Light Banana Bread

I’ve been on this kick of baking lightened up versions to some of my favorite baked goodies.  I’ve tried Light Chocolate Chip Cookies, Light Chocolate Chip Muffins, and Light Fudgy Brownies.  There are a lot of ways to lighten up a recipe and if you are like me then you are wondering if those ways actually work.  The age old question… Can lighter recipes really deliver a healthier outcome that still tastes just as good as the real deal full fat one?  The answer is absolutely yes, if you have the right recipe.  Trial and error, my friends (hopefully less error).

I’m adding to my growing list of “healthified” baked goodies with this low fat and low calorie banana bread.  Not only does it taste amazingly delicious, I love it MORE than the real deal.

04Light Banana Bread

Light Banana Bread Recipe
(Makes 1 loaf)


  • 1 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flourMeasure your flour correctly!
  • 3/4 cup white sugar (divided per the directions)
  • 1/2 cup cake flourMeasure your flour correctly!
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas (equivalent to about 1 and 1/2 cups), mashed
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup pecans, chopped


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan and set it aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, 1/4 cup of the white sugar, cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Set the dry ingredients aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the mashed bananas, yogurt, and vanilla extract together.  Set the banana mixture aside.
  5. In a large bowl, cream the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and butter.
  6. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
  7. Mix in one third of the dry ingredients and then half of the banana mixture.  Then mix in another one third of the dry ingredients and then the remaining half of the banana mixture.  Last mix in the remaining one third of the dry ingredients.  Do not overmix.  The batter will look thick and chunky.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  9. Sprinkle the chopped pecans on top of the batter.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 55 minutes or until a tester inserted comes out clean.
  11. Let the loaf cool in the pan for about 10 minutes and remove it from the pan onto a wire rack to cool completely.


The phrase “quick bread” is a bit deceiving.  You can prepare the ingredients in very short order, but it does take its sweet time in the oven.  We should consider the entire preparation time before we are too quick (hehe, pun intended) to call it a quick bread.     😉

01Light Banana Bread

Let’s get down to brass tacks.  Like with my other light recipes, it’s virtually impossible to do a true side by side comparison of where you are saving fat, calories, sugar, etc. because there are tons of recipes out there.  However, I can compare this recipe to my Classic Banana Bread recipe.  This recipe contains over 60% less butter, 50% less nuts, and 25% less sugar.  I think those numbers are impressive.  Especially considering this has now replaced my favorite banana bread.

09Light Banana Bread

Thanks to the bananas and their amazing texture and seemingly endless supply of delicious moisture, you really can get away with using way less butter.

Greek yogurt?  Yup, as I’ve said many times before, it’s a great ingredient to use to help maximize the moistness while minimizing the fat.

10Light Banana Bread

Half as much nuts?  I don’t know about that, T.  If you’re not adding anything fun like chocolate chips, won’t this be boring?  Nope.  The oven toasts the nuts on top of the bread so the flavors are intensified.  Meaning you can use less of them and they still convey virtually all the same crunch and flavor as in the real deal bread.

11Light Banana Bread

Now to the real question that I’m sure everyone wants to the know anwswer to… Drum roll, please…  Does this taste good?  I know I’ve said this a couple times already, but I actually like this lighter banana bread better than the real deal.  (My husband agrees.)  It tastes identical to the high test version, except that this has a lighter texture, which is what I prefer.  My youngest sister also tried and loved this banana bread.  She had no idea it was a “light” recipe.  Sweet!

This is now my new go-to banana bread recipe.     🙂

12Light Banana Bread

Have you lightened up a classic recipe?  If yes, what was it and how did it turn out?



5 Hats

Slightly adapted from:  The America’s Test Kitchen: Family Baking Book


Here are some other delicious banana recipes.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

06Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies

Double Chocolate Banana Bread With Peanut Butter Icing

07Double Chocolate Banana Bread with Peanut Butter Icing


  1. Ashley says:

    I totally agree – healthier baked goods can taste great … with the right recipe! I stayed away from them for so long until I realized it was the recipes… haha This looks great! And a delicious breakfast option too : ) I need some new ideas … in such a rut!

    1. Tina says:

      I feel like I’ve been a food rut lately too. This light bread was a welcome change for breakfast. 🙂

  2. Banana bread is one of my favorites and I just so happen to have a bunch of bananas in the freezer right now! Perfect timing 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      It’s one of my favorites too! I hope you enjoy it as much as I do. 🙂

  3. Tina, I have FOUR ripe (bordering on beginning-to-make-the-whole-room-smell-ripe) bananas in my fruit bowl right now and I just have to do something with them. I have an idea up my sleeve (which isn’t particularly ‘light’) for using up a couple of them, but I’m going to freeze the other bananas and use them for banana bread later on. I’ve made a similar loaf to yours recently and it was absolutely delicious. I love your little tips like sprinking the nuts on top to make things even lighter. 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      I’m curious how you’ll use those extra bananas so I’ll have to keep a look out on your blog. 🙂 I think banana bread is definitly an awesome classic…I almost always have the ingredients, it’s quick to whip up, and it’s great to bring over to someone’s house. 🙂

