This vegan banana bread recipe uses applesauce instead of oil and white whole wheat flour for a light, yet healthier dessert loaf. This simple recipe calls for no eggs, is oil-free and is easy to adapt for your favorite additions.
For this vegan banana bread recipe, you'll need:
- white whole wheat flour (or any combination of all purpose flour and whole wheat flour)
- baking soda
- ground cinnamon
- ground allspice
- sea salt
- very ripe bananas
- brown sugar (or coconut sugar, for refined sugar-free)
- cane sugar (or more coconut sugar, for refined sugar-free)
- unsweetened applesauce (this is a substitute for oil)
- unsweetened almond milk (or other plant-based milk)
- vanilla extract
- optional: chopped walnuts, pecans or dark chocolate covered walnuts
The main substitutions to make a traditional banana bread recipe vegan is to find substitutes for the butter and eggs.
Using applesauce makes it oil-free
In case you're wondering, using applesauce doesn't make your banana bread taste like apples.
Always opt for the unsweetened, original applesauce. It's plenty sweet by itself.
While this recipe does include sugar (gasp!) I have made it often with coconut sugar instead and it works well with the substitutions, if you are trying to cut back on your refined sugar.
I've also reduced the sugar in this recipe successfully by up to half what the recipe calls for. So, you can certainly test that with your own loaf, if you'd like it to be less sweet.
Typically I use a white whole wheat flour to make this, but you can also use straight whole wheat flour or white wheat flour. Or, use any combination of all-purpose flour and whole wheat flour to make this recipe.
All whole wheat flour will make the bread more dense.
If you've never made vegan baked goods, be aware that they take longer to bake than their traditional counterparts. So, don't be surprised when it takes well over an hour for your bread to bake and be done in the center. This is normal.
How does it rise without eggs?
This vegan banana bread rises using a combo of vegan buttermilk and baking soda.
Okay, now, the cool, science-y part of this recipe that makes the bread rise happens with the combination of the plant-based milk mixed with the apple cider vinegar (kinda like homemade vegan buttermilk) plus the baking soda.
I hope you weren't wanting a scientific explanation for how it works, because I don't have that. I almost failed science in high school.
But, I can say that it works! And, it's cool. Even though apple cider vinegar smells strong, you do not taste it at all in the bread.
Or, for those who don't like nuts, this bread is delicious nut-free.
My favorite, indulgent way to amp it up is to chop up a handful of dark chocolate covered walnuts and throw them in.
The rich dark chocolate speckled in the bread is just scrumptious. It really does become dessert and I'm totally cool with that. Vegan banana bread with dark chocolate covered walnuts? A thousand times yes.
👨👩👦👦 Serving Suggestions
Banana bread. Is it breakfast or dessert?
I'd say, YES. Eat it whenever and wherever you can.
Toast it just a touch to warm it up. Or, eat it cold. Great for snacks while you're out running errands. And, perfect with a cuppa hot tea or coffee.
I'm eating a slice cold straight out of the frig as I type for... inspiration. Yeah, that's it. I need inspiration. Excuse me as I wipe the crumbs from my face.
☕️ Tea Pairing
Recommended tea to pair with banana bread: Assam, Nilgiri, English Breakfast or Irish Breakfast with or without oat milk. The Art of Tea has lots of delicious teas to choose from.
💜 More recipes you'll love
Like this vegan banana bread recipe? We all know banana bread is really a cake, in loaf form. So, maybe you'll like some of these vegan dessert recipes:
Love this recipe? Please rate it ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ down below. ⬇️ And, if you make it, please tag me @veryveganish on Instagram in your posted photos! I would love to see your creations. 😄
- 2 cups white whole wheat flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 very ripe bananas, mashed well
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ cup apple sauce
- ¼ cup unsweetened almond milk, mixed with 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup chopped walnuts, pecans or dark chocolate covered walnuts (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F. Use a non-stick 8×4 inch bread pan. (I use the pampered chef stoneware bread pans and the bread always comes out glorious and does no stick. No need to grease the pan.)
- Mash the bananas with a potato masher or fork.
- Sift or whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and spices.
- In a small cup, mix together the almond milk and apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 2 minutes.
- In a separate bowl, cream together the apple sauce and sugars. Add mashed bananas, almond milk and vanilla.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry. Mix well. Add in nuts, if using.
- Pour batter into pan. Bake for an hour to an hour 10 minutes or until a butter knife inserted in the center comes out clean.
You can substitute either or both sugars for coconut sugar, for a refined sugar free version.
You can use white flour or whole wheat flour (or any combination of these flours).
You can substitute up to ½ cup of the flour for almond meal (I like the Trader Joe's brand)
Any plant based milk can be used (almond, cashew, soy)
VARIATION: For chocolate walnut banana bread, add ½ cup dark chocolate covered walnuts that have been chopped. Or, ¼ cup each of chopped walnuts and dark chocolate chips.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 10 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 256Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 173mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 4gSugar: 27gProtein: 5g
Nutritional calculations are done using online tools, such as recipe widget Create. Even though we have tried to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates.