Fruit-Sweetened Breakfast Banana Bread

A delicious loaf of banana bread with no added sugar. This fruit-sweetened banana bread is great for breakfast or a snack, served with butter or your favorite nut butter. Plus, there’s a gluten-free and vegan option!

banana bread slices with peanut butter

This banana bread is the most popular recipe on Nourished by Caroline and it just got a makeover! Don’t worry, it’s the same recipe that you love.

If you’ve been making this recipe for years, you’ll notice that I added new photos, including many step-by-step photos (something that had been requested!). I also added a few extra notes to the recipe to make it easier to follow.

If this recipe is new to you, I hope you’ll love it! See why it’s been a favorite on the blog since I first posted it in 2017.

mashed banana, flour and milk

It turns out that banana bread can be perfectly sweetened with bananas only. Now, I should specify that this bread is NOT sweet enough to be considered dessert for most of us. It is however, perfectly sweetened to be eaten at breakfast or as a snack with a thin (or thick) layer of sunflower seed butter, peanut butter, almond butter or margarine/butter. Think of it as eating a sweeter version of toasts in the morning. I must say, it’s also delicious eaten on its own and it does taste sweeter once it’s cooled off – It’s still delicious eaten warm with melted butter.

loaf pan with parchment paper
banana bread mixture in loaf pan
banana bread mixture in loaf pan with walnuts
Notes on Substitutions:

The best part about this recipe, other than the fact that it’s sweetened with fruit, is that it’s highly versatile! Here are several variations that have been tried with success:

  • All-purpose white flour
  • Spelt flour
  • Light buckwheat flour
  • All-purpose whole wheat flour
  • All purpose gluten-free flour
  • With oats
  • Egg-free (vegan)
  • Using olive oil or avocado oil
  • Using melted coconut oil
  • With or without walnuts
  • With or without chocolate chips

Each variation had slightly different results, but all were perfectly delicious! The only noticeable difference was that the egg-free version, the buckwheat version and the all-purpose gluten-free version all raised a little less. Really, it’s not a big deal and it tastes just as good to me and my recipe testers (my old roommate and Shaun of course). My number one choice would be to use spelt flour, an egg and olive oil, but it all depends on what I have on hand.

If you’re wondering: Yes, I tried all of these variations and yes, I made this recipe more times than I can count.

How To Make Fruit-Sweetened Banana Bread

This bread uses only one bowl, 15 minutes of preparation and 45 minutes of baking. Once you decide which version you’re making, start by mixing all your wet ingredients in a large bowl. Continue by adding your dry ingredients to the mix (don’t overmix!) and transfer the mixture to a lightly greased loaf pan. You can also top the loaf with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts or a sliced banana. All you need after that is the patience to wait 45 minutes before biting into a warm slice of gooey banana bread. Waiting is always the worst, isn’t?

Making Banana Muffins

You can easily make this recipe into muffins! Simply bake them 15-18 minutes at 350°F. It makes 12 muffins. Easy!

baked banana bread in loaf pan
banana bread slices from the top
banana bread slices with peanut butter

Looking for other fruit-sweetened breads or muffins? Try these blueberry cardamom muffins, apple muffins, almond flour muffins, peanut butter jelly muffins, banana bran muffins or this carrot cake loaf.

banana bread slices with peanut butter
Print Pin
5 from 5 votes

Fruit-Sweetened Breakfast Banana Bread

Gooey banana bread with no added sugar… Could there be anything better? This nutritious loaf is versatile and a great option for breakfast. Serve it cool or warm with a layer of nut or seed butter or simply butter. It's perfect for breakfast or a healthy snack or dessert.
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine vegan, vegetarian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 large overripe bananas (1 3/4 cup), mashed
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (or other milk)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or melted coconut oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 egg (see notes for vegan option)

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups spelt or all-purpose whole wheat or white flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350F. Lightly grease a loaf pan with oil or butter/margarine or line with parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mash your bananas. Whisk in your milk, oil, vanilla and egg.
  • Add your dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix all together. Don't overmix.
  • Transfer the mixture to your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through. The bread should be firm on the outside, yet moist on the inside.
  • Let it cool 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Notes

