Sometimes, things that seem too good to be true, turn out to be very true indeed. Applesauce Banana Bread made without the use of butter or oil happens to be one of them. It’s surprisingly moist, packed with banana flavor, and boasts warm and cozy hints of apple and cinnamon.
Banana Bread with Applesauce is a healthy, low-fat breakfast treat, and whether you’re putting it to use as a make-ahead breakfast, as a snack time fix or feeding a tea time crowd, this is a recipe you can feel great about diving into any day of the week!
SUBBING IN APPLESAUCE FOR BUTTER
Applesauce is a common ingredient for replacing butter in baking. When it comes to banana bread, it will make the loaf moister, denser, and a tad bit sweeter. Not a bad trade when you consider you’re knocking out almost all of the fat content entirely and cutting back on the calories significantly. Yes, please!
WHAT YOU MIGHT MISS
That being said, butter does add quite a bit of flavor, as well as a distinct richness to baked goods. When you cut it entirely, you might be missing some of that. For this reason, we used cinnamon-flavored applesauce and added in an extra 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to add some warmth to the loaf and up the ante when it came to flavor!
WANT BOTH? TRY THIS.
As you’ll see in the recipe card below, this banana bread with applesauce calls for all applesauce and no butter. If you’d like to go halfsies, feel free to take out half of the applesauce and sub in the same amount in unsalted melted butter.
For this particular recipe, those measurements come out to one-third cup of applesauce and one-third cup of melted butter. The butter would go into the mixing bowl along with the applesauce and other wet ingredients.
If you’re looking to go all-in on the full-fat version, you might already hear our Sour Cream Banana Bread calling your name!
HOW TO MAKE APPLESAUCE BANANA BREAD
- Prep – Make sure your oven is preheating before you begin assembling the batter! Grease the loaf, and then sprinkle the interior with a dusting of flour and knock out any excess. Go ahead and mash the bananas in a large bowl as well.
- Mix Wet Ingredients – In the same large bowl you used to mash the bananas, add both the granulated and brown sugar, applesauce, eggs, and vanilla and whisk to combine.
- Mix Dry Ingredients – In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.
- Combine – Add the dry ingredients to the wet mix, and stir until just combined. Take care not to overmix so your Applesauce Banana Bread stays nice and moist!
- Bake – Add the batter to the loaf pan and scatter the oats across the top. Bake for 40 minutes, then tent the top with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes more. The banana bread is done when a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or with just a few crumbs clinging to the sides.
- Cool – Transfer the loaf to a cooling rack and allow it to rest about 20 minutes. Then, carefully turn over the pan to remove the loaf. Serve warm or allow to cool to room temperature.
- Ripe Bananas
- Sugar | Granulated and Brown Sugar
- All-Purpose Flour
- Leaveners | Baking Powder and Baking Soda
- Vanilla Extract
- Ground Cinnamon
- Old-Fashioned Oats (For Topping)
BANANAS FOR BANANA BREAD
The best bananas for making banana bread are the really ripe ones!
In fact, when you think your bananas are too far gone, it’s probably the perfect time to bake with them. As soon as there’s more brown showing than yellow and they start to feel a lit-tle squishy from the outside, they’re just right for baking.
WHAT KIND OF APPLESAUCE TO USE
For this recipe, we used sweetened, cinnamon-flavored applesauce, but you can certainly use unsweetened if you’d like to cut back on the sugar.
ADD SOME GOODIES!
You left out the butter, so now you get to add in some extra goodies, right? Pick one or two of any of the following items and add them to the batter of your Applesauce Banana Bread to make it extra special! Use about a half cup of each if you are using two items from the list; use about a three-quarter cup if choosing just one.
- Dried fruit | Cranberries, Golden Raisins, or Chopped Dates,
- Nuts | Chopped Pecans or Walnuts
- Baking Chips | Chocolate, Cinnamon, or Butterscotch Chips
HOW TO STORE APPLESAUCE BANANA BREAD
The best way to store Applesauce Banana Bread is to wrap the loaf tightly in two layers of aluminum foil. You can keep it out at room temperature for about 4 days. If you’d like to extend the shelf life, freeze it!
You can either freeze the loaf whole or into individual slices. The latter is perfect for busy weekday mornings when you need to heat a slice and eat on the go!
To freeze the loaf whole, wrap it in two layers of aluminum foil and transfer it to a freezer-safe, gallon-sized ziptop bag. To freeze individual slices, cut the loaf into one-inch slices, then wrap each slice in wax paper, and transfer them to a freezer-safe, gallon-sized ziptop bag. Remove as much air as possible from the bag, and seal. For best quality, use within three months.
5 MORE BANANA RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- Banana Cookies
- Banana Oatmeal Muffins
- Blueberry Banana Muffins
- Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 2 ripe bananas, mashed
- 2/3 cup applesauce
- 2 large eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 1/2 tablespoon old-fashioned oats (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350° and have ready one standard-sized loaf pan, greased and dusted with flour. See the instructions below if using smaller loaf pans.
In a large bowl, mix together sugar, brown sugar, mashed bananas, apple sauce, eggs, and vanilla using a handheld mixer or a whisk. Set aside.
In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until just combined.
Add the batter to the loaf pan, sprinkle the oats over the top of the loaf pan, and bake for 40 minutes. Add a tent of aluminum foil on top of the bread, and bake for 15 minutes longer, or until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean.
Transfer to a cooling rack and allow to cool about 20 minutes. Then, turn the bread out (if desired), slice, and enjoy!
If you are using two small loaf pans, grease them and dust with flour. When you've finished making the batter, divide it amongst the pans and bake for 35 minutes.