Healthy Cinnamon Banana Bread

Healthy Cinnamon Banana Bread is a lightened up version of traditional banana bread made with whole wheat flour, mashed bananas, maple syrup, honey, and lots of cinnamon.


This healthy banana bread with cinnamon should be your next baking project. It is loaded with banana flavor without all the fat and sugar of traditional banana bread. It's one of our favorites along with this Nutella Banana Bread.

The smell of banana bread slowly baking in the oven may be one of the best smells out there. Seriously if you have had a bad day and walk into a house that smells like freshly baked banana bread, it's impossible to stay upset. I would say that it should be bottled but what a tease! I think I would be angrier if I came home, smelled banana bread, only to find out there wasn't actually any waiting to be eaten.

Traditional banana bread recipes are packed with lots of butter, sour cream, sugar, and white flour making them delicious, but not the healthiest breakfast option. Luckily, it is pretty easy to make a few changes and make delicious and healthier banana bread.

First, we are going to switch out the traditional vegetable oil for coconut oil. Then we are going to use applesauce and extra bananas so that we can use less oil in the recipe overall and still end up with a moist bread. Finally, we are going to substitute maple syrup and honey for the white sugar and use whole wheat flour instead of white flour. The resulting bread is packed with banana flavor and will quickly become a favorite.

Healthy banana bread with cinnamon sliced on a wooden cutting board.

What makes this banana bread healthy?

This is definitely a healthier version of a traditional banana bread since it uses whole wheat flour, unrefined sugars, and healthier fats. Specifically, 

  • Coconut oil is a healthier option than traditional butter when it comes to fat. You could also use olive oil, avocado oil, or butter is that is all you have at home. On top of using a healthier fat, this recipe only uses 3 tablespoons instead of the stick of butter used in most recipes.
  • Unsweetened applesauce is another trick to cut back on the oil. It adds some natural sweetness and moisture to the recipe. 
  • Honey and pure maple syrup are both unrefined sugar, that are a bit better for you than processed white or brown sugar. They offer some trace nutrients and don't cause blood sugar to spike in the same way as white sugar.
  • White whole wheat flour is an alternative to traditional white flour and offers more fiber and nutrients. The "white" version of whole wheat flour has a milder flavor than traditional whole wheat flour but is just as healthy.
  • Bananas may seem like an obvious ingredient in banana bread but this recipe uses a lot of bananas to add sweetness and moisture without oil and sugar.

Recipe Ideas and Add-Ins

It's hard to make banana bread without wanting to mix in a little something extra. Here are some favorites for this cinnamon banana bread.

  • Chocolate chips. cinnamon chips, or peanut butter chips
  • Chopped walnuts or pecans
  • Fresh of frozen blueberries
  • Dried fruit like cranberries, golden raisins, or chopped dried cherries or blueberries

How to freeze banana bread?

Banana bread can be frozen and kept in the freezer for up to three months as long as it is stored correctly. Always start by letting the bread cool completely. Then once it has fully cooled, it can be frozen whole or in slices. Slices are great to have in the freezer because you can pull out one serving at a time. 

Once it is cooled, wrap in freezer safe plastic wrap and then place in a bag or wrap in foil. Label with the date. For defrosting a whole loaf, let it sit overnight in the fridge to defrost.

For individual slices, wrap the individual slices in plastic wrap. Then place in a larger bag. Defrost in the fridge overnight. You can also defrost in the microwave, toaster oven, or even in a skillet over low temperatures.

Wheat banana bread with cinnamon in a bread pan.

Can you make banana bread with fresh bananas?

For the very best banana bread, you want to use super ripe bananas. They should be very brown, almost black. These super ripe bananas have the most banana flavor and have the most natural sugars for a sweet bread without lots of added sugar.

However, that's not always possible. When you don't have ripe banana on hand, you can bake your bananas. This won't give you the exact same deep banana flavor but it is a pretty good alternative when you are craving banana bread but don't have any ripe bananas on hand. Here' what to do:

  • Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
  • Place the bananas in a rimmed baking sheet or in a glass dish and bake for 20-30 minutes until the banana peels turn black.
  • Carefully remove the peels and mash the banana inside. 

More Baked Banana Recipes

The Recipe
Healthy Cinnamon Banana Bread sliced on a plate with the whole loaf on the side.

Healthy Cinnamon Banana Bread

COOK TIME: 1 Hours
TOTAL TIME: 1 Hours, 10 Min
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  • 3 tbsp. coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 3 tbsp. honey
  • 3 tbsp. maple syrup
  • 2 eggs
  • 1.25 cups mashed bananas (around 3 bananas)
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk (or nut milk)
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1.75 cups white whole wheat flour

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Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.


Beat together the oil, applesauce, honey, maple syrup, eggs, bananas, and milk. Once well combined, add the cinnamon, vanilla extract, baking soda, and salt. Then using a spoon, stir in the flour. The batter doesn't need to be perfectly smooth but try to get out any big chunks.


Pour into a bread pan (I used a 9 x 5) sprayed with cooking spray. Bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean and bread is cooked through.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving
Calories 157
Calories from Fat 40
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 5g
Saturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 31mg
Sodium 218mg
Total Carbohydrate 27g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 10g
Protein 3g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

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About the author Meet Kristen McCaffrey
Hi, I’m the cookbook author, recipe developer, and food enthusiast behind Slender Kitchen. I am obsessed with making healthy food that is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Meal planning is my secret weapon and I hope I can make meal time easier for you with our tried and tested recipes and foolproof meal plans. Learn More
On Healthy Cinnamon Banana Bread
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October 7, 2021 - 18:27
Can I turn this recipe into muffins instead of bread? If so, how would that change the calorie/nutrition info?
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October 11, 2021 - 10:53
Sure! If you make 12 muffins, the nutritional info will stay the same :)
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Robin Perley
February 7, 2018 - 13:00
I made some changes (use 1/2 c pumpkin instead of oil and applesauce; use 1/2 c plain yogurt rather than milk, and only sweeter is 1/4 maple syrup) and put into 12-muffin tin. 3 point yummy muffins! Also, I put in whatever fruit I have around, grated apples or berries. Incredibly versatile! Thanks!
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Heather Griffin
April 10, 2019 - 04:09
Sounds delicious! I love putting blueberries in my banana bread. It's a great combo. I've never thought of apple. Sounds good!
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Deanna Fitzpatrick
June 17, 2017 - 04:12
Add a Rating:
This is simply the best banana bread recipe out there. Highly recommend. Love the extra flavor the coconut oil gives it!
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