The Best Vegan Banana Bread You’ll Ever Eat

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This vegan banana bread recipe is a reader favorite! After only 20 minutes of prep time, it emerges from the oven tender and moist, never dense or dry. Using fewer than 10 ingredients, it’s simple and extremely delicious.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Cooling Time 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 40 mins
5 from 81 votes

There’s nothing quite as comforting as a warm slice of vegan banana bread. It evokes childhood memories I didn’t even know I had. And this vegan banana bread is guaranteed to create new happy memories for you. It’s the epitome of a low-effort, high-reward recipe and a community favorite for good reason.

This post will teach you how to make the best vegan banana bread. It’s fluffier, more tender, and less dense than any other banana bread you’ve tried.

Table of Contents:

1. Why you’ll love this recipe
2. Ingredients for a tender and moist banana bread
3. Tips for making the best banana bread
4. How to make this banana bread (photos and video)
5. Frequently Asked Questions

a loaf of vegan banana bread with banana slices on top, sitting on top of parchment paper with knife

Why you’ll love this recipe

Less than 10 ingredients + budget-friendly. Very simple and no fancy ingredients required.

Easy to make. This requires only 20 minutes of prep time and 50 minutes in the oven. The hardest part is waiting for it to cool.

Light, moist, tender. Oftentimes, vegan banana breads are too dense and heavy. Banana bread should be a little dense, but you don’t want it to be heavy. This is the most tender and moist banana bread I’ve ever tasted. Vegan or not.

Simple, forgiving, and foolproof. The ingredients and method are simple, and even baking beginners can nail this recipe. One reader misread the ingredients and used 1/3 of the sugar called for and said it was still delicious (and made it twice in a week), so this is definitely a forgiving recipe.

Pure comfort food. Despite being vegan, nut-free, and soy-free and made with some better-for-you ingredients, this banana bread is pure indulgence.

Note: This vegan banana bread is not gluten-free, but if you’re looking for one, try this gluten-free kabocha squash banana bread (you can sub kabocha with pumpkin puree). And if you’re a sucker for an Instant Pot recipe, try this instant pot banana bread recipe, which is from my cookbook, the Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook.

Ingredients for a tender and moist banana bread

Aquafaba

Since banana bread, especially vegan banana bread can be dense and heavy, I decided I wanted to incorporate aquafaba, aka canned chickpea water, as the egg substitute.

And my hunch paid off because this banana bread is the most tender, moist, and light-textured banana bread I’ve tasted (and according to many of my readers, it’s the same for them!). Imagine a banana bread that melts in your mouth. This is it. Thank you, aquafaba!

Brown Sugar or Coconut Sugar

I have made this recipe with both brown sugar and coconut sugar, and both work great. Brown sugar, in particular, has molasses in it, which baked goods moist and more flavorful than white sugar.

If choosing between light and dark brown sugar, dark brown sugar has a deeper molasses flavor, so the bread will be richer in flavor. Using dark brown sugar or coconut sugar (instead of light brown sugar) will also make the loaf darker in color. For instance, the below photo was made with coconut sugar; the loaf in the step-by-step photos and video was made with light brown sugar.

stacked slices of vegan banana bread on a wooden cutting board

Vegan “Buttermilk” 

Vegan “buttermilk” is simply a mixture of plant-based milk with lemon juice or vinegar and works great in baking. Here, the lemon juice brings additional lift to the cake, which makes it more tender and less dense.

Oil, not Butter

Butter is great in cakes, but butter/vegan butter tends to make banana bread a bit drier and crumbly. You can use any oil you’d like in this recipe. I’ve made this sunflower seed oil, regular olive oil, and canola oil. It works with all of them.

Tip: If you use coconut oil, melt it beforehand and bring your plant milk to room temperature. Otherwise, cold causes the oil to turn back into its natural solidified state.

loaf of banana bread on tray with three slices

Tips for making the best banana bread

Use overripe bananas

More on this in the “Frequently asked questions” section.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet

Fold the dry ingredients into the wet (not the wet into the dry). According to Cook’s Illustrated, this order promotes better incorporation, a more supple batter, and allows to you to mix things together without overmixing (see below).

No overmixing!

When mixing the dry and wet ingredients, switch to a silicone spatula (or wooden spoon) and use a gentle touch. And don’t overmix! Mix until the batter is just combined. It’s okay if there are light traces of unmixed flour remaining.

Overmixing causes the loaf to become dry instead of moist. This is because the more you mix the batter, the more gluten develops, resulting in a chewy, dense texture (great for a ciabatta, not great for a soft banana bread).

