This vegan chocolate chip banana bread recipe makes hands down the best vegan banana bread I’ve ever tried! It has a vibrant flavor and aroma, and a deliciously moist, scrumptious texture.
Not only is it completely eggless – it doesn’t even have any vegan egg substitutes. Better yet, it’s oil free (as long as you use oil free vegan chocolate chips), 100% plant based, and really easy to make.
For best results, check out my secret baking tips below. They’ll help you make a delicious vegan banana bread that’ll exceed all of your expectations!
- What Makes This Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Different
- How Ripe Do Bananas Need to Be for Banana Bread?
- Can This Vegan Banana Bread be Made Without Chocolate Chips?
- My Secret Baking Tips to Take Your Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Bread to the Next Level
- How to Make Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- How to Store Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
What Makes This Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread Different
I know there’s about a million and a half vegan banana bread recipes (including my vegan oil free banana bread with walnuts and raisins that I posted years ago).
So why do I think the world needs another one? Because this vegan banana bread is soooo good! 😋
I’ve experimented with versions of this oil free vegan banana bread recipe for years.
My goal was to find a way to achieve that deliciously moist, scrumptious banana bread texture, and the lovely, sweet aroma we all know and love – all without eggs, butter, oil, or even vegan egg replacers.
Finally, I arrived at today’s recipe. Here’s why I believe it’s a winner:
1. This vegan chocolate chip banana bread is made without butter (dairy-based or vegan), margarine, or oil of any type. Instead, I’m using canned coconut milk solids.
I know coconut milk isn’t fat free, but it’s way less processed than other plant-based fats commonly used in baking.
2. This vegan banana bread is eggless. In fact, it doesn’t even require any vegan egg substitutes like flax eggs, aquafaba, or commercially sold egg replacers.
3. The flavor and texture are spot-on! It’s perfectly moist without being greasy. The distinct banana flavor and aroma are complimented, not overpowered, by dairy free chocolate chunks. Both chocolate lovers and banana bread purists will love it!
4. The whole recipe is super easy. I liquefy the wet ingredients in a blender in just a few seconds, then mix them with the chocolate chips and the dry ingredients. Bake for 55 minutes or so, and voila!
You don’t even need a high speed blender: any blender will work.
No blender? Use a food processor.
No food processor? Go the old-fashioned way: mash the bananas with a fork, then whisk with the resto of the wet ingredients until fairly smooth.
Don’t want to use chocolate chips? No problem: this vegan oil free banana bread recipe works just as well without them. Feel free to use chopped walnuts or pecans, or omit them for a pure banana bread experience.
How Ripe Do Bananas Need to Be for Banana Bread?
Unless you live under a rock, you’ve probably heard that the best bananas for banana bread are those very ripe, very aromatic ones with brown spot-covered skin.
These bananas work better not just because they’re easier to mash with a fork. When they get to this point of ripeness, most of their starch has converted into sugar, which means that the resulting banana bread is going to be sweeter and more fragrant.
I prefer to take it up a notch and use bananas that are so ripe that they legitimately feel soft. Just when I start wondering whether or not it’s time to throw them out, I know their magic hour has come.
I use those extra ripe, brown bananas in other recipes too, like in my 5-ingredient vegan banana pancakes recipe.
Can This Vegan Banana Bread be Made Without Chocolate Chips?
I understand that not everyone may like chocolate chips in their banana bread. Good news: this recipe works just as well without them!
You can make a good banana bread without any mix-ins. If you choose to do so, there’s no need to adjust other ingredient quantities or baking time.
Other banana bread mix-in ideas:
- Chopped walnuts or pecans (toast them lightly in a dry pan over medium heat first to bring out their flavor);
- Other types of nuts: hazelnuts, cashews, macadamia nuts, etc.;
- Pumpkin seeds (raw or toasted);
- Dried fruit: raisins, dried cherries, cranberries, chopped dried apricots or dried plums.
