Give Holiday Banana Bread This Season

November 13, 2013   21 Comments

Can you trick your pals into believing you used a stick of butter to make your banana bread? I think so!

Holiday Banana Bread Gift

Snack Girl made this banana bread last year and substituted buttermilk and a little oil for the butter. Did anyone notice? No!

They didn't know that I had slashed the amount of saturated fat and some of the calories.

I even added a little whole wheat flour to the recipe for a nutritious bump.

This year I did two things differently:

  1. I used just white whole wheat flour instead of the mixture of white and whole wheat.
  2. I made 4 SMALL loaves of bread.

The white whole wheat flour worked great! Everyone loved the banana bread and it had a nutty flavor that worked. The added fiber of 100% whole wheat and nutrients was a nice hidden bonus.

Why did I make small loaves? Well, each of my loaves is 460 calories TOTAL. Even if you were to wolf down most of my banana bread in one sitting, you would be doing better than ONE slice of banana bread from Starbucks - 410 calories.

Also, I bet my friends would prefer a SMALL treat because of all the crazy holiday food that comes their way.

Give this as a gift and don't mention the substitutions. Wrap it in some holiday cellophane with a bow.

You will be a giving a healthy, yummy, homemade treat versus buying something that won't taste as good. (and you will save money :)

Please share your banana bread "tricks".


Buttermilk Banana Bread Recipe

1.6 from 15 reviews

Makes 4 small loaves or 1 large loaf

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2 large eggs
1/2 cup sugar
3 mashed ripe bananas
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 ¾ cups white whole wheat flour (such as King Arthur Brand)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 325 °F. Lightly grease a loaf pan. Using a whisk or a fork beat eggs and sugar in large bowl until thick and light. Mix in mashed bananas, buttermilk, oil and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until just blended. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake bread until golden brown on top and butter knife inserted into center comes out clean, about 1 hour (40 minutes if you are using the small loaf pans). Turn bread out onto rack and cool.

Nutrition Facts

One small loaf is 460 calories, 6.9 g fat, 89.7 g carbohydrates, 10.4 g protein, 3.8 g fiber, 510 mg sodium, 12 Points+

One slice of a small loaf (five slices total) is 92 calories, 1.4 g fat, 0.0 g saturated fat, 17.9 g carbohydrates, 7.5 g sugar, 2.1 g protein, 0.8 g fiber, 103 mg sodium, 2 Points+

Points values are calculated by Snack Girl and are provided for information only. See all Snack Girl Recipes

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First 20 Comments: ( See all 21 )

I've been using the Fannie Farmer recipe for years. There is no oil or butter of any kind. It does well with any changes or additions you care to make. I ofren ad dried fruit and nuts. It can be found online. Try it!

Seems like regular whole wheat pastry flour would also work just fine. That's what I always use and no one ever complains. Not sure how they make whole wheat flour white, are you?

Thank you for this. The calorie counts are shocking!!

Looks great!

Any ideas for a dairy free version?

Do you think it would work to use coconut oil? I have been using it in my bread instead of butter and it seems to work!

You must have read my mind. This is one of the breads I am considering making for the neighbors. This is a terrific recipe. I will definitely be using coconut oil. Since I switched to it we have lost weight and hubby's cholesterol has gone down to the normal range. Of course, we will use stevia or Nectresse instead of sugar. We as many of our neighbors are diabetic. Buttermilk is wonderful and makes the bread tender and moist. You can sub with soy or almond milk but it won't be as good and eggs are necessary for this recipe so if you can't have dairy this recipe may not be for you. Here is a dairy free version and I am sure you can google others:…

If you are lactose intolerant here is info regarding buttermilk and yogurt which are normally tolerated well especially in recipes:…


Did you know you can substitute ground flax seed and water for eggs? The ratio is 3 tablespoons of water to 1 tablespoon flax seed PER egg. You mix it up and let it set for 10 or 15 minutes until it congeals then add it to your recipe. I also use a 1:1 substitute of unsweetened applesauce for the fat, i.e. I use 1/2 cup of applesauce instead of 1/2 cup of shortening (one of those little applesauce snack cups is 1/2 cup). With these subs, the bread comes out moist and yummy. The only fat I add is a little bit of spray in the pan.

I love this idea! I'm always looking for things to bring to friends' houses as a hostess gift or holiday gift. One thing I add to my banana bread is some chia seeds. They are so good for you and have the consistency of poppy seeds so they aren't too foreign esp. for little kids. Thanks for this idea! I suppose you could do this substitute for pumpkin bread too...?

I am so glad I saw your recipe. I bought some ceramic loaf pans to make bread in for holiday gifts and I wanted to find something using white whole wheat flour. Thanks for the recipe.

Mmmmm, banana bread is one of my favorite things, and I will put all sorts of stuff in it, depending what I have on hand when I happen to have a couple of bananas overripening on me. I like muffin form and you can use less flour altogether that way. I always use 1/2 white and 1/2 whole wheat flour and toss in oats, ground flaxseed or wheat bran, as well as nuts or other seeds. For the fat, a little bit of butter makes a yummy difference to me, but I'll sub applesauce, crushed pineapple, or yogurt for half of it. Never tried oil with buttermilk, making a note for next time!

I love this recipe and will be making it. I think I will either use just egg whites or 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites to cut down more on cholesterol. Great ideas from everyone to try.


Great suggestion on flax. I had forgotten about flax meal even though we often use it. It can also be used as a substitute for oil. Flax meal can be use in almost any recipe, breads, cakes, soups and stews. Hubby sprinkles it on his peanut butter sandwiches.

@Jennie McKenna - White whole wheat flour is just another strain of flour. Regular whole wheat is from red wheat, white whole wheat is from white spring wheat, and whole wheat pastry flour is from a low-protein soft wheat. White whole wheat is milled the same other whole wheats flours are milled.

I just saw some ceramic loaf pans for a dollar at AC Moore that I thought I would use. Will do your recipe and also a Gluten free chocolate cake mix with a 15 oz can of pumpkin puree(just those two ingredients, nothing else)for myself and some friends.

Well this sounds just wonderful and less calories and no fat. But could you tell me how long to bale large loaf pans as I don't have small ones and will just cut them in half to give out.

I make a healthy banana bread that uses honey and applesauce instead of oil and sugar. It also calls for wheat flour, but I prefer to use both shite and wheat. My family loves it and I feel good about giving them less fat and refined sugar.

I won first prize at the county fair making Cook's Country's version of banana bread. It calls for making a banana reduction. thus concentrating the awesomeness of banana! Then you shingle some banana slices on top! MmMMM!

How does one make banana reduction and is it lower in calories or comparable?

Hi! I love your site! I think I will be making some bread as gifts for my coworkers. However, I am wondering... Did you use regular buttermilk or light?

Thanks! I love your ideas!

@Kara - I used regular buttermilk. Thanks for your question!

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