Measure your flour!

It is essential to weigh or measure your flour properly. I am a strong proponent of using a digital scale for all baking purposes, as it yields the most exact results.

But if you don’t have a digital scale, please, for the love of all that is good in the world, DO NOT SCOOP YOUR FLOUR STRAIGHT OUT OF THE BAG. This always results in getting too much flour in your measuring cup, and too much flour = dry banana bread.

Instead, use the spoon and level method. Spoon your flour out of the bag/jar into the measuring cup until almost full, then use a butter knife to level it off.

If you think I’m being overly cautious, I have tested this numerous times using a digital scale. Usually, when you scoop 1 cup of flour straight out of the bag/jar, you’re actually scooping closer to 1 1/4 cups in grams. In this recipe, that means, instead of using 2 cups of flour, you’re getting 2 1/2 cups of flour (not an insignificant difference).

Want to see the spoon and level method in action? Watch my Youtube video on banana bread, starting at the 5:20 mark.

Bake the bread as soon as possible

Once you mix the wet and dry ingredients,  the baking soda starts producing gas bubbles (reacting with the acidic lemon juice), which start trying to escape. If you let the batter rest, your banana bread will be less fluffy and light.

Use an oven thermometer and start checking at 45 minutes 

Every home oven is different, and many are not calibrated, so temperatures can be inaccurate. The minimum bake time for any banana bread is 45 minutes. At my last apartment in NYC, 45-50 minutes was the sweet spot. But now, in my new kitchen, this banana bread takes 55 minutes. The exact bake time also hinges on how moist and ripe your bananas, as the the sugar content affects the bake time.

Allow the banana bread to rest

Lift the banana bread out of pan after 10-15 minutes. This helps prevent a soggy bottom. Then transfer it to a cooling rack to cool completely. If you slice too early into banana bread, you risk cutting into a gooey, underbaked loaf.

sliced banana bread on tray with honey and knife, banana bread scene for food photography

How to make this banana bread

In a medium bowl, whip the aquafaba with an electric mixer until foamy. Mash the ripe bananas with a fork. It’s okay if there are some chunks.

In a large bowl, use an electric mixer to combine the brown sugar and oil. Then add the whipped aquafaba and mix again to incorporate. Add the vegan “buttermilk” and vanilla and mix again.

Fold in the mashed bananas and mix again until the liquid ingredients are well mixed.

Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon to the wet ingredients. Gently stir with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until just incorporated. The batter should become airy and a bit bubbly.

Transfer the batter to a lined loaf pan. If desired, arrange a sliced banana on top of the batter and sprinkle with brown/coconut sugar.

Bake at 350F for 45-55 minutes. Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.

And here’s a video of how to bake this banana bread:

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Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute the aquafaba? 

Aquafaba is one of the secrets to getting this banana bread so tender and moist. BUT, if you really don’t have a can of chickpeas, then substitute with 2 flax eggs (mix 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed meal with 5 tablespoons water, stir and let sit for 15 minutes to thicken). Several readers have made this recipe with flax eggs and said it was very tender, so rest assured, it’ll still be tasty.

How do I make banana bread gluten-free?

I have only tried this recipe with all-purpose flour. However, last year I made a vegan, gluten-free kabocha squash banana bread with all-purpose gluten-free flour and it was great. I used this variety of gluten-free flour from Bob’s Red Mill. Many readers have used an all-purpose gluten-free flour like this with fairly good results (it’s going to be less fluffy and a bit more dense but overall pretty good).

Many readers have tried this recipe with a variety of other flour combinations if you’re interested in alternative flours, though none of these combinations is gluten-free. Some combinations include: (1) whole wheat pastry flour; (2) a mix of all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and oat flour; (3) whole grain spelt flour; and (4) a mix of whole wheat flour (1 1/2 cups) and almond flour (1/2 cup).

How ripe do my bananas need to be?

Overripe. The peel should be in the range of very spotty to black. Overripe bananas are key because (1) they’re very sweet, as the starches have converted to sugar; (2) they’re easier to mash and incorporate into the batter; and (3) they have deeper banana flavor, which means your banana bread will be more flavorful.

Below is an example of about the minimum ripeness you’re looking for.

banana bread ingredients on wooden cutting board with written text of each ingredient

How can I quickly ripen bananas?

