This yummy and easy vegan banana bread recipe quite literally melts in your mouth. It tastes like it’s straight out of a bakery, but it can even be made gluten-free, sugar-free, or oil-free and retain the same amazingly moist texture!
As a kid, banana bread was one of my favorite recipes to make. I still remember those special days where we would break out the loaf pan and peel our newly ripe bananas.
Not only did I love to eat the batter, but the smell of the banana bread would waft through the house for the rest of the day. It really is the homiest, coziest smell.
As I got older, I developed a dairy sensitivity. While I no longer have this issue anymore, my mom figured out how to adapt our family banana bread recipe.
Eventually, it was full-on vegan banana bread! This was actually pretty easy because you really don’t need eggs to make a delicious banana bread.
My sister also developed a gluten allergy, so we got creative and also made this vegan banana bread recipe gluten-free.
I have to say: the vegan version of this recipe is actually better. Not only is it super moist, but it’s much lighter than regular banana bread. You don’t feel bloated at all after eating!
It’s a not well-known fact that bananas are actually the perfect egg substitute. However, you need a lot of banana to accurately substitute for an egg, so vegan banana bread is the perfect time to really use this substitution method.
I feel that banana bread needs to be easy to make. Baking is typically a last minute decision for me, whether I’m making it with family members or whipping it up before guests come over.
This vegan banana bread recipe is not only super tasty but smells amazing while it’s in the oven. This is my favorite way to make my home smell yummy and homey!
Why You Will Love This Recipe
There are so many reasons to love this vegan banana bread recipe! I had to narrow it down because this blog post can’t be a novel, so I’m listing my favorite reasons here.
First of all, this bread is so quick to prepare. It only takes me 10 minutes max to get the bread in the oven.
It does take about 50 minutes once the bread is in the oven, but you then have vegan banana bread in your fridge for a week. I pop the loaf in the oven and head off to clean my house or watch Netflix.
Secondly, this vegan banana bread recipe is made with ingredients that are super affordable. If you’re on a budget but want to bake and eat healthy, this vegan banana bread will be your friend!
You can also make a variety of substitutions if needed. For example, it’s easy to use applesauce or vegan butter instead of oil or coconut oil. You can swap out the flour, the sugar, and the fillings to make this vegan banana bread with ingredients you have on hand.
All you really need are the bananas!
Additionally, this vegan banana bread recipe is super moist and tender. It literally does not taste like a vegan recipe because it just melts in your mouth.
I really feel that the secret ingredient in banana bread is the bananas. I know, it doesn’t seem that secret since the word banana is literally in the name, but bananas are actually what make vegan banana bread so moist. You’d think you would need ingredients like butter or whole milk, but it’s actually the bananas that do most of the work.
Plus, you can mess this recipe up and it comes out totally fine. This is a super forgiving recipe that’s perfect for beginner bakers. Everyone likes a slightly different texture of banana bread, so if yours comes out a little thicker or more watery, guests will just assume that’s how you like to make your recipe.
This vegan banana bread recipe is comfort food but is also super healthy. It’s pretty hard to combine both of those, but this recipe manages to do it. You can even make this bread gluten-free or sugar-free and still get a yummy, moist loaf that doesn’t have a whole lot of calories.
Because this easy vegan banana bread is so versatile, it’s good for any meal or time of day. We enjoy eating it for breakfast with a glass of almond milk, but it’s also a lovely midday snack with tea.
I also love this vegan banana bread as dessert (of course) with coffee. It even works as a picnic snack and is great to send along with kids in a school lunch. This banana bread holds up really well, so you can pack it away for virtually any event.
It’s even perfect for entertaining guests! This vegan banana bread recipe will be accessible to anyone with food sensitivities or those on a strict diet, but the other guests probably won’t even realize it’s vegan.
I also love to gift this vegan banana bread as a hostess gift or holiday present. It’s honestly perfect for any season and is a great year round recipe.
This Ingredients In This Easy Vegan Banana Bread Recipe
For this vegan banana bread recipe, you will of course need bananas. I use 3 ripe bananas for one loaf. You can easily double the recipe, in which case you will need 6 ripe bananas.
You absolutely need super ripe bananas for this recipe. Bananas contain more sugar the more they ripen, so green bananas will greatly change the taste of this vegan banana bread recipe.
Ideally, your bananas should be somewhat yellow with many brown spots. There’s a sweet spot that is perfect, if you can time your baking exactly with your bananas.
If your bananas aren’t ripe enough yet, don’t worry! You can actually ripen your bananas at home using my tried-and-true method.
How To Quickly Ripen Bananas At Home:
1. Place the whole bananas (unpeeled) on a baking sheet.
2. Bake the bananas in an oven set to 310°F for 15-25 minutes. You want the skin to turn black completely. If your bananas were close to totally ripe, you will need to bake them for less time.
3. Remove the bananas from the oven and let them cool. Peel the bananas and continue with your recipe.
See how easy that is? This is my favorite little at-home trick to make this vegan banana bread recipe with any bananas I have on hand!
