This vegan banana bread is a simple classic recipe that's easy to make and will yield a delicious loaf of banana-powered happiness. Feel free to add your favourite mix-ins or toppings to this one. We like it simple, basic and with a strong banana flavour.
Every food blogger does their own recipe of vegan banana bread throughout their blogger life. The thing is, banana bread is one of those cakes that everyone really loves and everyone makes their own version of it.
Recently though, we've been struggling to get a piece of vegan banana bread that was not somehow customized. While we love banana bread with add-ins (chocolate, walnuts, coffee, homemade vegan nutella, etc) today we were craving for a classic one, full of banana flavour, firm but moist, and with some bite.
And so here it is. If you are craving for a back to basics vegan banana bread for your breakfast, lunch and dinners - yes, we had that for lunch and dinner - that's the recipe for you.
Flour: we used organic all purpose flour, but if you want a healthier version feel free to sub it with semi-wholegrain or wholegrain flour. Oats flour works too.
Sugar: any sugar will work. We used unrefined cane sugar.
Plant milk: organic almond milk or organic soy milk work best for this recipe.
Vegetable oil: sunflower oil and coconut oil work well.
Extra ripe bananas: as brown as you can.
Baking soda: to help it rise.
Vanilla extract: for aroma. Vanilla sugar works too.
Sea salt: to bring out the flavours.
You'll need a baking form. We used a 31x13cm / 12x5in.
📋 Recipe Card
Vegan banana bread recipe
- Baking form (we use a 31x13cm / 12x5in )
- 4 cups flour (500 grams)
- 0.75 cup sugar (150 grams)
- 0.5 cup plant milk (120 ml)
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil (60 ml)
- 4 whole extra ripe bananas
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 pinch sea salt
- Turn on your oven on 180 °C degrees (360° F).
- In a large bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt together.
- In a separate bowl, add banana, sugar, vanilla extract, oil and soy milk and mash together with a fork.
- In the bowl with liquids, add the dry mix and stir with a wooden spoon until evenly incorporated (do not over-mix).
- Pour into a baking form (we use a 31x13cm / 12x5in ) with a sheet of baking paper inside.
- Optional: you can add some banana slices on top of the bread. In this case sprinkle the banana slices with sugar to facilitate caramelisation in the oven.
- Bake for 50 mins at 180 °C or 360˚F. Let cool down before serving.
👨🏻🍳 Top tips
Use overripe bananas
If you are planning to make banana bread, we recommend you to buy your bananas in advance. Since we use bananas on a daily basis for our breakfast porridge, we often run out and never have overripe ones.
These past few weeks however, we have been buying bananas in bulks. Every-time we are down to 6 bananas, we buy 10 more. So our bananas are always at the sweetest point, ready to be turned into a delicious banana bread.
If you don't have overripe bananas you can use this quick trick to soften them up. Bake the whole bananas with their skin on in the oven at 150˚C / 300˚F for 15 min or until they turn black. Then take them out, let them cool, and they'll be sweet and soft, ready to be mashed.
Which fat is best?
You can use almost any type of fat for this banana bread, and if you don't want to use any fat, then don't. The bread will turn out just fine, but a little less moist.
We used coconut oil in this one as we had some laying around our kitchen, but any kind of vegetable oil would work, as long as their taste is not too strong. We wouldn't use a strong olive oil for instance.
There's a lot of debate out there about coconut oil and if it's healthy or not. Since there's no final scientific consensus on it, we rarely use coconut oil in our cooking. It is a saturated fat after all.
If you are trying to be healthier, opt for an unsaturated fat such as olive oil, canola oil, peanut oil or avocado oil.
Which sugar is best?
Again, like for the fats, it is completely up to you which sweetener you want to use. We generally go for unrefined sugars which have stronger flavour and darker colour.
Sugars are not the healthiest of foods, but we believe that eating sweets once a week - we do this generally on Sundays - is good for the soul.
