Easy Vegan Banana Bread, Two-Ways!

Easy Vegan Banana Bread, Two-Ways!

Banana bread, two ways! I give you the perfect banana bread recipe. Moist but not too dense, lightly spiced and perfectly sweet, this banana bread recipe never fails! And for the chocoholics among us, I’ve developed a double-chocolate version with walnuts. You’re welcome!

Not into banana bread but love chocolate and walnuts? Then my vegan pink and purple chocolate walnut cookies will probably be right up your alley! Looking for something lighter and fruitier? Then this easy mandarin sheet cake might be more your bag.

If you’re determined to get your banana bread fix (who could blame you?) then you should TOTALLY consider using the (organic) skins for the most innovative dish I’ve seen in a long time, the Stingy Vegan’s banana peel pulled pork sandwich!

I think I may have made at least 30 loaves of both these banana breads, looking to get them exactly right. The chocolate walnut one was by far the hardest, initially yielding a dense, more brownie-like loaf. But I persevered, and found just the right balance between being super-chocolatey, yet still light and moist.

Can you make banana bread with unripe bananas?

One dark brown chocolate walnut loaf and one golden-orange loaf

Good question. While I was testing my banana bread recipes again and again I ran out of brown bananas. While brown bananas are the best for making banana bread, as they’re much softer and sweeter, you CAN make it with unripe bananas.

Simply peel your bananas, break into chunks, and microwave uncovered on high for two minutes. Your bananas should now be soft and mushy, and ready to be made into banana bread. If they’re still not quite there yet, zap them again in 30-second increments until the texture is right.

How to make easy fluffy vegan banana bread

It really is super easy to make this banana bread. Just grab two large bowls, and in one mash up three ripe brown bananas along with the vanilla extract, sunflower oil, and aquafaba (the liquid from canned or tinned chickpeas).

Dry and wet (pale yellow) mixes in blue bowls

In the other, mix together the salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, sugars, flour and baking soda. If you can’t get a hold of any brown sugar, you can substitute with white in a pinch. But I urge you to make it with brown sugar, the darkest you can find (muscovado would be perfect). The higher molasses content in dark brown sugar really helps the banana bread stay moist.

Now mix together the wet and dry ingredients until just combined, and tip into a greased loaf tin. I use one which is about 9 x 4 inches. Bake in the lower third of the oven for one hour at 180C (160C Fan). I usually tent tin foil over the load tin for the last ten or fifteen minutes if the banana bread starts to brown or harden too much.

Pale yellow batter in a pale ceramic loaf pan

Don’t let the tin foil touch the top of your loaf though, or it will affect the beautiful domed shape of the top of your banana bread. Once done, take out of the oven and let cool in the tin. When it’s cool enough to touch, use a butter knife to loosen the sides of the banana bread from the tin.

Then turn it upside down and gently pull a little, and the loaf should pop out right into your hand. I then let it cool down further on a wire rack and wrap in tinfoil and store in the fridge until I’m ready to eat it. It will keep for up to a week in the fridge and also freezes really well.

Golden-orange loaf sliced on a blue wood background

Tip: Covering the banana bread with a damp tea towel while it’s cooling will keep the crust nice and soft.

How to make chocolate walnut banana bread

To make the chocolate walnut version of my banana bread, you just swap out a few ingredients, and follow the same process.

Mashed bananas and a blue bowl of brown dry mix.

Grab two bowls again. In one, mix together the spices, cocoa, flour, baking soda, baking powder, chopped walnuts and chopped chunks of chocolate. I always use chopped up chunks of chocolate as I like BIG pieces of chocolate in my banana bread. Unfortunately, in Spain I’ve only been able to find small chocolate chips, but if you can find some big chunky vegan ones, go ahead and use them instead of chopping up chocolate.

Dark chocolate brown batter studded with chopped walnuts in a pale ceramic pan

Mix up the wet ingredients in the other bowl. In this version I subbed out aquafaba for some plant-based buttermilk, to help the bicarbonate of soda rise even more. Mix together the wet and dry, put into a greased loaf pan, and bake as with the regular version, for one hour at 180C or 160C Fan, and check in the last 15 minutes to make sure it’s not browning too much.

Dark brown chocolate loaf sliced on a blue board background

How to store your banana bread

Again, really easily… Wrap your banana bread tightly in tin foil (you don’t want it to dry out) and keep it in the fridge for up to one week. Both versions also freeze really well, although it is slightly more difficult to slice after defrosting. So I recommend slicing it and then freezing it.

You’ll need to make extra-sure that no moisture will get to it when freezing it, so I recommend wrapping it in a layer of cling-film and then tin-foil. To defrost, just take out of the freezer and leave it on a plate on the counter overnight.

How to serve traditional and chocolate-walnut banana bread

Sliced plain golden-orange banana bread and dark brown chocolate walnut banana bread

This sweet moist cake-like banana bread is lovely just by itself. However there are three other ways I like to serve it:

  • With vegan custard over the top. And the sides. And ALL around the plate (OK, I just love custard).
  • Lightly toasted and spread with margarine (melting goodness…).
  • Toasted with a scoop of ice-cream on top. If you want to double up on the banana goodness, then nice-cream would be even better!

If you make either (or both, YOLO) version of my banana bread, do let me know in the comments, or by tagging the photo on instagram with @the_fiery_vegetarian!

Yield: 12 slices

Easy Vegan Banana Bread, two-ways!

Easy Vegan Banana Bread, two-ways!

Two easy vegan banana breads! One the traditional lightly spiced moist version, and the other a dark chocolate walnut-spiked decadent kind. 

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

Dry Ingredients Plain Banana Bread

  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Wet Ingredients Plain Banana Bread

  • 3 medium bananas mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup sunflower or canola oil
  • 6 tbsp aquafaba, the liquid in a jar of chickpeas

Dry Ingredients Chocolate Walnut Banana Bread

  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 ⅔ cups white flour
  • ⅓ cup cocoa, sugar-free and good-quality
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 100 g chopped dark chocolate
  • 100 g chopped walnuts

Wet Ingredients Chocolate Walnut Banana Bread

  • 3 medium bananas mashed
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup sunflower or canola oil
  • ¼ cup soy milk, or any other plant-based milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice.

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C or 160C Fan.
  2. For the chocolate walnut bread, mix the soy milk and lemon juice together first and leave aside in a warm place until curdled (about five minutes).
  3. Mix together the wet ingredients in one bowl (including the curdled milk for the chocolate walnut version) and the dry in another.
  4. Mix together the wet and dry and place the mix in a greased loaf pan (around 9 x 4 inches).
  5. Bake for one hour in the bottom third of the oven. Check after 45 minutes to see if the top is getting too brown, and if so, cover with tented tin foil for the remaining 15 minutes..
  6. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tin. Using a bread knife, carefully separate the sides of the banana bread from the pan. Turn upside down and gently pull out your perfect loaf of banana bread.
  7. You can slice when cool and enjoy immediately, with vegan custard on top, or wrap in tin foil and keep in the fridge for up to one week. Will also freeze well.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 551 Total Fat 21g Saturated Fat 3g Trans Fat 0g Unsaturated Fat 17g Cholesterol 2mg Sodium 468mg Carbohydrates 84g Fiber 5g Sugar 43g Protein 8g

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