Vegan Olive Oil Banana Bread

This vegan olive oil banana bread isn’t your ordinary banana bread – it’s got a spicy kick to it. Sweet, but not too sweet, and perfectly moist. Easy to make and ready to be enjoyed in a little more than an hour. It’ll be your new favorite banana bread!

Three slices of banana bread on a white plate, bananas and a cut loaf of bread in the background.

Just as moist and delicious as any other banana bread you’ve fangirled over, but without eggs and with far less sugar! This recipe is adapted from my previous egg-full life, swapping out the eggs for baking soda and vinegar.

How is it still delicious with less sugar?

The secret to reducing the sugar? Using bananas that are on the edge of compost. Lol.

The darker and mushier the bananas, the more the natural sugars are developed. And the wetter they are. So it takes care of both the sweetness problem and the moisture problem. And you get to save some bananas from the brink of oblivion!

A bunch of really ripe bananas with one super ripe on on the left.
The one all the way on the left is from the bunch I used for the loaf pictured. The rest have a couple of days to go, still.

If you’re forced by circumstance or bad people to make your banana bread before your bananas are at least 50% brown/black, then you may need to add a few tablespoons of additional sugar. You’ll also need to add a few tablespoons of milk since the bananas will be starchier.

Ingredient Substitutions

The ingredients as written are bananas, flour, olive oil, brown sugar, milk, vinegar, vanilla, black pepper and nutmeg, baking soda, and salt. But I understand that you might need to swap some of those either because of your dietary restrictions or because of your pantry restrictions. Hopefully this will help:

A top-down photo of all of the banana bread ingredients.

Brown Sugar: You can use white sugar instead of brown sugar. My favorite sub here is coconut sugar, though. It helps the banana bread to keep the caramely undertones to bolster up the subtle spiciness of the black pepper.

Olive Oil: You can use any oil of your choosing, but I really really really recommend you go with a Tunisian or Californian olive oil – which are fruity and peppery. They complement the bananas and the black pepper!

If you really, really don’t wanna use the olive oil though, you can use canola, avocado, grape seed, or coconut oil instead. Melted butter also works fantastically.

Oil-Free: To go totally oil free, use an exact swap for apple sauce instead.

Spices: The black pepper and nutmeg are the signature flavors of this particular banana bread, but if you want to go with something else, you can! I mean, I’m not in your kitchen to stop you. Lol. Some yummy substitutes are the classic cinnamon, or ginger, or allspice. You can use white pepper instead of black pepper for a little less of a kick.

Milks: I use unsweetened creamy oat milk for mine, but any unsweetened milk will do. And if you don’t want to use milk? Water will be just fine, as well. 🙂

Flour: If you want to make this gluten free, it works well with any gluten-free mix. The bananas are sufficient for binding, so you shouldn’t need to add any xanthan gum if your mix calls for it, either.

An angled shot of all of the banana bread ingredients with a white mixing bowl in the foreground.

WHY DOES MY BANANA BREAD HAVE PURPLE SPOTS?!

DONT FREAK OUT!!! Your bananas weren’t rotten! They didn’t have parasites (I mean, I don’t think they did.. but I haven’t inspected them myself, so I can’t say it with certainty).

Purple spots in your banana bread are caused by the potassium in the fruit! So if you get some bananas that are higher in potassium, you’ll get beautiful lavender streaks through the bread. Cool, huh?

WHY ARE THERE WORMS IN MY BANANA BREAD?!

If you’ve never made banana bread before, or anything with bananas, you’ll probably have zero idea that it will be filled with worms.

Just kidding.

close up photo of a slice of a banana bread with a bite taken out

What look like tiny worms throughout the bread are actually the banana seeds! I know, weird. And not exactly an appetizing thing to talk about in a food blog, but it’s important. Lots of people have freaked out on their first experience with a cooked banana pastry because of it.

Also, if you feed your baby bananas – remind yourself the next day that they don’t have worms – super tips from one mom to other first-time parents. 😉

The edges of my banana bread came out really hard!

If the edges of your bread came out hard, your oven probably runs hot. Try turning it down about 15F and see if it helps.

To fix banana bread like this, let it sit overnight and it will soften up!

How to store this vegan olive oil banana bread:

I keep mine on a plate covered with a cloth (either a tea towel or bandana) on the kitchen counter.

It should keep for 2-3 days this way, but ours never make it this long before being devoured.

Alternatively, you can double wrap it in plastic wrap and keep it in the freezer for up to six months. Either sliced or whole.

A note on olive oils:

Not all olive oils are created equal!

Olives in different regions taste different, and you’ll get different flavor profiles depending on which you use. I use a Tunisian olive oil (Terra Delyssa) which is fruity and peppery. Most olive oils sold in the United States are very mild, because that’s what most Americans prefer. I would encourage you to give Tunisian, Greek, or Californian oils a try.

You can read more on olive oil flavors around the world here.

Please note that many Italian olive oils are tampered with and contain peanut or soy oil (It’s a mafia thing. Yes, really.). If you really care about it being pure olive oil, do some research on the brand you’re using or go with California or Tunisian oil. And at the very least, get an olive oil in a dark glass bottle – not clear or plastic!

Enjoy!

That’s that! I hope you enjoy this banana bread as much as my family and clients do!

May you and your coffee both be strong,

Meggan

Pin it for later:

pinterest pin for the banana bread, on a photo of four slices stacked vertically with the top slice bitten into. it reads vegan olive oil banana bread - egg free, dairy free, vegan

How to video:

Recipe:

Yield: One Loaf

Vegan Olive Oil Banana Bread

three slices of banana bread on a white plate, with ripe bananas and a sliced loaf in the background

This vegan olive oil banana bread isn't your ordinary banana bread - it's got a spicy kick. Surprising and delicious, meet your new favorite!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Additional Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes

Ingredients

Wet Ingredients

  • 3 medium bananas, extremely ripe
  • 1/3 c + 1 tbsp (85g) brown sugar
  • 1/2 c (120 ml) olive oil
  • 1/4 c unsweetened milk (I use creamy oat milk)
  • 1 tbsp vanilla (Mexican vanilla is great in this!)
  • 1 tsp vinegar (any type will work)

Dry Ingredients

  • 2 c (240g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda (make sure to break up any clumps)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp fresh cracked black pepper (or 3/4 tsp ground pepper)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F (175C or gas mark 4).
  2. Using a hand mixer on low, mix all of the wet ingredients in a medium mixing bowl until smooth and combined.
  3. Pour in your dry ingredients and mix gently just until it's all moistened.
  4. Pour into a loaf pan sprayed with nonstick cooking spray or lined with parchment paper NOT WAX PAPER.
  5. Bake for 75 minutes, or until a cake tester or knife stabbed into the center comes out clean.
  6. Remove the loaf and leave it to cool in the pan on a wired cooling rack for ten minutes.
  7. Remove the bread from the loaf pan and allow it to cool completely on the wired cooking rack, about an hour, before slicing and serving.
  8. Despite number seven, I always slice it while it's hot because I have no patience. It crumbles more easily, but is fantastic with butter spread over it.
  9. Enjoy!!

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