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
Moist Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Moist, delicious whole wheat banana bread. Yes, really! Best healthy banana bread recipe on the internet with a Breadtopia video tutorial to boot.

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour, 40 minutes

Yield: 1 Loaf


  • 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!

Moist Whole Wheat Banana Bread Recipe

Earlier Comments

249 thoughts on “Moist Whole Wheat Banana Bread Recipe

  1. Hello i am a Profesional Footballer,
    i am German of Jamacian herratage.
    my English speekig is alittle poor. (so im sorry for errors)
    ive just commented your website to say your very popular here in Germany.
    hope to have a reply from you to speek to your admires and many fans here in Schalke and the rest of Germany.
    Vielen Dank

  2. Here’s another recipe from an English baker:

    Tiger Loaf
    Makes 1 loaf

    500g strong white bread flour
    2 tsp salt
    2 tsp of yeast (or 1 sachet of fast-action yeast)
    2 tbsp sesame oil
    1 tsp sugar
    300ml warm water ( 1/3 freshly boiled, 2/3 cold water)

    If you are NOT using fast-action yeast prepare yeast with the warm water & sugar and leave for 15 min to froth.

    Tiger topping

    1 1/2 tsp yeast
    65ml warm water (you may need more)
    1 tsp sugar
    1 1/2 tsp sesame oil
    60g rice flour

    1) Mix together flour, salt and fast-action yeast (if using).

    2) Stir sesame oil into the warm water/sugar (and yeast is not using fast-action) mix. Pour the liquid slowly into the flour, stirring constantly until well combined.

    3) Knead dough on a floured surface for 10 min. If using a mixer, use dough hook and knead for 2 min. Shape dough into a bowl, place in a lightly oiled bowl and leave to prove in a warm, draft-less place for 2 hours (or until dough has doubled in size).

    4) Mix together tiger paste ingredients and leave for 15 min. You may need to add a bit more warm water to loosen the paste.

    5) Preheat oven to 240oc. Flatten the risen dough with your hand then knead for a further 30 seconds on a floured surface. Roll out into a fat sausage shape and place onto a greased baking sheet. Coat the surface of the bread with the tiger paste and leave to prove for a further 30 min.

    5) Cook bread for 10 min at 240oc then turn the oven down to 200oc. Cook bread for a further 10 min. If you tap the base of the bread and it sounds hollow the bread is cooked. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

    Note that this makes a whole lot less amount of the topping than does the other recipe.

  3. Thomas Colin

    Hi Eric, thank you for your reply, sorry it doesnt have tigers init.
    but this is how to make it…

    The nutty flavour comes from sesame oil and the mottled crust is due to a rice paste glaze, but I can’t find a proper recipe.

    The bread mix is standard but the clever bit is the topping, I found one recipe for it, however it is commercial sized so you will need to proportion it down to size, this is to go with 5Kg of flour!

    Rice Flour 1 1/2 Kg
    Water 1 1/2 Kg
    Sugar 90 grm
    Vegetable Oil 75 grm
    Salt 30grm
    Fresh Yeast 30grm (or 1 sachet Instant)

    Mix all ingredients for the Tiger Skin together till smooth – set aside
    Make your usual white bread, mould or tin it, spread tiger mix evenly on top of dough, prove for about 55 minutes, bake at 200 deg for about 55 minutes or until cooked.
    Hope this helps.

  4. Hi Thomas.

    I hadn’t heard of tiger bread until now. I do love tigers. Do you have a recipe?

  5. Thomas Colin

    Hello Eric,
    Im loving your new video
    What are your thoughts on tiger bread?
    I love it.
    But, and here’s a challenge, can you make it?

  6. Great idea on the pancake batter. Although if you expected anyone to add syrup or other sweet toppings, it seems like cutting way back on the sugar in the recipe would be a good idea too.

  7. a1000hugs

    This recipes holds up to being moist and super delicious. Admittedly I exchange 1/2 cup white flour out of concern since I was making it for a bunch of pre-schoolers for their valentine party today. But after eating some I bet that white flour had nothing to do with its good taste. Also instead of baking a loaf bread I put it in one ounce muffin pans (made 4 dozen), and it took about 18minutes to bake. So if you have the patience and you want to decrease the cooking time those small muffins are so good to eat, one right after another!

    Since 4 doezen wasn’t enough for the pre-schoolers and my appetite for them I made a second batch. Since I only had 1.5 bananas left I used 1 cup of grated carots and 1/3 cup grated apple…yummy!! with no other changes. Again I filled the 1 ounce muffin pan and they cooked up perfectly in 18minutes.