  4. This banana bread looks delicious! Love that you lightened this up!

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome, thank you! I appreciate you stopping by. 🙂

  5. Mary Frances says:

    So true! A good recipe is key. My Mom says anyone can be a good cook/baker with the right recipes. And I also agree, healthier foods require a lot more trial and error! Loving this quick bread, especially the triple banana!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  6. Love the pecans in this Tina! I know nuts in banana bread is nothing new, but I hated all nuts as a kid so sometimes when I see them in normal-nut-including recipes I’m like hey! Pecans! That sounds awesome!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! I appreciate you stopping by. 🙂

  7. Tina this looks like such a stunning traditional Banana Bread but without all the fat!! I Love it! Pinned 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome! Thanks for pinning. 🙂

  8. I love a good healthy banana bread recipe, and yours looks fabulous! Banana bread is the best kind of comfort food. Must try this!

    1. Tina says:

      I totally agree! Thank you. 🙂

  9. Looks so good 🙂 I just love banana bread

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks Josefine! 🙂

  10. Don’t you love when you lighten up recipes and you end up loving the taste more than the original? Such a bonus! This looks delish – and we love banana bread!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much Kristi! 🙂

  11. Awesome that you like this better than traditional banana bread! This is a good recipe to lighten up because the bananas provide to much moisture.

    1. Tina says:

      I totally agree. 🙂

  12. Tina, I love your skinny versions you’ve been sharing! It is bikini season, you know! And, I simply can’t give up sweets! (I would not survive!)

    1. Tina says:

      I’m with you, Gloria! I need my sweets. 🙂

  13. This sounds amazing, Tina! You cannot beat a good slice of banana bread!

    1. Tina says:

      You are so right. 🙂

  14. A banana bread that looks this good and is light? A winning combination! I love the tip about how the oven toasts the nuts on top of the bread. I can imagine how that would amp up the flavor and save calories, too. Fab idea, Tina! 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks Alyssa! 🙂

  15. My lightened up recipes usually end up inedible, dry and rock like…will have a crack at your recipe and report back. 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      I can relate! I think light recipes are trickier to get perfect (or maybe I have high standards). Let me know how you make out. 🙂

  16. Hi. Returning the love. Appreciate that you stopped by earlier!
    Happy you did as now I will make certain to follow your social media. I love to bake — usually chocolate, of course, but need the healthier versions in my life, too.
    Your blog is beautiful!
    x Dana

    1. Tina says:

      Right back at ya! Can’t wait to see what you’re up to next. 🙂
      Thank you so much for you kind compliments. 🙂 I’m with ya, chocolate rules!

  17. Yum, that looks great! I adore traditional banana bread, but I can always appreciate a healthier version that isn’t so much like dessert for breakfast. 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! I appreciate you stopping by. 🙂

  18. Kelly says:

    This banana bread looks awesome Tina! I love that you are sharing all these lightened up tasty desserts and can’t wait to give this a try:)

    1. Tina says:

      Awesome sauce! 🙂

  19. A beautiful banana bread loaf with only 3 tablespoons of butter! I’m in love 🙂

    1. Tina says:

      I know! I could hardly believe it myself until I put it to the test. It’s my favorite now. 🙂

  20. Oh my goodness I almost can’t believe that this banana bread is light! It looks sooo soft and moist inside. Your photos are simply breathtaking. I will take 5 slices of this banana bread for breakfast this morning, please! 😉

    1. Tina says:

      5 slice on their way! 😉

  21. Loving all your lightened up recipes! Such a great idea, especially as we approach pool/beach season!

    1. Tina says:

      I’m glad you’re enjoying. 🙂

  22. What a great idea to add greek yogurt!

    1. Tina says:

      And you don’t even taste the yogurt! 🙂

  23. I love banana bread – and you know I like to try to make things lighter! This is such a great recipe! Love the addition of Greek yogurt! Pinned!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks so much! 🙂

  24. This lightened version of banana bread looks delicious! I lightened mine up a while ago and found that we liked it just as much…or even more!!

    1. Tina says:

      Thanks Cathy! 🙂

  25. Maryann says:

    How many choc chips would you add to the light banana bread recipe. And is it safe to double the recipe upfront or should I make two separate batches. And what kind of a knife would you use to slice the finished masterpiece ? Thanks so much.

    1. Tina says:

      Hi Maryann! You can really add as many chocolate chips as you like. I usually use 1 cup. See my chocolate banana bread to give you an idea of what that looks like:
      Since you are making the light version then you may want to reduce the amount to keep it on the lighter side.
      I personally do not like to double a quick bread recipe. I find that I have better luck making 2 separate batches.
      I always use a serrated knife to cut my quick breads. It’s the kind that has the scallops or bumps/ridges on the edge of the knife. I find that this type of knife cuts the bread better and doesn’t tear at it. I hope this helps!

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