For a vegan option: Replace egg with 2 additional tablespoons of milk. You don’t need to use a flax egg as the bananas add the needed moisture.
For a gluten-free option: Replace flour with same amount of light buckwheat flour or all-purpose gluten-free flour.
You can replace 1/2 cup of the flour by 1/2 cup of rolled oats if desired. The results are similar.
Add chocolate chips or walnuts if you’d like!
Once the loaf has cooled completely, store in an airtight container or bag at room temperature or in the freezer.
Make sure not to overmix the batter. This can affect the texture of the bread.
While this is a one-bowl recipe, you can choose to mix your dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls before combining. This can ensure that the ingredients are well combined, without overmixing.

If you make this banana bread, be sure to leave a comment and/or give this recipe a rating! I love to hear from you guys. And of course, if you try this recipe, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram!

61 Comments

  • Natalie | Feasting on Fruit

    How lovely is this!! And I adore the idea of leaving out the sugar and just letting the banana flavor steal the flavor show. It is funny how we add sugar to everything baked without even thinking, but subtly sweet breads are just as delicious. And breakfast perfect 🙂 The texture looks wonderful, I really really love these pics too!

  • Celia Medina

    Just made this. I used only oat flour for the flour component and was a bit scared how it would turn out, but it is so good! ? I’m so stoked to have found a sugar-free banana bread recipe. Thanks Caroline!

      • Julie

        5 stars
        Thank you so much, Natalie. I just made this with wholemeal flour and it is so light and delicious! I was worried I had over-mixed as it took a fair bit of stirring to incorporate the flour into the wet ingredients but it is perfect and so moist with a lovely texture. It’s so great to see a recipe without added sugar or even syrup or honey, which I usually leave out anyway. Simple to make too. I added chopped walnuts on top and covered lightly with foil after about 30 minutes. Will be making this every time I have ripe bananas, and probably more often!

    • Erica

      5 stars
      Just made this with half wholemeal flour, half buckwheat flour, and I swapped 1 banana for mashed pumpkin. So delish and truly moist! Love it warm, slathered with butter ? Will be making it again, maybe as muffins with some walnuts or dark choc chips.

        • Dan

          Hi! Do you have the macro nutrients for each slice? I love the sugar free aspect of the recipe and count my macros so would love to be able to include this in my daily regiment. Thanks!

          • Unsweetened Caroline

            Hi Dan, sorry, but I only have the calories for this recipe. It’s 180 calories per slice (using the portion indicated in the recipe). Sorry for the inconvenience. I’d recommend using a recipe analyzer, such as My Fitness Pal! 🙂

    • Amber

      Hello. Would you suggest adding a little xanthan gum if making the gluten free all purpose flour from scratch? Or have you tried it without it with good results?
      Thanks so much.
      Amber

      • Unsweetened Caroline

        Hi Amber, my roommate back then tried it without xanthan gum and it turned out well (I believe she just used the Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free flour). It rose a little less, but the texture and taste were good from what I remember. That being said, gluten-free baking is not my area of expertise. If you want to try it with xanthan gum, you can, but I can’t guide you on amounts. Sorry!

  • Sarah B.

    I love your recipes and this banana bread one especially! I’ve made it quite a few times now, it’s definitely become my go to! Sometimes I throw in some shredded coconut or some blueberries if I’ve got them kicking around. Yesterday I made it and put a small swirl of date caramel on top. I know, it defeats the low-sugar aspect – but that date caramel was just staring at me, asking to be included 🙂 Thanks again for all your lovely, sugar free & vegan options on your site!

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      Hi Sarah! Thank you so much for the lovely comment. I’m happy to hear that you love the recipe! Date caramel sounds like a great idea, I’m not against a little treat. 😉 Thank you again and enjoy.

