This Elvis-inspired “Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread” is a divine creation that features sweet and salty elements and great texture contrasts. It bakes perfectly too, coming out tender, yet firm enough to put on a stick. Among the judge’s comments: “very clever idea, delicious, and so state fair like.” We 100% agree.
This recipe won first place in the Blue Ribbon Banana Bread Contest at the 2021 Minnesota State Fair. Karen Cope created it for the competition, trying several variations and testing them on neighbors before settling on this entry.
Karen is a perennial winner who took home her first county fair blue ribbon when she was just 9 years old. She wins a $100 King Arthur Baking Company gift card.
Step By Step Recipe Overview
The toothsome treat is fun to make with kids and is easier than you think.
First off, you fry up the bacon crisp. Or leave it out if you’re not a fan. We’ve tasted it both ways, and both are phenomenal. Next you chop the bacon into small bits and set it aside as one of the toppings.
Next, prep your pans (grease, line with parchment), measure out your ingredients and set the oven to pre-heat to 350°F.
I love my stand-up mixture as it does the “heavy lifting” so well, an in blending ingredients smooth.
In this pic, I’ve already blended the bacon grease, butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar. I’m about to mashed my bananas.
I wish my bananas were more ripe than ^these^ ones shown above, but sometimes that’s all the grocery store has.
In my opinion, this is the ^ideal ripeness^ for banana bread. You could even go a bit more ripe. The aroma is very banana-y at this stage.
On this test run, I ended up doing a banana puree with an immersion blender with mine to eliminate bigger lumps. Once you combine the bananas with the eggs, vanilla, salt, and baking soda, you only need to mix in the flour, and half your chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. (You are saving the other half for drizzling.)
Mix only until just combined. Divide mixture between the two prepared pans. Batter will be quite thick, so level it out in the pan.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, until light golden brown and edges start to pull away from the sides. Tip: if you only have 8-inch cake pans, use them, and bake about 10 minutes longer. A toothpick inserted into center should come out clean, without chocolate. Cool on wire rack.
The last step is fun. You cut the bread into 16 servings, insert the wide, wooden sticks (3/4 inch wide is ideal), then do your toppings.
- Melted peanut butter chips (with shortening)
- Melted chocolate chips (with shortening)
- Chopped peanuts (Planters, honey-roasted)
- Chopped banana chips (Trader Joe’s)
- Bacon pieces
Now you have the best-ever banana bread to enjoy: Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread, Elvis on a Stick!
Elvis on a Stick: Peanut Butter Bacon Banana Bread
6 strips bacon (if using no bacon, add 1 tablespoon butter)
1 tablespoon bacon grease, cooled
3 tablespoons butter, unsalted at room temperature
3/4 cup peanut butter
1 cup brown sugar
2 cups mashed bananas (3 to 4 large bananas)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups flour (240 grams)
2 cups mini chocolate chips, divided
2 cups peanut butter chips, divided
2 teaspoon vegetable shortening, divided
1/4 cup honey roasted peanuts, finely chopped
2 tablespoons banana chips, finely chopped
16 wide wooden sticks, 3/4 x 8″ size
Bread: Fry bacon until crisp. Chop into fine pieces. Reserve for topping. Save 1 tablespoon bacon fat for bread batter. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper. In a large mixing bowl, cream bacon fat, butter, peanut butter, and brown sugar until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Mix in mashed bananas, eggs, vanilla, salt, and baking soda, until smooth. Stir in flour, 1 cup mini chocolate chips, and 1 cup peanut butter chips. Mix only until just combined. Divide mixture between the two prepared pans. Smooth the tops out. Bake 20-25 minutes, until light golden brown and edges start to pull away from the sides. A toothpick inserted into center should come out clean, without chocolate. Cool on wire rack.
Glaze & Toppings: In a small bowl, melt remaining 1 cup peanut butter chips and 1 teaspoon shortening. Mix until smooth; set aside. Repeat with chocolate chips; set aside. Cut each round of banana bread into 8 wedges. Insert a wide wooden stick in outer edge of each. Drizzle with peanut butter and chocolate glaze, then sprinkle with chopped peanuts, banana chips, and bacon pieces. Makes 16 servings.