You will also need flour. For this specific recipe, I used regular bleached flour, but you can substitute for a gluten-free alternative. I’ll go into more detail about how to do that later in this blog post.
I use brown sugar as my sweetener. I find that it gives this vegan banana bread a much richer flavor.
You can definitely use regular cane sugar if you desire, but it will have more of a bakery taste and less of a homemade, hearty taste. I think both are good depending on the season!
Baking powder (not baking soda) and salt are also required for this easy vegan banana bread recipe. I like to use Himalayan salt that I grind up so it’s super fine, but that’s totally your choice.
For this recipe I used regular oil, but you can also use coconut oil, vegan butter, or applesauce. You will use the exact same quantity regardless of which vegan substitute you use. I’ll go into more detail on the differences further down in this post.
Vanilla extra and some type of non-dairy milk are both essential for this recipe. I really wouldn’t recommend substituting either.
I used almond milk here (which is my non-dairy milk of choice), but you could use coconut milk for a richer bread, oat milk for a lighter bread, or soy milk, which gives the bread a similar consistency and is a personal preference over almond milk.
Lastly, I used a mixture of walnuts and almonds in this vegan banana bread recipe, but your choices of add-ons are endless.
You can choose to use nuts, chocolate, coconut, etc., or you can simply use nothing at all and have a smooth, creamy bread. I’ll go into more detail about add-ons later in this blog post, too.
How To Make Easy Vegan Banana Bread
There is a super easy way to make this banana bread. I’ll give the simpler instructions on the recipe card down below, but if you want more details, keep reading here.
First, you need to mash the bananas separately. The bananas should be relatively thin with few lumps, although there will always be some lumps, so don’t be too picky.
Next, you will add in the vanilla extract and oil (or vegan butter or applesauce). Gently mix these ingredients together until they’re combined.
Even though you don’t need to worry too much about over-mixing at this point, the mixture is always better if you gently blend it.
Next, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, milk, and salt. Gently combine the mixture. This is the part where you need to be careful about how much you mix the battery or this vegan banana bread will come out super chewy.
I recommend using a soft paddle if you have one, otherwise a wooden spoon is good. Fold the mixture together until it’s combined.
Just before you bake this vegan banana bread recipe, you can add nuts or chocolate, if desired. I’ll go more into these add-ons later!
Grease a loaf pan (I use this one) and pour the bread into it. Bake it at 350 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
You can take this vegan banana bread out of the oven when a deep crack forms in the top. I also like to use a toothpick to double check.
Now when using a toothpick, you don’t want to just stick it in and then pull it on. Instead, insert the toothpick near the center at an angle.
You’ll find that you typically need a minute or too longer when you test with the toothpick at an angle than when you test vertically.
If the batter is runny at all, the bread needs more time.
Once this vegan banana bread comes out of the oven, allow it to cool for 10-12 minutes before serving.
Tips For Making This Vegan Banana Bread Recipe
Even though banana bread is so easy to make, there are a few things that can make it even better.
If you don’t want the extreme details then feel to just skip this section. Otherwise, here’s all my favorite tips to take your vegan banana bread to the next level!
What if the bread doesn’t rise?
This is the most common issue with any banana bread. Typically, this means you used bad baking soda.
It might be kind of surprising to realize that baking soda can definitely go bad! Sometimes, it’ll go bad even before the expiration date.
To test baking soda, fill a small bowl with vinegar and sprinkle a bit of baking soda into the vinegar. When they’re combined, the mixture should fizz right away.
If it doesn’t fizz, then the baking soda is bad. You should definitely replace it before attempting this vegan banana bread recipe.
How do I save overripe bananas until I’m ready to bake?
You can simply freeze overripe bananas until you’re ready to make this bread! Working with previously frozen bananas is awesome because there is literally no difference in taste.
Put peeled bananas into baggies and freeze them until you’re ready to bake. Thaw them in the fridge overnight before you bake this vegan banana bread recipe.
What if my bananas aren’t ripe enough?
I talked about a method for quickly ripening bananas at home in the section about ingredients.
If you don’t want to ripen your bananas at home or your bananas are almost ripe but not quite, then you just need to add a bit more sugar to the recipe.
Bananas get sweeter the more they ripen, so add an extra tablespoon of sugar to make up for the lack of ripe bananas.
What if my mixture comes out too tough?
You want your bread to be soft and moist. If you find that it’s too tough, then you probably over-mixed the batter.
Stop mixing as soon as your batter is blended. Otherwise, this vegan banana bread will be super tough.
What can I add to this vegan banana bread?
You can add so many things to this banana bread!
My favorite add-ons are walnuts, pecans, almonds, ground nutmeg, cinnamon, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, coconut flakes, blueberries, and cranberries.
For this specific recipe, I used walnuts and almonds. That makes for a great, banana-flavored breakfast recipe.
You could use walnuts and milk chocolate chips for a recipe that is a little richer and perfect for dessert.
