This delicious, super moist, perfectly sweetened banana walnut bread is a game changer! A reduced-guilt banana bread recipe made with olive oil and naturally sweetened with honey and chunks of Medjool dates, which infuse the banana bread with rich flavor and a beautiful velvety texture. You won't miss the butter or refined sugar, I promise! Make an extra loaf or two to freeze for later use.  Be sure to watch the video and grab my tips.

Slices of banana walnut bread

I make a mean baklava--award-winning, if I say so myself. But, when it comes to cake (like my Italian apple and my orange cardamom olive oil cakes), I am all for easy options that require one bowl to mix and one pan to bake. That's why, banana bread is one of my favorite goodies to make.

Three super ripe, brown-skinned bananas are not much to celebrate. But turn them into a moist, perfectly sweetened banana bread with walnuts, and the story completely changes.

Healthier Banana Walnut Bread

Bonus, this banana walnut bread recipe is a healthier option. Skip the heavy butter. Skip refined sugar. And try this olive oil banana bread that is naturally sweetened with honey and dates (nature's candy!) And if you're looking for warm cozy flavors, you'll love the hints of cinnamon, nutmeg, and ground cardamom in  here.

This banana bread is moist, tender, and satisfying...without all the guilt!

If you're wondering why I added dates instead of, say, chocolate chips. Besides their velvety texture and rich flavor, dates are an instant energy booster, filled with nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. Just sayin, sneak some dates into your banana walnut bread, and you've got yourself a great post-work out breakfast!

This recipe is a snitch to make (watch the video below to see how me and my little one make it!) But a few tips make all the difference in achieving perfectly moist banana bread. 

Whole loaf of banana walnut bread on wire rack

Important Tips for Moist Banana Bread:

If you're wondering, "how can I make banana bread more moist?"  You'll want to check out these simple tips...

1. Use Extra Ripe Bananas. 

Those ugly bananas with nearly black skins are what you're looking to use in this banana walnut bread recipe. And smash them up real well.

2. Skip the butter and use Extra Virgin Olive Oil Instead. 

No need to use butter, really, save that for birthday cake. A better-for-you fat, and the secret to moist cake is extra virgin olive oil. Even die-hard butter fans agree that extra virgin olive oil makes exceptionally good cakes. Here, olive oil emulsifies the ingredients, which translates into super moist banana walnut bread.

As an added bonus, good extra virgin olive oil, like this one I used, will add a wonderful, rich and nuanced flavor to your cake without calling too much attention to itself.

 3. Gently Fold Dry and Wet ingredients together. 

Use a rubber spatula or a wooden spoon to mix everything together gently for a tender crumb.

4. Begin Checking Your Banana Bread at 50 Minutes of Baking. 

Even though it may take longer, I like to begin check my banana bread at 50 minutes or so of baking. Ovens do vary quite a bit, so it is always good to check to avoid dry banana bread. Use a tooth pick to check a few places, and when just a couple moist crumbs come up, remove the banana bread from the oven and let it rest for 20 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

5. Wrap Banana Bread Tightly To Store Overnight. 

If you make this in the evening to have for breakfast the next day, be sure to wrap the banana bread in something like plastic wrap (even if it's still just a touch warm) to keep it from drying out. I also like to save it in a tight-lid container.

Ingredients for banana walnut bread

Step-by-step for this Banana Walnut Bead Recipe

- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

- In a large mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil and honey. Now add the eggs and whisk again to combine. Now add the bananas yogurt, milk, baking soda, vanilla extract, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk again.

- Using a spatula, stir in the flour; then add the dates and walnuts and stir the batter again until everything is well combined.

Mix for banana walnut bread in mixing bowl

- Lightly oil a non-stick a 9 x 5 loaf pan like this one (affiliate link.) Pour the batter into the loaf pan and shake very gently so it evens out.

- Bake. After 50 minutes or so, test by inserting a toothpick in a few places. If only a couple moist crumbs cling to it, remove it from the oven. If it needs a little more time, give it 5 more minutes or so.

Banana walnut bread mix in baking pan

7. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to cool on a wire rack for another 20 minutes or so. Slice and enjoy!

Loaf of banana walnut bread in baking pan

How Long will Banana Bread Keep?

Properly-stored, fresh banana bread will keep for 1 to 2 days at room temperature or up to 1 week in the fridge. I like to be sure and wrap the banana bread in plastic wrap, then store it in an air-tight container to keep it moist. And because I use olive oil in this banana bread recipe, it is even more rich and moist the next day!

I often make an extra loaf or two to freeze for later use. To freeze, let your freshly-baked banana bread cool completely, then wrap it with freezer plastic wrap or heavy-duty freezer bags. Properly stored, it will keep well in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.

Watch the video for How To Make This Easy Banana Bread

More Desserts to Try

Tahini Date Banana Shakes 

Raspberry Clafouti 

Italian Olive Oil Apple Cake

You may also enjoy 50+ Top Mediterranean diet recipes. For all recipes, visit us here JOIN MY FREE E-MAIL LIST HERE.

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Slices of banana walnut bread

Banana Walnut Bread with Olive Oil


Description

Delicious, super moist Banana Walnut Bread made with olive oil and naturally sweetened with honey and dates! Be sure to read through the tips and watch the video tutorial just above this recipe.


