Vegan Banana Bread (Easy + 1 Bowl)


Good news! This is the vegan banana bread recipe you’ve been looking for. It’s absolutely perfect. The flavour is bang on. It’s perfectly sweet, lightly spiced, and very banana-y (duh.) The texture is exactly, exactly right. It’s moist and very tender, soft but with a well-defined crumb. The crust is deeply golden-brown, sweet, soft, and a little sticky after settling.

My best vegan baking recipes are some of the most well-loved and highly reviewed recipes on the blog. Top reader favourites include: Fudgy Vegan Walnut Brownies, Vegan Molasses Cookies, Perfect Vegan Gingerbread Cookies, and Vegan Lemon Poppy Seed Cake. If you’ve enjoyed any of those recipes before, you should know that this Vegan Banana Bread might top them all.

1 BOWL + EASY PREPARATION

In addition to this vegan banana bread being incredible, it scores even more points with its ease of preparation. 15 minutes of prep, 1 bowl, and no weird ingredients.

VEGANIZING BANANA BREAD

Despite veganism current rise in popularity, making vegan cakes isn’t a new idea. During WWII, rationing may have led home cooks to develop desserts with more affordable and readily available ingredients.  Butter, eggs, and milk were expensive and harder to source. Instead, cakes relied on chemical leavers, plant-based liquid fats, and gluten, vinegar, and salt for structure. These types cakes are still popular and highly affordable today. I’ve used this technique before, for vegan chocolate cupcakes. It turns out that this method also works perfectly for veganizing banana bread.

USING FLAX SEED AS EGG REPLACER

From the first test I included ground flax as an egg replacer in this recipe. After more research I’ve come to the conclusion that it might be unnecessary. But until I have more ripe bananas to retest this recipe without flax seeds, I’ll leave it as is.

Ground flax has a pleasant nutty flavour and the light flecks enhance the appearance of banana bread. (You’ll notice dark flecks throughout a loaf a banana bread, from the center of over ripe bananas.) But if there’s no discernible difference, I’ll mark the ground flax seed as optional after a retest.

ADDITIONS AND SUBSTITUTIONS

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread:

After mixing up the batter, stir in ½ cup of mini chocolate chips and proceed as directed.

Vegan Banana Nut Bread:

After mixing up the batter, stir in ½ – 1 cup of chopped pecans or walnuts and proceed as directed.

Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread:

If you’re looking for a gluten-free and vegan banana bread, I’d suggest using a recipe already tested for that purpose. But if I were to attempt to make this recipe gluten-free, I’d try a 1:1 gluten-free all-purpose flour blend that contains xanthan gum (or a similar ingredient intended to add structure), for best results.

If you do try making this recipe with alternative flours, I’d love to hear about your results!

Substituting canola oil:

A light, neutral-tasting, liquid vegetable oil will perform similarly. Fractionated (liquid) coconut, safflower, and sunflower oil would be effective options. Melted coconut oil or vegan butter might also work well.

RECIPE NOTES AND TIPS

Banana ripeness:

For perfectly sweet banana bread, the bananas you use should be past the point where you’d want to eat them. They’ll be very soft, thin-skinned, heavily speckled, and fragrant before peeling. You can use bananas that are even riper than that, all the way to the point where the entire banana is black. The bananas pictured below show the minimum level of ripeness for a great loaf of banana bread.

Using ingredient weights for consistent and intended results:

Whenever possible, measure flour by weight when baking. 1 cup of flour can vary in weight greatly. A standard cup of flour weighs 120 grams.  For consistent, reliable results just as the recipe intends, use a kitchen scale! I use a 15$ kitchen scale and it’s one of my most-used kitchen essentials.

If you don’t have a kitchen scale and you’re going to make this recipe anyways:

For the best results using volume, measure your flour correctly: Fluff, Spoon, and Level. In your flour container or bag, thoroughly fluff the top several inches using a whisk. Gently spoon the flour into your measuring cup (avoid compacting the flour.) Level off the scoop with a flat edge.

Even when using the method above, I still end up with about 20 grams of excess flour. If you’re weighing out your flour by volume, reduce the total amount by 2 tablespoons (use 1 ½ cups + 2 tbsp total.) This came out closer to the required 210 grams in my testing.

More notes for best results:

On oven temperatures and baking times:

Because actual oven temperatures vary, baking times also vary.  Your vegan banana bread will be cooked when a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean. Do the toothpick test after a minimum of 40 minutes, when the crust is a very deep golden brown (more brown than golden), with an obvious crack running down the length of the loaf.

A note on achieving the best banana bread texture:

When your vegan banana bread comes out of the oven the crust will be firm and crisp. Wait until the vegan banana bread is only slightly warm before sealing it in a food storage bag, reusable container, or plastic wrap. After being sealed for a couple of hours the crust will become soft and moist with a almost sticky bakery/coffee shop texture.

STORAGE NOTES

Store in a sealed container, food storage bag, or plastic wrap at room temperature. (Do not refrigerate.) Lasts for 5 days.

Freezer-friendly. Thaw at room temperature.

Print

Ingredients :

  • 1 ½ cups (365 g) mashed overripe banana (approx. 3 large bananas)
  • ¾ cup (175 ml) (150 g) granulated sugar
  • ⅓ cup (80 ml) canola oil
  • 3 tbsp (45 ml) unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used oat)
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) (10 g) ground flax seed
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) white vinegar
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
  • 1 ¾ cup (210 g) all purpose flour *see recipe notes
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) baking powder
  • 1 tsp (5 ml)  baking soda
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp (2.5 ml) salt
  • ½ cup (90 g) mini dairy-free chocolate chips (optional)
  • ½–1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

Instructions :

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C) and line a loaf pan with parchment paper. After that, there’s no need to wait for your oven to preheat fully before moving on to steps 2 and 3.
  2. Use a fork to mash the over ripe bananas. Don’t worry about thoroughly mashing them, it’s okay if there are still chunks of banana.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together mashed banana, sugar, canola oil, non-dairy milk, ground flax seeds, vinegar, and vanilla. Then, let the mixture sit until the oven is preheated.
  4. In the same bowl, use a whisk to mix in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  5. Optional: Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Pour the batter into the loaf pan lined with parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until the loaf is a deep golden-brown colour and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  8. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for 5 minutes. After that remove the vegan banana bread from the pan and cool on a cooling rack. When the loaf is just barely warm, seal it up in a container, food storage bag, or plastic wrap for a couple of hours or until the crust becomes soft and moist.
  9. Wait until completely cool before slicing and serving with vegan butter.
  10. Store in a sealed container or food storage bag for 5 days. Do not refrigerate.

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James Aspey: A voice for animals