Best Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread

This tasty vegan chocolate banana bread tastes like a brownie and a loaf of banana bread had a gorgeous loveable double chocolate baby – chunks of dark chocolate, studded with walnuts and a perfectly defined chocolate crumb, will you be able to resist eating it all in one sitting?

(Actually, you probably will be able to resist, if only because all those chocolate and nut bits make this chocolate vegan banana bread incredibly filling).

It took me about a month to create this recipe after testing loaf after loaf, all too dense (I’m sure you’ve seen this with other vegan chocolate banana breads as well) but finally I cracked it and here is my easy foolproof recipe!

You’re welcome!

(P.S. If you’re a fan of quickbreads then I highly recommend trying my easy vegan strawberry bread, or for a savoury touch, my quick herbed tomato bread)

Help, I don’t have any overripe bananas!

Three slices of chocolate vegan banana bread with walnuts on a chopping board

Yeah this pretty much happens to me all the time, whenever I finally get some brown spotted banana goodness going on, it turns out I’m out of just about everything else I need to make banana bread.

I’m just not organised enough for banana bread!

If you’re like me and are currently glaring at your perfectly-yellow bananas, then no worries.

Peel the bananas and break each one into three-four chunks and microwave on high, uncovered, for two minutes. Remove and mash with a fork.

If there is any bit that’s still a bit hard and regular-banana-ripe like, then just pop the bananas back in and zap in 30-second increments until all the bananas are soft enough to cream with a fork.

Proceed with the recipe as usual. I have seriously noted no difference in taste between microwaved ripe yellow bananas and brown overly-ripe bananas in the end product banana bread.

Do note that this only works on yellow ripe bananas or those that are slightly underripe. It will definitely not work on hard green very unripe bananas.

Substitutions

A close up of a chocolate loaf with a crack in it

I get a lot of questions and messages about ingredient substitutions and workarounds and though I respond as fast as I see the comments, it can be frustrating to have to wait when you want to make some yummy chocolate banana bread right there and then.

So just to head you guys off, in this section I’ll let you know what can be replaced, what can be omitted, and what is essential. Note that this is to help you guys out if you are missing some ingredients or dislike cinnamon or walnuts for example, not carte blanche to change everything and still expect the same result.

One or two changes following the tables below should still result in a tasty chocolate banana bread but too many and I can’t guarantee a good end-result so use with caution.

Wet Ingredients

Ingredient?Omit it?Replace it?Essential?
BananasNoNoYes
Vanilla extractYesYes (any other extract you think would go well)No
Sunflower oilNoYes (any vegetable oil without a strong flavour, such as canola)Yes
Soy milkNoYes (Any plant-based milk, sweetened or unsweetened)Yes
Lemon juiceNoYes (you can use the same amount of any vinegar to curdle the milk)Yes

So as you can see in the table above, the only ingredient you can do without and not need to replace is vanilla extract (although you can replace it with any extract that you think would go well such as rum or chocolate).

Also note that although you can replace the soy milk with any other plant-based milk, in my experience soy milk tends to give softer results in baking.

Also ideally the soy milk or plant-based milk should be unsweetened but realistically in a product like vegan chocolate banana bread which is already plenty sweet, using sweetened milk in such a small quantity won’t make a huge difference.

A hand holding a piece of chocolate cake studded with walnuts

Dry Ingredients

Ingredient?Omit it?Replace it?Essential?
SaltNoNoYes
CinnamonYesNoNo
NutmegYesNoNo
Brown sugarNoYes (demera or white sugar)Yes
White sugarNoYes (brown sugar)Yes
All-purpose flourNoNoYes
High-quality sugar-free cocoaNoYes (you can use less expensive cocoa that is sweetened)Yes
Baking sodaNoYes (1 tsp of baking soda is equal to 3 tsp of baking powder)Yes
Baking powderNoYes (add ⅓ tsp more baking soda)Yes
Chopped dark chocolateYesYes (with chocolate chips, or the amount of chocolate can be reduced – but not increased or the bread will collapse)No
Chopped walnutsYesYes (with chopped pistachios or cashews – do not increase the quantity although you can reduce it)No

How to make Vegan Chocolate Banana Bread

This is a really easy chocolate banana bread recipe but just in case you are unsure at any point while making it, you can check in with this section and see how the progress photos are matching up to the results you’re getting.

