If you're wondering what to do with bananas that are overripe, I have the perfect recipe for you. Not only is this easy vegan gluten-free banana bread delicious, it has an oil-free option, it's simple to make, and it can also be customized with your favourite add-ins.
The details about how to make it and all the different options are below, so keep reading!
Whether you have a bunch of bananas that have passed their prime, you have a freezer full of brown bananas you're saving to bake with, or maybe you're just craving a slice of good old classic homemade banana bread, this is the recipe you NEED to make!
This vegan gluten-free banana bread is soft, moist, dairy-free, egg-free, gluten-free, contains no butter and, of course, it's SO tasty.
One of the best things about it is that no one will know it's vegan AND gluten-free. And for those of you who are oil-free, I tested an oil-free version and it's just as wonderful. All the need-to-know details are below.
Oh, and if you're looking for banana bread recipes "with a twist," check these out:
(But if you feel like having muffins instead, see my v + gf banana muffins recipe!)
Ingredients You'll Need
All you need is a few pantry staples and you're all set to start baking! See the next section for more detailed info about the ingredients.
Ingredient and Substitution Notes
As always, I recommend making this recipe exactly as it’s written for the best and intended results, but you’ll find some ingredient notes below so you know what can and can’t be changed.
Gluten-Free Flour Blend – This recipe calls for Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour, the one in the RED bag without xanthan gum.
I have not tested this recipe with any other gluten-free flours other than what is mentioned above, so I’m not sure how others would work. With gluten-free baking, it’s always important to use the same flour the recipe calls for to get the expected results.
Coconut flour, or any other single gluten-free flour will not work with this recipe without having to make major modifications.
Make sure to measure your flour correctly or your banana bread will not have the correct texture.
Overripe Banana Purée – You know those spotty, browning bananas you left sitting on the counter way too long and you don't want to eat them? Those are the perfect bananas for making banana bread. Make sure that the bananas you use for this recipe are overripe. You also need to purée them so there are no chunks left, you need the bananas to be smooth.
Coconut Sugar – I use coconut sugar in the recipe, but brown sugar can be used instead. I have not tested with any sugar alternatives and I have not tested it with any liquid sweeteners since other changes would have to be made to the recipe to adjust for the extra liquid. It's best to stick to one of the dry sugars I mentioned above for the best results.
Oil – I usually use melted coconut oil when making this recipe, but any neutral flavoured oil, like safflower, or avocado can be used instead. If you use coconut oil, make sure that your other ingredients are at room temperature so it does not solidify when added to the recipe. This recipe can also be made oil-free by using applesauce instead of oil. (Banana bread made with oil will produce a banana bread that is more moist than one with applesauce, but both are equally delicious!)
Flax Eggs – Since this is banana bread without eggs, flax eggs are used as a replacement. If you cannot have flax, you can also use chia seeds to make chia eggs instead.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda – Make sure these ingredients are both fresh, they’re both very important for the banana bread to have the ideal rise and texture.
Are you new to vegan gluten-free baking? If so, be sure to read all of my vegan gluten-free baking tips!
How to Make It
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions at the end of this post.)
The first thing you'll do is prepare your flax eggs and set them aside to thicken. Next, you need to purée your bananas so no chunks remain, the bananas should be perfectly smooth.
Next, the rest of the recipe is as simple as mixing the dry ingredients in one bowl, and then mixing the wet ingredients in another bowl.
You'll then combine the two mixtures together and mix until all the ingredients have combined to make a batter.
If you're using any add-ins, mix them in now, and that's it!
After that, you'll bake it, then cool before slicing.
Customize with Add-Ins
Something else you'll like about this recipe is that you can customize it by throwing in some add-ins. I created the blank slate and you can customize your banana bread just how you want.
So, you can keep it plain, add any of the following, or a combination of more than one of the following:
- chocolate chips
- chopped walnuts
- chopped pecans
- chopped dates
See the recipe below for full details on measurements for your add-in.
How Long Should It Cool Before Slicing?
Wait until it has fully cooled or at least until it's just slightly warm, almost fully cooled.
The oil-free version is a little on the delicate side, but once it has fully cooled, it will be fine.
What Is the Texture Like?
The version made with oil is soft and moist, just like banana bread made with traditional ingredients.
If you make this gluten-free banana bread with applesauce and without oil, that version is also going to be fluffy and moist, but it's not as moist as when it's made with oil. It's also much more light.
As mentioned above, the oil-free version is also a little more delicate until it has fully cooled. So handle with care.
Place any leftovers in an airtight container and keep them at room temperature for up to 2 days.
If you still have any left after the 2 days have passed, place the container in the refrigerator where it will keep for another 4-5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving (or you can enjoy it cold, too, it's up to you!).
To freeze, wrap the whole loaf tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag or an airtight container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months.
When you’re ready, remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Bring to room temperature, slice, and serve.
Are you new to vegan gluten-free baking? If so, be sure to read all of my vegan gluten-free baking tips!
