This banana bread recipe is my all-time favorite — it’s super-moist, naturally-sweetened with maple syrup, and made a little healthier with white whole wheat flour.
This banana bread recipe is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk.
At 32-years-old, I’m finally starting to feel like I have some “go-to” recipes nailed down for my favorite foods.
Perfectly-baked chicken breasts? Check. A healthier yet oh-so-creamy fettuccine alfredo recipe? Check. A crowd-pleasing recipe for classic chili? Check. The easiest recipe ever for my favorite kind of chili? Check. Better-than-restaurant fried rice? Check. Always-a-success homemade salsa? Check. A creamy-yet-lighter cheesecake base recipe? Check. Soft and perfectly chewy chocolate chip cookies? Actually, stay tuned, because they’re comin’ atcha next week.
The list goes on, and I’m pretty happy about it. Because after years of trial and error, it feels pretty darn good to have landed upon some of the recipes that I feel confident will last me a lifetime. And it has felt so great to have a place where I can share them with you!
But alas, many (many, many) a reader has emailed me over the years pointing out that there is one classic recipe that has been missing from this site, and I couldn’t agree more. I seriously don’t know how it has taken me 6 years to snap some photos and post this one, because after finding my favorite recipe for it years ago, I make it constantly. And as a bonus? My go-to recipe happens to be naturally sweetened with maple syrup (instead of refined sugar), it’s made with white whole wheat flour, it’s unbelievably rich and moist and banana-y, it’s quick and easy to mix by hand, and — let’s just get to the point — it’s damn good.
It’s my favorite banana bread recipe!
And when I say favorite, I do mean favorite.
I have tried countless banana bread recipes over the years — everything from the sugar-laden buttery breads that I loved in my youth, to the ridiculously-healthy (and often ridiculously-tasteless) recipes that I’ve wanted to love as an adult, and just about everything in between.
But again and again, I found myself coming back to this same whole wheat banana bread recipe that I discovered in college when I was teaching myself how to cook. Back then, I’m pretty sure my rural college town grocery store had barely heard of whole wheat flour, so this was more of an “all-purpose” banana bread until I transitioned to back to its namesake years later. (And then later transitioned to the brilliance that is white whole wheat flour a few years later = game changer!)
Of course, as I learned more about cooking, I also began to make a few more changes to the recipe as the years went on. Almond milk was swapped in place of water (creamier, plus protein!). Maple syrup was swapped in place of honey (since I prefer the flavor of maple, but honey is also still delicious!). Any number of oils have been substituted for vegetable oil (I prefer a mild extra-virgin olive oil, but any other mildly-flavored oils also work!). Cinnamon and nutmeg and extra vanilla and salt were added in (for extra-delicious flavor!). And extra mashed banana was added in (because…banana bread!).
And I must admit that I’m one of those people who adamantly likes my banana bread sans-nuts. But you are more than welcome to add in a 1/2 cup of so if you’d like.
So basically, I’ve slowly tweaked my way to this most delicious of delicious recipes. And while it’s considerably healthier than most traditional banana bread recipes, I’m happy to say that it tastes just as rich and moist and delicious as ever. So let’s make some!!!
We begin, of course, with the most important of important ingredients in a good loaf of banana bread — over-ripe bananas. Don’t even think about making this recipe with perfectly yellow fresh bananas. The browner and spottier, the sweeter and richer. (These ones in the photo were just barely brown enough for my taste.)
Whisk up your dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately, then stir them together until well combined.
Pour them into a bread pan, bake for 50-60 minutes or until completely cooked through. (And enjoy the heavenly smells that will fill your home — better than any candle I know!)
Then once the bread has cooled a bit, dive in…
…and enjoy every delicious, warm, comforting, magical bite of this perfect banana bread.
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, store-bought or homemade
1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas
1 3/4 cups white whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
pinch of ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C). Grease a 9 x 5-inch bread pan with cooking spray, or line it with parchment paper, and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, maple syrup, almond milk, eggs and vanilla extract until combined and smooth. Whisk in the mashed bananas, and whisked until mostly smooth. (There will be some small lumps remaining with the bananas.)
In a separate large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg until combined. Pour the dry ingredient mixture into the banana mixture, and stir until evenly combined, being careful not to over-mix the batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish, and spread the top with a spoon so that it is flat and smooth. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the bread comes out clean. (*If the bread starts to get too dark and brown on top while baking, place a sheet of aluminum foil lightly on top of the bread until it finishes baking.)
Remove from the oven, and let the bread cool on a wire rack for at least 15 minutes before slicing.
