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Pineapple Nut Bread

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When I was younger, my dad worked at this shop called Breads & Cheeses in Hershey.  That was probably my favorite job of his ever.  He was always bringing home these boxes of day old items that hadn’t sold and we’d practically clobber him at the back door trying to see what was in our box for the day.

My favorite was probably the almond crescents!  I’ve actually never had another one since Breads & Cheeses, because I just knew it wouldn’t be the same.  We’ll be keeping all almond crescent memories for my childhood!  The chocolate crescent was a close runner up and the ham & cheese pockets weren’t too shabby either.  Seriously, I loved when he worked there.

I always thought he was the one who got the idea for the pineapple nut bread while working there and tinkering around in the kitchen with some ingredients one day.  But earlier this month, he was at my house preparing for some out-of-state relatives to visit and I asked him to make me a couple loaves of it, and he acted like he had no clue what to do.  “Well, how do you and your sisters and Mom make it??  Well, now what do I do??”.  So, really, I have no clue where this recipe came from.

What I do know is that we always serve it with my Gram’s chicken salad.  The slight tang of the pineapple in the bread is just perfect with the cool chicken salad.

Pineapple Nut Bread

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1 beaten egg
1 2/3 cups milk
1/4 cup cooking oil
20 oz. can, crushed pineapple, drained*
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Grease the bottom of a loaf pan** and preheat the oven to 350.

In a bowl stir together flour, sugar, baking powder and baking soda. Make a well in center and set aside.

In a separate bowl combine the egg, milk and cooking oil.  Add all at once to dry mixture and stir just till moistened.  Fold in drained pineapple.  Then fold in nuts.

Spoon into prepared pan and bake at 350 for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or till it tests clean in center. Cool in pan on wire rack for 10 minutes and then cool completely.  Wrap and store overnight before slicing.

* I use this whole can because I like to taste the pineapple.  Feel free to use less of it or only a 6 ounce can if you want more of a subtle flavor.  Someday, I’ll test it keeping the pineapple juice in and omitting the oil or milk, but I haven’t done that yet!

** This time is for a 9x5x3- inch loaf pan, however I almost always use the mini size loaf pans, because then my slices are the perfect size for a finger sandwich.  If you use the mini loaf pans, check for doneness after 30-35 minutes.

Also, when you wrap it to store overnight, feel free to use plastic containers, saran wrap or foil… however, my dad likes to just put the loaves straight into a paper bag and roll it loosely to close it.  That way they still keep that crunchy outer top instead of getting moist because they’re airtight. (this picture is after the bag was opened, he really does roll the end closed)

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My Gram's Chicken Salad