Start by preheating your oven to 350F/177C. Spray the sides of an 8 ½-inch or 9-inch (22-cm) loaf pan with a baking spray and line the sides with parchment paper. You can also butter and flour the pan instead of the baking spray.
Baking the Banana Bread:
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the softened butter and sugar for a few minutes, until the butter is light and fluffy. Next, add in the eggs and mix again for a few minutes, until the eggs are well beaten.
Add in the maple syrup, vanilla and maple extracts, and the Greek yogurt next. Mix one more time so that the batter is creamy. Because this recipe uses butter, the batter might look a little separated at this point. Don’t worry about the texture, it will come together once you add the flour!
In a separate mixing bowl, combine the dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Sift the dry ingredients into the batter, then mix for about 1 minute, just until a smooth batter forms.
Mash 1 ½ to 2 ripe bananas in a bowl using a fork, then add the mashed banana and ½ cup of diced pecans into the batter. Use a spatula to fold everything together.
Making the Batter:
Transfer the banana bread batter into the prepared loaf pan, then top with the remaining ¼ cup diced pecans. Bake the bread at350F for 55 to 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Remove the bread from the loaf pan and allow it cool on a wire rack. Don’t let the bread cool in the pan! This will cause it to sweat and become heavy.
For Maple Glaze:
Just combine a cup of confectioner’s sugar with a few tablespoons of maple syrup and a few tablespoons of cream or milk and whisk everything together. To make a thinner glaze, simply add more liquids. Spoon the glaze over the warm bread and let it stand for about 5 minutes before slicing the bread.
Serving & Storing:
I love to enjoy this banana maple bread while it’s still warm with a cup of coffee or tea! You can even add a touch of salted, softened butter to the bread to make it even more rich and delicious!
To store the bread, allow it to cool down completely for a few hours first. Place it onto a tray and wrap it well with plastic wrap. You can keep the bread at room temperature for up to 2 days, or in the refrigerator for a week. Not that it’s going to last that long!!