This Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread is the best ever! It’s made in just one bowl and is perfect for a simple vegan breakfast, quick snack or healthier dessert. Slather with vegan butter when warm to make it even more gooey and delicious! No eggs, milk, or refined sugar needed!
Banana bread is everyone’s go to recipe when we’ve got overripe bananas sitting on the counter!
Since going vegan over 5 years ago I’ve tried and tested several banana bread recipes. This one I’m sharing today is by far the fluffiest one I’ve tried without the addition of multiple cups of refined sugar!
If you are looking for a vegan banana bread that’s still just as moist and soft as your favorite traditional version but forgoes the sickeningly sweet sugar content a lot of versions contain, this one is for you!
With just bananas and a ¼ cup of maple syrup, this vegan loaf is perfectly sweet, yet still healthy enough to eat for breakfast.
Why This Recipe Works
- Replacing the eggs in traditional banana bread with flax eggs not only makes this vegan version healthier by making it cholesterol free, but it also binds this bread together without sacrificing moisture!
- Loaf breads made with coconut oil yield the softest, fluffiest baked goods! Breads made with apple sauce or even vegan butter are far more dense and less appetizing.
Ingredients and Substitutions
- all purpose flour – If you want to make the fluffiest banana bread, all purpose flour is the best choice. You can substitute whole wheat flour but you will sacrifice fluffiness as whole wheat will make for a more dense loaf.
- flax eggs – My favorite, healthy vegan egg substitute. To make two flax eggs, simply mix together 2 tablespoons of ground flaxseed with 5 tablespoons of water and set aside for 10 minutes to form a gelatinous texture similar to the texture of traditional egg whites. I don’t recommend using any other vegan egg substitute or omitting them for an “eggless” version as it has not been tested.
- maple syrup – I opted for maple syrup to keep this bread refined sugar free. You could also substitute agave nectar. I don’t recommend substituting with cane sugar or any other granulated sugar.
- coconut oil – I don’t recommend substituting any other oil for this. Just be sure that the other ingredients like the maple syrup are ROOM TEMPERATURE before adding the oil. If the other ingredients in the loaf batter are too cold, the coconut oil will harden and your loaf will be incredibly oily once baked.
- bananas – The riper your bananas, the better your loaf will be! I like using bananas that are almost completely black and very fragrant. If you are out of bananas or don’t have enough, you can substitute with unsweetened apple sauce.
- vegan chocolate chips – Most dark chocolate chips are vegan, but double check the ingredients on the package! And if you are wanting a healthier version, try substituting the chocolate chips for chopped pecans or chopped walnuts.
Step by Step Instructions
I prefer to make this banana bread in the stand mixer with the whisk/paddle attachment as it makes the batter smoother and is more efficient. You can however make it just as successfully in a bowl with a standard whisk and spatula.
- Prepare the flax eggs by whisking together ground flaxseed and water and setting aside for 10 minutes to form into a gelatinous texture.
Make sure you are using ground flaxseeds, not whole and be sure to set it aside for the full ten minutes. If you begin mixing the bananas and other ingredients in before it has changed in texture, the flax eggs binding properties will diminish significantly.
- After 10 minutes, add in the bananas, room temperature maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla extract and whisk together until very smooth. I like to try and whisk all of the lumps out of the batter to make the texture of the bread as silky as possible.
- Add in the all purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With the whisk attachment on your stand mixer’s lowest setting or a spatula, slowly fold flour into wet ingredients until just combined.
Be very careful not to over mix the batter at this stage. If you over mix, you will be whipping too much air into the batter and over activating the gluten. This will result in an incredibly dense, gummy, stretchy loaf. Bad!
If this is a method you struggle with in baking, I recommend watching this video: How to Fold in Ingredients by Baking Mad.
- Lastly, sprinkle in the chocolate chips and kosher salt and again, gently fold into batter until evenly distributed throughout loaf.
- Pour mixture into a greased or parchment lined 9X5″ loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45-60 minutes. I recommend tenting your banana bread with tin foil halfway through the bake time to prevent the top of the loaf from over browning. You do not need to do this if you prefer a well done, crisp topped banana bread.
When a tooth pick in the center of the loaf comes out clean, the bread is done.
- Allow the loaf to cool directly in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove it and transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
If you leave the bread in the pan to cool completely, the loaf will be soggier on the bottom.
