Skip to Content

Easy Banana Bread Recipe (with Applesauce)

Our beautiful easy banana bread with applesauce recipe uses smarter ingredients so you can enjoy a slice with breakfast or a snack without the guilt.

This quick bread recipe uses applesauce for sweetening, it doesn’t contain oil, only a minimal amount of sugar, and only egg whites. Reducing the sugar and adding unsweetened applesauce makes a lower calorie moist banana bread with just the right amount of sweetness. We added whole grains by replacing half of the white flour with whole wheat flour.

Originally released on August 1, 2017, this banana bread with applesauce recipe has undergone updates to enhance our readers’ experience, including simple details, new images, and a video. No changes were made to the actual recipe.

Top-down view of three loaves of banana bread with applesauce sitting on a cooling rack over a blue napkin.

In my quest to eat better, I’ve learned that there are simple hacks that you can use to take an existing recipe and make it a little better for you. This healthy banana bread recipe with applesauce is one of those recipes. It’s delicious and I feel good feeding it to my family. The kiddos will thank you for adding a slice to their school lunches.

This is an easy recipe that uses simple ingredients. Our step-by-step instructions include a video and variations that you can make so that it becomes one of your favorite banana bread recipes too.

Banana Bread Ingredients

  • Whole wheat flour. Nothing beats the wholesome flavor whole wheat flour adds to bread.
  • All-purpose flour. We used unbleached but either is fine.
  • Baking powder. When is the last time you replaced yours? It needs to be fresh, less than six months old.
  • Baking soda. Used for leavening to give the bread a good rise.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Salt. I use Kosher salt.
  • Bananas. Mashed, you will need about one cup. This is about three medium bananas.
  • Vanilla. Real vanilla extract adds a nice depth of flavor. You can use imitation if that’s what you prefer.
  • Egg Whites. Just the whites help keep the recipe on the healthier side.
  • White Sugar. We used a small amount of granulated sugar. You can replace the white sugar with brown sugar, pure maple syrup, or the sweetener of your choice.
  • Unsweetened Applesauce. Naturally sweetens the banana bread and takes the place of butter or vegetable oils keeping our banana bread soft, tender, and moist.
A side view of a loaf of banana bread sitting on a wooden butter paddle with slices laying in the front covered with melted butter. A blue napkin sits in the back.

Hostess At Heart participates in affiliate programs. As an Amazon Associate, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases. Please refer to my disclosure page for more information.

How Do You Make Banana Bread with Applesauce?

Quickbreads are incredibly simple to make. I recommend using mini loaf pans, and you will also need mixing bowlswhisk, and non-stick cooking spray. an electric hand mixer or potato masher are optional. Check out this complete list of awesome baking tools.

  1. First, in a large bowl, combine and mix the wet ingredients; mashed bananas, egg whites, vanilla, applesauce, sugar, and cinnamon, combining with a whisk.
  2. Next, in a separate bowl, mix the dry ingredients separately. Combine the flour mixture with the wet mixture. We use a wooden spoon which helps to keep you from overmixing.
  3. Then, spray your loaf pans and pour the banana bread batter into the greased loaf pan.
  4. Finally, bake your homemade banana bread until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. For mini loaves, this will take 27-30 minutes. A 9×5 loaf pan will take up to 40 minutes. Always test for doneness before your bread should be baked. Insert a toothpick into the center and if it comes out with just a few crumbs on it, it’s done. Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack before slicing.

Frequently Asked Questions

How to Mash Bananas

Use your hand mixer or potato masher to mash up the bananas. If you leave the bananas lumpy, you’ll have small lumps of banana in your bread. I like to over-mash my bananas for a smooth consistent texture of bread, but I know some people love little banana chunks so it’s up to you.

How Ripe Should Bananas Be for Banana Bread?

Bananas are seldom too ripe for banana bread. They are nicely sweet as soon as they have little brown spots. As the spotting increases and the fruit softens the banana gets sweeter. Even when the skin is almost solid black, overripe bananas can still be used for this moist banana bread recipe. I don’t throw out bananas unless they have started molding.

I always have frozen bananas in my freezer. I just throw them in peel and all. When I need them I let them sit a bit to thaw and then remove the peel. You can take them out the night before you want to use them to bake. The peel isn’t beautiful but the banana is perfect for bread or smoothies. There is never a reason for letting bananas go bad.

How to Ripen Bananas Quickly

If your bananas are still green, you can use this trick to ripen them fast and reap all the benefits of flavor and sweetness of a ripe banana without the wait. Bake at 300°F for fifteen to twenty minutes, until the peels are almost black all over, with just a very thin stripe of yellow remaining in the middle. For more tips on ripening bananas fast read this post.

Can I Replace All of The AP Flour With Whole Wheat Flour?

Yes, you can, but I don’t recommend it. The texture of the bread will be dense and not as moist.

A side view of a loaf of banana bread sitting on a wooden butter paddle with slices laying in the front. A blue napkin sits in the back.