    My last thought is, if I thined out the batter, do you think it would make a good pancake batter?

  8. Fern

    This is excellent! I will be making this bread for the rest of my life. It’s a simple recipe that’s difficult to ruin. Thanks a lot. Keep up the great work!

    Fern's Banana Bread

    Fern's Banana Bread

  9. Richard

    The loaf I made when it was finished and ready to eat was it lacked flavour.
    Maybe, I will try Hershey cinnamon chips next time.

  10. Michelle

    Just made this bread, but I didnt have walnuts so instead I added 3/4 cup of Hershey cinnamon chips, and it is AMAZING!!

  11. Richard

    I also added extra vanilla and cinnamon.

  12. Richard

    I tried the bread as said. I cooked it at 375 and it turned out ok.
    It toook about an hour to cook it.
    Thanks for making it available to try

  13. Brenda McCormick

    Just tried the whole wheat banana bread…yummmmmmmmmmm…if you haven’t tried it, you should. Didn’t expect it to be that good with 100% whole wheat, pleasantly surprised.


  14. My brother and I made this with the alteration of using half cup of olive oil instead of butter. it was delicious and disappeared very fast. Thank you for the recipe. I will be using it again. Happy New Year. we also used almonds instead of walnuts – so I guess any similar nuts would be OK too.

  15. Daphne

    I just made this recipe, slightly modified since we have made a pact to avoid refined sugar as much as possible. I used whole wheat graham flour (I bought it on accident, but have discovered that I really like it), 1/2 cup of honey, no brown sugar or white sugar, but I added a skosh of molasses. I also threw in a little bit of wheat germ just ‘cuz I like it. OMG, so very very nummy!

  16. Stephanie

    I just made this banana bread recipe. I didn’t have nutmeg, nuts, or vanilla, and I used cane sugar instead of honey. This banana bread was AWSOME! It won’t last long in this house. I have a new banana bread recipe! Thank you very much.

  17. Dave the Novice


    I think whole wheat gets a bad rap. It is certainly possible to make good, light, bread with 100% whole wheat, and it’s a lot better for you than breads with lots of refined flours.

    I have been making a loaf of 100% whole wheat bread in my bread machine every week for several years. I particularly like it for my breakfast toast, but the grandchildren just like to eat it plain. I admit, it took me some time to develop a recipe without white flour that would work, but I did finally figure it out. By the way, I add wheat germ to my bread, even though it is already 100% whole wheat. I just like the taste.

    Right now, I’m on a sourdough kick, so I am trying to convert my favorite recipe to sourdough. I’m not there, yet, but I will get there.

    Meanwhile, others more expert than I are making many different versions of 100% whole wheat bread. Here’s a link to one of them:


    That site has a wealth of information on everything about bread.

  18. The Poster Formerly Known as Bread Doofus

    Actually, Holly B., I was quite satisfied with the rise I got with the original recipe of all WW flour. It probably would rise more with some white in it, I guess, but it actually rose to the top of the loaf pan as it was baking. I will definitely make this recipe again, but with part white, part WW.

    I used to use wheat germ years ago, can’t remember what for, but I like the taste. Thanks for reminding me of it, I’m going to get some more and start trying it in some different foods.

  19. Holly B.

    Yeah, fiber is indeed good for what ails you on the “porcelain pony”! Whether you make adobe or the “wetter” variety, fiber helps. It absorbs liquids during its travels from mouth to pony. That keeps the end result from being too – juicy. But it also avoids the adobe, because it holds the moisture, and that acts to lubricate and soften the adobe. So either way, fiber does help!

    How to get it? Lots of fresh fruits and veggies, to start with. Their type of fiber is different from the kind cereals have. Whole grains, of course, help a lot. But does everybody eat cereal in the morning? (Cornflakes, BTW, don’t contain much fiber.) Many busy people don’t bother with breakfast. I’ve also bought a jar of natural laxative – all it is is the husks from cereals, mainly wheat. It has no nutrition or calories at all, and gives you only fiber. It’s no fun to take it, but if you know how dearly you’ll pay tomorrow if you don’t, you WILL take it. It’s just mixed with some water and slugged down. It’s better – and cheaper – than Metamusil. See if you can find it – a healthfood store probably carries it, but some large grocery/drug stores might, also.

