Fluffy, light, moist and yummy vegan banana bread recipe. Easy to make with simple ingredients, nothing fancy and no need for a mixer, yet so simply satisfying!
This banana bread is a regular at our place. I always have overripe bananas that I usually freeze, since we can never eat all of them before they are too ripe. So, I tend to make banana bread every week for ourselves, but also to give away to friends who seem to love it so much. I thought it was about time that I shared this recipe with you.
There are tons of banana bread recipes out there from non-vegan to vegan ones. I can’t claim that this one is THE very best, I honestly couldn’t. I mean there are quite a few recipes out there that are delicious. So, in addition to what’s out there, this recipe does turn out really really good too, with an amazing light fluffy texture for banana bread.
What’s the secret to this one? There’s actually two. Frozen bananas and coconut flakes.
After making this banana bread numerous times, I found out that using frozen bananas and actually baking the batter while it’s still very cold produces the best results, rather than using bananas at room temperature.
Be sure to chop and mash the frozen bananas really well, before adding the rest of the wet ingredients.
The frozen bananas make the coconut oil solidify again when they are added. So, you do need to mix it very well and pretty quickly. In the photo below, you’ll see that the coconut oil had already solidified by the time I finished taking the shot. Don’t wait for that to happen, or you’ll end up getting bigger chunks of coconut oil throughout.
What we’re looking for is tiny coconut oil crystals distributed throughout the batter. When baked, as the coconut oil melts again with the heat, this leaves tiny pockets here and there and results in a fluffier banana bread that is not stoggy. Sometimes vegan banana bread can be a little on the dense side, not this one!
If you don’t have coconut oil, you could also use some vegan buttery spread like Earth Balance. In this case, only soften the spread so that it can be stirred with a spoon, but don’t melt it completely. It won’t solidify when mixed with the frozen bananas as coconut oil does, but you will still get good results with beautiful flavours.
Fine desiccated coconut flakes retain moisture but also add to the texture. You cannot distinctly taste the coconut but it does add a little something subtle.
What I personally love about this banana bread recipe is you don’t need a mixer! Yay! Because, I don’t have one (yet). All you need is 2 mixing bowls, a knife and fork to chop and mash the bananas, and a sturdy spoon to mix the batter. I do strongly recommend sifting the flours together with the dry ingredients before adding to the wet ingredients as this does make a difference, rather than going for a one-bowl mixing approach and dumping everything into it all at once.
It’s important to not let the batter lay around for too long once all ingredients are mixed. I also start baking at a slightly higher temperature—200⁰C/400⁰F—and then lower to 180⁰C/350⁰F for the rest of the baking. This gets the loaf rising quickly that makes it fluffy and light.
The sugar amount is quite forgiving. I am happy with 100 g (1/2 cup) or less, as overripe bananas are already quite sweet. You can certainly increase the amount up to 200 g (one cup) depending on how sweet you like your banana bread. I love soft brown sugar when I have it on hand, but I’ve also made this recipe with granular blond sugar and coconut sugar with equally excellent results. You will have a darker or lighter coloured loaf depending on the type of sugar you’ve used.
For variation, toss in some chopped nuts, raisins, or chocolate chips, whatever floats your boat, or put the batter into muffin tins and make banana muffins instead.
I’m pretty sure you might also like this Apple and Orange Loaf Cake that I made a while ago, for which I’ve received a ton of positive feedback! Give it a try if you haven’t already.
If you have way too many bananas to use up and are still looking for ideas, try this Banana Pie too! That’s another regular and all-time favourite of ours. These days I make this pie using this easy oil-based pie crust recipe.
- 160 g (1 cup) all-purpose flour
- 80 g (½ cup) whole spelt or wheat flour
- 1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ⅛ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons fine desiccated coconut flakes
- 300 ml mashed frozen* bananas, (1¼ cup, about 3 medium bananas) (see notes)
- 100 g (½ cup) granular blond sugar, or soft brown sugar, coconut sugar
- 60 ml (¼ cup) melted coconut oil, or softened Earth Balance
- 45 ml (3 tablespoons) grapeseed oil, or olive oil, avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Chopped nuts, raisins, dried fruits, chocolate chips, as per preference
Preheat oven at 200⁰C/400⁰F.
Chop (if frozen whole) and mash frozen bananas, then add to a large mixing bowl with the rest of the wet ingredients. Stir immediately before the coconut oil solidifies. Tiny coconut oil crystals will form throughout the batter as you mix; this is what we're looking for.
In another bowl, sift the flours together with the baking powder, baking soda and salt. Stir in the coconut flakes.
Add the dry mix to the wet mix in 3 parts, folding in, swirling and gently stirring until all is well incorporated with no lumps. Do not beat the mixture.
The mixture will be very thick, do not add any more liquid. It will work well when baked.
Add any other additions, nuts, dried fruits, chocolate chips...
Do not overmix or let the mixture sit around once all mixed.
Scoop the thick batter into the loaf pan.
Bake at 200⁰C/400⁰F for the first 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 180⁰C/350⁰F and bake for another 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Let the banana bread cool completely before slicing and serving.
It's important to use frozen bananas that are not thawed. They are easy to chop into small pieces first and then mashed.