The best banana bread is made with naturally ripened bananas. However, if you must make banana bread today and your bananas are not yet overripe, here’s what to do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 300°F/150°C. Place whole, unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet (line it with parchment paper for easy cleanup).
  2. Bake the bananas for 15-35 minutes, or until the skins turn black all over. The time range depends on how ripe the bananas already are. If already somewhat ripe, stick to the lower range. If not ripe at all, bake them for the longer time range.
  3. Strain them over a strainer to get rid of excess moisture, as baked bananas will have more moisture than naturally ripened bananas.

How can I tell when banana bread is done? 

Insert a toothpick into the center and tops of the cake. Don’t just insert a toothpick vertically down into the bread. Instead, insert it at an angle – that’s a much better test for doneness. There should be a few moist crumbs attached to the toothpick. If there’s runny batter, the bread needs more time.

Can I make this without a loaf pan? Can I turn this banana bread into muffins?

  • You can use an 8×8 inch (20×20 cm) square baking pan. Reduce the bake time to approximately 25 minutes.
  • To make muffins, use a standard 12-muffin tin and fill each tin about 3/4 full. At 350°F/176°C, reduce the bake time to 20-25 minutes (check at 20 minutes). Or at 375°F/190°C, reduce the bake time to 15-22 minutes (check at 13 to 15 minute range).

Can I add chocolate chips or other mix-ins?

Sure! You can add vegan chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate. Or chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds. Or even blueberries. Add between 1/2 to 1 cup total of mix-ins, depending on the vibe you’re going for. If using chocolate chips, consider reducing the sugar by a few tablespoons.

How to store banana bread?

Allow the banana bread to cool completely before wrapping it in plastic or placing it in a sealed container. Store at room temperature for 2-4 days. If you use a very ripe banana for the optional 4th banana as decoration, it can get pretty black after a day so you might want to refrigerate it.

If you want to extend the shelf life, omit that optional banana on top. But, to be perfectly honest, this banana bread never lasts more than 24 hours in my household of 2, so that might not be a problem. You can also extend the shelf life by storing in the fridge.

Can you freeze this banana bread? 

Yes, but I would omit the decorative fourth banana on top, as it will get really black and mushy in the freezer. Wrap cut slices or half a loaf tightly in foil (to prevent freezer burn), transfer to a reusable ziptop bag or an airtight container. Thaw on the countertop.

Where can I find even more quick bread recipes?

This banana bread is actually the inspiration for my other two favorite quick breads: Pumpkin Spice Bread with Maple-Tahini Icing and Fluffy Gingerbread Cake.

woman wearing beige dress slicing into a loaf of vegan banana bread

If you give this Easy Vegan Banana Bread recipe a try, be sure to tag me on Instagram with your recreations and please comment with your feedback below!

The Best Vegan Banana Bread You’ll Ever Eat

5 from 81 votes
This vegan banana bread recipe is a reader favorite! After only 20 minutes of prep time, it emerges from the oven tender and moist, never dense or dry. Using fewer than 10 ingredients, it’s simple and extremely delicious.
Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 50 mins
Cooling Time 30 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 40 mins
Cuisine: American
Diet Vegan
Keyword: aquafaba, bananas, loaf pan, nut-free, soy-free
Serving size: 10

Ingredients

  • 6 tablespoons (90 mL) aquafaba*
  • 3 medium very ripe bananas, plus 1 ripe banana for decoration (this last one is optional)
  • 1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons (90 mL) oat milk, or unsweetened plant-based milk of choice
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) sunflower oil, olive oil, or any neutral-tasting oil
  • 3/4 cup (115g) coconut sugar or organic brown sugar, loosely packed***
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled (see tips above, as well as substitutes section)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F/176°C. Arrange a rack in the bottom third of the oven. Line a 9×5-inch (23×13 cm) loaf pan with parchment paper, letting the excess hang over the long sides to form a sling.
  • Pour the aquafaba into a medium bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, whip the aquafaba on medium speed for 45-60 seconds until uniformly foamy.
  • Wipe out the bowl used for the aquafaba. Add the three bananas to the bowl and mash with a fork until smooth and no lumps remain (or, for a more rustic banana bread, leave a few chunks in). FYI: the 3 mashed bananas should weigh around 300g.
  • Stir the lemon juice into the oat milk and set aside. This is the vegan "buttermilk."
  • In a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and oil. Mix using the electric mixer or a whisk until well combined.
  • Add the whipped aquafaba and mix until well incorporated. Add in the vegan "buttermilk" and vanilla and mix until smooth. Add the mashed bananas and mix until well incorporated.
  • Add the flour, salt, baking soda, and cinnamon to the wet ingredients. Switch to using a silicone spatula (if you don’t have one, use a large wooden spoon). Gently stir until the ingredients are just barely combined. It’s okay if you can see a few traces of flour.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth out the top of the batter using a spatula or spoon.
  • For the optional decoration, keep the peel on the reserved banana and slice it in half, lengthwise; then peel the banana. Sprinkle a little coconut sugar or brown sugar on the cut/interior sides of the banana. Gently arrange the bananas on top the batter, sugared side side up.
    NOTE: This might create a dome in the middle of the bananas, where the batter bunches up in the middle. Use a spoon to move some of the batter around the pan so that the bread doesn’t bake unevenly.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center top (insert the toothpick at a slight angle) comes out mostly clean. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and cool for 10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pan and cool on the rack for at least 20-30 minutes before slicing (the bread is still cooking and setting up, so don't slice too early).
  • To store, place completely cooled banana bread in an airtight container or wrap tightly in plastic and leave on the counter for 2-4 days. If you don't include the decorative banana on top, it will last longer.
    You can also freeze the banana bread. If you freeze the whole loaf, allow it to defrost on the countertop for 2-3 hours. If you freeze individual slices, defrost on the countertop for 20-30 minutes.