    Wheat germ can be the answer. It’s rich in vitamin Bs, and people who don’t get enough fiber are often low on those, too. Its nutty taste is compatible with many foods. I even sprinkle some on pizza. Experiment with ways to add some to foods you already enjoy and eat often. If whole wheat bread appeals to you, buy it, but some people find it too dry. If you’re making homemade bread that uses bread flour or plain flour, just throw in a few Tbs (2-4) of wheat germ. It won’t affect how the bread turns out, and will add its lovely flavor, too. If you’re making a streusel-type coffee cake, mix some in with the streusel topping. Sprinkle some on a sundae. Mix it in with breadcrumbs that you’ll use for topping recipes, like casseroles.

    Oh, you might try this – I love it. Mix 2 tbs of wheat germ with some yoghurt, then add a good dollop of honey (to sweeten to taste) and mix. I sometimes add chopped nuts and/or sesame seeds. This is very delicious, kind of like a dessert; I enjoy it sometimes at bedtime.

    The only problem with wheat germ is that you have to remember to use it, that’s all.

  20. Holly B.

    Banana bread, like apple bread, muffins, cornbread – you don’t KNEAD any of these. They’re called “Quick Breads” in any cookbook. The key to good quality in quick breads is to remember not to overmix once you put the dry and wet ingredients together. Stir only until mostly moistened – the batter should be lumpy, and may even have some dry spots visible. Stir only till the ingredients are essentially well-distributed. Overmixing gives a loaf that is dense and hardly risen at all.

    This is WHY they are called quick breads.

    So why be surprised that you don’t have to knead? It’s typical for this type of bread. If you weren’t aware of the necessities for making quick breads, you’d better learn them before trying them, because most peoples’ inclination is to mix wet and dry together thoroughly. And that leads to failure.

    I haven’t tried this recipe, because I was curious why there was no regular flour included. Whole wheat flour hasn’t got enough gluten to allow breads to rise properly. Most whole wheat cakes and breads include some plain flour – usually half flour and half whole wheat, to allow the bread to rise fully. The only kind of recipe that calls only for whole wheat flour is a cake or bread that is supposed to bake up flat. Of course quick breads don’t depend on gluten as much as yeast breads do, but even so, whole wheat quick breads usually DO call for some white flour, and this one doesn’t. It appears that people who make it love it, even if it tends to fall apart in the hand. So maybe it isn’t a big deal. I’d still prefer to try one that has some regular flour in it.

    You can use any kind of nut you like in banana bread; it’ll turn out dandy. Walnut is traditional because its taste goes best with bananas. But pecans are no slouch! If I were rich enough, I might even try macadamia nuts.

    If your husband got gas, maybe next time make it with half plain flour and half whole wheat. It might hold together better, then, too. If you want to know whether it was the whole wheat that caused his problem, get some wheat germ, and sprinklle some of it over some food he enjoys, like a casserole – any dish that allows for a topping of breadcrumbs or other goodies. If he gets gas again, you’ll know it IS the whole wheat. Wheat germ, BTW, is loaded with both fiber and vitamin B’s. Use it often – it adds a nice “nutty” flavor. It can even be enjoyed, with milk and sugar, as a breakfast cereal. If it wasn’t the whole wheat that caused the gas, make this bread next time with ONLY plain flour, but add 1-2 Tbs of wheat germ. Nice.

    Also, ovens vary; you have to know YOURS pretty well to know if it is contributing to any problems you have with recipes. If your bread turns out perfect on the outside and kinda gooey in the middle, you should either lower the oven temp next time or else use a pyrex baking pan about 8×10″ rather than a loaf pan. With the batter spread out a bit more, it’ll be more likely to cook all the way through. But watch it, since it may not need as much baking time as a loaf does. Grease the pan first generously with butter or margarine. Also, if your moist fruity quick breds tend to scorch on the bottom before the middle is cooked, either use lower oven temp for the second half of the baking time (the first half is needed hotter, to permit rising), or put the bread pan on top of another (I use a two-ply cookie sheet; it insulates nicely) – or perhaps do both, especially if this bottom-scorching seems to be making a habit of itself. It wouldn’t hurt to test and adjust your oven temperature, if it seems to be consistently too hot or not hot enough.

    If your loaf isn’t quite done all the way through, it won’t hurt you to eat it. The uncooked starch in the flour will be harder to digest though, and it may also impart that “uncooked starch” flavor, too. I don’t know if uncooked starch can lead to flatulence, but it certainly might.

