The World’s Best Banana Bread

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Is it possible that this is really the world’s best banana bread? I think it is. You’ll just have to bake it to see for yourself.

This easy and delicious banana bread is an old family recipe that has been updated with healthier ingredients. The best part is, no one knows its healthy!

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It is also beautiful and super easy to make. I’ve made it hundreds of times; during the holidays when I make several batches I don’t even have to use the recipe because it’s that easy. It makes a perfect gift when baked in a loaf or a festive bundt pan!

I used to make banana bread before we switched to a plant-based diet. This was one of the first recipes I had to update to make with healthier ingredients. The best part is, no one knows its healthy! It’s surprisingly vegan and oil free!

I love to double the recipe and use two loaf pans to make one loaf for us and one for a friend (or the freezer).

When I bake this in a bundt pan, I use one with a flat bottom. The banana bread will rise and look beautiful!

Banana Bread


  • 1 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup turbinado sugar or raw sugar (I’ve used agave with a good result also)
  • 3 extra ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 Tbsp plant milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1/2 cup vegan chocolate chips (optional)
  • 1/2 cup nuts (optional)


  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add 1 cup applesauce and 1/2 cup turbinado sugar. Mix with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the bananas, plant milk and vanilla then mix well.
  4. Add baking soda, salt, and flour. Mix again.
  5. Add optional nuts and/or chocolate chips.
  6. Pour into a sprayed pan, I use a bundt pan for best results.
  7. Cook for 40 minutes until a toothpick comes out clean. Using a loaf pan will require a longer baking time. When making muffins with this recipe they are usually done in 15 to 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from pan once cool.


Serve this to for a tasty dessert, snack, or even with a cup of coffee. If possible wait until the next day to slice this and it will taste like heaven! We have even taken this on a road trip for a sweet snack.

That a look at how amazing it can be when made with chocolate chips!

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

You could also add your favorite nuts to this banana bread! We like it with walnuts but pecans are really good too!

I use this recipe as a base for many of my muffins too! I just change up the add-ins depending on what flavor we are going for! If you need a gluten-free version, check out this Strawberry Banana Muffin recipe!

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  1. Holly, this bread simply looks outstanding! Studded with chocolate chips and all pretty from the bundt pan!

  2. This looks amazing and I’ll be trying it later in the week! Thanks so much for sharing.

  3. WOAH!! It sure looks like it is!!! I love the short list of ingredients, too!

  4. That looks really tasty!

  5. We love banana bread…I like that yours is oil-free!

  6. Okay, I’m drooling…. 😛 No oil! AMAZING!!! I’m going to have to try this one… I’m pinning it on my pinterest board for later use 😉

  7. I wish there was a “love” button. This looks so amazing!! I want some right now. Why hasn’t anyone invented taste-o-vision for computer screens?

    • Last night I the ladies in the group I hosted were talking about how moist it was. I told them the key was waiting until the second day to cut it and they said that would never happen. Patience pays odd with this bread though.

  8. I LOVE this recipe!! I love the applesauce addition! I JUST used applesauce for the first time baking cookies the other day and can’t wait to blog about it. This is going on my list of “to make’s” YUMM!

  9. Awesome Holly! I have a banana muffin recipe coming up soon. We can’t get enough of the good stuff in our house either!

  10. Made this today and my Kids and I LOVED it! It was so easy to make and it was moist and delicious! Thank you SO much!

  11. Awesome recipe!! Me and my husband love it!!
    I would like to include your recipe (translated to Spanish 🙂 and a link to your page in my small blog, if that is fine with you. I think my family and friends will really enjoy it!

  12. Just found your blog today and have this cake in the oven. Smells wonderful. I used half raw sugar and half maple syrup.

    • I hope you love it! I have some bananas that are just about perfect for banana bread. I think raw sugar and maple syrup will compliment each other very well in this.

  13. I would love to make this bread . I have oat flour . Can I use it and in other recipes …. I have read your cookbook and noticed you never had mention oat flour as ok to use ?

    • Hi Bev, Oat flours are great we just don’t use them much because we had to eliminate oats for a while. We’ve only recently reintroduced them.

      I haven’t tried this recipe with oat flour so I can’t say if it will taste the same but I think it would work.

      I hope you love it!

  14. Stacie Bateman says:

    I’m just starting out on a plant based diet. I have a husband and a 3 and 5-year old who are not thrilled. I made this bread this morning and it was really chewy, so I must have done something wrong. It smelled good at least!

    • Stacie I have no idea why it wouldn’t work. Did you make any substitutions? I’ve made it over 100 times and I know 100s of others have made it too. This is my food proof recipe. I hope you try it again, maybe the second time is the charm.

