Vegan paleo banana bread made with one bowl in an hour! This healthy banana bread gets its tender crumb from almond flour and cassava flour, sweetness from maple syrup and coconut sugar, and moist texture from nut butter, all studded with bittersweet chocolate flecks. Super moist, gooey, decadent-tasting, yet deceptively healthy.
Thanks to Bob's Red Mill for sponsoring this post! Find recipes for all my favorite quickbreads and loaves here.
I've shared lots of banana dessert recipes here on TBG, but for some reason, this is the first banana bread recipe! It helps that it's the best banana bread I've ever tasted.
This healthy banana bread is:
- rich and tender
- full of butterscotchy banana notes
- loaded with chocolate
- free of grains, dairy, eggs, and refined sugar (and optionally nuts)
- friendly to many diets & food intolerances
- so decadant-tasting!
I've made this recipe 8 times in the last few weeks. They're short little loaves, but still – Jay and I can't stop.
How I Developed This Paleo Banana Bread Recipe
Oddly enough, I actually adapted this recipe from this vegan paleo chocolate chip cookie formula. I had some overripe bananas and wondered whether adding in banana, plant milk, and extra leavening would make a tasty banana bread. I was blown over by the results! If you give this recipe a try, I hope you are too.
This grain-free banana bread recipe is part of a year-long partnership with Bob's Red Mill. Since I was a youngster in my mom's kitchen poking my nose into bags of buckwheat and rye, I've loved experimenting with their abundance of alternative flours. I even wrote a whole cookbook about Bob's Red Mill gluten-free flours (plus a few other flours too).
Lately I've been exploring new-to-me cassava flour since going on a grain-free elimination diet, and I'm loving it! Find more cassava flour recipes here.
Ingredients & Substitution Suggestions
This cassava flour banana bread recipe comes together with a handful of pantry-friendly ingredients.
- Naturally, this recipe starts with bananas! Make sure they're nice and ripe – yellow with black spots. I've also used frozen overripe bananas, defrosted and mashed, and they work like a charm!
- Nut butter forms of the base of this recipe. I use cashew butter, which gives the bread luscious caramel notes, but almond butter works wonderfully too. Make this nut-free by swapping tahini.
- Melted coconut oil adds richness. You can use ghee for a non-vegan option.
- Maple syrup and coconut sugar sweeten and moisten the batter, adding rich toffee notes.
- Vanilla perfumes the batter and salt sharpens the flavors.
- Plant milk adds moisture. Anything will work – almond, coconut, oat, or even water.
- Baking powder and baking soda lift the batter.
- Bittersweet chocolate studs the dough. I use Hu Kitchen chocolate here, which is sweetened with coconut sugar. If you prefer to leave it out you can, or swap in some toasted pecans or other nuts instead.
Blanched almond flour and cassava flour work together to create a moist, tender crumb. Tapioca flour adds a bit of chew. I use Bob's Red Mill brand for all three, which can be ordered online or found in your local healthy foodie store.
You can use Bob's hazelnut meal or natural almond flour in place of the blanched almond flour, or use tiger nut flour for a nut-free option. If you don't have cassava flour on hand and you eat grains, you can try sweet rice flour or Bob's 1 to 1 gluten-free baking flour instead.
How to Make Paleo Banana Bread
This paleo vegan banana bread is simple to make with just one bowl and a whisk and 10 minutes of active time. It makes a petit loaf that serves 6-8.
Here's the process in visual form:
How to Store Banana Bread
This vegan paleo banana bread stores beautifully:
- at room temperature for up to 2 days
- refrigerated for up to 1 week (bring to room temperature or warm in a toaster oven for best results)
- frozen for up to several months (but...why? How?)
Cassava Flour Banana Bread
Cassava comes from the root of the yuca plant which has been used traditionally in cuisines of South America, Asia, and Africa. It's recently gained popularity throughout the West in grain-free diets. Cassava is also prebiotic, meaning that it helps to create a happy home for good bacteria in your gut.
The fine, starchy flour is a joy to bake with. I've found that it blends well with a coarser flour, such as almond flour, coconut flour, or tiger nut flour in baking recipes. Here, it helps the banana bread hold together and gives it a smooth, moist, springy crumb.
You can find more cassava flour recipes here!