Ingredients

Scale
  • ⅓ cup Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup quality honey, organic if possible
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 extra ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tbsp fat free plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup fat free or low-fat milk
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ½ to ¾ teaspoon ground cardamom (if you're not sure you'll like it, start with the smaller amount)
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 ⅓ cup all-purpose flour (wheat flour if you prefer)
  • 6 dates, pitted and chopped (about ½ cup chopped dates)
  • ⅓ cup chopped walnut hearts

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk the olive oil and honey. Now add the eggs and whisk again to combine.
  3. Now add the bananas yogurt, milk, baking soda, vanilla extract, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk again.
  4. Using a spatula, stir in the flour; then add the dates and walnuts and stir the batter again until everything is well combined.
  5. Lightly oil a non-stick a 9 x 5 loaf pan like this one. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and shake very gently so it evens out.
  6. Bake in the 325 degrees F heated-oven. After 50 minutes or so, test by inserting a toothpick in a few places. If only a couple moist crumbs cling to it, remove it from the oven. If it needs a little more time, give it 5 more minutes or so.
  7. Remove from the oven and let the bread cool for 10 minutes, then transfer to cool on a wire rack for another 20 minutes or so. Slice and enjoy!

Notes

  • Pro Tip: use the best extra virgin olive oil you can or you may risk a rancid-tasting loaf. I used our Private Reserve Greek extra virgin olive oil here; it adds great depth and keeps the loaf tasty and moist.
  • To Store: Properly-stored, fresh banana bread will keep for 1 to 2 days at room temperature or up to 1 week in the fridge. I like to be sure and wrap the banana bread in plastic wrap, then store it in an air-tight container to keep it moist. And because I use olive oil in this banana bread recipe, it is even more rich and moist the next day! I often make an extra loaf or two to freeze for later use. To freeze, let your freshly-baked banana bread cool completely, then wrap it with freezer plastic wrap or heavy-duty freezer bags. Properly stored, it will keep well in the freezer for 2 to 3 months.
  • Visit our online shop for quality olive oils, all-natural and organic spices and more. 
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 55 mins
  • Category: Bread
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Banana Walnut Bread Recipe, Healthy Banana Bread Recipe, Olive Oil Banana Bread

Note: This post originally appeared on The Mediterranean Dish in the fall of 2018 and has recently been updated with new information and media for readers' benefit. Enjoy! 

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I'm Suzy; born and bred right on the shores of the Mediterranean. I'm all about easy, healthy recipes with big Mediterranean flavors. Three values guide my cooking: eat with the seasons; use whole foods; and above all, share! So happy you're here...
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Comments

  1. Hi there,
    I love your book. I am just starting on my journey to follow the Mediterranean Diet "life style". You make it so easy to follow & recipes are DELICIIOUS!! I cannot eat nuts or dates & notice you have them in your desert recipes. What can I use to replace the dates in the recipes.
    Thanks Suzanne

    1. Hi, Suzanne! Thank you for the kind words! A lot of time, you can replace the dates with other dried fruits that you enjoy. Some good substitutes in this recipe, for example, are dried cranberries or blueberries. It will just depend on what you are craving :).

  2. Is is ok to use "full fat" instead of low fat? And could figs be used instead of dates by any chance?
    Obviously I'm not a seasoned baker, more of a seasonal baker, like I bake once or twice a year, and only if it's an easy recipe with not too many ingreadients. lol
    Thanks, really enjoying exploring mediterranean cuisine!

    1. Hi, Maria. I haven't personally tried this recipe with those substitutions, but I don't see why they wouldn't work! I'd love to hear your thoughts if you give these adaptations a go!

  3. This is delicious and just sweet enough. I didn't have dates, so I used dried blueberries. I'll make it again!

  4. I just made this, it’s so moist and delicious, I did use whole grain flour and substituted dates for dried cranberries (only because hubby ate the dates)....I will definitely be making this again

  5. I loved that you used EVOO in this recipe. Both my husband & I found that it was way too sweet for our palates—will reduce both the honey and dates by 50% next time. Also super moist ?too moist but will bake for an extra 5-10 minutes as it may be that my oven needs calibrating. Flavour was great.

    1. Yes! That should work. I've personally tried this with King Arthur Gluten Free Measure for Measure flour and it turned out great!

  6. I made muffins (12) with this recipe a few times using unsweetened almond milk and baked for 30 minutes…..the best I’ve ever had!!!
    Last week I tried using blood orange olive oil instead of plain evoo and these are the bomb!!! I totally recommend trying this!
    Thanks for a great recipe…my go to from now on!!

  7. The BEST Banana Bread I've ever had. Love the addition of the cardamom, dates and nutmeg. And the olive oil and honey make it super moist. My "go-to" recipe from now on. Thanks 🙂

  8. A very tasty and easy banana bread. Will make again and would recommend to others. Thank you!

  9. Hannah is so sweet (a brilliant banana masher) - thank you for the recipe and the video tutorial it looks fabulous 👏👏👏 here in the uk we have Baking Powder or Bicarbonate of Soda. Do you know which I should use in the recipe please? Thank you.

  10. Little disappointed. Kind of bland flavor. Went back to recipe and see no salt. Salt enhances the flavor. I would add that to the recipe.

    1. Hi, Cynthia! You can try something like almond milk or coconut milk. As far as the yogurt, there are dairy-free yogurt substitutes in stores. Some have used apple sauce. I can not tell you 100% as I have not tried that.

  11. I've tried so many banana breads but this recipe is just perfect. The cake is not overly sweet and the combo of dates is walnuts is delicious. I made it with oat flour because I had no AP flour at home, still it came out so fluffy! I halved the honey and added a pinch of salt because my bananas were really really ripe and sweet. Thank you so much for the amazing recipe!

  12. Delicious!! I forgot to add the milk to the wet ingredients and still this is a wonderfully moist loaf of banana bread!

  13. We love this recipe! The bread is so delicious and moist. I used regular Greek yoghurt instead of fat free, and I used medjool dates. The best banana bread! Thanks Suzy.