When I have ripe bananas on my counter, I always crave this moist banana bread recipe made healthier with applesauce in place of butter.
Best Banana Bread Recipe
With overripe bananas, applesauce, and vanilla extract, this classic banana bread is soft, flavorful, and incredibly moist. I tested this recipe a dozen times to make the best banana bread with amazing banana flavor and only a little fat. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a newbie, this is perfect for any occasion, such as breakfast, back-to-school snacks, or even as a sweet gift. For more healthy banana bread recipes, try my Banana Nut Bread, this Blueberry version, and this Gluten-Free Banana Nut Bread.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe!
- Healthy: I swap the oil or butter for applesauce, making this loaf much lighter than most banana bread recipes.
- Easy: This quick bread is quick and easy! You don’t have to wait for it to rise. Just mix the ingredients and bake.
- Make It Ahead: Banana bread is perfect for meal prep. It’ll last all week in your fridge or freezer.
- Dairy-Free: I used coconut oil instead of butter to keep it allergy-friendly.
- Bananas: Mash three large, ripe bananas. You should have 1 1/3 cups (11 ounces) of mashed bananas total.
- Flour: You’ll need 1 ½ cups of all-purpose flour.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda cause the bread to rise and makes it more tender.
- Salt improves the flavor and texture and balances the sweetness.
- Coconut Oil: Just two tablespoons of coconut oil adds some moisture while keeping the bread light. You can also swap this for butter or vegetable oil, if you prefer.
- Brown Sugar: I used Lakanto monkfruit for a healthier option, but light brown sugar will also work.
- Egg: You’ll need one large egg.
- Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce replaces most of the oil.
- Vanilla Extract for flavor
How to Make Banana Bread
- Prep: Preheat the oven to 350°F, and grease an 8×5-inch loaf pan with baking spray.
- Dry Ingredients: Whisk the flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda.
- Wet Ingredients: Cream the coconut oil, applesauce, and sugar with a stand or hand mixer. Add the egg and vanilla and beat at medium speed until thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Combine: Add half of the dry ingredients and blend on low speed until combined. Pour in the remaining flour mixture and the mashed bananas and blend on low, ensuring you don’t overmix.
- Bake: Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake on the center rack for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean but moist.
- Serve: Let the pan cool for at least 10 minutes, then turn it over to remove the loaf from the pan. The bread should be at room temperature before slicing to ensure it doesn’t fall apart.
- Whole Wheat Flour: Swap out half the all purpose flour for whole wheat.
- Chocolate Chip Bread: Add ¾ cups of regular or mini chocolate chips.
- Spices: Add cinnamon, nutmeg, or pumpkin pie spice.
- Banana Nut Bread: Try this recipe if you prefer your bread with walnuts or pecans.
- Peanut Butter: Swirl in some peanut butter to the batter before baking.
- Double the recipe to gift one to a friend or freeze for later.
- Banana Muffins: Pour the batter into a muffin tin and bake for 20 to 25 minutes, checking with a toothpick to confirm they’re ready.
How To Ripen Bananas Quicker
Place bananas in a paper bag and leave them in a warm area for quicker ripening. When the peels get spotted and blacken slightly, and become soft they will be ready.
How to Store Banana Bread
Once the bread cools, store it in an airtight container for one day on the counter and then in the fridge for up to a week.
The riper the bananas, the better for baking. Ripe bananas with lots of brown and black spots taste sweeter than yellow ones.
If you put too much banana in your bread, it will be very dense and may not bake all the way in the middle. Since bananas are different sizes, measuring them before adding them to the batter is essential. Once you mash them, measure 1 1/3 cups or weigh them on a kitchen scale.
Baking soda reacts with the acidic ingredients (brown sugar and bananas) to make the bread rise.
Insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf. If it comes out wet or with a lot of crumbs on it, keep baking it. When it is ready, it should be fairly clean.
Don’t overmix the batter. Fully combine the wet ingredients before gently folding in the dry. Stir just enough to combine everything without overdoing it.
Don’t overbake. Check your bread at the 45-minute mark with a toothpick or even a few minutes early if your oven runs hot.
Wait for the loaf to cool completely before wrapping it up.
Yes, I love to freeze baked breads for quick breakfasts or snacks. Here’s how I do it:
Let the bread cool. Slice the loaf and wrap each piece in foil or plastic wrap.
Store the slices in a zip-locked bag, label the bag with the name and date, and freeze for up to three months. To eat, thaw it in the fridge beforehand or microwave it straight from frozen until warm.
More Bread Recipes You’ll Love
Yield: 12 servings
Serving Size: 1 slice
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 8×5 inch loaf pan with baking spray.
In a medium bowl, combine the dry ingredients; flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt with a wire whisk. Set aside.
In a large bowl cream coconut oil, apple sauce and sugar with an electric mixer or stand mixer. Add egg and vanilla, and beat at medium speed until thick.
Scrape down sides of the bowl.
Add 1/2 of the dry ingredients and blend at low speed until combined, add remaining 1/2 of the dry ingredients and the mashed bananas and blend at low speed until batter is combined. Do not over mix.
Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake on the center rack for about 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, but moist.
Let the pan cool at least 10 minutes, bread should be room temperature before slicing.
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Serving: 1 slice, Calories: 123 kcal, Carbohydrates: 29 g, Protein: 3 g, Fat: 3 g, Saturated Fat: 2 g, Cholesterol: 15.5 mg, Sodium: 165 mg, Fiber: 1.5 g, Sugar: 4 g