*Vegetable oil, canola oil, melted coconut oil, grapeseed oil, or avocado oil would all work here.
**This bread also freezes well! Just wrap the entire loaf or individual slices tightly with plastic wrap, and you can freeze it for up to 3 months.
This post is sponsored by Blue Diamond Almond Breeze Almondmilk. I have partnered with Blue Diamond to bring you some of my favorite recipes with almond milk this year, and all opinions are 100% my own as always. Thanks for continuing to support the brands that help make this site possible!
Banana bread is a MAJOR staple in our house. My husband thinks he is somewhat of a banana bread “connoisseur.”
Whatever that means.
We love trying out new recipes, and I love that you used Almond Milk! Pinned!
Thanks Taylor, we hope you both like this one, and that it’s husband-approved! ;)
I made this today. It is very soft and tastes good. I put 1 teaspoon of baking powder as one review stated that it did not rise. Mine has doubled. I also used 2% milk as I did not have almond milk. Thanks for the recipe.
Ha, at 35, I just realized I never cooked a single thing, not even a grilled cheese till the day I got married. The food plan at college spoiled me. No clue! Fast forward with a husband and kids…..they want to be fed. Everyday. 3 meals. It’s ridiculous. So you NEED those go-to recipes just to survive. Thanks for this banana bread recipe. I can put a slice in everyone’s lunches this week for school.
Laura, we’re happy you like this recipe – definitely check out the other recipes on the blog as well, there are TONS that are super quick and easy! :)
I love all the healthy ingredients in this recipe!! I can’t wait to make this!! Pinned!
Thanks Deborah, we hope you like it! :)
Love banana bread! This looks fabulous! I love the use of the almond milk!
Thanks Emily, we hope you enjoy it!
Very excited to try a healthier banana bread recipe! Quick question – about how many bananas for 1.5 cups mashed? I wasn’t sure if you used all 5 in the picture. :-) Thanks!
Good question! I used about 3 (large) bananas to equal 1.5 cups mashed.
I have a pumpkin bread recipe I feel similarly about! Love this Ali. Banana bread is a staple in my book.
Can’t wait for that chocolate chip cookie recipe!
Josh | The Kentucky Gent
I love banana bread! and a healthier version even better! This looks fantastic :)
Pinning this for later!
Thanks Ana, we hope you enjoy this one!
would love to forward this to my email addresss….. any way to do this? My printer is on the fritz – but maybe I will just go to library and copy there. I have a ton of things to copy!! Looking forward to this banana bread and love the Almond milk and maple syrup. I will add nuts to it though. I can hardly wait. If this is as good as it looks, I will def give as gifts throughout the year. Thank you very much!!
Made this yesterday as soon as the recipe came in my inbox. It tastes awesome! I used spelt flour instead but kept everything else the same and I was so impressed with the flavor. Very moist too. Thanks!
Awesome, thanks for sharing Jill! :)
Love banana bread! Your pictures totally have me craving some fresh banana bread now. Yum!
Thanks Emily, we hope you love this recipe as much as we do! :)
Ali this looks so unbelievably moist! I am banana bread obsessed – always looking for a new recipe to try, can’t wait to give this one a go!
I thought I had already found my go-to banana bread recipe, I was mistaken! This is so, so good! Perfectly moist and just sweet enough. I love how you always find a way to ‘skinny’ down your recipes! This is for sure my new banana bread go-to! Thank you!
Thanks Nicole, we’re so happy you love the recipe! :D
I do not consider myself a baker, but this was so easy & soooo delicious!! Thanks so much for all the awesome recipes!
Thanks Gloria, we’re so glad you liked this! :)
I made this the other day a ill admit I was a little leery because I used to the classic loaded with sugar recipe. I don’t know why I ever doubt your recipes–they’re always fantastic, this one included! This will be my new go-to banana bread recipe!
Thank you Casey, we’re so happy you enjoyed it! :)
Such a great recipe! I made it for the second time last night. First time, I used coconut oil it last night I used EVOO. Will stick with the coconut for sure. The EVOO taste was too much for me! Your blog is beautiful and I love so many of your recipes. Thank you!
Thanks Holly! We’re happy you enjoyed it, and we thank you for the sweet words about the blog — thanks for being a fan! :)
I was wondering about the coconut oil. Can’t wait to try this. Def. will add nuts, and maybe coconut flakes too.
We hope you enjoy this Tammy! The coconut oil makes it super moist, and adds a nice hint of coconut flavor, nothing overpowering. :)
This was… mediocre. I used avocado oil and Earth’s Own (way better than Blue Diamond!) sweetened almond milk, but otherwise followed the recipe as written.