Paleo Chocolate Chip Banana Bread... or not!
In my opinion, banana bread is just a vessel for chocolate. But if you prefer your vegan paleo banana bread chocolate-free, you can leave it off and just enjoy the light, butterscotchy notes of this bread without the earthy flavor of chocolate getting in the way.
Paleo Banana Bread Muffins
To make muffins, divide the batter between 9 or 10 individual muffin cups with paper liners, filling them about two-thirds full. Decrease the baking time as needed; begin testing for doneness at 25 minutes.
*Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this vegan paleo banana bread recipe, I’d love to see. Tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.*
Vegan Paleo Banana Bread with Cassava FlourPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- 3 tablespoons (35 g) melted coconut oil (or ghee for non-vegan)
- ½ cup (130 g) room temperature cashew butter (or try tahini for nut-free, or almond or peanut butter)
- ¼ cup (80 g) maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) coconut sugar (or another tablespoon of maple syrup)
- ½ cup (135 g) mashed very ripe banana (from 1 very large or 2 smaller bananas)
- 2 tablespoons (27 g) plant milk
- ½ teaspoon GF vanilla extract
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Bob’s Red Mill cassava flour (55 g) (or try sweet rice or AP flour for non-paleo)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (40 g) Bob’s Red Mill blanched almond flour (or natural almond flour or hazelnut flour)
- 2 tablespoons (15 g) tapioca flour (or more cassava flour)
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 3 ounces (85 g) coarsely chopped bittersweet chocolate (preferably 65-75% cacao mass), plus some extra chunks for the top
- 1 banana quartered lengthwise, for the top
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Lightly rub an 8x4 or 9x5-inch loaf pan with coconut oil and line with a sling of parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the nut butter, maple syrup, coconut sugar, and coconut oil until smooth. Whisk in the banana, plant milk, and vanilla until smooth.
- Sift in the cassava flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, adding back anything left in the strainer (the almond flour is fairly coarse so just do your best here!) Stir the batter until smooth and well-combined, then stir in the chocolate.
- Scrape the batter into the pan. Top with two of the banana quarters and sprinkle with a few chunks of chocolate.
- Bake until a tester inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs, 40-50 minutes. Let cool to warm or room temperature, remove from the pan, and peel away the parchment.
- Slice and devour with a cold glass of plant milk.
Lynne Plauson says
Looks delicious! I’m so curious why you are trying a grain free diet. I may be next to go down this road because even though I no longer have gluten or dairy in my diet, I still have challenges in feeling my absolute best. You know, in my digestive track 😉
Yes, I feel you. I'm working with Alison (Food by Mars) because I was getting too many colds that were lasting a long time and felt something was off with my immune system. I got a food allergy test and had enough sensitivities that she suspected leaky gut, which can result from gut inflammation, which dairy and grains can cause. My mom has found that she needs to eat dairy free and grain-free in order to be healthy, so when Alison suggested eliminating those foods, it sounded like a good idea.
If you want to chat more, feel free to email me!
I can’t wait to try this—just too hot here to use the oven right now. :-( Got some cassava flour last week and am dying to use it. Just to verify: is this GF as written?
Aw I feel you! In San Francisco we get our hot summer weather in October haha. It's perfect baking weather here now! Please let me know if you give this a go (maybe at night when it's cooler?) Yes it's GF as written! :)
Ariana Figueroa says
I’m so excited to try this recipe out! I’ve been in love with your baking, and TBG for about seven years now. In that time, my husband and I have gone through multiple elimination diets to try and figure out what the root cause of his headache/GI unhappiness was. Doctors never found a diagnosis other than dysbiosis (and we suspected leaky gut). Eating mostly grain and and entirely dairy free, and staying that way, has been the most helpful thing. I’ve been experimenting with your recipes for years adapting them to our diet at the time... I’m sorry for the reasons that are behind yo ur dietary shift... but delighted to see paleo/grain free/vegan recipes! It’s all the more exciting because of how you always break down what e different recipe elements do alchemically- which has helped me grow so much as a home-baker. After all that a quick question- I was stoked to see you mention sweet rice flour or an all purpose GF blend as a substitute for the cassava here. My mom just gifted me a copy of “Alternative Baker” (loving it!). But we can’t do rice flour or any kind- and it’s really the backbone of many of the recipes. I’m curious if you think cassava could be a fair stand in most of the time? Maybe with some tapioca or arrowroot or ground chia as an extra binding factor? I would love to see how you would do a paleo/grain free/vegan pie crust for instance. I’m sorry I wrote an essay. I really do adore your work, and really love the artistry of how you both combine flavors and textures, and teach how to think about ingredients! So much love and appreciation your way!
