Sweet Potato Banana Bread

sweet potato banana bread

Having a kid has made me have to try harder to be better. Not that I wasn’t already a pretty good person, generally, but it’s made me think a lot more about what I eat — and drink — how much sleep I get, how much sugar I eat … and how much much I miss having conversations that aren’t interrupted every 3.2 seconds.

Quick breads and muffins are something my toddler will always cram into his mouth with gusto and lucky for us, they adapt to extra vegetables very well. This sweet potato-banana bread (sweetened with dates) fits the bill on a low-sugar, healthy-ish snack treat (and might help you out with those conversations by keeping your kid busy for as long as it takes him to eat a slice).


The dates and sweet potatoes make pretty, purple and orange specks through the bread!

For the date paste, I start with whole pitted dates and cut each one in half. That is insurance against finding errant date pits in your bread later. Packed into a measuring cup, you should get about a half cup of halved dates. For the bananas, be sure they are very ripe like the ones in the picture; they should be speckled with brown, or even brown all over (that just means they’re extra soft and sweet!). You’ll probably only need about half of a medium-large sweet potato but you can cut the other half into “fries” and bake them on a cookie sheet along with the bread (just 20 minutes or so) for another snack your kiddo might like.

Sweet Potato Banana Bread Recipe


Sweet Potato Banana Bread

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  • Author: Hilah Johnson
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 10-12 1x


  • 1/2 cup pitted dates, halved (about 3 ounces weight)
  • 1/2 cup boiling water
  • 2 ripe bananas
  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1 cup shredded raw sweet potato
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup milk


  1. Set oven to 350ºF and grease a 9×5 loaf pan
  2. Put the dates in a heat-proof cup and pour boiling water over. Let soak.
  3. Mash bananas in a mixing bowl.
  4. Puree the soaked dates with the water until fairly smooth. Add to bananas with butter. Mix well. Stir in sweet potato and eggs. Mix well.
  5. Add dry ingredients and stir a few times.
  6. Add milk and stir just until it’s all incorporated.
  7. Spread into loaf pan and bake about 1 hour, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  8. Cool 5 minutes, then turn onto a cooling rack and cool another 10-15 minutes before slicing. I like thick, 1″ slices and you get about 10 of those from one loaf.
  9. Most excellent spread with butter or peanut butter!

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  1. John Harvey on July 7, 2017 at 11:54 pm

    Yam yam, it sounds and looks so yummy. Now I am retired I need a new hobby with which I can both enjoy the spoils and treat my grand children.
    Thank you for this and all of your superb recipes

    • Hilah on July 11, 2017 at 7:49 am

      Enjoy the quick bread, John!

  2. Heather on August 12, 2017 at 12:03 pm

    This looks delicious and I almost have everything I need. Can I use all-purpose flour in place of the whole wheat pastry flour? I don’t have that on hand. Thanks!

    • Hilah on August 14, 2017 at 5:58 am

      Yes! I use them interchangeably in recipes. Enjoy, Heather!

  3. KAREEM TIMAZEE on December 3, 2017 at 6:40 am

    I love BANANAS!? Also, Sweet Potatoes? too. However, dates aren’t my thing. So, I would substitute them for sun? dried – BANANAS. I will add some shredded Carrots as well. THANKS HILAH – MMMM -> YUMMY! ??

    • Hilah on December 7, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Great idea, Kareem!

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