    Quick breads commonly share the attribute of keeping a long time, especially if they contain fruit. But it’s best to refrigerate them; otherwise the fruit may grow bacteria, especially if bits of it are visible. Most people don’t, though, and I don’t think they get sick often, so take your pick. There is one type of quick bread that is NOT a “keeper,” and that’s bisquits. Eat ’em hot from the oven, and they’re ambrosia. Wait a couple of hours and…bleh.

  21. Paul B.

    I made this recipe 3 days ago, and followed the directions exactly. I also only had chopped pecans on hand, so I used them instead of walnuts. It tastes absolutely fantastic! The only thing is, it’s really really moist, to the point where you can’t pick it up without it falling apart. I used 4 large bannana’s, and maybe I should have only used three??? I also used honey, instead the sugar that you use in the video, and maybe that made it super moist??? Maybe I didn’t cook it long enough… after I tried the first slice, I put it back in the oven for another 15 minutes, but that didn’t seem to help. It sure does taste great though!

  22. Andrew

    Ha – good for you!!! Fibre is your friend!! The flour here in Taiwan is actually really good for home brew bread! Very surprised. My sour dough starter is so active. Much better than in Australia – maybe ‘cos it is 30 degrees C here and was only about 20 C in Sydney! I have got to the stage now where I just pour some white flour, pour about 1/3 the same amount of WW and then add the other bits – Linseed, nuts, raisins (not in sour dough), cinnamon, etc, mix the dry things, pour in a cup and half or so of water, mix and wait!

    These are really good recipes …good on you Eric! Banana bread will be going next week!

  23. Bread Doofus

    Nope, it was the whole-wheat flour. I’m tellin’ ya, we don’t get enough fiber around here!

    I ended up eventually finishing the whole thing by myself after my husband quit (a piece a day with my spiced tea), and it never bothered me again. My stomach was just reacting to that jolt of fiber! It stayed nice and moist for over a week. I really enjoyed it, but I’m still going to reduce the WW flour next time so my husband can enjoy it, too.

  24. Andrew

    Come on Doofas, it is only the guys who get gas, right? Girls just don’t do that! Hehe…

    Sounds like some gastro bug…maybe the bananas were a little too ripe? Eggs OK?

    Maybe you guys are sensitive to some things in the bread? Does this happen with any other foods?

  25. Bread Doofus

    Don’t laugh, but has this bread given anyone gas? I’m serious, now! 🙂

    I guess we don’t get enough fiber in our diet at my house….the first time I ate a piece I had painful gas later that evening. I didn’t connect it until it happened again the next time I ate a piece. I’m still eating it and not being bothered by it now, but my husband can’t eat a piece without his stomach cramping, so he stopped eating it. Next time I’ll use half white and see what happens. Would I need to adjust anything else if I did that?

    Y’all stop that laughing.

  26. Lee Ann

    Thanks Eric! I lowered the heat to 325 and it worked great! Loaf looked really nice and was not burned a bit! Did not get to taste it or take a picture, a friend ran off with it! (You would think people had never seen homemade bread before. : )

    I wonder if the temperature issue is just a location or altitude thing? Down here in Louisiana we are below sea level, ya know . . . Hmm I will have to research that, maybe its in McGee’s book

    Lee Ann

  27. Hi Lee Ann,

    Reducing the heat should do it.

    Different types of bread pans definitely have different baking characteristics. I don’t think butter vs oil is an issue.

  28. Lee Ann

    I made this recipe last night and the taste is fantastic! Unfortunately my edges also were too dark, almost burned. It did need the full time to bake though, because the middle would not have been cooked. Next time I will try reducing the heat to 325.

    I’m a newbie baker. Do you experienced bakers notice any difference using different loaf pans? I was using a non stick metal loaf pan. Would pyrex or ceramic be better to prevent burned edges?

    Also, i greased the pan with unsalted butter.. maybe i should use oil?

    Thanks for any help!

    I love your videos Eric and thanks for shipping my goodies so fast!!!

    Lee Ann
    Newbie Baker ;p

  29. Bread Doofus

    Ok, I tried this one and it turned out well. Yay! It browned a little more quickly than the recipe said, and I know my oven was right on 350 the whole time because I have an oven thermometer. So next time I’ll cut the bake time down some. My husband liked it because he’s trying to eat more healthfully. I was afraid he wouldn’t like the pure whole wheat and started to mix it half white, but decided to go ahead and stick right to the recipe the first time around. It really was nice and moist, even though mine was a little overbaked, and it was still moist today. I had a slice with my spiced tea this morning.

  30. Mireille

    just made this – as mini muffins and mini loaves – came out great! I think next time I will add in another banana or two… I love that flavor! Keep ’em coming!