You can also use agave syrup or maple syrup for this one. The bread will turn out nice and moist. Finally, if you want the healthiest option, then go for some date paste. Date paste can be easily made by blending some mushy dates in a high speed blender till they turn to a smooth sweet paste.
Why is this healthier? Well, because of the high content of fibre from the dates. The fibre will slow down the absorption of the sugar, resulting in a lower blood sugar spike in.
In general, the higher the fibre content in your cakes, the healthier. The downside? The banana bread will turn out a bit heavier and less fluffy.
Which plant milk is best?
In this case too, you can go crazy with your favourite plant milk. For baking we prefer to use soy milk, or a good quality almond milk. In both cases, make sure the soy and the almonds are organically farmed.
The impact of non-organic soy and almonds on your healthy (they are full of pesticides) and on the environment is impossible for us to ignore.
Oh, and if you are trying to make a softer and fluffier banana bread, then just add a bit more milk than in this recipe. If you are trying to do a firmer one, then add a little less milk.
Like with most recipes, you need to experiment a bit to find your favourite consistency. I like our banana bread firm and with a bite, while Louise prefers a softer, more moist one. I know, first world problems.
Can I use a different flour?
We used an organic all purpose flour for this one, but you can go ahead and replace that with a semi wholegrain flour, a whole grain flour or a mix. You can also try with spelt flour if you prefer.
I would say that you might need to adjust the liquid a bit with wholegrain flour, as the bread might turn our slightly heavier and darker.
Also, if you want to make a gluten free banana bread you could replace the flour in this recipe with oats. But in this case I would recommend blending the oats in a blender before adding them in.
Maybe check this recipe from Dana at the minimalist baker for gluten free banana bread.
Can I add other ingredients?
Of course you can. This is a basic recipe that can be customised to your liking. Go crazy with walnuts, chocolate chips, chocolate powder, coffee, raisins, dried figs, cinnamon, or any other sweet indulgence of yours.
You might need to adjust the flour and the milk in this case, for instance if you add chocolate powder, reduce the flour amount.
Should I put sliced bananas on top?
I am probably the world's biggest banana lover. Ask Louise if you don't believe me. Anything with banana in it will be gone within 12 hours - has anyone tried B&J dairy-free chunky monkey?
And so, to make this banana bread taste even more bananay, I added some sliced banana on top. The best thing about this is that the banana will caramelise, adding some extra natural sweetness and flavour to the bread.
The bread will also look prettier, so yeah, go ahead and try. It's really yummy. Just don't add too much bananas on top, or the bread will take longer to cook.
Bake through and let cool down fully
Sometimes it's hard to know when the banana bread is ready. Usually it takes around 50 minutes, but to be completely sure you might need to slide in a toothpick and see if it comes out clean. If it's clean, the bread is ready. If you are not sure, give it another 2 minutes.
When slicing the banana bread it's best to use a serrated bread knife. Also, it's best if you let the bread cool down before cutting through it. While it cools down, the bread will loose some extra moist and the banana flavour will intensify.
📖 Questions & answers
You can store vegan banana bread in a dry place on a plate under a kitchen cloth, or wrapped in vegan beeswax wraps.
If you have a cake dome or an air tight container that works too. Never store your banana bread in the fridge. Your bread will loose moisture and absorb weird fridge flavours.
This vegan banana bread doesn't have eggs, milk or butter and so it will last longer than regular one. If you wrap it well and keep it in a dry place it will last up to more than a week.
If it dries out warm it up in the toaster or oven. If it gets mouldy, then throw it out. This banana bread is best when eaten within 4 days.
Yes. You can freeze it whole or sliced for up to 3 months. Let cool down completely before freezing. Do NOT wrap it in foil as when aluminium freezes it's possible that it will leave toxic micro traces of foil on the banana bread.
We recommend to never use foil, but rather go for glass air tight containers or reusable silicon bags. They are better for your health and for the environment
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If you have any tips or questions let us know in the comments below!