This is the best gluten free vegan banana bread you’ll ever make. It’s perfectly moist, soft and squishy, and it’s incredibly easy to make, no egg replacements needed. With gorgeous caramelised edges, a nicely domed top and a beautiful flavour with subtle caramel undertones, it’ll be a hit with everyone, even non-vegan and non-gluten free folks.
Yes, this is the second gluten free vegan banana bread recipe in the space of just a few weeks… what can I say, I’m a teeny tiny bit obsessed with it.
At its core, this is just a blueberry-free version of my gluten free vegan blueberry banana bread, with some toasted pecans thrown into the mix (because banana bread and toasted pecans are a match made in flavour heaven and that’s just a fact). However, the base gluten free vegan banana bread recipe is SO INCREDIBLY GOOD (and really easy too) that it deserves a stand-alone blog post.
Because this truly is THE BEST gluten free vegan banana bread recipe you’ll ever make or taste – and yes, I am rather biased but it’s also 1000% true.
Plus, I also wanted to tell you about the recipe itself in a bit more detail… because if you’ve been round these parts before, then you know that I really want you to not only make my recipes but also understand why they work. There’s two reasons for this: (1) it will ultimately make you a better, more confident baker and (2) it just makes my inner food science nerd very happy.
So, without further ado, let’s talk gluten free vegan banana bread.
Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this amazing banana bread – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!
Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.
Here’s why you’ll love this banana bread
- The perfect moist, soft, squishy texture. Even though we’re removing gluten and eggs from this recipe, the banana bread won’t end up dense or pudding-y. Instead, it has a gorgeous tender, moist crumb and a satisfyingly soft, squishy texture.
- Gorgeous caramelised edges. The sugar content of the bananas and the light brown sugar really help with the caramelisation process, and honestly, the caramelised edges just might be my favourite part of this banana bread.
- Nicely domed top. I know that this is mostly an aesthetic consideration, but I’m a big fan of banana breads with a tall, domed top. And this recipe definitely ticks that box.
- Beautiful flavour. This recipe is really stuffed with all the best things: ripe bananas and light brown sugar that add gorgeous caramel notes, cinnamon and nutmeg (these are basically a must in any banana bread recipe) and toasted pecans. The result is just the cosiest banana bread that I could easily eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and never get tired of it. And, of course, you can add some chopped chocolate or chocolate chips as well – after all, chocolate is *always* an excellent idea.
- Super easy to make. All you really have to do is combine the wet ingredients with the dry, mix until smooth and then bake. That’s really all there is to it. It’s just a super straightforward, no-fuss kind of recipe.
- You’d never guess that it’s both gluten free AND vegan!! Seriously, even my non-gluten-free and non-vegan taste testers couldn’t tell the difference – it’s just a very VERY delicious loaf of moist, soft banana bread. And it’s guaranteed to be a hit with everyone, regardless of dietary requirements.
- No egg replacements! There’s no chia or flax eggs and no aquafaba in this recipe, just your usual pantry staples. Egg replacements just aren’t necessary in this recipe (and, honestly, they aren’t necessary in most vegan baking recipes), you can easily get the most perfect banana bread texture without them.
How to make THE BEST gluten free vegan banana bread
This banana bread is almost ridiculously easy to make. Here’s how:
- Mash the bananas and mix them with some lemon juice. The lemon juice serves two purposes: firstly, it prevents the mashed bananas from oxidising and turning brown, and secondly, it also gives a boost to the raising agents in the banana bread, which ultimately results in a softer, fluffier banana bread.
- Combine all the wet ingredients: melted vegan butter, light brown sugar, mashed bananas, vegan yoghurt and vanilla. I prefer to use light brown sugar instead of white, as it gives a richer flavour and adds some delicious caramel notes. The yoghurt adds some extra moisture (much like eggs do in a regular, non-vegan banana bread recipe).
- Whisk together all the dry ingredients: plain gluten free flour blend (store-bought or homemade), baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. The quantities of the raising agents (baking powder and baking soda) are optimised to give just the right amount of lift to the banana bread, so that it’s perfectly soft and squishy. Xanthan gum acts as a gluten substitute and prevents the banana bread from being too delicate or crumbly – you can read more about the role of xanthan gum in gluten free baking here!
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and whisk them all together into a smooth batter. Make sure that there are no flour clumps or unmixed patches of dry flour.
- Mix in the roughly chopped toasted pecans or any other add-ins of choice (like chocolate chips or chopped chocolate). Make sure that they’re evenly distributed in the batter.
- Transfer the batter into a lined 2lb/900g loaf tin and smooth out the top. The exact dimensions of this type of loaf tin can vary slightly between brands, but should be in the 8½x4½-inch (21x14cm) to 9×5-inch (23x13cm) range.
- Bake in a pre-heated oven at 375ºF (190ºC) for about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes until well risen, golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick or cake tester comes out clean. Your banana bread will probably start browning before it’s fully baked through, so just cover it with a sheet of aluminium foil (shiny side up) and continue baking until done.
- Allow it to cool in the baking tin for about 10 minutes and then transfer it to a wire cooling rack. You can enjoy this gluten free vegan banana bread either still warm or cooled completely to room temperature – it’ll be delicious either way.
What’s the best oven temperature for gluten free vegan banana bread?
