I have been hunting for the perfect whole wheat banana bread recipe lately. The first was too sweet to stick with me from breakfast to lunch; the second was dry and lacking in flavor.
This banana bread recipe is just right: 100% whole wheat, naturally sweetened with honey, with a light, decadent crumb. Plus it is a cinch to mix together and only requires one bowl. My search is over!
Since I live by myself, I like to bake a big loaf of banana bread and freeze it for later. Once the bread has cooled, I slice it and store the slices in a freezer bag. When I’m ready to eat it, I just throw a frozen slice in the toaster. My homemade breakfast or snack is ready in minutes!
How do you like your banana bread? For some extra protein, I like to top it with pecan butter or peanut butter. If I’m feeling indulgent, I’ll add honey, butter, Nutella or maple cream cheese. Huzzah!
- ⅓ cup melted coconut oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ cup honey or maple syrup
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup mashed bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon, plus more to swirl on top
- 1¾ cups whole wheat pastry flour or regular whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda*
- ¼ cup hot water*
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) and grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
- In a large bowl, beat oil and honey together. Add eggs and beat well.
- Stir in bananas and vanilla, then stir in the salt and cinnamon. Lastly, stir in the flour, just until combined.
- Add baking soda to hot water, stir to mix, and then mix briefly into batter until it is evenly distributed. Spread batter into the greased loaf pan.
- Sprinkle with cinnamon and swirl with a toothpick or the tip of a butter knife for a pretty marbled effect.
- Bake for 60 to 65 minutes. Be sure to check that the bread is done baking by inserting a toothpick in the top. It should come out clean. Let the bread cool in the loaf pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool for 30 minutes before slicing.
Loaf pan recommendations: I love baking bread in my Le Creuset stoneware loaf pan so much that it deserves a mention. I also adore my new turquoise Fiesta stoneware loaf pan. Both are non-toxic, heat evenly and clean easily. Highly recommended!
*Baking soda/water update 10/13/14: After several years of being baffled by the hot water/baking soda trick, I can now definitively report that it's an unnecessary step. If you prefer, you can just stir in ¼ cup water or milk (any kind) into the oil/honey/eggs and whisk the baking soda in with the spices. I'm leaving the recipe as is because I know so many of you love it as written!
Need to omit the eggs? I've heard from other commenters that flax eggs/chia eggs work well as replacements for the eggs. One commenter even said the bread turned out well when she forgot the eggs!
Want to make muffins? Check out my healthy banana muffins, which are a riff on this banana bread!