My Secret Baking Tips to Take Your Vegan Banana Chocolate Chip Bread to the Next Level
Use the Right Kind of a Loaf Pan
Most classic banana bread recipes call for using a “standard size loaf pan”. However, it’s not always clear what size pans are considered “standard”.
Some sources list 8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inches as the standard loaf pan size. Other sources suggest 9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75 inches as standard.
However, depending on the size of the pan you choose, you’ll see a difference in what your baked banana bread loaf will look like:
- The smaller pan (8.5 x 4.5 x 2.5 inch size) will yield a taller, nicely domed loaf. The narrower (and shorter) pan size helps the batter rise upward instead of spreading out.
- The bigger loaf pan (9.25 x 5.25 x 2.75 inches) creates a wider loaf. It will still develop a dome, but the loaf most likely won’t get as tall.
Thankfully, my easy vegan banana bread recipe can be made in a baking pan of either size. The loaf you see in the pictures for this post has been baked in the bigger loaf pan (the 9.25 inch size).
Keep in mind: if you’re using the smaller size bread pan, you’ll need to bake your loaf for an extra 5 min or so. That extra thickness requires a bit more oven time to set in the middle.
Regarding the material, I recommend using loaf pans made from metal (preferably nonstick). Two reasons for that: they’ll help the loaf develop a lovely brown crust, and release it easily when we’re ready to take it out.
For best results, nonstick loaf pans still need to be greased on the inside before we add the batter. You can do this with a tiny bit of vegan butter or oil like I do in this video.
Avoid using cooking spray: it will ruin the non-stick surface over time.
If you want to go a completely oil-free route, line your loaf pan with parchment paper instead of greasing it up. This makes removing the baked loaf out of the pan easier.
Wondering about baking pans made from other materials? Here’s some great info on loaf pans made from glass, silicone, ceramic, cast iron, etc.
Use a Whisk to Combine Dry Ingredients
When we mix the dry ingredients together, our main goal is to distribute them as evenly as possible. Otherwise various areas of our banana bread loaf may not rise evenly, or some bites may all of a sudden taste saltier than others.
For years I relied on a good old-fashioned spoon to mix my dry ingredients. However, recently I started using a whisk instead – and noticed a huge difference.
The whisk helps spread the ingredients more evenly, PLUS it “aerates” the flour a lot like a using a sifter.
You’ll still need to take your time when mixing everything – and make sure to mix slowly because the dry flour really loves to fly out of the bowl when your whisking gets a bit too enthusiastic 😉
Use a Blender to Mix Wet Ingredients
I’ve made variations of this vegan chocolate chip banana bread for years, and tried various approaches to combining the wet ingredients.
Technically, the old-fashioned way of mashing the bananas with a fork, then adding everything else still works, but it needs way more “elbow grease” and dirty dishes.
This is why using a blender is my current go-to method for mixing the wet ingredients in this recipe: you can’t beat how easily and quickly everything comes together!
You’ll notice that I’m using sugar as one of the wet ingredients in my recipe, even though usually it’s mixed into the dry ingredients.
The reason for this is simple: blending it with the wet ingredients in a blender helps it dissolve completely, which will then help it spread more evenly in the batter.
Don’t have a fancy high-speed blender like Vitamix or Blendtec? No problem! Any blender will work here.
Want to leave a few banana chunks instead of blending everything into a smooth liquid? Pulse the wet ingredients a few times until they’re just combined.
Add Chocolate Chips to Wet Ingredients First
This is my go-to method of mixing chocolate chips into any type of batter or dough (banana bread, pancakes, chocolate chip cookies, etc.).
Think of it: when we add chocolate chips to the dry ingredients, small bits of flour may stick to various “nooks and crannies” on their surface, and never dissolve later. As a result, when our baked goods are done, we may see those unsightly white specks all over the chocolate chips.
