Why Vegan Banana Bread?
I mean silly question right? Why not vegan banana bread? Banana bread in my opinion can be used for any occasion. It never fails to disappoint and it always makes your home smell amazing. The perfect welcome for any visitor.
How to transition to vegan baking
For me baking has been the easiest transition – there are so many vegan cake recipes and the alternatives to use instead of eggs and dairy are vast.
I think the ease has also been due to my unrequited love of cake but also because when I initially went vegan there were not that many vegan cake options available in the shops or cafe’s. So I had to bake vegan if I needed my cake fix!
However, since becoming Vegan cakes and sweet treats have become more and more available at restaurants, cafes and in the supermarkets. Whooo hoooo!
One of my favourite things to do is to have a drink with a friend and enjoy a nice homemade cake in a local cafe and initially in the early days of being vegan this was near impossible. So I delved into vegan cake baking and cookies and that is how I developed The Littlest Vegan’s Chocolate Button Banana Bread.
There is nothing better than a freshly baked cake especially when you know exactly what has gone into it. Mmmmmmmm I can almost smell the banana loaf. Perfect for brekkie, or a little treat at any part of the day.
Most banana bread recipes are loafs, this means that the cake tends to stay nice and moist but it also means that you can cut yourself a decent chunk and if you want to really indulge you can then add jam or peanut butter adding a real decadence to the humble banana loaf.
Plus a loaf tin is relatively small so it means the cake will be eaten quickly and enjoyed at its freshest.
5 top tips to make the best vegan banana bread.
- Preheat oven and grease or line your loaf tin ( ensuring quick and easy access to your freshly baked treat!)
- Very ripe bananas almost want to throw them in the bin kind of ripe.
- Do not over cook, you want to have a moist delicious vegan banana bread to indulge in.
- Make a double batch – because you know your going to want to inhale this the moment it comes out of the oven, and if by any chance there is extra, then you can freeze it.
- Choose a milk alternative that you like, I tend to use almond as my preferred dairy free milk of choice.
Which bananas are perfect for making vegan banana bread?
Slightly soft to very ripe bananas are absolutely fine to use when making banana bread most recipes tend to use 2- 4 bananas but really it’s up to you and maybe depends on how many ripe bananas you have lying around.
As most people use the bananas that have a lot of brown spots on, the browner the banana the more banananery your banana bread will be.
I normally only use just one banana in the mixture as i feel that this adds enough banana-ness to the bread especially if your are adding any dried fruits or dark chocolate to the mixture.
As I also like to then save one banana for the top of the mixture normally with a sprinkling of sugar before putting into the oven this makes a gorgeous caramelized effect to the banana bread.
Is vegan banana bread healthy?
Lots of recipes advertise their vegan banana bread as a healthy option, I mean come on guys.
Yes, I mean it’s tasty and it can have lots of things in there that are good for you, or should I say better for you than other types of cakes but at the end of the day it does have a lot of sugar and in lots of recipes you can find have alternative more natural sugars, which are supposedly better for you and probably more ethical.
As with everything it’s not not healthy but maybe don’t eat the whole loaf to yourself everything in moderation.
Our Top Tips for Making the Best Banana Bread.
What is the perfect oven temperature for cooking Vegan banana bread?
Heat your oven to 200C/180C Fan/gas 6.
This does seem to be the standard temperature for cooking most loaves and cakes at whether they are vegan or not.
How long should you cook you vegan banana bread in the oven for?
If you have set your oven to the correct temperature stated above than most vegan banana breads should take between 30 – 40 minutes. Obviously all ovens differ slightly as tdo recipes.
I would say that as you want this cake to be moist and let’s face it it’ll get eaten pretty quickly that if you test it by carefully sliding a knife into the center of the cake after 30 mins to ensure how brown the cake is looking as well as how quickly it is cooking.
There should be a little residue after 30 minutes and then it should need just a little longer. Again it could be personal preference especially as its a vegan cake it’s not like your going to need to worry about raw eggs.
How many bananas should you use in a vegan banana bread recipe?
Most recipes suggest 2 – 4 ripe bananas however it depends on how large they are and also how much of banana flavor you like in your banana bread. Start with one for your first attempt and then you can slowly increase your bananas if you feel it needs more.
I would tend to use just one if you are adding other flavors, and if your not sure if who you are making it for like bananas, as the bananas make the dough really moist and are an excellent addition to lots of loaves, not just for their flavor.
What is the best tin for a vegan banana bread recipe?
I haven’t come across a vegan banana bread or cake for that matter that doesn’t use a loaf tin to make their banana bread. There are alot of different loaf tins around.
