Classic Banana Bread Recipe

The Best Healthy Banana Bread Recipe with 4 Different Kinds

Banana bread is the most quintessential baked good. It is delicious year round, it’s actually fairly nutritious (when made right) and honestly I’ve never met a soul who doesn’t like banana bread. There is something about the memories of childhood, the way the smell fills your home as it bakes, and that first bite of perfection that simply cannot be topped. It is heaven… in a loaf.

I’ve been making all sorts of healthy banana breads for years, made with clean ingredients, that taste great! All of these recipes though are not what I would consider “classic” banana bread recipes. So I set out on a quest to test all sorts of ingredients for the perfect “classic” loaf.

While on this quest to perfect this quintessential baked good I figured I’d whip up some fun variations for you as well! As you scroll down you will see not only my classic recipe, but also a Chocolate Chip Banana Bread, Pumpkin Banana Bread and Cinnamon Raisin Banana Bread. All of these recipes are made with clean ingredients that will both nourish your body and make your taste buds smile 🙂

You Know What I Love About Banana Bread…

You can take something that’s brown, overripe, nearly un-usable and turn it into something beautiful! There is some sort of metamorphosis story in there. I love that something like old bananas can become something so incredibly delicious! In fact, you want your bananas to be quite ripe when you make banana bread. Don’t make the mistake of using moderately ripe bananas (like the kind you would eat) for bread. The reason we want really ripe bananas is because they get sweeter as they ripen! Over time the starches break down in the banana and turn into sugars. Check out the image below to make sure that you are selecting the right ripeness of banana for your bread making!

Healthy Ingredient Swaps I’ve Made for a Better Banana Bread

My goal with this recipe was to make it taste like your mother’s recipe, while using cleaner ingredients. You will notice the following in the recipe below:

  • White flour swapped for –> oat flour & whole wheat flour
  • Sugar swapped for –> honey
  • Butter swapped for –> coconut oil
  • Sour cream/yogurt swapped for –> applesauce

The resulting recipe makes a super moist loaf that is packed with whole grains, lower in sugar and dairy-free! A slice of this banana bread will easily have you fooled for the many less-nutritious recipes because it tastes just as delicious.

FAQs About Banana Bread

Why is banana bread good for you?

Depending on the recipe, banana bread can be a very healthy part of your diet. The recipe below is made with whole grain flours that are packed with fiber, no refined sugar and no dairy, for a healthy loaf that makes for a great breakfast or snack. Additionally bananas are a great source of micronutrients, including potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin C and more!

Which flour should I use for banana bread?

Most recipes are made with all-purpose flour, which is not your healthiest choice. I’ve crafted a recipe for you that is made with oat flour and whole wheat flour to provide you with whole grains and more fiber, which results in a more satiating slice of bread.

If you make the entire loaf with whole wheat flour you will end up with a dense loaf that is a bit less moist, but still tasty. And if you use all oat flour you will end up with a loaf that is super moist but doesn’t rise like a normal loaf of bread, and is definitely still tasty as well. I have found using 1 cup of oat flour and 1 cup of whole wheat flour to make the perfect loaf!

Is banana bread gluten free?

Banana bread is gluten free if made with flours such as oat, coconut and almond flour. Wheat flour is not gluten free.

When purchasing oats to make oat flour remember that oats are naturally gluten free, but may be processed in a plant that also contains glutenous products. Make sure you are getting “gluten-free” oats if you have Celiac disease, as this indicates the oats were processed in a facility without gluten. If you are looking for an oat-flour based banana bread, check out this recipe for PB&J Banana Bread 🙂

What makes banana bread moist?

Banana bread is made moist with the right ratio of wet to dry ingredients, along with specific ingredients that improve the moistness of the loaf. I have experimented with adding both yogurt and applesauce to banana bread for extra moisture and have consistently found that applesauce works best. The classic banana bread recipe below includes 1/2 cup of applesauce in addition to the coconut oil, mashed bananas and honey to boost how moist this delicious recipe is!

Can banana bread be frozen?

Banana bread can definitely be frozen. Once your bread has cooled, tightly wrap it in aluminum foil and then place it in a resealable freezer bag. You can even slice it before freezing it and wrap individual slices for quick thawing of personal portions.

Your banana bread will taste just as good as when it came out of the oven for up to 3-4 months, when stored in the freezer. When you are ready to enjoy it, simply thaw it in the refrigerator or on the counter!