I like to bake this banana bread at a slightly higher oven temperature of 375ºF (190ºC) for about 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. This ensures a gorgeous domed top, nicely caramelised edges and perfectly baked-through, soft and moist inner crumb.
Note that the oven temperature above refers to a conventional/non-fan oven. If you’re using a convection/fan oven, reduce this temperature by 25ºF (20ºC). This is a general rule of thumb that holds true for most recipes.
If your banana bread starts browning too quickly, cover it with a sheet of aluminium foil (shiny side up) and continue baking until done.
Top tips for gluten free vegan banana bread PERFECTION
- Use very ripe bananas. You want to use really ripe bananas in your banana bread (those will give you the greatest amount of sweetness and flavour) – but not so ripe that they become starchy and have an unpleasant taste or smell. So, if your bananas are super ripe but still smell and taste OK – they’re good to use in your banana bread.
- Add a bit of lemon juice to prevent oxidation & to boost the raising agents. The acidity of the lemon juice slows down the process of oxidation, which would otherwise turn the mashed bananas an unsightly brown colour. The acidic lemon juice also reacts with the basic/alkaline baking soda and the alkaline component of the baking powder, essentially giving them an activity boost. This makes the banana bread even softer and squishier.
- Xanthan gum acts as a gluten substitute. It adds just enough structure and elasticity to the banana bread to prevent it from being too delicate or too crumbly – it basically acts as a glue that holds the bake together (much like gluten does when you use regular wheat flour). You don’t need a lot of it, a small amount (½ teaspoon in this recipe) goes a long way. You can read more about the role of xanthan gum in gluten free baking here!
- Light brown sugar adds more depth of flavour. While you could use white caster/superfine or granulated sugar, I really recommend using light brown sugar in banana bread. It works together with the bananas to give it an amazing caramel-like flavour and it makes the banana bread even more delicious.
- Play around with the add-ins! I kept this banana bread pretty classic with just chopped toasted pecans, but you can add milk or dark chocolate chips (or chopped chocolate), other nuts or even blueberries – like in my gluten free vegan blueberry banana bread recipe. You could also add a crumble on top or swirl in some chocolate spread. The options are pretty much endless, so have fun with it!
- The banana bread is done when an inserted toothpick comes out clean. The easiest way to determine when your banana bread is perfectly baked is to take a toothpick, skewer or cake tester, and insert it into the centre of the banana bread for a second or two. If it comes out with raw or half-baked batter attached, the banana bread needs longer in the oven. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumb attached, then it’s done and you can take it out of the oven.
And that’s it! This covers pretty much everything you need to know about this truly FABULOUS gluten free vegan banana bread. It’s a great no-fuss, cosy bake and I really hope you’ll love it as much as I do.
More amazing banana bread recipes
If you’re looking for more incredibly delicious banana bread recipes, you’re definitely in the right place!
- Gluten Free Vegan Blueberry Banana Bread
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Double Chocolate Banana Bread
- Gluten Free Marbled Banana Bread
- The Best Vegan Banana Bread
- Banana Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing
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The Best Gluten Free Vegan Banana Bread
- 3 medium bananas, finely mashed (about 350g peeled weight, 1½ cups mashed)
- 1 tbsp lemon juice
- 115 g (1 stick, ½ cup) vegan butter, melted and cooled until warm (I used the Stork vegan butter block that’s available in the UK. However, most firm vegan/dairy free butter blocks will work well.)
- 150 g (¾ cup) light brown sugar
- 40 g (3 tbsp) unsweetened plain or Greek-style vegan yoghurt, room temperature
- ½ tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 240 g (2 cups) plain gluten free flour blend (I used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour that doesn't have any xanthan gum added. You can also mix your own gluten free flour blend using this recipe. Note that for this homemade blend, 1 cup = 150g, so ideally use a kitchen scale for best results.)
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp xanthan gum (Omit if your gluten free flour blend already contains xanthan gum.)
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- 90-120 g (¾-1 cup) toasted pecans, chopped
- Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 375ºF (190ºC) and line a 2lb/900g (9x5-inch/23x13cm) loaf baking tin with parchment/baking paper.
- In a large bowl, combine the mashed bananas with lemon juice, and then add the melted vegan butter, light brown sugar, vegan yoghurt and vanilla. Whisk everything together until well combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the plain gluten free flour blend, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and whisk well until you get a smooth batter with no flour clumps (though you might have a few small banana pieces in there, depending on how well you mashed them).
- Fold in the chopped toasted pecans until they're evenly distributed in the batter.Tip: You can reserve some of the chopped pecans for scattering on top of the batter before baking, if you wish.
- Transfer the batter into the prepared loaf tin and smooth out the top. If you've set aside any chopped pecans, scatter them over the top.
- Bake in the pre-heated oven at 375ºF (190ºC) for about 1 hour - 1 hour 10 minutes, or until well risen, golden brown on top and an inserted toothpick/skewer/cake tester comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. If the banana bread starts browning too quickly, cover it with a sheet of aluminium foil (shiny side up) and continue baking until done. It's best to cover it with aluminium foil when it starts becoming a deep golden colour.
- Once baked, allow it to cool in the loaf tin for about 10 minutes, then transfer it out of the tin and onto a wire rack to cool.
- The banana bread is best served warm or cooled completely to room temperature.
- Storage: The gluten free vegan banana bread keeps well in a closed container in a cool dry place for 3-4 days.