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!
Honey Whole Wheat Banana Bread Recipe
- Prep Time: 10 mins
- Cook Time: 55 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
- Yield: 1 loaf 1x
- Category: Quick bread
Your search for the perfect healthy banana bread recipe is over! Made with whole wheat flour and sweetened with honey, this banana bread is decadently fluffy and sweet. You don’t even have to tell anyone it’s healthy! ;) Recipe yields one loaf.
- 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
- 1 ¾ 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 55 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.
Recipe adapted from Pedgi at Allrecipes.
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!
Absolutely delish- and making tonight for a second time. First time I used all maple syrup (but a little scant, because my bananas were suuuper ripe). It came out sweet and moist and perfect. This time I used 1/3 Cup of a mix of maple syrup and half honey and also quite overripe bananas- so it’s in the oven so eager to taste. I love using whole wheat pastry flour, it comes out so much yummier than even white flour.
I doubled the recipe and used 3 teaspoons of baking powder instead of baking soda (ran out) and used extra large free range farm eggs so only used 3 instead of 4 so that it would t be too crumbly cake-like. I like my banana bread moist.
I also used 3/4 cup of honey and 1/4 cup of agave syrup. Well….. I gotta tell ya, it came out great!
The banana bread was a huge hit among my coworkers who immediately asked for the recipe! Thank you for this fantastic recipe!
This is my all-time favorite banana bread, and I’ve made it (and ate it) an embarrassing number of times. :)
Have you tried making this or other quick breads in the Instant Pot?
I’m happy you enjoyed it! I’m sorry I don’t have instant pot directions.
I loved this recipe. I literally ate the whole thing by myself. Do you have nutrition facts for it?
Hi! Nutrition information can be found below the recipe notes. I’m happy you loved it, Kelly!
Ann Meadow Williamson
This recipe worked out wonderfully for me despite substitutions I made. To conserve honey I used one-third cup of molasses, and no further sweetener. I used one flaxseed meal egg and one regular egg. To limit the amount of coconut oil, I used less than one third cup and topped up the measure with olive oil. I used regular whole wheat flour. The bread came out less chunky than I expected, perhaps because I whisked the batter a lot to make the banana bits smaller. I like the smooth, somewhat dense consistency and really appreciate the recipe’s low fat and 100% whole wheat content.
Wondering if you are using fresh milled wheat bread or do I need to adjust water to do so
Hi Kimberly, I wouldn’t know without trying it, sorry!
It definitely did not turn out. After about an hour and a half I just turn the oven off. It’s still doughy inside. I will check it in the morning and see if the residual heat in the oven ends up finishing it.
Hi Kimberly, I’m sorry to hear that. Are you sure you had the measurements correct and your oven was to temp?
my favorite banana bread recipe! I tried it after the other healthy banana bread recipe turned out great. only thing is that my loaf pan was filled to like, surface tension. probably just me.
I loved this recipe. It was divine & guilt free. I didn’t add the honey & it was still yummy enough. I had an abundance of overripe bananas so made the banana muffins as well & added choc chips. I am super thrilled with the results. My first time baking cakes with wholewheat flour & surprisingly delicious, (I used Stoneground wholewheat flour).
Thank you Kate for sharing your lovely healthy recipes with the world. Will definitely be making again.
I love this recipe so much that I make it almost every week to share with my neighbors and co-workers. I reduce the amount of maple syrup (I like it less sweet so I add some milk to make 1/2 cup), add 1 cup of walnut piece and freshly ground cardamom (2 teaspoon). It’s really amazing.
I love that! Thank you for sharing, Sunny.
Probably the best bread I ever made. Thanks again for an amazing recipe, I also added just under 1c frozen blueberries sprinkled w some flour. It looks fantastic, it smells divine. It came out the pan in one piece (LOL) and I can’t wait to taste the first slice.
I’m glad to hear it turned out! I hope you enjoyed it, Saskia.
Delish!! I have made the blueberry muffins and pumpkin bread from this site and decided to try the banana bread. I used honey and EVOO and baked it for 60 min. Next time, I might try baking it for a minute or 2 less. It’s a keeper!
I made this last week, and took it on a 4 day camping trip in the Masai Mara (Kenya). It was perfect for breakfast! It will now be one of my camping staples.
I used dark brown sugar instead of the honey/maple syrup. I might add dates and/or nuts next time for a full breakfast experience.
Sounds fun! Thank you for sharing.
Lovely – Perfect – Thank you!
I used a mix of whole wheat and white spelt flour, a mix of honey and maple syrup, and a mix of olive oil and coconut oil and it’s turned out delicious and moist.
Great recipe and I’ll make it again.
You’re welcome, Dw! I appreciate your review.
Great recipe. Really yummy.
Tried this for the first time today, baking over Zoom with my grandchildren on another continent. We decided that adding dark chocolate chips would be a good idea. 100g of these made for a delicious bread, but more (un)heathy chocolate bread with banana than banana bread with chocolate chips. Maybe 50g next time … and there will be a next time!
How fun! Thank you for sharing, Andrew.
I have been searching for a whole wheat flour banana bread for more than 40 years–and I just now found it!!! Every other recipe was too dry, too crumbly, too coarse–this one is perfect! I used maple syrup, avocado oil and the soda mixed with the hot water. Thank you for the fabulous recipe–my search is finally over!!
Hooray! I’m glad you finally found it and loved it, Kathryn.
I always make a recipe the way it’s written the first time, then change it if it needs it. This one doesn’t need it at all. It was delicious, the only thing I did was use parchment paper instead of oiling the tin, but that doesn’t count! This is a keeper, it’s now in my library. It’s fantastic, thanks so much for this!
You’re welcome, Bev! Thank you for your review.
Amazing recipe! It has become a family’s favorite recipe for cake cravings. Thank you for sharing..
Mine turned out well, my sister loved it too…not too sweet, but I might try also use unbleached flour since the wheat flour is a little bit heavy on the stomach…may I ask if I can add a tbspoon of white vinegar into it? To make it more fluffy and airy?
I’m sorry you didn’t love it. I’m not sure about adding vinegar to it as I haven’t tried it. Sorry!
Great recipe, moist and tasty not overly sweet. I sprinkled some powder sugar on it. Great recipe!
Oh my this recipe is foolproof. The first time I made it using butter, honey and way too many bananas, but other than taking about 75 minutes to fully cook, it still turned out moist and delicious. The next time I switch to maple syrup along with coconut oil. I added a1/2 cup of bran to the flour and added an extra 1/4 cup of milk (1/2 cup total) and it turned out slightly dryer but once again, perfect. The addition of the bran seems to make it more wholesome or homemade and with coconut oil it seemed less oily or greasy compared to the butter version. I have never made banana bread before and love this recipe. It very low in sugar and when using coconut oil, its a reasonably healthy snack. Thank you for the recipe.
What is the measurements in grams
I don’t have gram conversions, sorry! I do know others have found this conversion chart helpful.
Can I substitute oil for butter ? If yes then at what quantity
Hi, I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure. Sorry!
This recipe is seriously delicious !!! Very flavourful and moist. Will definitely be making this one again!!
I’ve made this twice so far and it’s truly delicious!! I give it FIVE STARS for HEALTHY AND DELICIOUS!!
Because I love both flavors, I use 1/4 cup honey plus 1/4 cup maple syrup. Also, to make my flour “pastry flour” I blend 1 3/4 tsp dry powdered milk with my whole wheat flour.
I’ll try to get a picture of it to share next time but it’s so yummy, it’s eaten before I get the chance!
I’m glad you loved it, Mrs. B!