsindeed, bananas grow best in the tropicsand the fruit joined the ranks of taro , sweet potatoes , breadfruit , and fish as one of the biggest staples of the ancient Hawaiian diet.

    But where Hawaii and the mainland converge in terms of bananas may be in the onset of the largest financial crisis America has ever seen: The Great Depression.

    While the Great Depression may be behind usat least the Depression of the 1930sbakers across Maui continue to consider banana bread a must. Banana bread was born of necessity, the owner of Grandmas Coffee House says. We had too many bananas, so we made bread.

    Mouth watering yet? Read on.

    Where To Find Mauis Best Banana Bread

    From Foodlands special recipe , to coffee stores abetted by crafty bakers and Wailukus Chevron, banana bread can be readily found across the island. But to experience the best Maui has to offer, make your way to one of these prime locations:

    Wailele Farm Stand, Twin Falls

    Manned by Wailele Farmjust east of Paia on the Road to Hanathis buzzy, much-loved stand is conveniently located outside one of the most popular waterfall hikes on the island. The bread has much to lust after: The bananas used for baking are pulled from the surrounding valley.

    Aunt Sandys

    Nestled in Keanaea former fishing village on the Road to HanaAunt Sandys yellow stand, now in its 34th year, is synonymous with banana bread, while Sandy herself is often dubbed one of the top contenders for queen of the baked morsel. Claiming its the butter in her recipes, Aunt Sandy also admits that the key to her superlative bread rests in the effort she puts behind it: We can cook from the same recipe, but its the love in the hand that stirs that makes the difference. Her ultra-moist bread is the perfect way to break when driving along the secluded eastern coast Keanaes lovely historic church and breathtaking black lava beaches are the icing on the proverbial cake.

    Halfway to Hana

    Hana Farms

    Wailua Falls

    Grandmas Coffee House

    Four Sisters Bakery

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