Extra-Wholesome Banana Bread (VEGAN)


This beautiful bounty of Sunday morning baking was based on the vegan banana bread in my first book, A Girl Called Jack, but uses some wholemeal flour and coconut oil for extra goodness. If you don’t have coconut oil, fear not, as the song almost went, Any Oil Will Do. Vegetable, sunflower, light or mild olive, groundnut, rapeseed, whatever you have to hand. Sesame might be a touch overpowering but if you like that sort of thing then give it a go. Same principle applies to the flour, if you don’t have any wholemeal then plain old white flour will be just fine, I’m just trying to make my baking a bit better for me these days, as there’s a curious correlation between writing a book (!!) and my jeans being rolled down around the waist because they don’t actually do up any more… harrumph.

Anyway, in the words of my gorgeous friend Sue and to join in the current Bake-Off frenzy, LET’S BAAAAAKE!

Makes a 1lb loaf tin, a 2lb loaf tin, 10 muffins or anything in between:

3 ripe fairtrade bananas, 24p (between 6p and 12p each loose – buy sold by weight not ‘snack’ bananas around 20p each!)
75ml KTC coconut oil, 46p (£2.50/400g)
50g fairtrade sugar, 5p (90p/kg)
120g plain or SR flour, 4p (Basics 55p/1.5kg)
100g wholemeal flour, 7p (£1.10/1.5kg)
1 tsp bicarb, 3p (£1.35/200g)
1 tsp fairtrade ground cinnamon, 7p (£1/45g)

First preheat your oven to 180C, and lightly grease your loaf tin or muffin tins.

Peel the bananas, slice, and toss into a large mixing bowl. Mash with a fork or (a recent discovery), the side of a thin cheap teaspoon makes an excellent mashing tool. As does a masher, as the name suggests, but I get that not everyone has every kind of whizzy dizzy kitchen gadget and if I ever write a recipe that requires anything of the sort then please WRITE TO ME IN CAPITAL LETTERS EXPRESSING YOUR DISAPPOINTMENT cheers.

(If your bananas aren’t old and squishy then add a little of the oil to start them off or ping them in the microwave for 10 seconds to soften them up – but not in a metal bowl or you’ll be calling 999 and won’t have any banana bread, boo.)

Add the rest of the oil and the sugar to the bowl and mix well. It won’t be pretty right now but that’s okay, if you’re pulling a face at the oily gloop, you’re doing it right. It gets better.

Add both the flours, bicarb, cinnamon and a fistful of dried fruit if the mood takes you. Mix well to form a lumpy batter.

Pour the mixture into your loaf tin or muffin tins, dust with flour, and bake for an hour in the centre of the oven – twenty minutes for the muffins.

And voila! Vegan banana bread with enough healthy twists to make it guilt free…

You can follow me on Twitter @DrJackMonroe, on Instagram @MsJackMonroe and on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/agirlcalledjack


  1. Since bananas age fast in summer, I made (more or less) Delia Smith’s version of banana bread the other day, using all-wholewheat flour and mixed spice, as well as grated orange rind and chopped walnuts.
    Not wanting to use the oven for just one loaf, I used a silicon loaf ‘tin’ (from a pound shop) and microwaved it for the same time as the microwave cookbook suggested for a fruit sponge pudding: 8 minutes (on the high setting). It worked! It’s blonde, rather than nicely browned on top, but the batter was such a healthy colour that that doesn’t matter.

    NB a quick (15-second) go in the microwave will return even the driest thick slice of this, or ordinary bread, to being succulent – for just long enough to eat it.

  2. You say 75ml of Coconut Oil but mine is solid so grams would be easier.Sorry I do not mean to be awkward.I love your recipes.Carole.

    • You can melt and re solidify coconut oil ad infinitem by just popping the container in hot water for a short while. Hope this helps

    • 75 ml is 5 tablespoons if that helps. Should be easy enough to div out of the jar (unless you keep it in the fridge. Then it’s not so easy!)