Yes. To make gluten free I recommend using Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour. I do not recommend using almond flour, coconut flour, or oat flour, as they absorb liquid at far different ratios than traditional all purpose and will likely change the texture of this loaf immensely.
Unsweetened apple sauce is a good substitute for mashed banana in this loaf. Pumpkin puree may also work well, however it has not been tested.
I have not tested an oil free version of this bread, but I suspect you could replace the coconut oil with unsweetened apple sauce. From my experience, the loaf will not be as fluffy, but it should work out.
If you would prefer to make banana muffins, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes.
No, I don’t believe that will work as zucchini have far more moisture than banana. The added sweetener would also need to be adjusted to replace the sweetness from the banana. Try this oil free vegan zucchini bread recipe instead!
- Do not over mix the batter once the flour has been added! Over mixing activates the gluten TOO much before baking and will create a dense, chewy, yucky loaf. Don’t do it!
- Make sure to use RIPE bananas. This is for two reasons: riper bananas are sweeter preventing the need for tons of added sugar and far superior in banana flavor.
- Resist the urge to open the oven several times while baking. The more you open the oven, the more you release the hot air. This can deflate your bread and cause it to sink in the middle. I only open the oven door once to tent the bread.
- Use ROOM TEMPERATURE ingredients. Not only are room temperature ingredients essential to a fluffy baked good, but room temperature ingredients will prevent the coconut oil from hardening in the batter.
More Vegan Baking Ideas
- Healthy Banana Blueberry Muffins
- Swirled Vegan Blackberry Muffins
- Vegan Pumpkin Banana Bread with Cream Cheese Filling
- Healthy Vegan Cookie Bars
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Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
- 5 tablespoons water - room temperature
- 1 ½ cups banana - mashed and overripe
- ¼ cup maple syrup - room temperature
- ¼ cup coconut oil - melted
- 1 ½ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup vegan chocolate chips
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon Morton kosher salt - can substitute ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Grease a 9×5 loaf pan or line it with parchment paper.
- In a stand mixer or large mixing bowl, prepare the flax eggs by whisking together the ground flaxseed and room temperature water. Set aside for 10 minutes, or until the texture is gelatinous like egg whites.
- After 10 minutes, add in the mashed banana, room temperature maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla extract and beat to combine with whisk attachment on stand mixer or handheld whisk. If you do not use room temperature maple syrup, the coconut oil will harden and change the texture of the loaf (it gets incredibly oily).
- Add in the all purpose flour, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg. Using the lowest setting on stand mixer or with handheld spatula, fold dry ingredients into wet until just combined.
- Sprinkle in the kosher salt and chocolate chunks or chocolate chips and fold into batter with a spatula (do not use stand mixer for this).
- Pour mixture into loaf pan and bake for 45-60 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean in center of loaf. I like to tent the banana bread with tin foil half way through to prevent over browning.
- Allow loaf to cool in pan for 10 minutes before moving it to a baking rack to cool completely.
- Storage: Store bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 5 days. I do not recommend refrigerating this bread – it makes it very dense.
- If you are out of banana or do not have enough, you can substitute unsweetened apple sauce.
- If you do not want to use chocolate chips, substitute chopped pecans or walnuts instead or simply omit.
- To make gluten free: Swap the all purpose flour for Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose Baking Flour. This recipe has not been tested with another brand of gluten free flour so I cannot guarantee results. Do not use almond flour, coconut flour or oat flour as they are very different.
- To make muffins: Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean. This recipe should yield about 12 muffins.
- Mini muffins have not been tested, and would require a shorter bake time.
- Do not bake this loaf in a glass loaf pan. Glass operates very differently from aluminum and will not cook this loaf properly.
Note about salt
Please pay attention to the type of salt called for in the recipe (if applicable). Not all salts are made equal and cannot be substituted 1 for 1. If you are substituting table salt for kosher salt, you will need to cut the amount called for in the recipe by at least half.
Disclaimer: The Nutritional Information provided for this recipe is only an estimate. The accuracy of the facts listed is not and cannot be guaranteed.
This recipe was originally published on December 6, 2019 and was updated on June 24, 2021 to include an improved written recipe, ingredient notes, step by step instructions with photos, FAQs, expert tips and new recipe photos.