There is something about rum that is festive, fun and tropical. Bananas and raisins both come to mind when I think of rum… maybe they both trigger thoughts of a Caribbean beach. Of course, there is something dastardly and just plain rebellious about spiking a sweet treat. Such as banana bread.

DSC_2356Of course, I am not the first person to think of this trick. Though I wish I were. This healthy (yet naughty) banana bread is inspired by Deb Perelman’s recipe from from Smitten Kitchen and Seana’s recipe from Cottage Grove House.


My pal Sofia at Papaya Pieces is joining me in this rum endeavour: she is also making a dish using rum. Each month, we continue to go through the alphabet -and combine our blogging forces. This month is “R” for rum. What shall Sofia Create? Even more, what will you create using rum?


Of course, I should probably be making resolutions now. Everyone else seems to be. The truth is, I have never been one for resolutions. I could die at any moment. I have no plans on leaving this Earth hungry or unsatisfied – if I can help it. Morbid outlook? Absolutely. You see, my love bug is a surgeon. I hear a lot of about illness and fatality. The good news is this: I wake up every day grateful our family is healthy, safe and happy. And ready to indulge.

I plan to enjoy every. second. of. my. life. Especially if those seconds involve banana rum bread. Or Spanish wine. Or lovely cheese. Or fabulous chocolate. Thankfully, walking or running are things I enjoy. They seem to somewhat counteract any vices. Somewhat.


The recipe is a slimmed down – I admit: It’s nutritious. It’s whole grain. It’s lower in fat and sugar than most boozy banana concoctions. Blah, blah, blah. The important part it is that it tastes amazing. Decadent. Divine.


Fear not: the small amount of rum cooks off during the baking process, so your kids can partake in it freely. My daughter, son and I devoured a large loaf together in a few days. Seriously, this bread haunted my dreams – I woke up every day ready for breakfast. It really is the perfect morning treat. Or was. Before we devoured it. Time to make more!


Happy New Year! Enjoy some chocolate, cheese, wine – and this bread. Especially if you have any rum leftover from the holidays (I know you spiked your egg nog. I know). How will you use rum in baking and cooking this month? Keep me posted!

Warmest wishes,




Banana Rum-Raisin Bread

A healthy, Curls and Carrots original inspired by Deb Perelman’s recipe from Smitten Kitchen and Seana’s recipe from Cottage Grove House.


4 medium, extremely overly ripe bananas, divided (3 bananas to make 1 1/2 cups banana purée – and one banana, thinly sliced)

1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 cup salted butter, melted and cooled

1/3 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. aged rum

2 large eggs, room temperature

2 cups whole wheat pastry flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/4 tsp. fine salt

1/4 tsp. dried, ground allspice

1/2 tsp. dried, ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. dried, ground nutmeg

1/2 cup raisins, tossed in 2 tsp. whole wheat pastry flour

canola oil cooking spray

1 1/2 tsp. granulated, white sugar or cane sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350•F.
  • Spray a standard, 9×5 inch loaf pan with canola oil cooking spray.
  • Break four of the bananas into chunks. Place them in a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until the bananas are smooth and creamy and no lumps remain. This should yield about 1 1/2 cups of banana purée.
  • Add the sugar, vanilla, rum, butter and yogurt. Mix on medium speed until smooth.
  • On medium speed, add the eggs, one at a time. After the addition of each egg, beat just until fully incorporated.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice. With the mixer on medium speed, slowly add the flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula.
  • Use the rubber spatula to stir the raisins into the batter.
  • Pour all of the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Use a spatula to scrape out any remaining batter from the mixing bowl and add to the loaf pan.
  • Thinly slice the one remaining banana. Evenly lay the slices the top of the batter. Evenly sprinkle the top with the 1 1/2 tsp. of sugar.
  • Bake for one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  • Place the pan on top of a wire rack and cool for ten minutes.
  • Remove the loaf from the pan and cool completely on the wire rack.
  • Enjoy!


©Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, (2014), unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without expressed and written permission from this blog’s author, Shanna Koenigsdorf Ward, and/or owner is strictly and completely prohibited.



80 thoughts on “Rum-A-Dum-Dum

  1. I believe that tomorrow I shall curl up in a little ball and eat this bread, your bourbon pecan cake, and Cottage’s rye whiskey banana bread all day long. Have been working too hard lately and need some fabulous and boozy carbs. Love how you’ve combined different recipes to create this masterpiece 🙂 And I also love your musings on not wanting to leave this earth hungry.

    I will be dreaming of rum tonight!

