This healthy 4-ingredient banana bread recipe is quick and easy to make using self-rising flour to create a deliciously soft and fluffy texture. Without cake mix or baking soda, this is a simple, fuss-free recipe that's vegan-friendly and refined sugar-free!
Don't let those overripe bananas go to waste! This recipe is a great way to use them up and enjoy a delicious treat at the same time. The riper the bananas, the sweeter and more flavorful your banana bread will be. The delicious taste makes it hard to believe this recipe only has four ingredients!
If you love quick and easy recipes like me, then you have to try this vegan pumpkin banana bread - it's another delicious way to use up those ripe bananas! Or if you're in the mood for something else, check out this blackberry lemon bread that's bursting with citrus flavor.
Why You'll Love This Recipe
- Healthy - This banana bread uses natural, simple ingredients and contains no refined sugar or dairy, making it a healthy and vegan-friendly option that's also great for kids and toddlers.
- Four ingredients - With only 4 ingredients, this recipe is incredibly easy and saves you time and effort in the kitchen, not to mention money on other ingredients!
- Moist and fluffy - Self-rising flour makes this bread super tender, moist, and fluffy.
- Without cake mix - Unlike other recipes that rely on cake mix, this banana bread is homemade without cake mix and contains no added sugar.
Chances are, you already have all the ingredients to make this recipe! Here are some helpful notes on the ingredients and substitutions you can make if needed:
- Bananas - Choose slightly browned and spotted, overripe bananas for the perfect sweetness and delicious banana flavor.
- Maple Syrup - Use 100% pure maple syrup, or swap in honey as an alternative sweetener. Both work well.
- Coconut Oil - Melted coconut oil adds moisture and richness to the bread. You can substitute with melted butter or vegetable oil for similar results.
- Self-Rising Flour - Self-rising flour already contains baking powder and salt, which gives the banana bread its fluffy rise. You may use all-purpose flour instead if you add 3 tablespoons baking powder and ½ teaspoon salt.
Making this banana bread is a breeze. It only takes 5 minutes to whip up the batter in one mixing bowl! Here are step-by-step instructions for how to make banana bread with four ingredients:
STEP 1: Start by peeling the bananas and adding them to a large mixing bowl. Use a fork to mash them until they are creamy and almost liquefied. It's okay to have some small lumps throughout.
STEP 2: Then, use a whisk or fork to mix the melted coconut oil and maple syrup with the mashed banana until everything is fully combined. This may take 1-2 minutes to fully incorporate the oil.
STEP 3: Add the flour to the bowl and gently stir to incorporate it with the wet ingredients, being very careful not to over-mix. It's okay if some small flour specks remain.
STEP 4: Then, transfer the banana bread batter to a 9x5-inch loaf pan lined with parchment paper. For best results, spray the pan and parchment with non-stick cooking spray before adding the batter.
STEP 5: If necessary, use a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly throughout the pan. Gently wiggle the loaf pan to encourage the batter to spread evenly into the edges.
STEP 6: Bake the banana bread at 350°F for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The top should be lightly golden and the edges should be firm and set.
STEP 7: Remove the banana bread from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 30 minutes before lifting it out by the edges of the parchment paper. Slice and enjoy with a spread of butter, fresh jam or berries, or simply enjoy as is!
Expert Baking Tips
- Line the pan with parchment - To easily remove banana bread from the pan, line it with parchment paper hanging over the sides and spray it with non-stick spray. This allows you to easily lift the bread out of the pan when it is ready.
- Properly measure flour - To ensure your bread turns out fluffy and moist, it's important to spoon and level the flour when measuring it. Avoid sticking the measuring cup directly into the flour, as this can pack it down, resulting in over-measuring the flour and causing the loaf to dry out.
- Use overripe bananas - For the best-tasting banana bread, go for bananas that are slightly brown and have some spots on them. These are the ones that are perfectly sweet and will give your bread that delicious banana flavor we all love.
- Don't over-mix the batter - Mix the flour into the batter until just combined, being careful not to overdo it. It's okay if there are a few small specks of flour in the batter. Over-mixing can result in dense and tough bread, which we want to avoid!
- Check for doneness - With its pale color, it can be tricky to know when the banana bread is done. Insert a toothpick in the middle of the bread to check for doneness. If it comes out with wet batter or a lot of moist crumbs, bake for another 5 minutes and check again. If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done! Let it cool in the pan for 30 minutes before slicing.