We’re sorry you didn’t care for this, we appreciate you giving the recipe a try!
Dang! Just made it. Soooo good. Had to use regular wwflour. No problem. Well, only problem, not eating the whole loaf. Do you know the estimated calories?
Thanks Tammy, we’re so happy you liked it! : ) Unfortunately though, we are unsure of the nutrition facts/amount of calories in this recipe. We currently are not publishing nutrition facts on the site, as the nutrition calculators available are not 100% accurate, and we never want to publish anything that might be misleading. However, a lot of our readers love the My Fitness Pal nutrition calculator, so feel free to try that for an estimate. We hope that helps!
Could I use just regular (low-fat) milk instead of almond milk?
Lovely recipe, but I ran into a problem that my bread didn’t rise at all.
What could have caused this? I followed the instructions to the letter :-(
Hi Robert! Oh no, we’re sorry yours didn’t rise! The only reason we can think of is that your baking soda might have been old (after a certain point, it can lose its leavening power). Other than that, we aren’t sure though, that’s so strange! :/
I’ve already made this twice this week, it’s delicious. Thanks for posting!
Thanks Andrew — we’re glad you enjoy it! :)
Best banana bread recipe I’ve tried (that isn’t full of sugar), and I’ve tried a lot! I’ve made this several times, and it always comes out great. I just made mini muffins with the batter for the first time, and they are delicious… although dangerous, because as mini muffins it’s a lot easier to eat the entire batch!
Just baked (still inthe oven) the recipe I thought was the “one.” Now I’m going to try yours, as mine did have sugar, butter, white flour, and plain yoghurt. Never to old to learn…and be healthy. Can I still add mini chocolate chips?
Cool, I hope you enjoy this one! And mini chocolate chips would be an EXCELLENT addition — go for it! :D
Just made it and added Mini chocolate chips. Texture was fantastic but it had a slight after taste. I used evoo and Log Cabin syrup and the other ingredients were the same. My bananas were from the freezer and I sprayed my pans with veg cooking oil spray. I’ll keep eating however.
Hi Andy! Hmmm, we wonder what kind of olive oil you used, and how old it was? It could have gone rancid, or it could be that the bananas had freezer burn or there was too much cooking spray. Those are the only reasons we can think of as to why there would have been a strange aftertaste. It could also just be that there are so many different types of olive oils and some are more pronounced and grassy tasting than others.
I made this banana bread last night and OMG it’s unreal! The loaf is almost gone and it’s just me and the hubby! I didn’t have any eggs so I used 2 flax eggs, I was concerned it wouldn’t come out right but the result was awesome. Thanks for sharing your amazing recipes with us all, they never dissapoint :)
We’re so happy you and your husband loved it Krystal — thanks for giving it a try! :)
I am so excited to make this recipe tonight! I currently have an overload of blueberries, and was thinking of adding in some of those and walnuts for some extra yumminess in this banana bread. Any recommendations of quantities and if any other ingredients should be adjusted accordingly? Thanks!
That’s awesome Jess! We would recommend maybe adding 3/4 cup of walnuts (just depends on how nutty you want it to be), and then 1 cup or 1 1/2 cups of blueberries. We hope you enjoy — let us know how this turns out! :)
Follow up to my last comment! Added in 1 1/2 cups of blueberries and 1 cup of walnuts to this, and it was perfect! Took an extra half hour to cook in a standard 9×5 loaf pan, I think I would split it into two pans or as muffins if I were to make it this way again. Turned out moist and wonderful and was extra delicious grilled with some butter :)
Thanks for sharing with us Jess — we’re glad you enjoyed this, and we think the blueberries and walnuts sound so yummy! :)
I just made this, it was great! The things I did differently are these: I used whole milk instead of almond milk and well… I got bored the other night and mashed some bananas with a lil sugar, salt and cinnamon and put them in a bread pan and froze it. Used it for cookie filling the other day, ’twas great. So today I had that left over; I releveled what was left in the pan and stuck it back in the freezer. Once I finished combining all the ingredients for the banana bread batter I poured it into the frozen banana mash pan and baked it in there! It was pretty delicious cause it’s a little more sweet than the bread. I also made a swirl of cinnamon and sugar on the top. I love crunchy top banana bread.
Thanks for sharing Christina — we’re so glad you enjoyed this and that you were able to make it your own! The cinnamon sugar swirl sounds heavenly! :)
Hi there !
