As if the world needs another banana bread recipe, right?

Well, if you’re conflicted like I am about balancing pure culinary delight with a modicum of health and nutrition, then you’ll find this moist whole wheat banana bread recipe a worthy contribution. It satisfies on all levels.

This is straight out of Whole Grain Baking by King Arthur Flour. I tweak it very slightly in the video but I’m not sure it’s to any advantage. The video, by the way, is quite unnecessary as the instructions below are more than adequate. But I do have fun shooting them and like to think there’s a chance someone will pick up a thing or two from watching.

Note: If you want to get wild and crazy, try adding a half cup of dried sweetened cranberries or, as my chocoholic wife quickly discovered, a half cup of semi sweet chocolate chips will send banana bread lovers over the top and maybe convert a few critics.


Moist Whole Wheat Banana Bread Recipe and Instructions:

Be sure to use ultra ripe bananas for this. Their skins should be mottled black and they should feel soft to the touch. Using what you would normally consider to be ripe bananas will diminish the bread’s rich flavor.

½ cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) unsalted butter
½ cup (3 ¾ ounces) packed light or dark brown sugar
¾ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 ½ cups (~ 12 ounces) mashed ripe banana (3-4 medium to large bananas)
¼ cup (3 ounces) honey (I used sugar – works fine)
2 large eggs
2 cups (8 ounces) whole wheat flour, traditional or white whole wheat (I found that 2 cups was closer to 10 ounces – guess my whole wheat is heavy)
½ cups (2 ounces) chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 F degrees. Lightly grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

Beat together the butter, sugar, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla in a medium bowl until smooth. Add the banana, honey and eggs, beating until smooth. Add the flour and nuts, stirring until smooth. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and let it rest at room temperature, uncovered for 10 minutes.

Bake the bread for 50 minutes. Lay a piece of foil gently across the top and bake until a cake tester (like a toothpick) inserted into the center comes out clean, 10 to 15 minutes more. Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes before turning it out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely.

Handy Tip: If you don’t happen to have ultra ripe bananas around and don’t want to wait for yours to get that way, click here for an easy work around. Thanks to Melody for this.

High Altitude Baking Notes: Barbara posted some successful high altitude adjustments she made to this recipe. She lives at 6000 feet. Thanks Barbara!

241 thoughts on “Moist Whole Wheat Banana Bread

  1. Aymeigh

    Had this recipe on my Pinterest for a while and finally had a chance to make it. I followed it exactly, though I didn’t have any walnuts in the house. Turned out great! I’ll be making this again. The consistency was still perfect, nice and moist with great flavor.

  2. Wenzel

    I am using this recipe for the 2nd time now. I thought it was so good, it has now become my Christmas gift as mini-loaves to friends and family.

  3. I loved this recipe!! So sweet and delicious! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Frank

    I just made this bread and I say not bad. I used sugar instead of honey. A little sweet and “earthy” for me. I will make it again with slightly less sugar and half whole wheat, half AP flour. But all in all it is very good.

  5. tony

    ok, let´s start by saying i HATE banana-nut bread. BUT i do love banana-nut muffins. but the BIG ones like you get can get at coffee bars. this recipe, with its addition of honey, sounded like one i found and lost years ago. for those of us who are at the Denver and above altitudes — the link to Barbara´s post does not come up with a different recipe for high altitude baking. So i followed the given recipe. just followed other site recipes for the baking instructions – muffins don´t need 50 minutes or more in the oven. i started with 15 minutes with a wooden toothpick, and then a check at every 5 minutes after that. needed 25 minutes. but they came out a little bit toasted. so i would suggest lowering the oven temperature to 325F to avoid the “toasted” effect. it´s the honey in the recipe. net result — totally deeeelish. tony up in the mountains of central america.

  6. Kamiesha

    Just tried this recipe. I too put brown sugar, white sugar and honey because I didn’t read the recipe correctly. When I realized I messed up, I decided, o’well might as well keep sweetening to taste. It turned out to be my best loaf thus far. It is a very forgiving recipe. I will be bookmarking this. Thank you for the recipe.

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