    1. Oh, gosh, Liz. If we were neighbors we could have a lovely, boozy baking session together. Carbs, we are your friends! Not that we would partake in any booze, just bake with it, OF COURSE. Thank you for visiting…. you are such a wonderful friend and supporter. Warmest wishes, Shanna

    1. Your comments are always so enthusiastic, warm and and effusive. Thank you so much for your passion for food and loyalty, Ada. I hope that I can read more about your baking adventures very soon on “More Food, Please!” Best wishes, Shanna

  2. Wow, Shanna, it’s so pretty too!! Rum? I’m trying to remember the last time. Had rum? Ok, is it in a Margarita or Daiquiri? I do remember a lot of my friends drinking Rum and Coke, most likely a staple drink from the early 80’s. No arum in this house, I got wine….can you substitute white wine???? Seriously, I think I might go out and buy me some rum to make this pretty bread!!!

    1. Hi, Barb. Yes, rum is a “specialty” item. You can substitute anything that is boozy and too your preference. We enjoy nice wine around these parts, and I think that a strong white would do just fine. A red would yield a pink bread. Hmmm, now there’s a thought. Seriously, though, any hard liquor will give great richness and depth of flavor – if you have any on-hand. Enjoying your fabulous photos and vision, as always. Thank you so much for your wonderful and kind comment. Best! – Shanna

  3. Nice. You created a fine loaf indeed! Hazelnuts? Don’t see it on the ingredient list, but if it is hazelnuts…brilliant! I think I’ll let my bananas get speckled on purpose and make another loaf myself. 🙂

  4. This looks great! I am all about baking and cooking with different alcoholic beverages. It just gives a baked good such great flavor and beats artificial flavoring. Rum flavor, what is that? It has never been in my cupboards, just real rum for me! I am with you on the resolution thing too. I am grateful for every day and thrilled we are all healthy. I just try to balance all my indulgences with healthy food and lots of trips to the gym! All in moderation, right?!

    1. I am like you, Gretchen. A purist in the kitchen. I would rather keep things real, delicious and simple. We are so alike in that way. Healthy food, activity and some pure deliciousness. That is exactly my outlook. I am continuously surprised by our many similarities. My very best to you – and sincere appreciation for your most warm and kind comments. – Shanna

  5. Like the way you guys are making this. With the bananas first, then adding the other ingredients. Will have to try this – without the rum! I don’t drink anymore, but even if I did rum is one of most spirits that I can’t stand the taste of. Gin, on the other hand, I could take a nip – or two – straight from the bottle 🙂

    1. Thank you, Johnny! Do try it… maybe with a little gin? If my grandmother made this bread, she would use Scotch. I really think that any booze will do. Sorry to hear that you gave up drinking (haha!). Thank you sincerely for the lovely visit and kind note. Warmly, Shanna

    1. Haha. Thank you, Zoe. You can, absolutely, sleep in and eat this when you choose to “rise and shine.” Banana bread is one of my many passions in life. It may be genetic, as my children have a similar leaning for the Good Stuff. Have a wonderful weekend. I appreciate your lovely and sweet comment! – Shanna

  6. Love it, love it, love it! Actually, I’m not a fan of rum but you pitched this loaf so well, I’m sold! I will certainly try this recipe. It looks delicious! I’ll let you know when I give it a whirl! Thanks, Shanna.

    1. Thank you, Linda. I admit, I worked in PR at one point – and still think about a masters degree in communications. So, your generous comment gives me a bit of hope that I am still on my game – or have some small amount of talent. Let me know how it turns out, if you give it a try. I appreciate your visit and your fun comments on this post and others. – Shanna

      1. You are definitely “on your game”…no doubt about it! Haven’t had a chance to try your loaf but I have it on my list of things to do. I’ve been slacking in the kitchen this week but I am looking forward to trying your recipe! —Linda 😊

  7. Perfect! I have bananas that are browning too quickly (has anybody ever managed to eat all their bananas before they brown?) and a half bottle of rum, standing idle. I, too, intend to enjoy my life, so I guess I’ll be making this! XOXO

    1. Hahaha. Thank you, Angie. Do let me know how it turns out. Of course, you can always freeze the black bananas (removing the skin first) if you find yourself busy over the weekend. Then, they will be waiting for you. I appreciate your sweet note; thank you. Warm regards, Shanna

      1. Since having kids I rarely have brown banana! They also freeze well with the skin on. Pop them in the freezer when brown. Thaw when ready to use, snip off the peel from one end and squeeze out. I am feeling a banana bread craving coming on, just need the ripe bananas!

  8. I dub you The Queen of Banana Bread! And, I’m with you on the New Year’s resolutions, for all the reasons you state. Plus, it just sets people up for failure.

    1. Haha. Thank you, Michelle. You are completely right on both counts: We love banana bread; And, we do not partake in silly “resolutions.” We live everyday fully, aware – and masticating banana bread fervently. Haha. 😉 Thank you for your visit and your comment! Best – Shanna

  9. Shanna not only does your recipe sound delicious, the loaf is beautiful with the sliced bananas on top. I love the subtle flavor of rum in cakes too. Thanks for the healthy banana bread recipe.

