Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Bread
Why this recipe works
This gluten-free vegan banana bread is so moist and tender. No eggs, no gluten, and no dairy… but ALL of the flavor! You honestly will not be able to tell this quickbread is gluten-free and vegan.
This banana bread is loaded with chopped chocolate and sprinkled with turbinado sugar before baking for an extra crunch. Serve a slice of banana bread with a slather of vegan butter and a cup of coffee. It’s the perfect breakfast or dessert!
You’ll love this recipe because:
- Very ripe bananas – You want your bananas to be very ripe. The banana peels should be very brown and spotted. The more ripe the banana is, the sweeter it is and more flavorful your banana bread will be.
- Xanthan gum – I tested this recipe with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour which already contains xanthan gum. If you use another gluten-free blend that does not contain xanthan gum, you will need to add it to this recipe. See the recipe for the proper amount.
- Vegetable oil – This recipe uses vegetable oil as the fat instead of butter. It keeps the bread really moist.
- Unsweetened applesauce – Instead of eggs, we use unsweetened applesauce to help bind the recipe together and provide additional moisture
- Apple cider vinegar – I love to use apple cider vinegar in my vegan recipes. It reacts with the baking soda and gives the quick bread more lift.
- Brown sugar – If you are vegan, be sure to use a vegan brown sugar as some brown sugars are processed with bone char. You can also use coconut sugar or granulated sugar instead.
- Vegan chocolate chunks – I used a vegan chocolate bar that I chopped into chunks for this recipe. I love the irregular size of chopped chocolate. You get some chocolate in every bite! If you are not dairy-free or vegan, feel free to use any chocolate.
When you have leftover very ripe bananas, you can freeze them so you can make banana bread anytime! Remove the peel from the banana and place it in a freezer bag, removing as much excess air from the bag as possible. Keep for up to 6 months. To use, let them defrost and then mash.
This gluten-free vegan banana bread recipe is very easy to make. Just follow the steps with matching photos below to help you make it perfectly every time.
For the ingredient list with measurements, full instructions, printable recipe, and additional notes, please scroll down to the recipe card.
I like to keep individual snack cups of unsweetened applesauce in my pantry for baking. I find if I buy a large container, it goes bad quickly. The individual portions are the perfect size for baking, usually about ½ cup in each portion. They normally don’t expire for about a year, so I find this to be really convenient and cost effective!
I have tested this recipe with both Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour (in the blue bag) and King Arthur Baking Company Gluten Free Multi-Purpose Flour also would work great in this recipe. If you do not need your banana bread to be gluten-free, you should be able to simply use regular all-purpose flour and omit the xanthan gum from your batch.
Not always. A lot of sugars, including brown sugar, are processed with bone char, which makes them not vegan. Be sure to double check the packaging on your brown sugar to ensure it is vegan if you need it to be.
If you just want a classic vegan banana bread, you can definitely omit the chocolate chunks.
hints & tips
- Storage: Store gluten-free banana bread at room temperature in the loaf pan covered with aluminum foil or plastic wrap. I do not recommend slicing the banana bread until you are ready to serve it as it will dry out quicker.
- Freezer Option: You can freeze the entire loaf or individual slices for up to 3 months. Wrap the loaf or individual slices in plastic wrap and then store in a freezer-safe bag or container.
- Reheat: You can defrost frozen banana bread loaf or slices at room temperature. Slices will defrost quicker, taking just about 30 minutes. A whole loaf will take longer to thaw, about 1-2 hours at room temperature.
More delicious gluten-free breads & pastries to try
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Vegan Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread
- 2 cups gluten-free flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour, 280g)
- 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (if your flour blend doesn’t already contain it)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 bananas (368g, mashed)
- 3/4 cup brown sugar (150g)
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil (75g)
- ⅓ cup unsweetened applesauce (90g)
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup vegan chocolate chunks or chopped chocolate (140g, plus optional for topping)
- 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar (optional for topping)
- Preheat the oven to 375F (190C). Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or vegan butter and line with parchment paper for easy removal.
- In a large bowl, whisk together gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum (if using), baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- In a separate bowl, mash the bananas.
- Then, mix the bananas with the brown sugar, vegetable oil, unsweetened applesauce, apple cider vinegar, and pure vanilla extract.
- Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until just combined.
- Fold the chocolate chunks into the batter.
- Then, pour the bread batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle the top with turbinado sugar or extra chocolate chunks if you’d like.
- Bake at 375F for 55-70 minutes, until the bread is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of the bread comes out clean. If the bread is browning too much, cover the loaf pan with aluminum foil and continue baking.
- Cool in the pan for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- For best results, weigh your ingredients with a kitchen scale, especially dry ingredients like gluten-free flour. I’ve included most measurements in grams for this reason. If you are using measuring cups, do not directly scoop the measuring cup into the flour. Spoon the flour into the measuring cup and level it off with something flat. Do not overpack as you may use too much flour.
- Ripe bananas are necessary to lend that sweetness to the banana bread. The banana can be deep yellow with a lot of brown spots on it. You can even use bananas that are completely brown for extra flavor.
- If you do not have ripe bananas, you can speed up the process by placing the bananas in a loosely sealed brown paper bag along with an apple for a day or so. You can also place unpeeled bananas on a baking sheet and bake at 30F (148C) for about 15-20 minutes. The banana peel will turn almost black. Let the bananas cool before removing from the peel and mashing.
- I used 3-4 large bananas for my mashed banana in the batter to get to 368g which is approximately 1.5 cups. Depending on the size of your bananas you may need to use an additional banana.
- This recipe was tested with both Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour and King Arthur Baking Company Gluten-Free Multi-Purpose Flour. Both of these flours already contain xanthan gum, so you do not need to add more to the recipe. I cannot verify if other brands of gluten-free flour will work as I have not tested them. If your blend does not contain xanthan gum, you will need to add it as stated in the recipe card.
- If you are vegan, be sure that your brown sugar is vegan as some are processed with bone char.
- Store at room temperature in a sealed container or in the loaf pan with aluminum foil secured over the top. Do not store in the refrigerator as it will dry your banana bread out faster.
- You can freeze the entire loaf or individual slices for up to 3 months by wrapping them in plastic wrap and then again in aluminum foil, and then placing them in a sealed container.