Fresh ground nutmeg and cinnamon makes for a really yummy vegan banana bread recipe during the fall.
During the holidays, I really love adding cranberries and pecans.
There are so many fun options here! You can add as much or as little as you’d like.
What can I use besides oil?
First of all, you can use regular oil or coconut oil for this easy vegan banana bread recipe. Coconut oil is especially fun because it gives the bread a slight tropical taste.
I personally enjoy using oil, but some vegans prefer and oil-free recipe.
Alternatively, you can use melted vegan butter or applesauce. Keep in mind that some vegan butter substitutes will have oil while others will not.
Melted vegan butter will give the banana bread a richer, moist taste. Applesauce may be a bit more flat and dry, so it’s better for a tea-time bread.
You can even used more mashed bananas instead of applesauce if you desire. You will need to almost double the amount of bananas you use.
Otherwise, any substitution will be used in the same amount as the oil in this vegan banana bread recipe.
How To Serve Vegan Banana Bread
There are so many ways to serve this easy vegan banana bread! It’s perfect for breakfast, tea-time, dessert, or even a snack during the day.
You can easily serve this banana bread with a spread of vegan butter on it. This is my preferred method when served warm.
You can also top this bread with a bit of honey. I really love the mesh of the flavors! For a more tropical or summery feel, a tiny spread of coconut oil is yummy, too.
This vegan banana bread goes well with tea or coffee. I especially love serving it with a scrumptious lavender latte.
If you’re planning to gift this vegan banana bread recipe, bake it in a paper mini loaf pan, place it in a treat bag or wrap it in brown paper, and tie a cute little bow around it.
This easy vegan banana bread makes a great gift because it lasts so long at room temperature and is so easy to make!
Can I Make This Vegan Banana Bread Gluten Free?
It’s really easy to make this vegan banana bread gluten-free.
You simply ned to replace the same amount of flour with gluten-free flour. I like to use spelt flour, but you can use whatever you prefer.
Sometimes, this vegan banana bread is actually better with gluten-free flour because it tastes much hearty/less refined.
Of course, this depends on the style you’re going for. Gluten-free flour makes this recipe more rustic while bleached flour gives it a lighter, daintier feel.
Can I Make This Vegan Banana Bread Recipe Sugar Free?
Yes! You can use any type of sugar you like, but if you want to omit sugar all together, then you will need to use extra bananas. They will need to be very overripe – the more ripe the better.
Keep in mind that it won’t taste as sweet and will probably be better as a breakfast food.
How To Store And Freeze This Vegan Banana Bread Recipe
This easy vegan banana bread is so easy to store!
At room temperature, this vegan banana bread will last for 3-4 days. Keep it sealed as much as possible.
However, I typically recommend storing this vegan banana bread in the fridge, where it will last for up to 7 days. I like to keep it in an airtight baggie if possible, but you can also wrap it in saran-wrap if that’s all you have.
Alternatively, you can freeze this banana bread for up to 2 months. Allow the bread to cool then wrap it in plastic wrap, then in tinfoil. Make sure the bread won’t get squished before it’s frozen.
You can also put the banana bread in a ziplock, airtight baggie before freezing it.
Let it thaw in the fridge overnight before serving it, then reheat it in the oven at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until it’s totally warm. You probably won’t want to reheat it more than 1-2 times or it will dry out.
This is a great recipe to make during the holidays because it lasts for so long!
How To Turn This Vegan Banana Bread Recipe Into Muffins
As much as I love my good old vegan banana bread recipe, banana muffins can be super fun, too!
Luckily, this recipe is really easy to convert. You will use the exact same batter (prepared in the same method) but divide it into muffin pans.
You can choose either regular muffin tins or mini muffin tins. I find that mini muffins are more fun and easy to eat, but larger muffins tend to be more moist and tasty, even though they’re harder to eat.
Mini muffins are perfect for a party or with kids, but I prefer larger muffins for tea or coffee time.
Once you pour your batter into a greased muffin tin, bake the muffins at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean.
Of course, smaller muffins will need less baking time while larger muffins may need to bake for 30-35 minutes. Use your judgment and perform the toothpick test when in doubt.
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Easy Vegan Banana Bread Recipe:
- 3 overripe bananas
- 2 cups plain flour
- ⅓ cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- A pinch of salt
- ⅓ cup coconut oil or vegan butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup almond milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1 cup of nuts (optional)
1. In a mixing bowl, mash the bananas.
2. Add oil/butter and vanilla extract. Gently mix.
3. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Gently mix. Batter should be slightly thick; if it's extremely thick, add a bit more milk.
4. Add chopped nuts or other mix-ins to the batter and briefly fold until combined.
5. Pour batter into a greased loaf pan. Bake for about 50 min – 1 hour. My oven usually takes about 50 minutes. Do a toothpick test in the center of the loaf and remove the loaf from the oven when the toothpick comes out clean. Let this banana bread cool for 10 minutes before serving.