    1. Kiyo, thank you for the kind and generous comments. You are making me blush! I am glad to hear that you are also a fan of rum in desserts – it really does “spice it up”! I hope that you enjoy the recipe – or a dessert with rum – in the near future. Warm wishes, Shanna

  10. I don’t drink alcoholic beverages but I sure do LOVE to cook with them! They seem to bring out all the amazing flavors into a harmony :). Great job this looks so amazing!

    1. Thank you, Olga. I am looking forward to seeing your dishes that utilize “the good stuff.” You are right, even if you don’t drink, there is always room for a little “Something” in a recipe. I appreciate your lovely note!

  11. You do have a morbid outlook, but thats exactly why you’re right, because of that we must enjoy every minute of our lives! Lovely rum cake, congrats 🙂 Wish I was next door and could just pop over and have a slice, how about with some hot chocolate? I’ll make my rum creation most possible next week 🙂 xxx

    1. Thank you, Sofia. You are always so supportive, thoughtful and kind in your words. I wish you could just “pop” over, too! Wouldn’t that be amazing?! Looking forward to your rum creation. Warmest wishes, Shanna (besos!)

  12. I feel like I’m the only one who genuinely likes eating browned bananas! They are so much sweeter!! I do however love banana bread!! Great idea putting rum in the loaf, alcohol seems to make everything taste a little better 😉

    1. You are right – the browner the banana, the sweeter. As for alcohol in sweets – you are right again. It does add a lovely richness and depth of flavor. Thank you for taking the time to visit and leave such a lovely note. Enjoy those brown bananas! 😉 Shanna

  13. Hello Shanna! Uhmm… it seems a perfect dessert for the holidays!In Italy we often combine pineapple with rum .. also this “mix” is quite “caraibic”, isn’t it? Cris

  14. Hi Shanna, this looks so good,and we are sure it tastes even better! The mix of banana and raisins is a really good idea! Thanks for sharing this recipe. Have a nice weekend 🙂

  15. Oh Yum! I’m sipping some Bacardi 8 rum as I’m reading about your delicious sounding banana rum raisin bread. I’m going to have to go buy some bananas and let them turn black. 🙂

  16. Haha I just finished writing my list of resolutions for 2014 (better late than never?) and then came across this sentence “I have no plans on leaving this Earth hungry or unsatisfied – if I can help it” (Oh, the irony!) That said, I might just scrap my list of resolutions…or maybe I’ll just bake this banana bread instead 😉 x

    1. You can definitely keep your list, as long as you are still allowed to eat banana bread. Otherwise, scrap your list. 😉 Hehe. Thanks for your visit – I appreciate all of your great feedback in general. Enjoy your week! -Shanna

  17. You are right. Life is short and a decadent banana bread for breakfast is the sane way to go! Plus the way you used the bananas, when sliced, this bread is decidedly jaunty and saucy looking as well. May add making this bread to my resolutions for the year. (actually I don’t make any either, like you, but I do want to make this bread.)

    1. Hi, Azita. I was just visiting your lovely blog and thinking that everything you make is so delicious! Your note is so sweet and supportive; thank you. On a sidenote, you are a gorgeous writer – even your comments are beautifully written – and make me smile. Best wishes, Shanna

  18. That is one yummy-looking banana bread Shanna! I love those banana slices just scattered across the bread like that. And with rum? It must take it to a whole other level of yumminess!

  19. Oh, so delicious! You can also brush some butter on the bananas 5 minutes before end of cooking time and let the banana caramelized. Another winner, Shanna. Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  20. When I first saw the picture, for some reason I thought of pineapples! Pineapples remind me of a Caribbean beach too. Haha. I know…. pineapples don’t look like bananas at all. I have not tried a banana and raisin combination before. This look yummy though. By the way, does putting the sliced banana pieces on the top enhance the taste or it for appearance? 🙂

  21. Shanna quickie question…have you ever tried coconut rum with this? Aged rum is INCREDIBLY hard to find in ATL for some odd reason. My mom’s friend had to drive about 45-50 minutes to find a liquor store in Decatur. Was wondering if Captain Morgan’s would work? Also was wondering if it would be possible to sub in cake flour?? Any thoughts?

    1. Hi there, Vera. I am sorry to hear about your rum-a-dum-dum conundrum. Coconut rum sounds brilliant – just ideal for this recipe. Why didn’t I think of it? As for cake flour, it has a very different protein content than Southern all-purpose flour (which is what I assume you use in Atlanta – White Lily? 🙂 ). Make sure to add 2 Tbsp. additional cake flour for every cup of AP flour called for in the recipe. Happy baking, my friend. Hugs, Shanna

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