The BEST Vegan Banana Bread (One-Bowl)

January 2, 2023

Dessert

By: Jasmine Briones 

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! 

sliced loaf of easy vegan banana bread

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 I 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. All you need is one bowl and about 10 minutes to prepare and get this banana bread baking.

overhead image of ingredients for banana bread

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. 

Equipment Needed

How to Make the Best Vegan Banana Bread

overhead image of ingredients in bowl being mixed
  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
mixed ingredients for easy vegan banana bread in a bowl
  1. Fold in the walnuts. Add the chopped walnut halves and fold them into the batter using a baking spatula. 
  2. Transfer to the loaf pan. Transfer the batter to a lined bread pan, then spread it smooth.
unbaked easy vegan banana bread
  1. 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. 
  2. 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.
  3. Bake. Bake the vegan banana bread for 55-60 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the center runs clean. 
  4. Cool. Once baked, remove the banana bread from the oven and cool in the loaf pan for 15 minutes. 
  5. Slice and serve. Slice the bread as desired (we cut our bread into 12 slices) and enjoy!
slice of banana bread on white plate

Variations

  • 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. 

Storage Instructions

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. 

up close image of baked banana bread

Recipe FAQs

Can I make this vegan banana bread gluten-free?

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.

Can I use frozen bananas?

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! 

Why is my vegan banana bread oily?

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. 

Why is my banana bread dense?

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!

Why is my banana bread dry?

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: 

Make sure you tag us on Instagram @sweetsimplevegan and @consciouschris and hashtag #sweetsimplevegan if you recreate any of our recipes, we love to see your photos!

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up close image of baked banana bread

Vegan Banana Bread Recipe


  • Author: Jasmine @ Sweet Simple Vegan
  • Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 slices
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

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. 


Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 1 1/3 cups (331g) mashed banana (about 3 large) + 1 more banana for on top
  • 1/2 cup (105g) melted coconut oil * (see notes)
  • 1 tablespoon (15g) apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
  • 1/3 cup (78g) warm unsweetened almond milk (or plant-based milk of choice)
  • 1 teaspoon (1g) pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons (16g) flaxseed meal (or chia seeds)

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups (280g) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 3/41 cup (120-160g) coconut sugar *see notes
  • 1 teaspoon (3g)  baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon (4g) sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1g) cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (85g) walnut halves, chopped

Instructions

  1. Line an 8×4-inch bread pan with parchment paper and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. In a large bowl, add in all of the wet ingredients and mix until uniform. Set aside for 5 minutes so that the flaxseed meal can thicken.
  3. Add in all of the dry ingredients except for the walnuts until uniform. Fold in the walnuts until combined.
  4. Transfer the batter into the lined bread pan using a spatula, and then smooth out the top of the batter to make sure that it is equally distributed in the pan.
  5. Take your last banana and slice it vertically. Place the banana halves, cut side up, onto the batter, gently pressing them in.
  6. If you would like, you can lightly sprinkle the banana bread with additional coconut sugar before placing it into the oven. This allows for additional caramelization and makes the bananas even prettier when baked!
  7. Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until golden brown and a toothpick runs clean.
  8. Remove the banana bread from the oven and allow it to cool for 15 minutes.
  9. Slice the banana bread as desired  (we cut ours into 12) and enjoy!

Notes

  • 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.
  • You can use regular cane sugar or brown sugar in place of the coconut sugar but note that those sugar are slightly sweeter than coconut sugar.
  • It is important that the almond milk is warm so that the coconut oil does not solidify/get chunky.
  • Melted butter should work in place of the coconut oil. We have not tested it but based on our experience it should work just fine!
  • 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.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 60 minutes
  • Category: Baked Goods, Breakfast
  • Method: Oven

Keywords: Banana Bread, Oven, Baked Goods, Bread, Breakfast, Vegan

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!

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Recipe rating

  1. Sam says:

    I made this banana bread for my family and they absolutely LOVED it! My dad is a snob about sweets and loves it more than our regular recipe!

  2. Valerie says:

    So I made this yesterday for Mother’s Day and it came out perfect! I am no where near a cook, even more so a baker! This was perfect for me simple and easy to follow! I can’t wait to make this for more events! My family (non vegans unfortunately lol) loved it!!!! I also omitted the nuts due to a family member’s allergy reasons but I can only imagine how much better it would taste!!!! You NEED to make this!

  3. Sally says:

    Can you use applesauce for oil

  4. Tanhya Aliaga says:

    Amazing! we doubled the recipe and came out delicious and beautiful. Very simple easy recipe. Thank you

  5. lisa says:

    I used apple sauce in place of the coconut oil and added in half brown sugar & half coconut sugar and it turned out amazing!

  6. Natalie says:

    This is the best banana bread recipe I’ve ever made. AMAZING. The coconut oil really adds such a nice flavor!! PERFECT PERFECT PERFECT recipe. Simple ingredients- 1 bowl and easy to make. I used regular organic cane sugar not coconut sugar
    Also baked in a square pan for 50 minutes
    I might play around to reduce the fat a bit but I suspect that’s why it’s so delicious 🙂

  7. Ana Aquino says:

    Can i use oat flour instead?

  8. Deserae says:

    Just made this recipe and it was TO DIE FOR!!
    I used brown sugar as it’s what I had on hand and omitted the vanilla since I didn’t have any.
    It was DELICIOUS!!!

  9. Monica says:

    I used King Arthur Cup for cup GF flour. I needed to add extra plant milk because the batter was very doughy at first. The bread was a little crumblier than I’d like, but definitely edible. I’m wondering what I might try again to add moisture with the GF version of this. Just thought I’d share!

  10. Niblet says:

    Wow, amazing recipe! I used a blended brown sugar/stevia to reduce overall sugar content, plus dark chocolate chips. Skipped cinnamon and used extra vanilla instead. For the topping, I did a light sprinkle of turbinado sugar and oatmeal for a crunch. For flour, I used a 3:1 ratio of white-whole wheat to all-purpose, to increase the fiber content but maintain a light texture. It turned out spongy, not too sweet, and the whole family loves it. I love finding recipes that can be delicious and wholesome too. Bonus that it’s vegan!

  11. Cindy says:

    The BEST banana bread ever! I used brown sugar instead of coconut and baked it for 1 hour and it came out perfect! ???????? My family loved it, I would Highly recommend!

  12. Cata says:

    LOVE this recipe!!!! Always make it and always a hit.

    Do you guys have more fruit bread recipes?

  13. Alix says:

    Hi Jasmine !
    I tried this recipe a couple days ago and it was absolutly delicious !!! Both my mom and I was in love with all those flavours and with the amazing texture of this banana bread ! I didn’t know that the banana-walnut-cinnamon could be that wonderful ! <3 Such a perfect cosy cake : thank you so much for this recipe !!!
    Have a very nice day and take care <3
    PS : Love from France 🙂

  14. Sheryl says:

    Love this recipe and made it a couple of times. I use bobs 1-to-1 and unsweetened soy milk.
    I add an extra teaspoon of baking powder. Delish!!

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