While this banana bread tastes amazing as is, you can take it to the next level by adding some of your favorite mix-ins. Here are some of my favorite additions that pair deliciously with the banana flavor!
- Chopped Nuts - Mixing in chopped walnuts or pecans adds a nice crunchy texture and nutty flavor to the recipe.
- Dried Fruit - Adding dried cranberries, raisins, dates, or apricots enhances the natural sweetness of the bread.
- Nut Butter - Satisfy your cravings by adding a few tablespoons of peanut butter or almond butter to the batter. This goes perfectly with banana flavor!
- Chocolate Chips - Make this a chocolate banana bread by adding your favorite chocolate chips. Both dark chocolate and milk chocolate taste delicious!
- Cinnamon - A dash of cinnamon adds a warm and cozy flavor.
- Vanilla Extract - A teaspoon or two of vanilla extract is an easy way to enhance the delicious sweetness of the bread and bring out the core flavors.
Save this healthy banana blueberry muffin recipe so you have something to make with your next batch of bananas that ripen too quickly!
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes! This 4-ingredient banana bread is considered healthy because it uses simple, whole-food ingredients without any refined sugar, animal products, or artificial additives. This makes it a healthier alternative to traditional banana bread recipes, which can be high in sugar, refined flour, and unhealthy fats.
Overripe bananas have the strongest banana flavor, which is perfect for banana bread. The softness of overripe bananas makes them easier to mash, and their natural sweetness and moisture add flavor and texture to the bread, so you don't have to add as much sugar or liquid to the recipe.
Yes, you can use all-purpose flour instead of self-rising flour in banana bread, but you will need to add baking powder and salt to the recipe. Self-rising flour contains these ingredients already, so if you use 2 cups of all-purpose flour, you will need to add 3 teaspoons of baking powder and ½ teaspoon of salt.
If you don't have ripe bananas, you can use 2 cups of thick applesauce as a substitute, but keep in mind that using applesauce will result in a different flavor and texture compared to using ripe bananas and may need to bake longer.
Baking soda is commonly used in banana bread to help it rise and create a light and fluffy texture. However, banana bread can be made without baking soda by using self-rising flour. This is because self-rising flour already contains a leavening agent, making it unnecessary to use baking soda.
Storing & Freezing
To keep leftover banana bread fresh, allow it to cool completely before placing the slices in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This will keep the bread moist for up to 3-5 days. Feel free to reheat a slice in the microwave to enjoy it warm.
Got too much banana bread to eat in one week? No worries! To freeze it, wrap the slices of bread tightly in plastic wrap or foil, then keep it in a freezer-safe container or resealable freezer bag. Your banana bread can stay frozen for up to three months. Remember to let it thaw at room temperature before enjoying it again.
More Healthy Banana Recipes
Did you make this healthy 4-ingredient banana bread with self-rising flour? Please leave a star rating and review to support my blog and help other readers who may want to try the recipe. Don't forget to tag me if you post a photo of your bread on Instagram, I would love to share it! Remember to keep up-to-date with the latest recipes by joining my email list and following me on Pinterest. Happy baking!
Healthy 4-Ingredient Banana Bread
- 1 Large Mixing Bowl
- 1 9x5 Loaf Pan
- Parchment Paper
- 4 large bananas, mashed (ripe and spotty)
- ⅓ cup pure maple syrup or honey*
- ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- 2 cups self-rising flour spooned and leveled**
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9x5-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, leaving some hanging over the edges of the pan. Coat the parchment with non-stick cooking spray, then set aside.
- Peel the bananas and use a fork to mash them in a large mixing bowl until creamy and almost liquified. Small lumps are expected and okay.4 large bananas, mashed
- Add the maple syrup and melted coconut oil. Mix the ingredients with a whisk or fork until the oil and syrup are fully incorporated with the mashed banana.⅓ cup pure maple syrup, ¼ cup melted coconut oil
- Add the self-rising flour and stir gently until just combined with the batter. Be very careful not to over-mix or the bread will become dense.2 cups self-rising flour
- Pour the banana bread batter into the prepared loaf pan. Use a rubber spatula to spread the batter evenly in the pan as necessary.
- Bake the banana bread for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the toothpick comes out wet with batter or with a lot of moist crumbs, bake for 3-5 more minutes and check again. The top should be lightly golden and the edges should look firm and set.
- Remove the bread from the oven and allow it to cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Then, lift the bread out of the pan by the edges of the parchment paper. Slice and enjoy!