Personally I would avoid silicone and glass loaf tins. Silicone tins are wobbly and hard to get your loaf out of and glass ones even when greased always tend to stick.
Where as your original tin loaf tins are perfect I would get a few in a variety of sizes as then you have a lot of options. For most recipes the perfect/standard tin size will be around 23cm x 12cm.
Look for the non stick options, but don’t be fooled you will still need to grease or line your tin.
Reusing your banana skins.
What could you do with your banana peel after creating your wonderful vegan banana loaf? The most common option would be to put it into the compost – banana peels are great for compost they add potassium and phosphorus which will promote growth development.
You can also create a compost tea by adding the peel to a bucket of water letting that sit for a few days, then mix it with fresh water and add a little to your plants to give them a little boost of nutrients.
What is the best way to get your vegan banana bread out of it’s tin?
If you have greased the pan or lined it if you carefully tip the loaf tin upside down the bread should gently slip away from the tin.
However these things never tend to go according to plan. So before tipping and gently patting if need be I would gently use a blunt knife around the edge of the tin to slowly loosen the edges.
My Top Vegan Banana Bread Recipes
This recipe is delicious, beautifully moist and excellent for egg free, dairy free and gluten free recipes. This recipe uses 2 flours oat and almond to make it gluten free.
You could substitute one for normal flour if you are not looking for a gluten free recipe. You can also use dairy free chocolate chips or normal or none at all.
This recipe is easy to follow so great for using if baking with kids and however it turns out it always looks amazing as well as tasting great. It’s definitely a crowd pleaser.
My absolute favourite Vegan Banana bread recipe.
Lucy Watson’s Banana bread recipe from her cookbook Feed me Vegan is one of my absolutely favourite recipes for banana bread. The first few times I made it I struggled to get the consistency right as the consistency is very different from a normal loaf cake, it needs to be a lot thicker and funnily enough a lot more like dough.
Another favourite vegan banana bread recipe which is slightly controversial and an absolute indulgence is from the Bosh boys you will need to purchase their cookbook Bish Bash Bosh to recreate this recipe but honestly it is absolutely scrummy Vegan bread blondies you will not be disappointed.
The Littlest Vegans Chocolate Button Banana Bread
My banana bread recipe is guaranteed to convert all banana bread haters. Tried and tested!
My chocolate button banana bread loaf recipe:
My secret ingredient in this recipe is using montezuma’s dark chocolate buttons If you have not had these, they are an absolute must. An indulgence for sure but we all deserve a treat every now and then! I tend to use half the packet in my loaf, but play around with the quantities.
I sometimes add nuts to this recipe, pecans or walnuts or both, I don’t feel it necessarily needs it but if you want to give the impression that maybe it’s slightly healthier adding a few nuts can do this and with a little less buttons make is not feel quite as indulgent.
What you need:
- Loaf tin lined
- 250g self raising flour
- 1 tsp of baking powder
- 1tsp of bicarb
- 150g golden caster sugar
- 250ml almond milk
- 100ml of vegetable or rapeseed oil
- 2 overripe and mashed bananas
- 2 tsp of vanilla essence
- 50g of dark chocolate buttons
First preheat the oven to 180 and line the loaf tin with greaseproof paper.
If you are someone who loves to be organised and your house is full of bowls then weigh out and prep all your ingredients before. However I do not have an endless supply of bowls I would just have 2 and weigh the ingredients as I go. Use the first small bowl to mash up your bananas. The set aside.
Next pour in the flour to a medium sized mixing bowl add in the baking powder, bicarb, sugar, vanilla, oil, almond milk and mashed bananas and mix altogether. Once mixture is all mixed then add in your dark chocolate buttons and pour into the lined loaf tin!
Cook for 40 – 50 mins I would keep an eye on it from about 30mins, as all ovens vary however I have found that mine generally need to be cooked for a little longer so after 40mins I tend to take out and carefully put a knife in the center if there is still mixture on the knife then I put back in for another 5/10mins.
Now the hard part, you are going to have to wait I know, it smells so good. But it will need to cool, you don’t wait to risk breaking this fragile but scrumptious banana bread. After 10mins you can probably transfer to a wire rack to dry and maybe have a little taste if a little accidentally breaks off in the transferring. Mmmmmmmm yum!
If you love a loaf cake and want a change from a banana bread loaf, then check out my latest blog about the tastiest apple cake you can make, you can use any apples you have in the house, the spices and the icing make it the perfect afternoon treat Best Vegan Apple Cake with Maple and Peanut Butter Icing