  • Sarah

    Hey, Caroline! I tried it (with buckwheat flour) and I loved it! I’m so happy because I medically cannot eat gluten or sugar and this time of year I have so many cravings for like muffins and other sweets. 🙂 Ty so much for the recipe!

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      There is the option to omit the egg and use additional milk for an egg-free version. You don’t need to use a flax egg. If you want to try the flax egg, it may work, but I’ve never tried it myself. Hope this helps!

  • Catherine

    A genius idea for a recipe! I have shared this recipe with a lot of my clients and have received nothing but positive feedback. I enjoy this recipe a lot as well!

  • Gabby

    5 stars
    Using this particular recipe to say how much I appreciate your whole blog, your recipes, your story – has helped me so much. I was so relieved to find your blog because it seems to be the only one out there of its kind (I follow the same dietary restrictions). This recipe is such a winner it’s crazy! Love love love. Thank you.

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      Hi Gabby, thank you so much for the sweet comment, it means a lot! I’m so happy to hear you’re loving the recipes. I certainly found it hard to find fruit-sweetened recipes before I started the blog, so I love to share my experiments with others. Thanks again and have a great weekend!

  • Olivia

    Looks awesome! I would make this vegan, but I was wondering if I could leave out of subsitute the oil?
    Thanks.

    PS: Just wanted to let you know I’m from Belgium, I think it’s nice to hear that there are people from all over the world visiting your blog and Instagram! 😉

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      Hi Olivia, I never made it without oil, but you could try substituting the oil for applesauce? I can’t guarantee it will work, but if you try it, let me know how it turns out! You’re not the only person who asked, so I may have to try it next time too. 🙂

      And I love to hear that people from around the world are visiting! Hello from Canada!

      • Trenda

        Had regular buckwheat flour on hand , extra almond milk to replace the egg and regular unsweetened applesauce to replace the oil and it came out delicious, just very dark from the buckwheat. Love your website !

      • Nicky

        Hi Caroline! I was so excited to find this recipe and your website in general. I am unable to eat sugar and can only have a very low amount of fat. I absolutely love baking and was so depressed, thinking that because of these restrictions that I wouldn’t be able to bake anymore. But now I see that I can! And this is something that both I and my kids (who are not on a restricted diet) will be able to enjoy. May I ask if you have the nutrition information for this bread? I keep track of everything I eat so that would be very helpful.

        • Unsweetened Caroline

          Hi Nicky, I’m so happy you found my recipes! I hope they’ll help. I actually don’t include calories for my recipes as it’s not something I personally encourage. However, I completely understand that it’s important for some. From a previous calculation, one slice would have about 184 calories, based on the number of portions indicated in the recipe. Hope this helps!

  • maria

    5 stars
    Thank you for such a wonderful recipe.. This is my favorite banana bread recipe and will continue to be.. I made it quite a few times and add some walnuts on top.. Mmmmmm so good.. thanks again.
    Maria c

  • Charms

    5 stars
    This is a great simple go-to recipe, especially for a non-baker like myself! I subbed the recommended amount for the egg and used oat flour instead of spelt/whole wheat flour and it worked out very well.

  • Molly

    5 stars
    So happy I found this sugar-free banana bread recipe! And I love how simple it is. I added blueberries, walnuts, and made them into mini muffins for an easy grab and go breakfast. They are perfect! Thank you so much 🙂

      • Sama

        I tried the recipe but I’m unsure of how the mixture looked. It looked really really dry. Can you please post a picture of what the mix is supposed to look like?

        • Unsweetened Caroline

          Hi Sama, sorry for the lack of process pictures. It’s one of my older recipes and I didn’t post as many images at that time. I’ll need to update that! If you want an idea of the consistency, you can check out my fruit-sweetened apple muffins. The recipe is based on this banana bread and the batter would be the same thickness. You’re right, the mixture is probably not as wet as other recipes, but if you followed the recipe exactly, it shouldn’t be too dry and the end result should be a delicious, moist loaf. Hope this helps!

  • jacquie

    I always wonder myself why people add sugars to fruit recipes. Let the fruit’s natural sweetness shine through is a better idea to me. However, I don’t use bananas so is there something else i could use? Thanks.

