Is Banana Bread Vegan? – What To Look For & Ingredients To Substitute


Banana bread became a staple in many American homes back in the 1930s with the increasing popularity of baking soda and baking powder. Today, this delicious cake is still a popular treat enjoyed worldwide.

Banana bread can be vegan, although the traditional version of this recipe and the majority of pre-packaged banana bread in stores contains butter and eggs, and is therefore not vegan. 

Traditional banana bread rely on butter for their moist texture and their flavor profile, while the eggs mixed in act as leavening and binding agents.

Additionally, ingredients such as dairy milk, yogurt, sour cream, and even mayonnaise are often incorporated in banana bread to create a delicious smooth texture.

Even in the healthiest versions of the famous quick bread, eggs remain the most common inclusion.

Banana bread is more similar to a cake than it is to a yeast bread. Adapting cakes to make them vegan can easily be achieved, as thousands of online recipes prove.

What matters in replacing ingredients is the role the ingredient being replaced played in the original recipe.

In this case, as mentioned above, butter has an impact on the texture of the finished product, and eggs allow the banana bread to rise and its ingredients to stick together as a whole. 

To prepare a plant-based banana bread, following a tested vegan recipe is the best option.

Regardless, understanding the science behind why said recipe works despite not including butter and eggs grants one access to not only more knowledge but more flexibility in the kitchen. 

Vegan Alternative To Butter

Let us start with butter. Generally, vegan cooks replace butter with vegan butter or any type of vegetable oil.

Coconut oil is the most popular alternative, however, canola oil, sunflower seed oil, and olive oil can also be used. Either one of these vegan alternatives will lead to soft and luxurious bread.

While it seems doubtful that anyone unaware that they are eating a plant-based version of the dessert will be disappointed by the result, the strong butter flavor associated with banana bread will nonetheless be absent here.  

Vegan Alternative To Eggs

When it comes to eggs, vegans have been relying on bananas as a replacement for a long time already, and this recipe benefits from that insight.

Mashed bananas add moisture to banana bread, while simultaneously acting as a binding agent. In some vegan recipes, a banana taste would not be desired, but it works perfectly here, as bananas are the star of this quick bread.

To accomplish the leavening function of the eggs, baking powder, baking soda or a combination of both do the job required.

No need to worry about a flat cake, as eggs are not necessary for a satisfying rise in the oven. 

Vegan Alternative To Milk

What about the cow milk or other dairy ingredients sometimes added?

Well, most plant-based banana bread recipes include non-dairy milk in their wet ingredients section. Cooks can choose their favorite one here: soy milk, oat milk, almond milk, etc.

The Best Homemade Vegan Banana Bread Recipe

While this may seem like a lot of information, step-by-step blog posts with images and videos are available online.

My favorites include;

BBC Good Food

The Baking Fairy

Oh She Glows

These recipes make it easier than ever to transform a traditional banana bread into a delicious vegan dessert.

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