  3. I’m sorry to be a downer but the idea that coconut oil is the really healthy one of the oils mentioned is, I’m afraid, a fiction broadcast by the marketeers of coconut products. It is in fact 92% saturated fat, higher in fact than butter and it is the kind of fat that increases LDL (i.e. bad) cholesterol so it’s not good for heart health. Coconut oil is though great for your hair!

    • It’s time the medical profession owned up …. there is no such thing as ‘bad’ cholesterol and ‘good’ cholesterol. Our bodies manufacture both sorts to do the different jobs that is required of them. Helping us absorb the nutrients from our foods, healing and preventing disease etc.

      The great statin dole out to all and sundry that is given to everyone to lower ‘bad’ cholesterol will one day, in the near future, be admitted to be the single most murderous thing done to this generation. Have you ever wondered why a pregnant woman is NEVER tested for ‘high’ cholesterol, it’s because the cholesterol in her body IS so high it would be alarming to those of us that know the numbers deemed ‘normal’, it’s manufactured naturally to help her body grow a baby.

      No natural fat is bad for us in reasonable doses, and coconut IS very healthy compared to many, especially when being heated.

    • Helenmpeach, I know nothing about coconut oil, but nuts are considered as being full of fat. However, almonds especially & other nuts do not metabolise their fat in the human body, but secrete their nutrients. Apparently, this is due to fibrous cells which cannot be broken down by the human digestive system, so they are not absorbed as fat. Great news. Nature has it’s way of providing everything we need, if only we observe & try to understand.

  4. Looks delicious. What are everyone’s favorite add-ins? I like coconut and also walnuts.

    Adding up the costs, it came to 96p–so 10p a slice for 10 servings or 5p a slice for 20 servings.

  5. Brilliant to find a cake sort of thing that doesn’t involve eggs – and yes I did buy the first book, but had forgotten this one! Keep the vegan stuff coming please Jack!

  6. Yay!! Jack’s back – I love banana bread and even have some coconut oil hanging about, so LET’S BAAAAKE.

  7. Good to see you posting again, Jack, looking forward to trying this one as I’ve wanted to give coconut oil a go for a while and banana bread is sooo easy.
    So there is another book in the offing? YAY!! Double yay, in fact.

    Your comment about the gadgets and ‘disappointed readers’ made me laugh out loud.
    ‘To each their own’, and if more people took that one on board, life would be significantly easier in many fields.

    You’re also right about the side of a spoon being brilliant for mashing. That’s how I used to mash my now adult childrens’ bananas up when they were babies. Thanks for bringing back that memory.

  8. I love it when there’s a recipe I can look at and think “I have everything in the cupbaord that I need for that” (made easier by the fact that you offer alternative suggestions for some things, obviously). Have two bananas in the freezer and one going very, very brown in the fruit bowl and wanted to use them up this evening somehow. This will be perfect.

  9. Guess who just got back today?
    That wild-eyed girl that has been away
    Haven’t changed, haven’t much to say
    But man, I still think that girl is great

  10. Delicious and so easy to make! Will be making again and adding in some coconut…silly morrisons didn’t have any coconut in stock when I went shopping! Did just enjoy a slice with a cheeky bit of chocolate spread on…yummy!

  11. Yup! Let’s baaaake! Because I’ve never baked a banana cake, it doesn’t mean I’m not going to accept that challenge! 😉

  12. Morning Jack, thanks for this recipe. I’ve just eaten three (eek!!) slices for breakfast & it was delicious. Now to hide the rest until later…………. 🙂

  13. The lightest, fluffiest (other banana breads are so dense), tastiest banana bread muffins I’ve ever had – so I put a smidge extra coconut oil in as the mixture was looking a little stodgy, but otherwise stuck to the recipe religiously. A winner!

  14. I always think what a good vegan egg substitute would be. I keep hearing about flaxseed but what really gives this cake the fluff and texture is incredible. Maybe bicarb just does wonders.

  15. Jack thank you. I haven’t baked anything for years. My muffins are magnificent. So easy to make as well.

  16. Fantastic recipe and love that you gave alternative ingredients. My kids loved it and one visitor declared it the best loaf he had ever tasted as it wasn’t too sweet and he could eat it all day!