First, set the oven to 350F (180C )to preheat. Then add the lemon juice to the soy milk and put to one side at room temperature while you prepare the rest of the wet ingredients.

Mash up the bananas (or microwave for two minutes and then mash if not ripe enough), and whisk with the sunflower oil and vanilla extract.

I’m just going to admit here that I rarely bother mashing my bananas, it makes my OCD tendencies spiral as the mashed bits are never small enough, so I usually actually just grab my stick blender and blitz them up with the sunflower oil and vanilla.

Curdled milk in a glass bowl

By now the soy milk should have curdled and look like the photo above.

Mix the soy milk into the other wet ingredients and proceed to get the dry ingredients ready. Your wet ingredients should look more or less like the photo below depending on whether you mashed or blended.

Mashed bananas and milk in a glass bowl

In another large mixing bowl, prep the dry ingredients. I usually chop up the dark chocolate and walnuts and add them to the bowl, followed by all the other dry ingredients. Mix up well so everything is well-distributed.

Cocoa and flour mixed up in a bowl

Add the wet into the dry ingredients and mix until combined. At first, it will look like there isn’t enough liquid but keep mixing and it will all come together in about two minutes.

Of course it is possible that the liquid measurements can be slightly off due to the different sizes of bananas and measuring cup differences, so if you’ve been enthusiastically mixing but it’s not coming together, add a splash or two extra of plant-based milk.

Chocolate walnut batter in a bowl

When it’s all combined and looks like the ooey-gooey chocolate goodness you see above, then add it to a greased 9×4 inch loaf pan.

You can use a little of the extra oil to grease the pan but personally I find a good quality vegan margarine gives better results.

A ceramic loaf ban with chocolate batter in it

Smooth the top over with your mixing spoon and place the loaf pan in the oven and set a timer for 45 minutes. At 45 minutes, take out the pan and quickly cover tightly with aluminum foil and return to the oven for an additional 15 minutes.

When the chocolate banana bread is done, take it out and keave it covered with the tin foil to cool for at least half an hour in the pan.

Gently loosen the sides with a thin knife and tip out of the pan onto a cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

Chocolate banana bread on baking paper in a tin

This gorgeous chunky banana bread will keep in the fridge for up to five days when tightly wrapped in aluminum foil.


Did you make this recipe? Let me know how much you loved it with a star rating in the recipe box, review, or comment below.

Or take a picture and tag me on Instagram (@the_fiery_vegetarian), I love seeing all your creations and presentation!

Yield: 12 servings

Best Chocolate Vegan Banana Bread!

A chocolate banana bread on a tin

This moist vegan chocolate banana bread has a perfectly defined crumb and chunks of dark chocolate and walnut make it super satisfying and incredibly indulgent.

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

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • ¼ cup unsweetened soy milk (or any other plant-based milk)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice.
  • 3 medium over-ripe bananas
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup sunflower oil (or canola oil, 78ml)

Dry Ingredients

  • 3.5oz vegan dark chocolate (100g)
  • 3.5oz chopped walnuts (100g)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar (150g)
  • ¼ cup white sugar (50g)
  • 1 ⅔ cups all-purpose flour (200g)
  • ⅓ cup sugar-free cocoa (33g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Instructions

  1. Set the oven to heat on 350F (180C). Add the lemon juice to the soy milk and put to one side at room temperature to curdle.
  2. Mash or blend the bananas with the oil and vanilla. Whisk or blend in the soy milk when curdled (should take just a few minutes to curdle).
  3. Chop up the chocolate and walnuts roughly into 1cm chunks. Mix with the rest of the dry ingredients.
  4. Mix together the wet and dry ingredients. It will take a few minutes to mix together and will seem dry at first but keep the faith!
  5. Lightly grease a 9x4 inch loaf pan and tip in the chocolate banana bread batter and smooth over the top with the mixing spoon.
  6. Bake in the lower third of the oven for 45 minutes.
  7. Remove, cover tightly with aluminum foil and return to the oven for another 15 minutes.
  8. Remove and leave to cool, still covered with foil, for at least half an hour before using a knife to loosen the sides and gently tip out to cool on a rack.
  9. Wait until completely cool before slicing.
  10. Enjoy!

Notes

Will keep tightly wrapped in aluminum foil for 5 days in the fridge

For substitutions and omitting ingredients check the second section of this page

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