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This vegan banana bread recipe comes from the Plant-Based on a Budget cookbook.

Dairy-free, egg-free, easy vegan banana bread with applesauce is tender, fluffy, and not too sweet—perfect for customizing (with your favorite mix-ins/toppings) as a crowd-pleasing, diet-friendly addition to breakfast, brunch, lunchboxes, or dessert!

competed Easy Vegan Banana Bread (With Applesauce) in a loaf pan against a white background

Light, Fluffy Vegan Banana Bread with Applesauce

Whether you’re a complete novice at baking, love to whip up something delicious for special occasions, or spend most of your time in the kitchen, banana bread is one of those special bakes loved by all (admittedly not banana-hating fans, though).

It’s wholesome, comforting, and delicious, and now we’re sharing an easy vegan banana bread recipe (with thanks to our friend Aaron’s grandma!) that’s tender, fluffy, and a kid-friendly, crowd-pleasing favorite!

With just 8 inexpensive pantry-friendly ingredients and a few minutes of prep, this simple vegan banana bread is not only super simple to prepare but uses applesauce in place of egg, for extra moisture without any added fat. It’s also really easy to customize to your dietary and flavor preferences, making it super easy to further lighten up.

For example, you can use regular or whole wheat flour, swap out the sugar for an unrefined sugar or sweetener, reduce the amount of sugar, and experiment with different mix-ins and toppings that can add texture and flavor, as well as nutrients (like nuts!) – All in pursuit of your perfect loaf! Did we mention you can turn it into muffins or mini loaves, too?!

Got extra bananas to use up? You might also enjoy these banana pancakes, vegan banana blueberry muffins, or banana zucchini cookies!

The Ingredients

ingredients for Easy Vegan Banana Bread (With Applesauce) measured out against a white surface
  • Banana: Use soft, overripe bananas (look out for ones with plenty of brown spots on the peel) for the best flavor and sweetness.
  • Vegan butter: Use your favorite brand—Miyoko’s, Earth Balance, etc.
  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, or a 50/50 combination of both.  
  • Sugar: We use regular granulated white sugar, but unrefined options, like coconut sugar or date sugar, will also work. If preferred, you can slightly reduce the amount of sugar or substitute it with a sweetener (like erythritol).
  • Leavening agents: You’ll need baking powder and baking soda to provide this egg-free banana bread with fluffy lift and texture.  
  • Applesauce: Unsweetened applesauce is an accessible substitute for eggs and fats, adding moisture and a little natural sweetness.
  • Salt: To enhance the flavors of this plant-based banana bread.   

How To Ripen Banana Quickly?

If you have a day or two, you can place them in a paper bag with ethylene-producing fruits (like apples). If you need them immediately, bake them in the oven at 300F/148C for 15-20 minutes or until the peel has completely blackened, and the inside is soft.

What Else Could I Add To A Vegan Banana Loaf?

This vegan banana bread recipe is the perfect blank canvas for tons of textural and flavor-based mix-ins (and toppings). Some of our favorites include:

Mix-Ins

  • Vanilla: 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract or paste will add subtle depth and dessert-like flavor to the plant-based banana bread.
  • Cinnamon: About 1 teaspoon of this warming spice (nutmeg, too) pairs wonderfully with banana.
  • Berries: Use about 1 cup fresh or frozen (no need to thaw) blueberries, raspberries, finely chopped strawberries, etc.
  • Dried fruit: Like raisins, cranberries, or apricots, etc.
  • Orange: Add the zest of one orange for a subtle citrusy flavor.
  • Vegan chocolate: Who wouldn’t love vegan chocolate chip banana bread? Use chips or chunks and start with ¼ cup, increasing to preference.
  • Chopped nuts: Add ¼-⅓ cup of chopped walnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, almonds, pistachios, etc. Sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds also work.
  • Shredded coconut: Add a few tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut for subtle flavor and extra texture. This pairs well with fruits and vegan chocolate, too.

No matter which mix-ins you choose, fold them into the batter just before transferring it to the loaf tin. Keep some aside to sprinkle over the top.

Toppings

  • Coarse sugar (for extra crunch)
  • Streusel topping (sweet and decadent)
  • Vegan cream cheese frosting
  • Peanut butter (swirled into the batter before baking)
  • Strawberry or raspberry jam (ditto above)

How to Make Vegan Banana Bread?

  • 1) First, preheat the oven to 350F/175C and lightly grease a loaf pan.
  • 2) Then, in a mixing bowl, cream the vegan butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Also, mash the bananas in a separate small bowl.
  • 3) Next, mix in the leavening agents, salt, and apple sauce.
  • 4) Add the flour and bananas alternating between the two, ½ cup of flour and ¼ cup of banana at a time (starting with the flour), mixing between each addition.

We’ve found this method makes it easier to avoid over-mixing the gluten in the flour. It just needs a little mix between each addition—a few lumps are fine.

Alternatively, make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the wet ones, and use a spatula to fold them in until ‘just’ mixed.

  • 5) Transfer the batter to the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (or with a few crumbs).

Then, allow the vegan banana bread to sit in the pan for at least 15 minutes before transferring it to a wire cooling rack to cool further. Enjoy!

FAQs

Can I use frozen bananas?

Thaw the bananas first and drain any excess liquid. Read here for how to freeze bananas (also perfect for banana ice cream and smoothies like a banana kale smoothie).