  31. patti

    Wanted to say I love all your bread videos and have become hooked on your website.
    My husband makes wines and had some grape skins left over and I decide to try my hand a making a sour dough starter from them. It took less than a day to get it going, but still did wait the full three days. I tried two different flours, one ww and the other a masa. They both came out very well. Taking baby steps with this new found knowledge, I decided to make a very small loaf of sour dough bread , just 1 1/2 cups and used and old sunbeam bowl to raise and bake it in. It was a beautiful loaf of bread I have only dreamed to make. It was probably a little softer than shown here but still with a wonderful taste and texture. The second loaf , used the larger sunbeam bowl with the full recipe. Again another great loaf, again not as artisan as shown here, but created a happy table with flowers, wine, cheese and homemade bread.

    I usually can’t stop when on a roll and I did make the ww banana bread and used the KA flour and exact recipe prescribed here. It is marvelous! I will make another loaf with pure maple butter to take to work.

    Thanks for the healthy recipes. I hunt constantly for websites as yours.
    Wishing you both great health always.

  32. Eduardo Schütz Turlaj

    it´s very tasteful!congratulations.

  33. karin

    ps to ps: I used 6 medium bananas , they were to ripe to eat.

  34. karin

    wow!! this banana nut bread is delicious!! made it yesterday evening….it is all gone now. thankyou again for sharing your experience and recipes. I’ll try the recipe for whole wheat bread with the starter. I’ll let you know.
    ps: it took me 20 more min of cooking, but it was worth to wait for. 🙂

  35. Amy

    This is surprisingly good! It is a lot different than the recipe I usually use but I like it. Sweet but not too sweet. I like using honey in it. Makes it more moist I think. My daughter loved it and called it cake. Thanks.

  36. Sounds great, Susan.

  37. susan

    Hey Eric, I tried the banana bread recipe and loved it! I used what I had on hand….substituted 1cup barley flour and 1 cup all purpose instead of whole wheat. I did not have enough bananas so I added 1/2c yogurt. Nice crumb!

  38. Hi Luci,

    Sounds like a good idea. You’ll probably have to experiment with this since you might be one of the first people on the planet to try it. But if it works, let us know!

    Since sourdough starter works slowly, I’m wondering if you would have to let it sit for a few hours to get established. Also, since starter is wet, and baking soda is dry, I think you would want to add more flour to the recipe.

    Good luck if you try it.

  39. Luci

    Is it possible to use sourdough leaven instead of baking soda powder? If yes, how much? Thank you and Ciao

  40. Hurray, we have our first independent report on this banana bread recipe.

    Thanks Jessy, so glad you like it!

  41. Jessy

    I love it! I was worrited it would be like some other whole wheat things ive had in the past “cardboard” but its nice. Its really hardy too. I ashamed to admit i actually overbaked it a bit and its still really good. 😀

  42. Hey Tom,

    How about that. I hadn’t though of it but you’re sure right. Who kneeds it? Sorry.

    I’m tapping my fingers waiting for someone to tell me they’ve tried this banana bread recipe and how much they like it… or don’t like it.

  43. Hi Fran,

    Cottage cheese dill bread sounds good. May be quite a while (ages) though before I’d get to it as my list is miles long. So much bread, so little time. 😉

  44. Tom

    Am I the only one to notice that this is yet another no-knead bread recipe? Keep ’em coming, Eric!

    Can’t wait to try this one.

  45. fran

    Hi Eric, I love watching your videos and have learned a lot from you.Would you consider doing a cottage cheese dill bread? I had this years ago and have wanted to be able to bake it myself. I know with your input this would be possible.

  46. Hi Sylvia.

    How did it go? You could be the first to report on this recipe. I’m looking forward to seeing if others are as enthusiastic about it as I am.

  47. Sylvia

    My husband always buys to many bananas…no matter what I say….so today I will make this recipe with 5 leftover bananas…he bought 6 fresh yesturday!! We still have some leftover banana bread from last week in the frig…: (….quess I will send some fresh over to the neighbors… : )…..I’m looking forward to trying this with my white wheat…though my very favorite recipe is called banana,banana bread on the All Recipes.com.

  48. I think you might be thinking of water. It weighs 8 oz/cup. WW flour runs closer to 5 oz per.

  49. Micki

    I want to try it also. However, would not 2 cups of whole wheat flour be 16 ounces?

  50. Wow, that certainly looks like an excellent recipe that I will definitely try. Thanks:)

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