Learn how to make the best whole wheat banana bread recipe. Made with wholemeal flour, this delicious bread is moist, perfectly sweetened, hearty, and made with simple ingredients for a sweet treat that makes the perfect breakfast, snack, and dessert!
This is my favorite whole wheat banana bread recipe! Whenever I have any leftover spotty bananas sitting on the counter, it's time to make this loaf. It truly is the best ever and if you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?
I know that claiming that this is the “best-ever” banana bread is a big statement. But I promise, this recipe lives up to the claim. I’ve tested many recipes and this is by far the best one.
So, what makes this one so good? It’s moist, sweet, and has a nutty wholesome flavor thanks to the whole wheat flour.
I have to admit, when I was first testing out this whole wheat banana bread recipe, I didn't have high expectations. Baked goods made with whole wheat flour tend to be dense and dry, but this bread is anything but. With a few key ingredients, this recipe produces a moist loaf with a tender crumb.
Note: Just because this recipe is made with whole wheat flour, it still contains oil and sugar. If you are looking for a healthier banana bread recipe, check out my favorite Healthy Banana Bread that is made with coconut oil, honey, maple syrup, and yogurt, or these Paleo Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Bars.
There are a few key ingredients that contribute to the moistness of this bread. Let’s go over these ingredients including any possible substitutes.
- Flour: This recipe calls for both, whole wheat flour and all-purpose flour. Baked goods made with only whole wheat flour tend to be dry and dense. By using a combination of the two flours, we get the hearty nutty flavor from the whole wheat flour without sacrificing the texture. For a lighter, more cake-like banana bread, you can substitute the all-purpose flour with cake flour.
- Oil: The use of oil instead of butter adds moistness to baked goods. You can use any kind of mild-flavored oil like canola, vegetable, or avocado oil.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar is key. It adds moisture to the bread as well as a delicious flavor. Light or dark brown sugar can be used here.
- Yogurt: Yogurt adds even more moisture. It also reacts with the baking soda to create a fluffier texture. I like to use full-fat Greek yogurt when I’m baking. If you don’t have any yogurt on hand, you can use sour cream interchangeably.
This banana bread is fairly easy to make. You will need a stand or electric mixer to make the batter. Here’s a quick overview of how its done:
- Whisk all of the dry ingredients together and set aside.
- Beat together the sugars and eggs on medium speed for 5 minutes until light and fluffy.
- On low speed, slowly drizzle in the oil.
- Mix in the mashed bananas, yogurt, and vanilla.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture until combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 to 1 hour 15 minutes.
- The best bananas to use for baking are overripe! Allow your bananas to ripen on the counter. When they begin to form dark streaks, they are ready.
- Banana nut bread: Fold in ¾ cup of chopped nuts to the batter. I like to use walnuts or pecans.
- Chocolate chip banana bread: Add ¾ cup of chocolate chips (mini or regular size) into the batter. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips on top before baking.
Frequently Asked Questions
Whole-grain flours contain the bran and germ so they produce different results in baking than refined white flours. You can certainly use all whole wheat flour for baking, but your end product will likely be dryer with a heartier texture.
If you want to replace white flour with whole wheat flour in a recipe, I recommend you begin with swapping only half of the flour. You may also need to increase the liquids because whole wheat flour is more absorbent than refined flours.
When the top is golden brown and a cake tester or wooden skewer inserted into the center comes out with just a few moist crumbs, the loaf is done baking.
Yes, banana bread is great to store in the freezer! Here's the best way to do it:
1. Allow the baked bread to cool completely.
2. Tightly wrap the whole loaf or individual slices (I prefer individual slices because they thaw a lot quicker) in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped load or slices in a large freezer zip-top bag or airtight container and date for up to 3 months.
3. When you are ready to enjoy a slice, that in the refrigerator or at room temperature. For a warm slice, unwrap the thawed slices and place it in the microwave for 20 seconds or in the toaster.
More banana recipes you'll love!
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Whole Wheat Banana Bread
- Stand mixer or hand mixer
- Kitchen scale
- Rubber spatula
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ¼ cup granulated sugar
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup oil
- 3 ½ extra ripe bananas mashed (1 ½ cups) see notes*
- 2 tbsp Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat to 325°F. Lightly grease and line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper.
- Whisk together the flours, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt in a bowl and set aside.
- With a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat together the sugars and eggs on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
- Switch to low speed and slowly drizzle in the oil.
- Add the bananas, yogurt, and vanilla, and continue to mix on low speed just combined.
- Use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 1 to 1 hour 15 minutes. The loaf should be golden brown on top and a cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes, remove from the pan and let cool completely on the wire rack. Enjoy!
- Allow the baked bread to cool completely.
- Tightly wrap the whole loaf or individual slices (I prefer individual slices because they thaw a lot quicker!) in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped loaf in a large freezer zip-top bag or airtight container and date for up to 3 months.
- When you are ready to enjoy a slice, thaw in the refrigerator or at room temperature. For a warm slice, unwrap the thawed slice and place it in the microwave for 20 seconds or in the toaster.