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This vegan banana bread is truly the BEST. It’s soft, fluffy, perfectly sweetened, and unbelievably easy to get in the oven. All you need is 1 bowl and 10 simple vegan ingredients!
I don’t know about you, but banana bread hits home for me. It always was a special treat when my mom made it for my brother and me at home, and it was always my go-to when my school and church had bake sales.
Although we do already have a super popular date-sweetened banana bread recipe on the blog and a marbled chocolate banana bread, I wanted to put together a “regular” vegan banana bread recipe using more pantry-friendly ingredients. You only need one bowl and about 10 minutes to prepare and get this banana bread baking.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- Banana: For the best banana bread, you want to use ripe, spotty bananas. Ripe bananas are sweeter and much easier to mash into a smooth consistency. We’d recommend using the least ripe banana on the top so it holds its shape and is easy to slice.
- Coconut oil: We don’t find this banana bread to have a strong coconut flavor, but if you do not like coconut, opt for refined coconut oil or even melted vegan butter.
- Apple cider vinegar: ACV helps activate the baking soda and makes the bread rise.
- Almond milk: If you don’t have unsweetened almond milk on hand, any unsweetened plant milk will work. If you haven’t already, give our Homemade Almond Milk a try.
- Vanilla extract: While optional, a small splash of vanilla helps enhance the flavors in the banana bread and adds depth of flavor.
- Flaxseed: Ground flaxseed meal is our vegan egg replacer in this banana bread recipe. If necessary or preferred, substitute ground chia seeds.
- Flour: We developed this banana bread using pantry staple ingredients and used all-purpose flour. If you’re looking for a gluten-free banana bread try our Date-Sweetened Banana Bread made with gluten-free oat flour.
- Coconut sugar: We opted for coconut sugar to keep this recipe refined sugar-free, but feel free to use granulated cane sugar or brown sugar. Coconut sugar is naturally vegan-friendly but if using cane sugar, use organic to ensure it is vegan.
- Baking powder + baking soda: Both baking powder and baking soda are needed to leaven the banana bread and make it tall and fluffy.
- Cinnamon: Ground cinnamon adds warmth and compliments the flavors in this sweet banana.
- Walnuts: Optional, but we love the texture chopped walnuts adds to this banana bread loaf.
How to Make the Best Vegan Banana Bread
- Mix the wet ingredients. In a large bowl, add the mashed banana, melted coconut oil, apple cider vinegar, almond milk, vanilla extract, and flaxseed meal. Set aside to allow the flaxseed meal to thicken.
- Add the dry ingredients. In the same bowl with the wet ingredients, add the flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, and cinnamon. Mix gently until combined.
- Fold in the walnuts. Add the chopped walnut halves and fold them into the batter using a baking spatula.
- Transfer to the loaf pan. Transfer the batter to a lined bread pan, then spread it smooth.
- Press a halved banana into the top of the batter. Take your last banana and slice it lengthwise. Place the banana halves cut side up on top of the banana bread batter and gently press them in.
- Sprinkle with coconut sugar. This step is optional, but lightly sprinkling the top of the banana bread with additional coconut sugar allows the top of the bananas to caramelize and become extra pretty once baked.
- Bake. Bake the vegan banana bread for 55-60 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center runs clean.
- Cool. Once baked, remove the banana bread from the oven and cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes.
- Slice and serve. Slice the bread as desired (we cut our bread into 12 slices) and enjoy!
- Oil-free option: Substitute the coconut oil with unsweetened applesauce. The vegan banana bread will be slightly more dense, but it will still taste delicious.
- Making a sweeter banana bread: We used 3/4 cup coconut sugar for the banana bread because we like it on the less sweet side, but if you would like for it to be sweeter, you can add 1/4 cup of additional sugar. Or, opt for ¾ cup of cane sugar or brown sugar. It is sweeter than coconut sugar.
- Walnut substitutions: If you are allergic to nuts or simply out of walnuts, substitute them with mini chocolate chips, chocolate chunks, or chopped pecans. You could even make our homemade vegan chocolate bar and chop it up.
This vegan banana bread will keep at room temperature for up to 4 days or in the freezer for up to 3 months. If freezing, we’d recommend baking the banana bread without the sliced banana on top because it will not defrost well.
To freeze, slice the bread into individual slices, then wrap each slice in plastic wrap. Place the slices together in a freezer-safe bag or container and freeze for up to 3 months.
Defrost the banana bread at room temperature, then enjoy once soft.
We have tested this recipe with 1:1 Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free Flour, but it was not successful, so we do not currently have recommendations for gluten-free alternatives. We do have a gluten-free banana bread recipe that you can find here.
Yes! If you have frozen bananas, allow them to thaw completely in the refrigerator, then bring them to room temperature. Mash thoroughly before adding to the wet ingredients as usual. You won’t be able to use a frozen banana on top of the bread, but simply omit it!
This can happen if the ingredients used in the batter are not at room temperature. Cold almond milk mixed with coconut oil will cause the oil to harden and be chunky in the batter. Once baked, the oil pools in the bread and makes it oily. Make sure to always bake with room temperature ingredients unless otherwise stated so.
A few things may have happened, but if you measured your flour correctly, you likely overmixed the batter. If you whip too much air into the batter, it activates the gluten and makes the batter tough and stringy. Mix gently until just combined – some lumps are okay!
Too much flour! We highly recommend you bake with a baking scale and use our weighted flour measurement. This will ensure your loaf is perfectly soft and fluffy every time.
More Vegan Recipes using Ripe Bananas You May Enjoy:
- Marbled Chocolate Banana Bread
- Frozen Chocolate Covered Bananas with Peanut Butter (3-Ingredients)
- Easy Vegan Banana Pancakes
- Date-Sweetened Banana Bread
- Vegan Banana French Toast (Oil-Free)
- Turon (Banana Lumpia)
Nutrition facts label provided by Nutri Fox.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information shown is an estimate provided by an online calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional’s advice. This page may contain affiliate links, which simply means that we earn a commission if you purchase through those links, but your price remains the same. Thank you for supporting Sweet Simple Vegan!