Whole Grain Banana Nut Bread

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Don’t toss out those brown bananas! They make the BEST banana bread — and the riper the better! Use them to make Whole Grain Banana Nut Bread, a dense, yet moist, quick bread that’s great as a breakfast or brunch bread or as a coffee break dessert.

Even though this whole wheat banana bread recipe doesn’t use buttermilk, the bread is plenty moist and sweet from the brown sugar and ripened bananas. A sugar-cinnamon mixture sprinkled over the batter before baking gives this banana bread a streusel-like crunch on top.

Banana bread wrapped in plastic wrap will stay fresh for several days, so you can enjoy it all week long!

Banana Bread Loaf

Whole Grain Banana Nut Bread

For years, I made banana bread from an old recipe that used shortening and white sugar, but it never seemed to have the taste or texture of banana bread that is served in a coffee shop.

Recently, I started experimenting with recipes that used oil or butter in place of the shortening and also tried incorporating whole wheat flour into the mix. What I was looking for was a richer texture without sacrificing flavor or moistness.

I found that I didn’t love the banana bread I made with just whole wheat flour because it ended up being a bit dry and spongy (very possibly the baker’s error!).

Then, I tried King Arthur Flour’s 2018 Recipe of the Year for Whole Grain Banana Bread which call for equal parts of white whole wheat and all-purpose flour. The result was much closer to my favorite coffee shop breads and was so good that I had to share it with you!

Banana Bread Slice on Plate

Remember these tips when making Whole Grain Banana Nut Bread

  • Use very ripe bananas and mash them thoroughly before adding to the batter.
  • When measuring the flour, spoon it into the measuring cup and level it with a knife.
  • Before adding flour to the batter, whisk it in a separate bowl with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • The bread is done when a thin knife inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs (no wet batter).
  • To avoid over browning on top, tent with aluminum foil during the last 15 minutes of baking.
  • Let the bread cool for 15 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan. 
Banana Bread Flat Lay

More recipes you can make with ripe bananas!

Banana Bread in Kitchen

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Banana Bread Loaf

Whole Grain Banana Nut Bread

This Whole Grain Banana Nut Bread made with walnuts is moist and delicious! Enjoy it for brunch or on a coffee break.
4 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 12 servings
Calories 337 kcal


  • 4-5 ripe bananas mashed
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts chopped


  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray.
  • In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas with a fork, Add the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla and stir until well combined. 
  • In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add to the wet ingredients and beat until all dry ingredients are combined, scraping down sides.
  • Stir in the walnuts and spread the batter into the loaf pan. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon topping, and sprinkle over the batter.
  • Bake for 60 – 75 minutes or until a thin knife inserted into the center comes out clean. If the bread appears to be browning too much, tent with aluminum foil for the last few minutes of baking.
  • Remove the bread from the oven and cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes before loosening the sides. Remove from pan and cool completely on a wire rack.


Original recipe by King Arthur Flour


Serving: 1gCalories: 337kcalCarbohydrates: 44gProtein: 6gFat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 275mgFiber: 3gSugar: 22g

Life Love and Good Food does not claim to be a registered dietician or nutritionist. Nutritional information shared on this site is only an estimate. We recommend running the ingredients through an online nutritional calculator if you need to verify any information.

Keyword banana, walnuts, whole wheat
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was.
Sheila Thigpen, blogger

About Sheila Thigpen

Recipe Developer, Food Photographer, Food Writer

Sheila Thigpen is the publisher of Life, Love, and Good Food — a Southern food blog — and the author of Easy Chicken Cookbook and The 5-Ingredient Fresh and Easy Cookbook. After 20+ years in the publishing industry, she retired in 2018 to focus on her own creative endeavors full time. She and her husband live near the beautiful Smoky Mountains and have a precious little granddaughter who has stolen their hearts. As an influencer, Sheila has collaborated with brands like Creamette, Kroger, HERSHEY’S, Hamilton Beach, Garafalo Pasta, OXO, Smithfield, Valley Fig Growers, and more.

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