Whole-Wheat Banana Bread

Ovenly’s whole-wheat banana bread recipe is a stealthy healthy indulgence. Full of whole grains, flaxseed, and maple syrup, it’s a breakfast or anytime treat.

A person cutting a slice from a loaf of whole wheat banana bread on a white cutting board.

Adapted from Agatha Kulaga | Erin Patinkin | Ovenly | Park Row, 2021

This banana bread recipe utilizes maple syrup and sour cream for moistness and flaxseed for earthiness. It’s one of the few recipes I’ve committed to heart—I’ve made it that many times. Try it toasted and smothered with thick, unsweetened Greek yogurt for breakfast.–Agatha Kulaga & Erin Patinkin

Whole-Wheat Banana Bread

A person cutting a slice from a loaf of whole wheat banana bread on a white cutting board.
Ovenly's whole-wheat banana bread recipe is a stealthy healthy indulgence. Full of whole grains, flaxseed, and maple syrup, it's a breakfast or anytime treat.

Prep 25 mins
Cook 50 mins
Total 1 hr 15 mins
8 servings
335 kcal
5 / 2 votes
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  • Mild vegetable oil or nonstick cooking spray for the loaf pan
  • 2 large ripe bananas* to make 1 cup of mashed
  • 1/4 cup whole flaxseeds or ground flaxseed
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup the darker the better; we use Grade B
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup mild vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sour cream preferably full-fat


  • Preheat the oven to 350ºF (177°C). Liberally coat a 9- by- 5-inch (23- by- 13-cm) loaf pan with oil or nonstick cooking spray.
  • Peel the bananas and place them in a small bowl. Using the back of a fork, mash them until smooth. Separate out 1 cup of the banana mash. If there’s extra, you can freeze it in an airtight container for later use, or purpose it for another recipe (or even add it to yogurt or oatmeal for breakfast).
  • If using whole flaxseed, use a coffee or spice grinder to grind the flaxseeds into a fine powder.
    If using ground flaxseed, proceed to the next step.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, ground flaxseed, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, eggs, oil, light brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Add the sour cream and the mashed bananas. Whisk until almost smooth and only a few lumps remain.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Don’t overmix.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake on the middle rack in the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean, and the internal temperature is between 200 and 205°F (93 to 96°C), about 50 minutes.
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*How do I ripen bananas quickly?

We get it—you have a couple of greenish bananas but you need banana bread stat. There are a few tricks you can use to get your hands on fresh banana bread as soon as possible. If you can possibly wait a day or so, placing unripe bananas in a paper bag with a ripe apple will encourage those bananas to hit adolescence earlier. If you need ripe bananas NOW, you can sort of ripen them by placing them in a 300°F oven (unpeeled, on a baking sheet) until they begin to darken and soften. These bananas won’t actually be more ripe but they will be softer and a little sweeter.

Show Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 335kcal (17%)Carbohydrates: 47g (16%)Protein: 6g (12%)Fat: 15g (23%)Saturated Fat: 9g (56%)Trans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 51mg (17%)Sodium: 541mg (24%)Potassium: 302mg (9%)Fiber: 4g (17%)Sugar: 23g (26%)Vitamin A: 150IU (3%)Vitamin C: 3mg (4%)Calcium: 154mg (15%)Iron: 2mg (11%)

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Recipe Testers’ Reviews

This whole-wheat banana bread is a nice moist loaf of bread. The banana flavor isn't as strong as other banana bread recipes I've made. The banana is subtle and there's more of an earthy flavor from the whole-wheat flour and flaxseed but a nice morning bread with coffee or afternoon snack.

I used bananas that had been previously frozen as I am a big believer of frozen bananas for banana bread. It seems to concentrate the banana flavor. After measuring, I used the extra banana to mix into plain yogurt as a sweetener.

A partially sliced loaf of whole wheat banana brad on a cutting board.

Family and friends wouldn't stop raving about this whole-wheat banana bread. It's very moist and delicious. There's a hint of earthiness and just the right amount of sweetness. Even using non-fat yogurt instead of sour cream, the bread was rich and flavorful.

The perfect texture is created by mixing the wet ingredients thoroughly before lightly folding in the dry ingredient mixture. I buttered the first piece of bread but decided it didn't enhance the bread. Everyone else ate the bread without butter.

Originally published April 20, 2021


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