    • Unsweetened Caroline

      I agree! Fruit can be enough in many recipes. 🙂 As for this recipe, the bananas are really important to the taste and texture of the bread. Applesauce or pumpkin puree may work, but note that it won’t taste as sweet and the texture may be slightly different (I can’t guarantee as I’ve never tried it). If you want something that’s been tested, I would recommend looking at my pumpkin bread on the blog. It’s sweetened with dates if that works with you. Hope this helps!

  • Jenny

    5 stars
    Made this with whole wheat flour and olive oil. Love that this has minimal ingredients that I have in my pantry! Added some chocolate chips, walnuts, and a tablespoon of coconut sugar. So good!

  • Fiona

    5 stars
    I rarely comment on recipes but I have just made this and it is fantastic. I was a little short on banana so added in a few mashed feijoas. Also added some chopped cashews and finely chopped dates to the mixture for a bit of extra sweetness and texture. It is divine! Perfect for my toddler being sugar free. Oh and I used half a cup of oats and it’s hardly noticeable – not stodgy or porridge-like as I’ve had before. A wonderful recipe and a new favourite. Thank you from New Zealand!

  • Amanda

    5 stars
    Made this vegan (used a flax egg) and GF (king Arthur blend) and it’s really delicious! Perfect for my 10-month old son, too, since it’s added-sugar free! He loves it so much Thanks for this recipe!

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Amanda, I’m so happy to hear that! That’s so cute. I’m happy he likes it. And thank you for the details. It’s good to know it worked with these substitutions. It will help others too. 🙂 Enjoy!

  • Egam

    Can you make this receipe entirely from oatmeal flour? If so, how would the banana bread differ
    using milk only, or adding the egg?

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi! I haven’t tried using oat flour, but unfortunately this flour tends to give baked goods a gummy texture, so it’s best to combine it with other flours. If you try it, an egg may help, but I really don’t think it will end up as good as the original recipe. I would recommend trying one of the many flours that have been tested with success. Sorry for the inconvenience!

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi! I can’t guarantee the same result, but you could try using baking powder. You may need to use a bit more (3x the amount of baking soda), but it may alter the taste a bit. This would be my top suggestion. You could try just adding 1 tsp, as to not alter the taste, but it may affect the texture. I hope this helps!

  • Danika

    Hi! Normally when banana bread recipes call for 3 large bananas, it’s equivalent to about 1 cup mashed. Is your recipe calling for 1.75 cups of mashed banana? It just seems like a lot! thank you! 🙂

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Danika, thank you for checking. The recipe is correct. I made the bread countless times and always measure the bananas. It really depends on their size. I find that the ones we have here are big and 3 large ones (probably extra large) lead to 1.75 cup. That being said, you may need to use 4 or even 5, depending on the size. That’s why I added the number of bananas and the cup measurement. I hope this helps! 🙂

  • Mary Lockwood

    I saw that someone made mini muffins with this recipe. I would like to ask how long to bake the mini muffins as I want to make them for my grandchild. Have been searching high and low for recipes without any sweetener and I am so glad I found it! Alot of recipes say no sugar, but then they add honey or maple syrup or even artificial sweetener. I really appreciate this. Thank you very much !

    • Nourished by Caroline

      Hi Mary, I haven’t tried making mini muffins myself, so I can’t be sure. I would start with around 10 minutes, but I would keep an eye on them. Once they start to firm up and look done on the outside, take them out from the oven and insert a toothpick in the middle. If it comes out clean, they should be done. I hope this helps! And please let me know how they turn out if you try it. It could help someone else. I hope your grandchild will love them! 🙂

  • Mary Lockwood

    5 stars
    I did not make the mini muffins yet, but I did make the loaf this afternoon. I am not a baker so thought I’d make a trulial run first. This is just perfection! Who needs sugar? I added some walnut in the mix and some on top. Delicious. I did not have any vanilla extract but it’s still great. I have to get some bananas for the mini muffins now.

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