Cooking Light’s Better Banana Bread

This is a great banana bread recipe. It is the one recipe that my husband bakes! He makes banana muffins about once a week, and not just because he can’t stand to throw away the brown bananas.

This recipe was in Cooking Light in 1993 and we have been baking it ever since. It is a very forgiving recipe and he never measures the bananas, and substitutes whatever we have on hand, light sour cream or flavored yogurt, and they always turn out delicious.

Update: I was hosting a shower for the daughter of my good friend and baked the banana bread in my half size bundt pan to dress it up for the party.

Cooking Light’s Better Banana Bread

Cooking Light’s Better Banana Bread


  • 1 cup mashed very ripe banana (about 3 small)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt (we usually use low fat sour cream)
  • 1/4 cup margarine, melted (we usually use butter)
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted (_we usually add walnuts and/or Craisins, then sprinkle the tops with sugar in the raw_)


Preheat oven to 350º

Combine first 5 ingredients in a large bowl; beat at medium speed of an electric mixer until well blended. Combine flour and next 3 ingredients; Add flour mixture to banana mixture, add nuts, stirring just until moistened.

Spoon batter into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 3-inch loaf pan coated with baking spray with flour. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.

Cool 10 minutes in pan on a wire rack; remove from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack. Bake mini loaves for 35 minutes or muffins for 18 minutes.

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    Leave a Comment:

  1. Holly Salisbury says

    Thank you, thank you a million times. I, too, have been making this bread since I found it in a Cooking Light Jul/Aug, 1994 issue and it is the best banana bread I’ve ever tasted, let alone made. I keep temporarily losing the magazine page and then finding it again; but it is so stained and ragged after 20 years that I can hardly read it. I’ve been searching for the recipe since the advent of Pinterest where I now store my favorite recipes and had been unable to find it. So thank you again — you just made my day! You made it even more by the one small change in the recipe. Mine says 1 egg and 1 egg white — glad to know you can use 2 eggs instead.

  2. sara says

    I just made these. Quite tasty. I did substitute stevia for the sugar and oat flour for the white flour. My only question is this-is there a way to make these and keep them from sinking in once they are out of the oven? Mine flattened right out. (unless its because of my substitutions?) Thanks for the advice!

  3. Jj says

    These sound great, and thanks for mentioning the use of sour cream instead of yogurt, as I don’t always have yogurt on hand.

  4. RecipeGirl says

    This is great to know… we are frequent banana bread makers too. My son loves to have it for breakfast, and I’d much rather make something homemade than see him eat Cinnamon Toast Crunch or the like. I love the idea of trying different flavored yogurts too. Bookmarked!

  5. Jenny says

    Oh Barbara, these look terrific. How nice to know it’s a healthier version of banana bread! Mine has a zillion calories for sure.

    Beautiful pics!! Thanks again for the award!

  6. Priscilla says

    Yum…these look delicious! I’ll be trying these and let you know how they turn out. They yogurt in them sounds extra good.

  7. Barbara Bakes says

    Thanks Augustina – how fun that you have saved it all these years too! It’s not on the Cooking Light website.

  8. Augustina says

    I actually still have the copy for this particular Cooking Light recipe. I like this banana bread recipe too. Yours looks so delicious!