Vegan Banana Bread — can it be a guilty pleasure?

Posted on 23 August 2010

Vegan Banana Bread Cake RecipephanyIt goes beyond moist to practically gooey. Think banana intoxication with a nutmeg buzz and a chocolate rush. Does this come in IV form? Is it right to swoon like this at breakfast? Yet this can’t be a guilty pleasure, right? It’s vegan, for goodness sake!

Raegan Sales, a talented vegetarian cook, may have created this cake-like bread for vegans, but it’s also for anyone with too many bananas and no eggs. It bakes beautifully with all non-creature ingredients. And I admit I was pleasantly surprised with Earth Balance, a delicious faux butter. Thank you, Raegan, for sharing this special recipephany.

Be forewarned, though: waiting the eternal half-hour for this to cool is a primal test of willpower.

Here’s what Raegan wrote:

“Here’s a treat for days when those bananas are past the point you’d be willing to eat them, or when you just want a great smell throughout your house.

“I adapted this from a recipe I found on the Food Network website long ago. Since I became a vegetarian over five years ago, I’ve done a lot of experimenting in the kitchen—especially working to adapt more recipes to be vegan (free of animal by-products), even though I haven’t gone vegan all the way. I liked the simplicity of the Food Network recipe and found that it gave me a great place to start, so I’ve made many loaves of banana bread over the years.

“A vegan baker’s biggest hurdle is getting around the eggs. After trying a LOT of ways, an old piece of advice from a vegan friend suddenly popped in my mind, and I experienced my first culinary recipephany: applesauce! The original recipe calls for two eggs, and one of those is already covered by my addition of (at least) one extra banana. The secret to this banana bread is 3 tablespoons of applesauce. It helps do the egg’s job (don’t ask me how) and also brightens the bread up a bit, adding a different tasty fruity component.

“I am not the type of cook who measures. I use a soup spoon to measure “tablespoons” of soy butter out of the tub and judge the correct amount of cinnamon and nutmeg by the color of the mixture. I do use a measuring cup for flour and sugar, but it’s not unusual for me to add more later when I see how the batter came out.

“As a result, here’s my second, bonus recipephany: the beautiful thing about baking vegan treats is that you can go ahead and taste the batter and adjust any time. If you’re about to put it in the pan, but it seems like it has too much flour (it’ll taste too “bready”), all you do is add a little more of that applesauce cup. If instead it seems runny, just remedy it with a little more flour. If you go really crazy with the bananas, or just don’t have applesauce on hand, you can sub the sauce for an extra banana. If you’re used to nuts in your banana bread instead of chocolate, you can sub those too (though I can’t imagine why you’d want to).

“I like my banana bread very banana-y, so I prefer at least five bananas, but have made this recipe with as few as three. Adjust your spices accordingly if you decide to use a lot of bananas.

“As for baking time, the middle can get very moist, almost gooey (my favorite part). The edges will be browned, but they shouldn’t come out crispy. If you don’t like a gooey middle, use two loaf pans instead of the 8×8 cake pan.

“No matter what happens, it’ll taste delicious, and even if it wasn’t what you were going for, it just gives you an excuse to try the recipe again…and again. I’d better go have a piece.”

Raegan’s Vegan Banana Bread “Cake”Raegan's Vegan Banana Bread Cake

  • 4-6 bananas, overripe
  • 1 tablespoon soy milk
  • 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger, preferably fresh
  • lots of cinnamon (at least 1.5 teaspoon)
  • 3 tablespoons applesauce (1/2 to 2/3 of a single serve cup)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 8 tablespoons soy butter, room temperature (Earth Balance)
  • 2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 325°F and grease an 8×8 baking dish. Mash the bananas in a small mixing bowl with the soy milk, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon. Mash until all of the bananas are broken down, but leave some chunky bits. You’ll love biting into them when the bread is done and they give it a great texture. Set the banana mixture aside.

Cream your butter and brown sugar until it lightens up a bit. Fold the applesauce and vanilla in with the bananas, then into the creamed sugar. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and mix just until the flour disappears. Add the chocolate chips and pour the whole mixture into your greased pan. Bake for about an hour and fifteen minutes, or until a toothpick comes out almost clean (it’s taken up to an hour and a half for more gooey batches). Cool at least half an hour before slicing if you can resist the aromas that now fill your kitchen. Enjoy!

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1 Response to Vegan Banana Bread — can it be a guilty pleasure?

  • Andrew says:

    I’m lucky to have a fresh batch of this at my disposal this morning. Looks great, especially on those oh-so familiar plates

  • Leave a Response

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