    PS. Hope you’re feeling better

  17. A spoon?! A SPOON?! What on earth makes you think I have these new fangled devices in my kitchen? Thankfully I managed without and did the whole lot in the Vitamix.

  18. Just used this recipe to make muffins with my 4 year old. We added grated apple, flaxseeds, dark chocolate, desiccated coconut and walnuts. Worked really well 🙂

  19. I made this using a bag of manky bananas a friend got from the supermarket when they were reduced to something crazy like 10p, a mix of ginger and turmeric spiced coconut sugar I got in a foodie gift box ages ago and a handful of “porridge toppers” which were lurking in a pot at the back of the cupboard. I only got to have two slices in the end as everyone around me demanded their share. Even my mother-in-law-to-be, who doesn’t like bananas, scoffed a massive chunk…

  20. Oh, yum. Excellent treat and suitable for the dairy intolerant. Very straight forward to make to boot. My tastebuds are ecstatic and my baby girl is in cake heaven.

  21. Loved the recipe! Can this be frozen to be eaten later? Would be great if you could add on to
    your recipes if they can be frozen or not 🙂

  22. Is it worth saying that if you have a banana going squishy and don’t want to bake straightaway it can be peeled and frozen until needed?

  23. Very excited about this! Was combing the internet just now for an easy yummy vegan banana bread recipe where I could sub flour for spelt flour and thought ‘I wonder if by any chance Jack has one’ – and bingo! Will be trying this asap.

  24. Really easy to make and delicious. Not heavy at all and didn’t stick to my tin liner, which most banana recipes normally do. Highly recommend.

  25. Not into the vegan thing and don’t like using oil if I can help it so swapped out oil for cheap natural yoghurt (about 100g was enough to bind it together). Turned out beautifully! Will make again. I added some left over tasted chestnuts. Yum.

  26. Love this recipe, popular with vegans and non-vegans alike! A handful of dark chocolate chips is also a good addition 😀

  27. Just made this, in muffin form, whilst I was supposed to be cleaning the kitchen. A great way to use up bananas my boy won’t even approach for his post-gym smoothie, and with ingredients I had in the cupboard (except cinnamon which I seem to have run out of, so I chucked in a little dried ginger instead).

    Came out looking and smelling lovely, and four have been sent over to my Greek in-laws. They’d flinch at the thought of anything vegan but, like many Greeks, they fast (no meat, eggs, dairy, etc) during Holy Week which starts tomorrow here.

    So, big thanks for a recipe which ticks all the boxes – quick, easy, with ingredients at hand, tasty but relatively sin-free – AND for any extra Brownie points I may score with the in-laws!

  28. My son’s currently on a health kick, so was reluctant to eat the muffins I made from the old bananas deemed too manky for his post-gym smoothies. But when I told him exactly what went into making 10 muffins he inhaled four in the blink of an eye.
    Quick, easy, healthy. Perfect!

  29. Error in last online home shopping order got me a bag of Doves Farm spelt flour (I was only browsing honestly and it slipped in my basket by mistake.)
    So I used all spelt for the flour and it was fantasmagorical. Bit posh though.

  30. This is gorgeous. I made my first one yesterday (used all plain white flour part coconut topped up with ground nut oil-nobody was hurt!) and it’s nearly all gone. My second one is in the oven and is baking nicely. I used self raising for this one and added some peanut butter. It smells gorgeous. Mixed spice is nice if you have some left over from Christmas. X

  31. I love this, I customise it with whatever I have and it always works well if I keep the main ingredients in tact 🙂 today walnuts and a bit of chopped apple, the remainder of the apple will go towards a fruit crumble a bit later in the week

  32. Does anyone have any idea how I could do this with gluten free flour? Would I just replace both of the flours with gluten free plain flour? Thanks

    • Hi, Karla – I am unfamiliar with gluten free baking, but there are some gluten free banana bread recipes on “chocolatecoveredkatie.com” Katie is also vegan.

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