Have made this banana bread and it’s soooo yum ! I have a question though which I cannot for the life of me figure out ! The first time I made it I had the little black worm-like strings through it that you find with most banana breads. However I’ve made it several times and it just hasn’t happend again. Do you know why ?! Also – my mum made it and it had a moist sticky top, but mine is much drier. I used gf flour. Would this be the reason ?
Hi there — we’re so glad you enjoy the recipe! And hmmm, good question. We’re not entirely sure — some people think it might be due to the alkalization of the banana interacting with the baking soda (however, not sure why they would appear before and not again since).
Would buckwheat flour work in this recipe?
We can’t say because we’ve never tried it — you’re welcome to give it a whirl, but we think it might be best to use a combination and maybe do 1 cup of ap flour and 3/4 cup buckwheat flour. We hope this helps!
Can this be made without whole wheat flour?
Yes, definitely! You could just use all AP flour if you prefer. We hope you enjoy!
DO NOT USE THAT MUCH SALT! Ruined the batch for me. Maybe add a pinch, no more.
We’re sorry you found this to be too salty, Terra — definitely feel free to add less next time.
Yes I agree it tastes very salty! I will have to cut it out next time.
My bread is baking now and smells delicious!!!
Yay, hope you enjoyed it!
My MIL gave me her banana bread recipe, which I love because who doesn’t love mass amounts of brown sugar and butter? But this recipe is going to be my new go-to now! It is perfectly moist and delicious. I substituted Unsweetened Original Ripple milk for the Almond milk (It’s nut free, dairy free, GT free, and has 8g of protein!), used vegetable oil instead of olive oil, cut down the salt to 1/4 teaspoon, used AP flour instead of whole wheat (although I can’t wait to try it with the WW, I’m just out at the moment), and added 1 Cup of mini chocolate chips (and a handful on top). This is the best banana bread ever, and my husband is pretty excited that it doesn’t have added sugar (minus my chocolate chips of course ;) )! Thank you Ali!!
Thanks for sharing, Caitlyn — we’re so happy you enjoyed this and made the recipe your own! Also, we bet it was super yummy with those chocolate chips! :D
I can’t stop eating it, it is so yummy!! Thank you so much for sharing this Ali! I need to go and get another slice!
I have made this recipe at least 2 dozen times although I did make a few adjustments due to my own digestive allergies. I am allergic to dairy, eggs, gluten and soy. Therefore, I changed the 1/3 extra-virgin olive oil to sunflower oil, I changed the 2 eggs to about 4 tbsp. of ground chia seeds, the vanilla extract I sometimes don’t include when I use Silk Vanilla Flavored almond milk, I use 2 whole mashed ripe bananas and 1 3/4 cups- 2 cups of Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-free all purpose flour.
I have also added homemade cranberry sauce halfway through pouring the mixture into my baking pan, added a maple glaze on top halfway through baking this or even added Enjoy Life dairy, egg, gluten and soy free chocolate chips into the batter (or on top halfway through baking it). Every deviation of these has worked out. This recipe is so versatile, I cried tears of joy the first time I made this! Having struggled with these food allergies (after being diagnosed only 6 years ago) it was hard to find recipes to help satisfy my craving of sweets. This did the trick. Thank you so much!!!
I would love to get in contact with the creator of this recipe and potentially give her ideas for allergy conscious recipes that even those without my allergies can enjoy!
So good! Very moist and still very sweet even without any sugar added. My husband said this was my best banana bread I’ve made! I love that there’s no sugar or butter in this one.
I’ve made this banana bread recipe twice in two weeks – that’s how good it is. So moist! And I love the maple syrup addition, it gives it a little something extra (and eliminates my craving for some chocolate chips in the loaf).
hi…. can you please tell me substitute for egg
I’ve made this twice and both times it didn’t rise. Could I substitute baking powder? Otherwise this bread is moist and delicious.
Can I use almond flour or white flour?? Just made your apple crisp.. crazy good !!
hi…. can you please tell me substitute for egg
This looks yummy! I only have 00 flour at home right now from baking pizza, can I use that in this recipe?
Baking now!! Cannot wait to take a bite!
This is the best banana bread ever! My husband likes banana bread but I am just not a fan. I have felt recipes are too sweet or gooey. But this recipe is a huge hit for both of us! Not overly sweet and perfectly moist!
I don’t have any real maple syrup… Would Log Cabin syrup work? Has anybody tried it with Log Cabin syrup?
Loved that it is made with whole wheat flour, no processed sugar and very moist. I did add pecans because I love the crunch they give to the bread. It is my new favorite banana bread recipe!
Great moist, tender texture. Just the right amount of sweet banana flavor. very good, a definite keeper.