      • Plant based baking does taste different and has a different texture than baking with butter, oil and eggs. I too think this is the best banana bread ever but can identify with someone who is just starting a plant based plan of eating. It took me awhile to adjust and now think plant based is so tasty.

  15. Amazing!! I made this recipe into muffins!! ☺

  16. Katie Wagner says:

    Holly, I have a really odd question for you–could I make this bread without bananas? It LOOKS amazing, but I don’t like bananas. Is there something I could sub for the bananas?

    • You could try using pumpkin or sweet potato purée instead. I’ve always made it with bananas.
      I’ve been working an another sweet bread that doesn’t have bananas. I’ll try to post it soon.

  17. Followed your recipe, no success. Final product was sticky and didn’t raise. What could go wrong.

  18. I think Forks Over Knives should be given credit or a link back to their website which most folks do. This recipe is in their cookbook as well. It will be interesting to see if this gets changed. I love this recipe, and all their recipes 🙂

    • HI Cheryl,
      I adapted this recipe from an old family recipe that used butter, eggs and a ton of sugar. I will admit it is similar but I didn’t copy this recipe and was making well before the Forks Over Knives cookbook was published.
      I never post other people recipes unless I have their permission, which is usually when I’m promoting their product or book.
      There are only so many ingredients that go into banana bread, I have quite a few variations on this site, but there are only so many measurements that can vary. My measurements are different in many instances but if you look through my other baked goods, you’ll see that most of the time I use the same measurements for the base ingredients and adapt the recipe from there.
      As a long time food blogger, I would never steal someone else’s recipe and pass it off as my own. You’d be surprised at how often food bloggers come up with very similar recipes.

    • Nothing like FOK. Here is their ingredients list….

      No need for a link.

      4 very ripe bananas
      2 cups oats, ground into flour
      ½ cup unsweetened apple juice
      ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
      2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
      1 teaspoons ground cinnamon
      ½ tablespoon alcohol-free vanilla extract
      ½ tablespoon apple cider vinegar
      ½ tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder
      ½ teaspoon sodium-free baking soda

  19. Can I leave out the sugar? I find the bananas sweet enough

    • Hi Anne, I think it could be too wet without the sugar. Adding a little more dry ingredients could work but I’ve never tried it without an added sweetener.

  20. Can you use brown sugar?

  21. What can I sub for the whole wheat pastry flour?

  22. We have been WFPB for a while now and I’ve tried other banana bread recipes but always open to new ones. As I type your bread is starting to bake in the oven. =) I can already tell it will be amazing. For the person who made a comment on it being too chewy? Yes, definitely if you are not baking with eggs/oil/butter the plant based breads will have a different texture. I find them more dense but still so yummy, just takes time to get use to it but so much better for you. Thank you!

  23. Sherry Jones says:

    Holly, have you ever substituted stevia instead of the sugar?

    • I have not but I don’t think stevia would work. The proportions would be off. You can use maple syrup or date paste but I wouldn’t try stevia.

  24. Shantel Jones says:

    I just made this bread it was so yummy! I have tried a few recipes but this one turned out great ❤

  25. How much maple syrup instead of sugar?

  26. Kelly Logsdon says:

    Love this recipe!! Can I sub zucchini for bananas??

  27. Just made this. Delicious! I subbed brown sugar because it’s what I had. Thanks for an awesome, oil and egg free bread!

  28. CHERYL B HARRIS says:

    Hello. I noticed someone above asked the question I am asking as I do not see a reply – If I want to use maple syrup instead of sugar, how much would you recommend? Thanks

    • Hi Cheryl, there is an answer to your question… Holly said, she used 1/2 cup of maple syrup but someone on Facebook used 1/4 cup. Holly hasn’t tried using 1/4 cup. The date of the answer is September 22,2019. Hope this helps.

    • HI Cheryl, I know it’s been answered but I wanted to confirm that I’ve used 1/2 cup maple syrup with good results and 1/2 cup agave with good results. The riper the bananas the less sweetener you need. Also, if you are using chocolate chips you could decrease the sweetener a bit. I haven’t tried it
      I like the sweetness of 1/2 a cup of sugar and haven’t personally tried decreasing it. I believe other people have.

  29. A newbie WFPB/ vegan looking for non dairy/ egg recipes: I made this with dark coconut blossom sap instead of sugar or honey, Elephant Atta multigrain flour and added cacao chips. It rose beautifully. Tasted way too sweet at first, (Still warm from the oven) but next day absolutely perfect. Baked for 1hr using a recycled aluminium tin. Didn’t wait for skewer to be clear. Love the moistness! Will definitely be using this recipe again. Thank you so much for the inspiration!

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