Banana bread is a remarkably delicious and juicy treat that you can enjoy at any time of the day. It’s soft, moist, and surprisingly healthy too.
However, if you’re lactose intolerant or you’re looking for a dairy-free alternative to regular bread, you might be curious about banana bread composition and whether you can make it without using dairy. So, is banana bread dairy free?
In today’s article, we’ll answer all your curious questions about banana bread, so without further ado, let’s dive right in!
The typical recipe of banana bread may contain milk or sour cream in order to achieve the smooth and moist texture of this baked goodness.
However, there are plenty of banana bread recipes that don’t contain milk in their ingredients. Despite that, even these recipes would still use melted butter while preparing the batter, so they still contain dairy.
With that being said, there are plenty of alternatives that you can use to eliminate the dairy ingredients and use dairy free ingredients instead of them.
The good news is that these alternatives will maintain the same final consistency and juiciness of classic banana bread.
This is because banana bread is remarkably flexible when it comes to preparation, and as long as you have ripe bananas, their strong flavor will overshadow any change in taste.
Now that you know that classic banana bread recipes aren’t dairy free, here is a step by step guide that shows you how to prepare an equally delicious and juicy dairy free version.
The following recipe and ingredients yield one loaf of banana bread that can be cut into 10 standard sized slices, so adjust the quantities depending on the desired yield.
The first ingredient that you need to substitute here is butter. One thing you should know here is that baking fat is what keeps the banana bread moist and soft.
A classic recipe calls for a 1/3 cup of melted butter (salted or unsalted), but you can substitute it with 1/3 cup of coconut oil, which is both dairy free and better for your health.
Coconut oil solidifies at room temperature, so make sure that you liquify it in a warm water bath first. If you can find canola oil, you can use an equal amount of canola oil.
Another ingredient that you need to replace in the classic banana bread recipe is dairy milk. The original recipe uses dairy milk, yogurt, or sour cream.
Luckily, any kind of dairy free milk will work out just fine here, as you only need to add 1/4 cup to the recipe.
The recipe turned out great with either coconut milk or oat milk, but you can also use almond milk if you want a slightly richer taste.
Some people might omit the milk altogether, but we recommend adding it to keep the bread moist and soft.
Now that you’ve replaced all of the other ingredients, it’s time to prepare the rest of the ingredients to make the banana bread. Here’s a quick look at the necessary ingredients:
- 4 medium mashed bananas, preferably very ripe because they’re naturally sweeter and easier to mash (this should amount to 1 1/2 cups of mashed bananas)
- 1/3 cup of granulated white sugar + 1/3 cup of light brown sugar (you can replace this combination with 1/2 cup of honey or maple syrup for a healthier alternative)
- 2 large eggs, preferably at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of pure vanilla extract (adds warmth to flavor and neutralizes the eggs)
- 1 tablespoon of baking soda (not to be confused with baking powder)
- A pinch of sea salt
- 0.5 to 1.5 teaspoons of ground cinnamon (optional but adds a lot of depth to the flavor)
Start by preheating the oven to around 325 to 350 °F, which should take around 12 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, get a 4.5 x 8.5 inch loaf pan, or any standard size muffin tin you have, and line it with parchment paper or lightly grease it with nonstick spray, then set aside.
Get a large mixing bowl and add the bananas and mash them with a potato masher so that they’re super smooth.
Drizzle the liquefied coconut oil as you continue mashing so that it’s well incorporated. It’s also time to add all the other wet ingredients, including the eggs as well as the vanilla.
Gradually add the dry ingredients starting with flour then baking soda, and continue stirring the ingredients to combine.
This is also a good time to add any optional ingredients like cinnamon, chocolate chips, applesauce, etc.
Once the batter is well combined, start pouring it slowly into the baking loaf pan or in equal amounts inside the muffin tin cups if you want to make them into muffins. For the loaf pan, use a spatula to spread the batter evenly, then put the pan into the oven.
The batter should take around 45 to 50 minutes to be ready. Ideally, you should insert a toothpick into the bread after 45 minutes.
If it comes out clean, it’s time to take the bread out of the oven. Keep in mind that muffins might take less to be ready, so check periodically.
After removing the banana bread from the oven, leave it on a wire rack for about 10 minutes to cool down because hot banana bread is too soft to cut.
While removing it from the pan, make sure that you loosen the sides by passing a knife through all the sides first, and there you have it!
As you can see from the recipe above, banana bread contains eggs, which contribute to the stability of ingredients within the batter and give the bread its soft and moist structure.
With that said, you can still replace the eggs if you want vegan banana bread using a variety of ingredients.
One of the best egg alternatives to maintain a moist and soft texture is chia seeds. To mimic the texture of beaten eggs, simply soak 1 tablespoon of chia seeds in 3 tablespoons of water and let them sit for 5 to 10 minutes.
Another simple alternative to eggs here would be flaxseed, which is prepared the same way as chia seeds.
You can also add an extra 1/4 cup of applesauce for every egg added in the recipe, so you need a total of 1/2 cup of applesauce for a standard loaf of banana bread.
Luckily, you don’t need to do any modifications to the preparation process beneath the point, so follow the same procedure above and only replace the egg part.
Can I Bake Gluten-Free Banana Bread?
The simple answer to this question is yes! While classic and dairy free banana bread recipes contain gluten because of using all purpose flour, you can replace it with gluten-free flour.
Since banana bread is prepared from a wet batter and not a stretchy dough, gluten isn’t actually necessary for the ingredients to bind well.
In other words, replacing the regular all purpose flour with gluten-free one won’t have a huge impact on the final texture of the banana bread.
Luckily, substitution here is very easy because gluten-free flour replaces the regular one with a 1:1 ratio.
Banana bread contains a relatively high amount of sugar and fat, so they’re typically rich in calories.
According to the MyFitnessPal calorie counter, a slice of vegan banana bread contains around 163 calories.
With that being said, banana bread (especially the vegan variety) is still relatively healthy when compared to some types of bread and muffins, especially if you use less sugar and healthier fats while preparing them.
Additionally, vegan banana bread is an excellent source of a wide variety of essential minerals and vitamins.
For instance, banana bread is an excellent source of potassium, magnesium, folate (vitamin B9), and vitamin B6 thanks to its high banana content.
Additionally, ripe bananas are rich in fiber and pectin, which helps in digestion and prevents constipation.
After preparing banana bread, you can simply store it on the counter. The loaf should be good to use for up to 4 days before it starts to become dry and stale.
You can also keep its soft, moist texture by wrapping it in plastic wrap before storage. In the freezer, banana bread can last for up to 4 months.
You can serve banana bread with a wide range of side dishes, such as roasted almonds, fruits, ice cream, peanut butter, coffee, yogurt, and much more!
Not only that, you can incorporate various ingredients in the batter, such as chocolate chips, blueberries, and raisins.
You can also use banana bread as an alternative to sweetened bread in French toast.
In fact, you can also use leftover banana bread in trifles, protein balls, and even pudding the same way you add sweetened bread.
Banana bread is a tasty treat that you can always enjoy in a variety of ways, and luckily, flexibility is one of the banana bread’s strongest suits!
While the original banana bread recipe requires milk or sour cream as well as butter, you can easily swap the dairy ingredients with dairy free ones in order to enjoy a healthier and surprisingly delicious alternative.
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.