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Whole Grain Banana Nut Bread

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

Whole Grain Banana Nut Bread Recipe

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Yield: 12 servings

Whole Grain Banana Nut Bread

Banana Bread Loaf

This Whole Grain Banana Nut Bread made with walnuts is moist and delicious! Enjoy it for brunch or on a coffee break.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 4-5 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped


  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat a 9x5 loaf pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash bananas with a fork, Add the oil, sugar, eggs, and vanilla and stir until well combined. 
  3. 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.
  4. Stir in the walnuts and spread the batter into the loaf pan. Mix together the sugar and cinnamon topping, and sprinkle over the batter.
  5. 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.
  6. 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

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Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 337Total Fat: 17gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 31mgSodium: 275mgCarbohydrates: 44gFiber: 3gSugar: 22gProtein: 6g

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