The Absolute Best Vegan Banana Bread

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This vegan banana bread recipe is a reader favorite! After only 20 minutes of hands-on work, 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
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
5 from 134 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.

This recipe is a community favorite for good reason; it only requires 20 minutes of hands-on work so it’s the epitome of low-effort, high-reward.

This post will teach you how to make the best vegan banana bread. After over 15 rounds of testing, I’m certain it’s fluffier, more tender, and less dense than any other banana bread you’ve tried.

In this post:
1. Why you’ll love this recipe
2. How to make vegan banana bread
3. Tips for making the best banana bread
4. 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. This is the most tender and moist banana bread I’ve ever tasted thanks to my secret ingredient, aquafaba. It lends a light, almost fluffy texture resulting in a banana bread that melts in your mouth.

Simple, forgiving, and foolproof. The ingredients and method are simple. Even baking beginners can nail this 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.

How to make this banana bread

Gather your ingredients.

vegan banana bread ingredients on wooden cutting board

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.

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 your flour using a digital scale, or to measure it properly. If you don’t have a scale, please do not scoop the flour straight out of the bag. This always results in over-measuring, 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. Want to see the spoon and level method in action? Watch my Youtube video on banana bread (also at the end of this post), starting at the 5:20 mark.

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).

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. In my last oven, 45-50 minutes was the sweet spot. In my new oven, 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

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I substitute the aquafaba? 

Aquafaba is one of the secrets as to why this banana bread is the most tender, moist, and light banana bread ever! Vegan banana breads are often too dense and heavy, but the aquafaba really helps lighten things up here.

BUT, if you really don’t have a can of chickpeas (aquafaba is just the liquid from a can of chickpeas), then substitute with 2 flax eggs. For 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.

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). Bake for 15-35 minutes, or until the skins turn black all over. If they’re already somewhat ripe, stick to the lower range.

2. Strain bananas over a strainer to get rid of excess moisture, as baked bananas will have more moisture.

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 – a much better test for doneness. There should be a few moist crumbs attached to the toothpick. If there’s runny batter, it 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, fill a standard 12-muffin tin about 3/4 full. Bake at 350°F/176°C and reduce the bake time to 20-25 minutes (check at 20 minutes). Or bake at 375°F/190°C and reduce the bake time to 15-22 minutes (check at 13 to 15 minute range).

Can you make banana bread in the Instant Pot?

I haven’t tried with this specific recipe, but check out this instant pot banana bread recipe, which is from my cookbook, the Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook.

Can I add chocolate chips or other mix-ins?

Try vegan chocolate chips or finely chopped dark chocolate; chopped walnuts, hazelnuts or almonds; or blueberries. Add between 1/2 to 1 cup total of mix-ins. If using chocolate chips, consider reducing the sugar by a few tablespoons.

How do I 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 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.

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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 Absolute Best Vegan Banana Bread

5 from 134 votes
This vegan banana bread recipe is a reader favorite! After only 20 minutes of hands-on work, 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
Total Time: 1 hr 10 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) organic brown sugar or coconut sugar ***
  • 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 using brown sugar, lightly pack it. If choosing between light and dark brown sugar, the dark variety has a deeper molasses flavor, so the bread will be richer in flavor (and darker in color). If you are limiting your sugar intake, you could use less sugar, as little as 1/4 cup (about 38g).

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265 comments on The Absolute Best Vegan Banana Bread

  1. Roda

    I have tried other vegan banana bread recipes but this recipe is the one my family loves.

  2. Josepha

    5 stars
    I made this banana bread yesterday and it turned out perfect! Very fluffy and indeed moist! My friends also loved it! I made it together with you in the youtube video and it was very easy to do. I am already looking forward to eating the rest of the cake today…

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Josepha, So glad to hear you loved this recipe!

  3. georges

    can you make this in a bundt pan? and if so, what modifications?

  4. Nikki

    5 stars
    I rarely comment on recipes but I stumbled upon Nisha’s page recently and so far everything I’ve tried, including this banana bread, has been amazing. I can’t count how many healthy-ish banana bread recipes I have tried over the years, but this is by far the best Ive made. The bread is so moist and delicious, perfectly sweet. and so easy to make!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Hi Nikki, so glad you love the recipe! Thanks for leaving a kind review :)

  5. maros

    Hello,
    i love the recipe, but i have a problem with baking it. i do 50 min on 176 celzius but it is still not done. and then I have to keep it there for another 40 min and its not completely done. i have brand new oven. I’m using fan settings. can you please help me? i really like the taste of it I just cant get it right. any tip is appreciated.

    1. Sydney

      Yes that happened to me as well. What can I do to make it cook at just 50 min?

    2. Kylie

      Same thing with me, I cooked it for over an hour and it still wasn’t done.

  6. Jess

    5 stars
    This is my go to recipe for banana bread. It is scrumptious. My seven year old son lives it too.
    Thank you Nisha!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Glad to hear it’s a hit with the whole family! Thanks for trying the recipe, Jess!

  7. Monica M

    Can I make this recipe by omitting or replacing the oil?

    1. Tammy Chang

      5 stars
      I’m going to replace the oil with applesauce. It seems to work well in other baking recipes.

  8. Addilyn

    5 stars
    I am not exaggerating when I say that my 4-people family demolished this in under 2 hours! We are not usually big on sweets, but reducing the sugar to 58g was absolutely perfect; the aquafaba also makes all the difference! Definitely going to make this every time we have ripe bananas now!

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Yay! So happy to hear this recipe was a hit, Addilyn!

  9. Alejandra Torres

    5 stars
    This turn up delicious. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. Do you have something similar for apple or raspberry bread?

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Thank you for trying it! We currently do not but I will relay the request to Nisha :)

  10. Ciara

    5 stars
    Made this with a riot of ingredients. 2 bananas only, egg replacer instead of aquafaba, added molasses to cane sugar and I used a bigger pan. I wasn’t intentionally changing the recipe it was a spontaneous late night decision and a great one :)

    1. Support @ Rainbow Plant Life

      Glad to hear the recipe still worked out despite all the changes! Thank you for sharing your experience, Ciara!

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