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Classic Banana Bread

  • Mashed ripe bananas – Make sure these are truly, thoroughly mashed!
  • Honey – I love using a local, raw honey.
  • Applesauce – Make sure this is an unsweetened applesauce.
  • Coconut oil – Unrefined has a bit more coconut flavor to it than the refined variety, but in this recipe you won’t taste it so either variety works.
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract – This vanilla extract from Rodelle is my closest baking buddy! Fun fact: I tried making banana bread without vanilla extract while testing recipes – definitely doesn’t taste quite as good.
  • Oat flour – I usually make my own oat flour by simply blending up rolled oats in my Vitamix.
  • Whole wheat flour – Any brand of whole wheat flour works.
  • Baking soda
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt

Key Steps to Making the Perfect Loaf

As you are working through the recipe steps below, there are a few details I want to dive deeper into.

  1. Make sure you are thoroughly mashing the bananas (avoid large chunks) and then thoroughly combining all wet ingredients in a bowl. Since there are eggs in the recipe I like to use a fork and a whisking motion to whip together all the wet ingredients. When everything is thoroughly combined, it should look like this:

2. When you combine your dry ingredients similarly make sure that they are thoroughly combined. Baking soda in particular can easily clump up and nobody wants a big bite of baking soda, so make sure the clumps are broken up. Taking your time to mix the dry ingredients will also result in thoroughly combining the oat and whole wheat flours, along with the spices! When everything is thoroughly combined, it should look like this:

3. DO NOT OVER MIX YOUR BANANA BREAD BATTER. I repeat… do not over mix. When you pour the wet ingredients into the dry, fold them together rather than mixing them. This will help to get you the most fluffy yet perfectly moist banana bread possible!

And if you follow the directions below, you’ll end up with a loaf like this 🙂

Classic Banana Bread Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Classic Banana Bread
The Best Healthy Banana Bread Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

This banana bread is the ULTIMATE recipe you've been searching for. It's moist, pillowy and is made with whole grain flours, no refined sugar and no butter. Decadent without the added junk!

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 250 kcal
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe, mashed, medium bananas (~1 cup when mashed)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

  2. Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl, including the mashed bananas, honey, applesauce, coconut oil, eggs and vanilla extract.

  3. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients, including the oat flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.

  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and fold the wet and dry ingredients together, making sure not to over mix.

  5. Spray a 4×8 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.

  6. Pour your banana bread batter into the lined loaf pan.

  7. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and a knife stuck into the middle comes out clean.

  8. Let cool and enjoy!

Recipe Video

Recipe Notes

PER SERVING

250 cals ~ 10g fat ~ 35g carb ~ 5g protein ~ 3.5g fiber ~ 14g sugar

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe

This is quite possibly my favorite variation because… well… there’s chocolate in it 🙂 Chocolate makes everything better! I took the classic banana bread recipe and jazzed it up with some chocolate, both with chips mixed into the batter and some melted chocolate poured on top. If you are a fan of dark chocolate feel free to swap the semisweet chips for dark chocolate chips!

Though possibly a bit sweet for breakfast, a slice of this chocolate chip banana bread tastes divine in the afternoon with a cup of coffee. The perfect afternoon pick-me-up!

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Chocolate Chip Variation

  • Mashed ripe bananas
  • Honey
  • Applesauce
  • Coconut oil
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Oat flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Baking soda
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Semisweet chocolate chips – You could even make this with dark chocolate chips if you wanted to!
5 from 1 vote
Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Healthy Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

This chocolate chip banana bread recipe is made with clean ingredients and semisweet chocolate chips, delivering you all the chocolate in a healthier banana bread slice!

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 331 kcal
Ingredients
  • 3 ripe, mashed, medium bananas (~1 cup when mashed)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil (1 Tbsp to be used in the melted chocolate)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips (1/2 cup in the batter & 1/2 cup melted and swirled on top)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

  2. Over a double boiler or in the microwave melt 1/2 cup of the chocolate chips with 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil. Complete the following steps as it is melting.

  3. Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl, including the mashed bananas, honey, applesauce, coconut oil, eggs and vanilla extract.

  4. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients, including the oat flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and the other 1/2 cup of chocolate chips.

  5. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and fold the wet and dry ingredients together, making sure not to over mix.

  6. Spray a 4×8 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.

  7. Pour your banana bread batter into the lined loaf pan.

  8. Pour the melted chocolate over the top of the unbaked loaf and swirl it into the batter slightly.

  9. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and a knife stuck into the middle comes out clean.