Notes

* See notes on “customizations for this recipe” for more info.
** The lemon juice is optional, but I find that mixing a little bit into plant-based milks tends to make for baked goods that are a bit lighter in texture, and the acidity also helps the baking soda reaction take effect. With some plant-based milks, you’ll notice that the milk begins to curdle (a little bit with almond milk and a lot with soy milk, but none with oat milk). No fresh lemon juice? You can sub apple cider vinegar.
*** If you are limiting your sugar intake, you could use less sugar, as little as 1/4 cup (about 38g).

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174 comments on The Best Vegan Banana Bread You’ll Ever Eat

  1. Leslie Jackson

    Excellent recipe! I made it as-written to give it a fair shot, but will definitely be adding chocolate chips next time since that’s what I love.
    I was intimidated by the use of aquafaba at first, but it ended up being much simpler than I thought. I don’t own a hand mixer, but I was able to sufficiently whip the aquafaba with a whisk with minimal extra effort.
    I loved having measurements in g&mLs because I didn’t need as many measuring spoons! So easy.
    This recipe is definitely a new favorite!

  2. Solange Dowler

    We have changed the address from our end

  3. Shelby

    Just made this recipe.. I may have dug in a little earlier than intended but it looked too good not to! I added chocolate chips as well. 10/10

  4. Manuela

    The best banana bread I’ve ever had! 😍 Thank you for this incredible recipe, Nisha

  5. Vernice Artez

    I have not yet started Linda… I m into a reading slump

  6. Mellissa Carranza

    This is lovely matty

  7. Lydia

    I made this today and was so very happy with the result. I took half to my daughter and family to try because they are now allergic to gluten, eggs and dairy. She said it was “the best banana bread she had ever tasted”. I used King Arthur Measure for Measure gluten free flour and added 1/2 cup walnuts for taste and for added structure. I baked it for 70 minutes because the pan was slightly smaller and GF baked goods often need a longer bake.

    1. Nisha

      Aww so flattered that your daughter thinks this is the best banana bread. I love to hear that! And great to hear it worked nicely with the King Arthur GF flour. Thanks for sharing what you did to adapt the recipe!

  8. Ava mannino

    I made this banana bread exactly the same exact I subbed the wheat flour for banana flour 1:1 and it was perfect!!!!

    1. Nisha

      So lovely to hear that the whole wheat flour worked well in this banana bread. Thanks for sharing, Ava!

  9. Sarah

    I just made this and my family gobbled it up! I was told this is the BEST banana bread they’ve EVER had. Period. My 73 year old mother said it beats the family recipe she has been using for years without question and she copied the recipe before I had the chance to offer it to her! Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe that my children and parents love AND I can eat with my dairy / egg sensitivities! FANTASTIC! :) :)

  10. Dennis Abaloz

    A woman lives with resentment. Resentment hurts, and it is a throbbing pain that leaves deep scars. Although some of the scars heal, the resentment lingers on. When she kneels to pray, she feels as if her prayers fall on deaf ears

  11. Gabby T.

    Hi! Have you tried this recipe with a gluten-free flour alternative such as oat flour?

    1. Fiona

      I did. Worked out perfectly. I used spelt flour :)

  12. Walter Gresham

    I made this with flax egg for the family and it came out so delicious ! Everyone commented on how moist the inside of the bread was. Many, many thanks Nisha!!!

  13. Maiya

    Thank you for this amazing recipe and detailed instructions. I followed every step as instructed and the banana bread came out so well. Simply delish!

