Banana bread without butter is one of those tried and true recipes that works every time! Dotted with your favorite chocolate chips or nuts and flavored with hints of cinnamon and vanilla, this quick bread is a winner.
Check out the “Variations” section to see how you can easily make this homemade banana bread dairy free. I’ve never experimented with oat flour or other gluten free flour but if you give it a try please leave a comment and star rating!
Key Ingredients + Equipment
Bananas: Always choose ripe bananas! The darker the banana, the sweeter it tends to be. I like to stockpile my overripe bananas by peeling them and storing in an airtight container in the freezer. Use medium-large sized bananas for this easy recipe.
Oil: I opt to use vegetable oil in this recipe. Canola oil, coconut oil, and light olive oil will also work- be careful not to use any oil with too strong of a flavor.
Brown Sugar: Brown sugar gives the perfect hint of caramel in this butter free banana bread! As an added bonus, the molasses helps to keep the loaf moist. Be sure to tightly pack your brown sugar for this recipe. If you want to swap the brown sugar for white sugar you can.
Eggs: If possible, use room temperature eggs. Room temperature eggs blend and rise more easily.
Cinnamon and Vanilla: These two additions lend a lot of flavor to the loaf. If you aren’t into cinnamon or vanilla, simply omit them!
Baking Powder + Soda: Make sure that your baking soda is fresh (3 months or newer) for best rise.
Salt: I opt for fine sea salt in my baking- the texture and flavor are superior! Any kind of kosher salt or table salt will work in a pinch.
All Purpose Flour: I choose to use all purpose flour rather than whole wheat or white whole wheat flour because it helps to produce a more fluffy loaf. Whole wheat flour has the added benefit of fiber and other nutrients but tends to result in a denser loaf. If you choose to experiment with adding whole wheat flour into your banana bread, start by replacing 1 cup of white flour and observe the taste and texture for the next time you make it!
Chocolate Chips: Choose your favourite chocolate chips for this recipe! I’ve used chopped up chocolate chunks, mini chocolate chips, and regular sized chocolate chips for the recipe. This is a great way to use up some leftover chocolate from Christmas, Easter, or Halloween! Stick with uncoated chocolate.
Mixer: I love my Kitchenaid Artisan Mixer. I have a silicone edged mixing paddle that perfectly scrapes and incorporates all of the ingredients for my recipes. If you don’t have a mixer, simply use a fork to mash the bananas and a large spoon to combine the rest of the ingredients.
Loaf Pans: For this easy banana bread recipe I used two dark non-stick 4×8 loaf pans. 9×5 pans will work as well but need to be checked on sooner because they tend to cook faster. These pans help your loaves to be nice and tall! I also love to use these mini loaf pans so that I can freeze small portions to take out later on. Adjust your baking time according to your pan size.
Why Use Oil Vs. Butter in Banana Bread
Butter is not always better!! Butter is a hot commodity right now and with the prices of groceries sky rocketing, substituting vegetable oil makes this loaf super economical. Oil is a great substitute for butter- keeping your banana loaf silky and moist.
Tips + Tricks
For the best rise, make sure that your baking soda is fresh. As a leavening agent, baking soda is best if used within three months.
Room Temperature Ingredients: For best texture and rise, it is important to allow your eggs and milk to come to room temperature before using. Plop the eggs in a bowl of warm water for a few minutes to speed up the process!
Save Money: Check your local grocery store for “baking bananas.” You can pick up several bunches for as little as $2 because they are too ripe to be sold at full price (exactly what you want for the perfect butter free banana bread)!
Mix Separately: As tempting as it is to throw all of the ingredients together and turn on the mixer, opt to mix wet and dry ingredients separately. This helps to avoid over mixing or problems with your banana bread’s texture.
Baking Time: Baking time will vary largely depending on your oven and the type of pan that you use. Dark colored metal pans will cook the fastest, whereas light colored pans retain less heat and will take slightly longer to bake. Glass will brown the edges and the bottom of your loaf faster than the inside and I would recommend cooking it at a lower temperature (325-350). Check after the recommended cooking time with a toothpick or cake tester and add additional time if needed.
Exactly How to Make The Best Banana Bread Without Butter
Step 1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease two 8×4 loaf pans or line with parchment paper. You can use alternate pan sizes, just adjust your baking time accordingly!
Step 2. Combine 2/3 cup of oil and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar in a large mixing bowl. Mix until fully combined. Add room temperature eggs (3 total) one at a time followed by 2/3 cup room temperature milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract. Mash bananas and mix them into the wet ingredients.
Step 3. In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients including 2 1/3 cup flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Add to banana mixture to the flour mixture and stir until just combined. Fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips.
Step 4. Divide the batter evenly among your two bread pans (I like to use a measuring cup and spoon out one cup at a time into the greased loaf pan) and place on the middle rack of your oven. Add some chopped up chocolate to the top or additional chocolate chips.
Step 5. These loaves of should take 40-45 minutes depending on your pan size and color.
Batch + Storage
This recipe yields 2 loaves of butter free banana bread or 6 mini loaves. If you are baking muffins, count on about 24 muffins per recipe.
Allow the banana bread to cool completely before stowing in an airtight container or ziplock bag. This moist banana bread can be kept at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Freezer: Wrap tightly with saran wrap or other plastic wrap, place in a freezer bag or airtight container, and store in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Variations + Substitutions
Chocolate Swap: Trade out the semi sweet chocolate chips for your favorite chips or chunks or with chopped pecans. I also like to chop up leftover halloween chocolate for these as a way to get rid of some of my stash- opt for uncoated chocolate.
Dairy Free: To make this recipe dairy free, simply choose a dairy free chocolate chip like these Enjoy Life chips and use a non-dairy milk (my favourite non-dairy milk for baking is oat milk but soy milk and almond milk will also work).
Printable Recipe Card
- 2 1/3 cup flour
- 1 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 cups mashed bananas (4 medium bananas)
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2/3 cup milk
- 3 eggs (room temperature)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
- Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease two 8x4 loaf pans or line with parchment paper.
- Combine 2/3 cup of oil and 1 1/2 cups brown sugar in a large bowl and mix until fully combined. Add room temperature eggs one at a time followed by 2/3 cup room temperature milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Mash bananas and mix them into the wet ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, combine all dry ingredients including 2 1/3 cup flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Add to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Fold in 1 cup of chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter evenly among your two loaf pans and place on the middle rack of your oven.
- These loaves should take 40-45 minutes depending on your pan size and color.
*Sub out chocolate chips for your favourite nuts or raisins at a 1:1 ratio.
*Darker pans tend to cook a little bit faster than lighter coated pans. Glass and ceramic tend to brown the sides and bottom a little bit quicker and the inside takes slightly longer to cook. When in doubt, do the toothpick test! If the toothpick comes out clean, your loaves are done baking.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 309Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 10gCholesterol: 36mgSodium: 321mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 2gSugar: 27gProtein: 4g
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