  10. Let cool and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

PER SERVING

331 cals ~ 15g fat ~ 43g carb ~ 6g protein ~ 6g fiber ~ 25g sugar

Pumpkin Banana Bread Recipe

Nothing says fall like pumpkin and the flavors of banana bread pair perfectly with pumpkin, so this variation felt like a no-brainer. The pumpkin puree helps to make this loaf so delightfully moist and the pumpkin pie spice brings you all the warm, cozy taste you love.

Would it even be fall if you failed to bake anything with pumpkin? Nah. It’s a necessity. Such a necessity that I stocked up on 10 cans of pumpkin puree at the grocery store this year to prepare for lots of pumpkin baking! So whenever I have ripe bananas on hand, I’ve already got the pumpkin puree to make one of these loaves of perfection.

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Pumpkin Variation

  • Mashed ripe bananas
  • Honey
  • Pumpkin puree – Make sure this is pumpkin puree rather than pumpkin pie mix in a can. We want the one that is just pumpkin.
  • Coconut oil
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Oat flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Baking soda
  • Pumpkin pie spice – Mmmmm the ultimate spice of fall!
  • Salt
5 from 1 vote
Pumpkin Banana Bread Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

This pumpkin banana bread recipe has the delightful taste of pumpkin pie, in a delicious loaf of banana bread, made with healthy ingredients!

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 233 kcal
Ingredients
  • 2 ripe, mashed, medium bananas (~2/3 cup when mashed)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 tsp salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

  2. Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl, including the mashed bananas, honey, pumpkin puree, coconut oil, eggs and vanilla extract.

  3. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients, including the oat flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt.

  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and fold the wet and dry ingredients together, making sure not to over mix.

  5. Spray a 4×8 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.

  6. Pour your banana bread batter into the lined loaf pan.

  7. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and a knife stuck into the middle comes out clean.

  8. Let cool and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

PER SERVING

233 cals ~ 9g fat ~ 33g carb ~ 5g protein ~ 3.5g fiber ~ 13g sugar

Cinnamon Raisin Banana Bread Recipe

Have you ever thought to combine the delight of a cinnamon raisin cookie with a loaf of banana bread? Now you have 😉 It’s a game changer. It’s like amped up banana bread, in my opinion. With more cinnamon than the classic recipe and little raisin gems to be found in every slice, you’ll love this variation!

Ingredients You’ll Need for This Cinnamon Raisin Variation

  • Mashed ripe bananas
  • Honey
  • Applesauce
  • Coconut oil
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla extract
  • Oat flour
  • Whole wheat flour
  • Baking soda
  • Cinnamon
  • Salt
  • Raisins
5 from 1 vote
Cinnamon Raisin Banana Bread
Cinnamon Raisin Banana Bread Recipe
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 hr
Total Time
1 hr 15 mins
 

This banana bread recipe is amped up with the addition of extra cinnamon and raisins. Packed with cozy flavor from warm spices and made with healthy ingredients, this cinnamon raisin banana bread recipe is a must for your next baking day!

Course: Snack
Cuisine: American
Servings: 10
Calories: 274 kcal
Ingredients
  • 3 mashed, ripe, medium bananas (~1 cup when mashed)
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup oat flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp raisins (1/2 cup for the batter, 2 Tbsp for the top of the loaf)
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees.

  2. Combine all wet ingredients in a bowl, including the mashed bananas, honey, applesauce, coconut oil, eggs and vanilla extract.

  3. In a separate bowl combine all dry ingredients, including the oat flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and the 1/2 cup of raisins.

  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl of dry ingredients and fold the wet and dry ingredients together, making sure not to over mix.

  5. Spray a 4×8 inch loaf pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper.

  6. Pour your banana bread batter into the lined loaf pan and sprinkle the additional 2 tablespoons of raisins on top.

  7. Bake for 60-70 minutes, until the edges are golden brown and a knife stuck into the middle comes out clean.

  8. Let cool and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

PER SERVING

274 cals ~ 10g fat ~ 41g carb ~ 5g protein ~ 3.5g fiber ~ 19g sugar

Want More Banana Bread Recipes?

Check out a few of my other banana bread recipes!

Looking For More Fun Snack Recipes?

Just like banana bread that can work interchangeably for a snack or breakfast, overnight oats make an incredible choice for either time of day as well! Check out these dessert-inspired healthy overnight oats recipes, which includes recipes for Pumpkin Spice Latte Overnight Oats, Cinnamon Bun Overnight Oats and Brownie Batter Overnight Oats.

Jump to Recipe

1 thought on “The Best Healthy Banana Bread Recipe with 4 Different Kinds”

  1. 5 stars
    The classic banana bread and the chocolate chip one were my favorites. Everyone loved them! We will try the cinnamon raisin bread next.

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