Tips for Success
- Use the same flour I use. Baking vegan gluten-free can be tricky because different flours produce different results. I know this particular flour works perfectly for this recipe, so to duplicate that perfection, use Bob’s Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-Free Flour Blend (in the RED bag!). See the “Ingredient and Substitution Notes” section above for more info about the flour needed for this recipe.
- Measure and have all your ingredients ready to go before starting. This will make the process run smooth, quick, and easy. Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature.
- Measure your ingredients correctly. Too much flour in this recipe will result in dry, crumbly, and / or overly dense banana bread. I highly recommend using a scale (this is one I have (Amazon Link) and my weight measurements when baking. If you don’t have a scale, lightly spoon the flour into your measuring cup until it is overflowing and then drag the flat edge of a butter knife across the top to level it off. (NEVER dunk the measuring cup into the flour to fill your measuring cup because this will guarantee an incorrect measurement of up to 1.5x more flour and a recipe fail.) Learn more about how to measure flour correctly.
- Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh, these are two of the ingredients that help the banana bread to rise and become fluffy.
- Read this post from top to bottom before you start. I’ve included a lot of tips and tricks so you get things right. Also read through the actual recipe before getting started.
- Follow the recipe exactly as it’s written for the very best results.
No, they cannot be too ripe. You need to use bananas that have lots of spots, are brown, or even black. The darker the bananas, the sweeter they will be and they will also give your banana bread a stronger banana flavour. If you're using black bananas inspect them to be sure that there is no mould or that the bananas aren't oozing any liquid. If your bananas aren't quite ready yet, let them sit at room temperature for a few days until they start to become overripe.
The banana flavour will not be as strong and since the bananas contribute to the sweetness level of the banana bread, it won't be as sweet.
No, because the baking powder and baking soda will become inactive and your banana bread will end up wet, flat and gummy. What you can do is prepare a gluten free banana bread mix by combining all the dry ingredients and storing it in an airtight container. When you're ready to bake it, mix the wet ingredients together, add it to the dry ingredients, fold in any add-ins you're using, and you’ll be all set!
Yes, but not fully. Once you take it out of the oven, leave it in the pan for about 10 minutes and then remove and place it on a cooling rack to fully cool.
Yes, as long as it's wrapped or in an airtight container. It can stay out for up to 2 days but if it lasts longer than that, store in the refrigerator in the same airtight container for another 4-5 days.
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Vegan Gluten-Free Banana Bread
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 6 tablespoons water
- 2 cups (280g) gluten free flour blend **see important note about flour below**
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 ½ cups (368g) puréed overripe bananas (approximately 4 medium bananas or 5 small)
- ⅔ cup (100g) coconut sugar
- ½ cup (120ml) melted coconut oil (OR plain, unsweetened applesauce for oil-free, see note below)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ½ cup raisins, walnuts, or chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat oven to 325°F (165°C)
- Grease a 5" x 9" (1.5 quart) loaf pan or line with parchment paper.
- Prepare your flax eggs by whisking together ground flax seeds and water. Set aside to thicken.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, together. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, mix the puréed bananas, coconut sugar, oil, vanilla, and flax egg mixture together.
- Pour the dry ingredients into wet ingredients and mix well to combine.
- If using, fold in raisins, walnuts, or chocolate chips.
- Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
- Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour or until a tester comes out clean.
- Allow banana bread to cool for about 10 minutes in the pan before removing and placing on a cooling rack. Allow to fully cool before slicing.
- Please read all of the info and FAQ above before making this recipe.
- Baking times will vary slightly depending on your oven and the type of bakeware you use. I use a glass loaf dish when making this recipe. Start checking around the 50-minute mark.
- It's important to know that different gluten-free flour blends use different ingredients and ratios, so results will always vary if you substitute. I have never used any other brand of flour to make this recipe (other than Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour (Amazon link) in the red bag, NOT the blue bag), so please know that your results may not be the same as mine if substitute with another gluten-free flour blend. The weight listed in the recipe above is specifically for the Bob’s Red Mill blend in the red bag.
- Coconut flour or any other single gluten-free flour will NOT work for this recipe. A gluten-free blend must be used, the one mentioned above for the best results.
- Be sure to purée your bananas enough so no chunks remain, this can be done with a stick blender, a regular blender, or a NutriBullet.
- Brown sugar may be used instead of coconut sugar.
- To Make Oil-Free: ½ cup (123g) of plain, unsweetened applesauce can be used instead of the melted coconut oil if you want the banana bread to be oil-free.
- Place any leftovers in an airtight container and keep at room temperature for up to 2 days. If you still have any after the 2 days have passed, place the container in the refrigerator where it will keep for another 4-5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving (or you can enjoy it cold, it's up to you!).
- To freeze, wrap the whole loaf tightly in freezer plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag or an airtight container. It will keep in the freezer for up to 2 months. When you’re ready, remove it from the freezer and place it in the refrigerator to thaw overnight. Bring to room temperature, slice, and serve.
- Nutrition info is based on one of 12 slices and the recipe is made as it is written, using coconut oil, with no add-ins. The recipe made with applesauce contains 134 calories per slice. The nutrition information on this website is to be used only as a rough guide. Click here to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.
This recipe was updated November 2021 to add a video and to add more helpful tips.