Vegan Banana Bread

VeganBananaBanana Bread

Banana bread has gone vegan! This version swaps out the butter for oil and the egg for a flax egg. Once baked, you can barely tell the difference from regular banana bread!

Photography Credit: Erin Alderson

Here’s a classic banana bread recipe with a vegan twist—it will fool anyone! Bananas and a flax egg provide the moisture, making this banana bread really close in flavor and texture to its non-vegan counterpart.

VEGAN BANANA BREAD: A RIFF ON A CLASSIC

When adapting a classic recipe to make it vegan, I start with a solid non-vegan recipe. For this vegan banana bread, I used this banana bread recipe, which is one of the most popular recipes on Simply Recipes!

From there, I looked at what I needed to switch out: butter and eggs.

WHAT’S THE BEST OIL TO USE?

Butter is the easy switch; it’s just a fat for a fat. For this particular recipe, I used walnut oil because I like the light nutty flavor it adds. However, walnut oil can be a bit harder to source and so, my next suggestion would be to reach for avocado oil or coconut oil.

If you’re looking to use coconut oil, you’ll need to heat it up so that it’s a liquid when you add it to the batter. Coconut oil can be a bit fickle in the microwave because steam builds up and makes the oil pop. I recommend melting it in a small saucepan over low heat on the stovetop.

How to Make Vegan Banana Bread

What is a Flax Egg?

Replacing the egg, however, is a bit trickier. When it comes to vegan baking, there are a few ways to replace an egg. For starters, there are companies that make a powder that can work 1:1 for an egg. However, it’s not always the easiest to find and I like to use what I have on hand.

Enter the flax egg. Flaxseeds, whether whole or ground, morph into a gelatinous mix when combined with water—or as I use in this recipe, almond milk. This mix is a great way to add a bit of moisture to the quick bread and replicates some of the action of an egg.

I like to keep whole flaxseeds on hand and grind them in a spice grinder as needed. Flaxseeds have high fat content, which means once they are ground, they go rancid a bit more quickly, so I recommend storing them tightly sealed in the refrigerator or freezer.

Easy Vegan Banana Bread Recipe

WAIT, IS SUGAR VEGAN?!

One other thing to consider in vegan baked goods: sugar.

Sugar comes from sugar cane or sugar beets. Sugar cane is processed with bone char; it’s what makes the sugar white. The bone char doesn’t actually end up in the sugar, but because of the process, most vegans avoid this type of sugar.

There are many vegan brands of sugar, readily available at the bigger grocery stores.

THE PERFECT BANANAS FOR BANANA BREAD

When it comes to banana bread, you want the bananas that look well past their prime. I often wait until the bananas are mostly brown and soft.

Of course, I’m not always ready to make bread when the bananas are ripe. To freeze bananas for later, do this:

  • Peel and place the bananas on a sheet tray.
  • Pop that sheet tray in the freezer and keep the bananas frozen until I’m ready to use. Once the bananas freeze on the sheet tray, I like to transfer them to a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag.
  • When it’s banana bread time, let them thaw in the fridge or at room temperature and you’re ready to go.

Banana Bread with Flax Egg

FAVORITE MIX-INS FOR BANANA BREAD

One of my favorite things about making banana bread is all the options I have for mix-ins. Add 1/2 cup of toasted, chopped nuts such as walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts. Add carob chips for a chocolate-chip like experience. Or, look for vegan chocolate chips. I’ve also been known to add in a teaspoon or two of cinnamon!

HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE BANANA BREAD

Finally, once you make your banana bread, be sure to store it well. Place in an airtight container and store at room temperature for up to three days.

To freeze banana bread, slice and wrap each piece individually, and place in a freezer-safe container. Pull out slices as desired and thaw at room temperature. Banana bread is also great toasted.

LOOKING FOR MORE VEGAN TREATS?

Vegan Banana Bread Recipe

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  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 1 loaf (6 to 8 slices)

If you would like to make this recipe gluten free, swap out the all-purpose flour for equal amounts of a gluten-free flour blend.

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons flaxseed meal
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons almond milk
  • 2 to 3 very ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1/3 cup walnut, coconut or avocado oil
  • 3/4 cup sugar (1/2 cup if you would like it less sweet, 1 cup if more sweet)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Pinch of salt

Special equipment:

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 4x8-inch loaf pan with parchment paper, long enough so that it hangs over the edges and creates a sling. (This will help facilitate easy removal.)

2 Make the flax egg: In a small bowl, combine the flaxseed meal with the almond milk. Let rest until thickened while you measure everything else.

3 Make the batter: In a large mixing bowl, mash the ripe bananas with a fork until completely smooth. Stir the oil into the mashed bananas. Add the sugar, flax egg, and vanilla. Finally, stir in the flour, baking soda, and salt.

4 Bake the bread: Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.

5 Cool and serve: Remove the bread from the oven and let cool in the pan for a few minutes. Then, using the excess parchment hanging over the edges as handles, remove the banana bread from the pan, and let cool completely before serving. Slice and serve.

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Erin Alderson

Erin Alderson is a photographer/videographer living in Sacramento, CA. She currently runs Grove Haus Studio, focusing on capturing the stories behind food/farms through visual media and recipes. Erin can also be found sharing fresh, vegetarian recipes on her site, Naturally Ella.

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