If we fold chocolate chips after the dry and the wet ingredients have been combined, we risk spreading them around unevenly AND overmixing the batter (or dough).
This is why I prefer to add chocolate chips into the wet ingredients first: once the chips are wet, the flour specks aren’t going to stick to them nearly as much.
By the way, this method also works great for raisins (like in my vegan oatmeal raisin cookies), as well as cranberries, and any type of dried fruit.
Add Dry Ingredients to the Wet (Not the Other Way Around)
If you think that it doesn’t matter whether you put the dry ingredients into the wet or the other way around (like I did for years), then you would be wrong.
As Cooks Illustrated points out, when we pour the wet ingredients into the dry, this may create pockets of air and clumps of poorly mixed flour in our batter.
To get those out, we would have to mix the batter more thoroughly – but the more we mix it, the more gluten will form, which in turn can give our baked banana bread loaf a tougher texture.
So instead of dealing with all that, our best bet is to pour the dry ingredients into the wet. This way we’ll combine everything more evenly without overmixing, which will lead to a fluffier, lighter texture of our baked loaf.
Rotate the Loaf Pan Halfway Through Baking
Why do we need to rotate the pan (or a baking sheet) halfway through baking?
Here’s the reason: sometimes our ovens can have hotter or cooler spots, which can make our baked goods cook unevenly.
If we rotate the pan 180 degrees halfway through baking, we give every part of the surface a chance to be exposed to the other side of the oven, so the baking will go more evenly.
This step is optional if you haven’t noticed any issues with the doneness of your baked goods.
I know that the back of my oven is hotter than the front, so I try not to forget to rotate my loaf pan whenever I bake something.
Leave the Baked Banana Bread in the Loaf Pan for at Least 15 Minutes
Removing our baked vegan banana chocolate chip bread from the pan right away after it’s baked can be hard for two reasons.
First, the loaf hasn’t completely solidified yet, so it may just fall apart as we’re trying to get it out.
Besides, keeping our banana bread in the pan for a little bit will help the loaf develop that lovely, moist banana bread texture we’re all so fond of.
Second, those lovely chocolate chips on the top surface are going to stay melted for a while, so if we turn the loaf pan upside down and let the bread fall out, we’ll have a huge chocolatey mess on our hands.
At the same time, if we leave our banana bread in the pan for too long, the bottom and the sides may get soggy from condensation.
This is why 15 minutes is that sweet spot: it allows our eggless chocolate chip banana bread to solidify just enough that it doesn’t fall apart.
At the same time, 15 minutes isn’t long enough for the loaf to get a soggy bottom. (Paul Hollywood wouldn’t approve 😆)
Regarding the chocolate chips: Yes, they’ll still be melty after 15 minutes, so you’ll need to be extra careful.
How to Make Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
(This is a summary of the baking process. For a full ingredients list and complete instructions, see the printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.)
Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
Lightly grease a nonstick loaf pan, or line a regular metal loaf pan with parchment paper. (See my notes on selecting the right loaf pan size.)
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. I recommend using a whisk instead of a spoon to distribute the ingredients more evenly.
In a blender*, combine peeled overripe bananas, coconut milk solids**, raw sugar*** (a.k.a. turbinado sugar), apple cider vinegar, and vanilla extract. Blend until combined.
Pour the blended banana mixture into another large bowl.
Add 3/4 cup of the dairy free chocolate chips and mix them until they’re fully covered in liquid. (Here’s why I prefer to add chocolate chips to wet ingredients instead of dry.)
Using a silicone spatula, fold the flour mixture into the wet ingredients until there are no clumps of flour left.
Be careful not to overmix the banana bread batter – otherwise too much gluten may develop, which will create a tough texture in your vegan banana chocolate chip bread.
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and even out with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips (or more) on top, and press in lightly.
Bake the banana bread for 55-60 min, rotating the pan 180° halfway through.
The bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the thickest part of the loaf comes out dry.