Tips and Variations for Homemade Banana Bread Recipe with Applesauce

  • This recipe can be made into one large loaf. However, we like the mini loaves. We can freeze what we’re not going to use right away. Not only that, we can cut a mini loaf into 6 nice pieces. I wouldn’t cut a large loaf into 18 slices so this is a form of portion control too. The recipe is for 18 servings which is how many we get out of 3 mini loaves.
  • Use room temperature ingredients (eggs and applesauce). They’re easier to blend together and you’re less likely to overmix.
  • I also know friends who have their kids peel, mash, and freeze bananas in freezer-quality zipper bags in the exact amounts needed for banana bread. Turns out this is a fun task, and since the kids love to eat banana bread they are excited to help make it possible.
  • Mix the batter gently with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon and only until combined. Overmixing creates a dry tough loaf.
  • Don’t overbake the bread. Test it at the minimum baking time. Overbaking causes dryness.
  • Add dark chocolate chips, chopped nuts, blueberries, raisins, or oat flakes to your banana bread to try something new.
Three loaves of banana bread sitting horizontally on a cooling rack over a blue napkin.

How to Store Banana Bread

Once cooled I put it in a resealable bag or airtight container and think it’s even better the next day. No need to refrigerate.

Can You Freeze Banana Bread?

Batch bake this recipe to use up all of the bananas in your freezer at once. Once baked and cooled, you can freeze loaves of banana bread with applesauce or in individual slices using freezer-safe zipper bags. We love taking out a loaf of homemade banana bread when unexpected guests stop by too!

I recommend wrapping the bread slices in parchment paper like you would wrap a present first, and then placing the slices in zipper bags. This helps preserve the moisture of the quick bread. You’ll be able to grab these little packages on the go. They thaw fairly quickly at room temperature or in the microwave for a fast and tasty breakfast.

How long does banana bread last?

In an airtight container, banana bread with applesauce will last 3 days on the counter, 6 days refrigerated, and 3 months frozen.

A loaf of banana bread sitting on a wooden butter paddle with a white dish of butter and knife beside it. Two loaves sit on a cooling rack over a blue napkin in the background.

Favorite Quick Banana Bread Recipes

We love quick bread recipes. They make delicious sweet treats for an after-school snack or a mid-day pick-me-up at work. If you enjoyed our healthy applesauce banana bread, take a look at our Dark Chocolate Banana Bread RecipeApple Banana Bread and these Banana Blueberry Muffins. They’re delicious too!

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Table view angle of a sliced loaf of banana bread sitting behind a slice with melting butter running down it.

Easy Banana Bread Recipe with Applesauce

Author: Julie Menghini
Our beautiful easy banana bread recipe with applesauce uses smarter ingredients so you can enjoy a slice with breakfast or a snack without any guilt.
4.90 from 19 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 27 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Course Bread, Breakfast
Cuisine American
Keyword: Banana Bread
Servings: 18

Ingredients
 
 

  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour bleached or unbleached
  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup bananas 3 medium bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 350 °F. And spray either 1 loaf pan or 3 mini loaf pans with the non-stick method of your choice.
  • In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, applesauce, sugar, vanilla, egg whites, and cinnamon.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flours, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Whisk together.
  • Add dry ingredients to the wet ingredients.  Mix until just combined.
  • Pour into a bread pan that has been sprayed with cooking spray.  Bake mini loaves 27 to 30 minutes or one large loaf 40-45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  • Remove from pan and allow to cool on a cooling rack.

Video

Notes

Baking times: For mini loaves, this will take 27-30 minutes. A 9×5 loaf pan will take up to 40 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 73kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1gSodium: 73mgPotassium: 111mgFiber: 1gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 10IUVitamin C: 1.1mgCalcium: 20mgIron: 0.5mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

Other Quick Bread Recipes You’ll Love

Grandpa George’s Easy Zucchini Bread Recipe

Strawberry Rhubarb Bread with Streusel Topping

Cherry Quick Bread – Baked From Scratch

Recipe Rating




Jordan

Friday 12th of May 2023

Could this recipe be used to make muffins instead of a loaf?

Julie Menghini

Friday 12th of May 2023

It sure can, Jordan!

ANN Joy

Sunday 3rd of July 2022

this is great do you have any recipes for Cranberry&lemon or orange muffins and Rhubarb muffins Thank you Your recipes are great but want to try more

Julie Menghini

Monday 4th of July 2022

Thank you! I have a lot of muffins on my site including rhubarb, orange, cranberry, and vanilla to just name a few. Just search muffins. We also have a basic muffin with 7 variations that's very popular. https://hostessatheart.com/basic-muffin-recipe/.

Iva Smith

Sunday 1st of May 2022

I'm sure I ll like your recipes

Julie Menghini

Monday 2nd of May 2022

Thank you, Iva!

Ruth

Monday 9th of August 2021

This looks fabulous could I add a bit of of oil to this recipe? Not using any sugar as making for a one year old

Julie Menghini

Monday 9th of August 2021

You can replace some of the applesauce with oil Ruth. The applesauce makes it a little sweet as do the bananas so you can leave out the sugar for that sweet baby. Thank you!

Colleen - Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck

Monday 2nd of August 2021

A little apple sauce always makes everything taste better! Especially banana bread! Sounds delicious!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 3rd of August 2021

I agree! Thank you, Colleen!

As Seen On