  14. Kaylea

    I made this on Thursday and am making it again today to bring over to my parents’ house. By far the best vegan banana bread I’ve ever had.

  15. Carmen Salome

    Can I sub almond flour or coconut flour in this recipe?

  16. S Eanes

    This was very moist and DEEEEEEEEREELICIOUS!
    Ilk be making it 👍 this from now on. Thanks 😉

  17. Sara

    Superb! Made this after seeing the recipe was suggested to me in google. I was a little skeptical because I’ve never had good vegan banana bread but was happily proven wrong.

  18. Cristine

    Made this last night and happy to report that it was truly moist and not so sweet. We will be snacking on this over the weekend if it lasts that long!

  19. Lucy

    This has got to be one of the best vegan baked goods I’ve ever had and certainly the best I’ve ever made. I’ve tried banana breads before but nothing comes close to this combination of fluffy and moist. And the bananas on top are a show-stopper.

  20. Gerri Swinehart

    NO..havent made recipe yet. What is Aquafaba? I am a Tyoe 2 Diabetic, using NO meds or insulin, but watching sugar InTake & not familiar with any of the different flours & I use Stevia in the Raw 4 sugar substitute.Would u please enlighten me which flour / sugar would be suitable for me & if any substitutes, please share . Thank u

    1. Sherilynn

      Aquafaba is the liquid that canned chickpeas are packed in. If you are a type 2 diabetic you might want to consider replacing the oil in the recipe for Unsweetened Applesauce
      This can be used as an oil substitute in cakes, muffins, and soft-baked cookies. Use 1/3 of a cup of applesauce to replace every 1/2 cup of oil or margarine.
      Silken Tofu
      You can blend silken tofu and use it as an oil substitute in cookies, muffins, cakes and brownies. It’s ideal for denser products, and is best used in baked goods with strong flavours, such as chocolate or banana. Use 1/3 of a cup of pureed silken tofu to replace every 1/2 cup of oil or margarine.
      Aquafaba
      This is the liquid from canned chickpeas or white beans. The flavour is actually surprisingly neutral, and the consistency is very similar to that of vegetable oil. This is great for use in cookies, cakes, muffins, bars and slices – just about everything really! Use an equal amount of aquafaba to replace the oil in any recipe.
      I hope this helps you out, also check out masteringdiabetes.org great information on controlling blood sugars and insulin resistance. Enjoy this great recipe, hope I answered your question.

  21. DOMINICK Cascione

    Where do you find aqua fiba

  22. Kathy

    Nutritional breakdown, please.

  23. Sarita

    Nice recipe. May I know what I can substitute for oat milk and aquafaba?

  24. Kim

    Just tried this for Mother’s Day and it was perfect! – Thanks!

  25. Emily J Wolfe

    Hey I just made this. It was looking really pretty in the oven. I thought it was done so I took it out after about 50 mins. After I let it sit, it completely sank and was gooey when I cut it. Did I just take it out too early?

  26. Annie

    I rarely ever comment on online recipes, but oh my goodness, this banana bread is incredible! I’ve been searching for a vegan banana bread for years that is as moist and rich as it dairy and egg alternative, and this is it. It is the best banana bread I’ve had. I really appreciate how much effort you put into explaining each step and the science behind what makes a rich and moist banana bread.

  27. Rhonda Bartholomew

    So easy and delicious! I was really surprised that my end result looked as beautiful as yours!! The added flavor of the banana on top was the perfect compliment to the bread. Thank you!

  28. Mike

    Recently back on the vegan train and having this amazing dessert around really made my week!

  29. NdJ

    Made it twice. Absolutely delicious!! This is my go to banana bread recipe now. I need to cook it about 5 minutes longer. About to make it my 3rd time. Thanks for the great recipe.

  30. Sally

    Nisha, this banana bread is amazing!! I made it last night and we can’t stop eating it. I added chocolate chips to it and it is so good. Thank you!!

  31. Imola

    BEST banana bread ever!!! I sometimes make it twice a week 🙂

  32. Lesly

    Mmm! I made this banana bread and it turned out very well. I love how the banana halves on top caramelized. I will make this again.

  33. Sara Spoerri

    Thanks so much for this recipe as well as all the others you share. We have your cook book and love it. Thanks for being the person that you are.

  34. Quirina

    This looks great. I would probably cut an apple into very small pieces, sprinkle it with cinnamon and add it to the final mixture. This will also prevent the bread to become dry and sweet. I do not need to add any sugar, as the banana and apple make it sweets. I would also also add nuts, raisins and flaxseed to make it even healthier.

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