Cool your vegan chocolate chip banana bread for at least 15 minutes before taking it out of the loaf pan (this allows the moisture to distribute more evenly).
Place on a cooling rack for another 10-15 min until cool enough to handle. Enjoy!
*No blender? Feel free to use a food processor instead, scraping the sides as you go. No food processor? Use a fork to mash the bananas, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
**Instead of canned coconut milk, you can use unsweetened plain non-dairy yogurt. I’ve used cashew yogurt by Forager with great results. Other types of yogurts may produce different results.
**Regular white sugar can be used instead of raw sugar. Keep in mind that white cane sugar isn’t always vegan as it’s often filtered through bone char.
How to Store Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Store leftovers of this vegan chocolate banana bread on countertop tightly wrapped in plastic wrap, or in an airtight container, for 3-4 days at room temperature.
To freeze vegan banana bread, wait till the bread is completely cool. Cut the loaf into individual slices, then wrap each slice in aluminum foil (this helps prevent freezer burn).
Put the slices into a freezer bag, and squeeze out as much air as possible. Zip up the bag. Store sliced banana bread in the freezer for 2-3 months.
To defrost a slice of banana bread, take it out of the aluminum foil, and let rest on the countertop until defrosted, 30-60 minutes.
More Vegan Baking Recipes from the Blog
Healthy Vegan Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (Oil-free)
Vegan Irish Soda Bread with Aquafaba
Vegan Pumpkin-Walnut Bread (Oil-free)
Super Fudgy Vegan Aquafaba Brownies
I hope you enjoy my vegan chocolate chip banana bread as much as we do in our family!
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Tuesday 21st of March 2023
Thank you for this recipe and thorough explanation of the process. I followed as written, in a standard metal loaf pan with parchment paper, exceptions being: just used a fork for steps 2 and 3, cut about half the sugar, upped temp to 355 F (approx. same bake time).
Unfortunately I realized at unpeeling that 2 of my bananas were not quite as ripe as needed. The final bake was just sweet enough to be okay (as stated previously, I reduced the added sugar), not decadent even with the chocolate. The chips were evenly distributed with no sinking. The texture was fairly good and the loaf held up firm. Due to my underripe bananas and negligent measures of flour and coconut milk, it was not quite as moist as I'd have liked. And to those wondering about the coconut milk, my mom and I couldn't really tell it was there.
Overall, it was very easy to follow with a pleasant result. I will definitely return to this as a base for banana bread in the future.
Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats
Wednesday 22nd of March 2023
Thank you for letting me know, M.! Please let me know if you make this recipe again, with riper (more ripe?) bananas and/or more sugar. I'd love to hear if it comes out better.
Monday 24th of October 2022
What an interesting recipe. I never would have thought of coconut milk. I love coconut flavor, but my son doesn't. Can you taste the coconut flavor in this bread?
Thanks for all the great tips and instructions. Really helpful! I think I'll use an immersion blender for the wet right in the bowl I'm mixing the bread so I don't have to dirty up a blender. :) And I love to use parchment in my pan so I can lift that lovely loaf right out.
I'm excited to try this recipe. Thank you! (And I'll come back here and leave a review once I do.)
Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats
Thursday 27th of October 2022
Thank you arj! RE: coconut: the flavors of bananas and chocolate chips are way more powerful, so it shouldn't be a problem. I can't taste it whenever I make this recipe, and neither does my husband who's also not a fan of coconut. Would love to hear how your banana bread turns out!
Thursday 20th of October 2022
Very excited to try this. I'd like to turn them into muffins for my toddler. How would that affect baking time?
Alina Zavatsky - Vegan Runner Eats
Thursday 27th of October 2022
Thanks Angela! I sometimes make this recipe into muffins, and they come out good. The baking time will go down to 18-22 minutes. Start checking with a toothpick around 18 minutes. The oven temperature stays the same.