Can I use gluten-free flour?

An all-purpose gluten-free flour blend like King Arthur’s or Bob’s Red Mill may work using a 1:1 ratio. However, vegan gluten-free banana bread will likely be denser and slightly drier, so it may need further tweaks. Avoid using single flours, like almond flour or coconut flour.

Can I bake them as banana bread muffins?

Yes, you’ll just need to reduce the baking time to about 17-20 minutes OR check out our recipe for oil-free banana muffins!

Can I substitute applesauce?

You could try the recipe with vegan Greek yogurt or another pureed ingredient like mashed pumpkin or sweet potatoes (though the latter will affect the taste and color more).

Can I use a liquid sweetener?

This recipe should work when replacing the sugar with maple syrup, but make sure to only use half the amount to avoid making the batter too wet.

Why is my vegan banana bread dry?

Be careful not to add too much flour, over-mix the batter, or overbake the bread—which all lead to dryness.

Top Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Measure the flour correctly: Spoon it into the measuring cup and level it with a knife rather than scooping it directly from the flour bag. Too much flour leads to denser bakes.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter: You could overwork the gluten in the flour and bake a dense, dry, vegan banana bread. Lumps in the batter are fine.
  • Use fresh leavening agents: Otherwise, the egg-free banana bread won’t rise properly. Make sure they’re within date.
  • Experiment with addins: With so many options, have fun experimenting to find your favorite flavor combinations.
  • To make mini loaves: Divide the mixture into the pans and reduce the baking time accordingly until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The baking time will vary depending on the pan size used.
  • The batter consistency: If the batter seems far too thick, add some plant-based milk, one spoonful at a time, to the correct consistency.
completed sliced Easy Vegan Banana Bread (With Applesauce) in a loaf pan against a white background

Storage Instructions

Once baked, store the vegan applesauce banana bread loosely covered on the countertop for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 5-7 days.

You can also freeze it for up to 3 months, either whole or sliced with parchment paper between the slices. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in a Ziplock/Stasher bag to avoid freezer burn.

Then, either leave it to thaw at room temperature or thaw/heat a slice directly from frozen in a toaster or microwave.

How to Serve?

Enjoy a slice of this easy vegan banana bread warm or at room temperature, alone or with:

  • A generous spread of vegan butter
  • Peanut butter or your favorite seed/nut butter
  • With a fruit jam, jelly, or preserve
  • Warm with a scoop of vegan ice cream (or nice cream)
  • Vegan chocolate spread
  • A dollop of vegan yogurt (and an optional sprinkle of nuts)

It’s also perfect for serving as part of a larger brunch spread alongside muffins, pancakes, granola, fruit, cereal, etc.

More Vegan Banana Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Easy Vegan Banana Bread (With Applesauce)

4.62 from 21 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12 slices
Dairy-free, egg-free, easy vegan banana bread with applesauce is tender, fluffy, and not too sweet—perfect for customizing (with your favorite mix-ins/toppings) as a crowd-pleasing, diet-friendly addition to breakfast, brunch, lunchboxes, or dessert!

Ingredients 

  • cup of vegan margarine plus more for greasing
  • ½ cup of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 ¾ cups whole wheat or all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas about 2–3 bananas

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (170 degrees C), and grease a loaf pan.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the vegan margarine and sugar until the mixture is fluffy and pale.
  • Mix in the baking powder, baking soda, salt, and applesauce.
  • Add the flour and bananas alternately, adding ½ cup flour and ¼ cup banana at a time, starting with the flour. Mix well after each addition.
  • Spoon the batter into the loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour or until the bread turns golden brown.

Notes

  • Measure the flour correctly: Spoon it into the measuring cup and level it with a knife rather than scooping it directly from the flour bag. Too much flour leads to denser bakes.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter: You could overwork the gluten in the flour and bake a dense, dry, vegan banana bread. Lumps in the batter are fine.
  • Use fresh leavening agents: Otherwise, the egg-free banana bread won’t rise properly. Make sure they’re within date.

Nutrition

Calories: 156kcalCarbohydrates: 28gProtein: 2gFat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0.03gSodium: 219mgPotassium: 96mgFiber: 1gSugar: 12gVitamin A: 255IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 24mgIron: 1mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Keywords: apple sauce, apple sauce as egg replacer, banana bread, bread, breakfast recipes, brunch recipes, dairy free, egg free, plant-based, vegan, vegan banana bread, vegan dessert, vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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Comments

    1. Hi! You can substitute it for coconut sugar or date sugar. If preferred, you can slightly reduce the amount of sugar or substitute it with a sweetener (like erythritol).

  1. 5 stars
    This banana bread recipe is heavenly! It’s the perfect way to use up your overripe bananas. Delicious with a cup of tea in the middle of the day 😀

      1. I can’t wait to try this😋 is there anything I could sub for the oil to make a oil-free version?

        1. To sub for the vegan butter? We from plant-based on a budget haven’t tried that out yet so can’t guarantee the results, but you can always try adding in more mashed banana or applesauce! 🙂

    1. We at PBOAB haven’t experimented with making it gluten free just yet so can’t guarantee the results, but you can try King Arthur’s gluten-free flour for this recipe. As for a more natural sugar substitute, you can experiment with adding more bananas and apple sauce to the mix but the texture and hold might turn out a tad differently. Let us know how it goes it you try it 🙂