Best of luck with the elimination diet!
Aw thank you so much for these kind words and for following along all these years! This means so much to me. It's great to know that a mostly grain-free and dairy-free diet has been helpful for you and your husband, that's wonderful!
To answer your question, yes I do think cassava flour could stand in for sweet rice in many of my recipes! I have on my to-do list to try grain-free versions of both my pie crust and tart crust. I'll be sure to let you know if I do! Please let me know if you test any out as well. Or if you want to be a beta tester, shoot me an email at [email protected] and I can send ideas your way!
Follow up- made this recipe and loved it! We subbed half tahini/half almond butter, as we didn’t have cashew butter made up. Also subbed half organic turbinado sugar and coconut sugar, as we were out of maple syrup (same measurement). Turned into the best banana bread *ever.* not too sweet, and such lovely flavors, hooray! And of course I’d love to beta-test! That sounds like such fun-I will email you! I really will be experimenting with grain free, vegan pie crusts in the next while. We bought 18 lb of organic cherries, froze them, and I aim to have a cherry pie my husband can eat on my bday in August :). Thanks again!
Let's make that grain-free vegan cherry pie happen! That sounds absolutely amazing. I've been testing paleo vegan cobbler and I hope to have a recipe to share soon. Thanks so much for trying my recipes, it means so much to me!
Katy Ionis says
Mmm can't stop eating it! I used crunchy peanut butter and whole dairy milk and that worked wonderfully. It's definitely on the moist gooey side, not as clean and sturdy of a slice as other banana breads that use grains and eggs, but it's absoluteness delicious. I maybe pulled it out of the oven a touch early so if I make it again I might try to go a bit longer and see if that firms it up. I used all maple syrup, didn't have coconut sugar on hand. In the past using cassava flour my results have turned out a bit too gummy, but this blend with almond flour did not. Thanks!
Katy Ionis says
Update: keeping it in the fridge gives it a sturdier, drier, more traditional banana bread texture. Also just ate the last piece and tempted to make another one immediately.
Aw I'm so glad you like it! Yes I've been storing mine in the fridge too and it does firm up nicely in there! Please let me know if you make it again. You could also try adding another tablespoon of cassava flour. It's possible that the extra maple syrup adds more moisture than the coconut sugar.
Erin Peters says
Made this for breakfast this morning and it was so delicious! I absolutely adore your vegan/GF recipes.... please keep them coming! This was my first time working with cassava flour and I really enjoyed the combo with almond flour and tapioca flour.
Aw thank you for trying my recipe and for the sweet note and review! I'm so glad you like the banana bread and the flour combo. :)
Alison Marie says
I love your cookbook and recommend it to people wanting to try gluten- or grain-free baking all the time. I've often wondered why you didn't have a banana bread recipe so I'm looking forward to trying this. I have all recipes on hand -except bananas!
I do wish I'd put in more classic recipes, so I'm making up for it on TBG! Please let me know if you give this one a go. There are also banana muffins on the site, linked in the post. :)
I'm enjoying the fruits of your recent dietary change! =) I hope it continues to go well for you.
I have admired your blog and recipes for quite some time, but this was the recipe that made me take the plunge and bake. It did not disappoint! I loved the way the flavors came together. It's a light and flavorful banana bread. I resisted the chocolate temptation since my tastebuds and body don't agree and added walnuts instead. Absolutely delicious, this recipe is a keeper. Thank you. I'll be baking it again this week.
I'm so glad you liked it! Thanks a bunch for the sweet note. :)
Mehedi Hasan says
Thank you for this delicius recipie.
Mehedi Hasan says
Thank you for this delicius recipie. i will try it !
Exquisite. Absolute perfection. The combination of the wet ingredients is brilliant - so much so that I will make another cake and use that same combination of the wet ingredients as a sauce or a frosting.
YES, I can't help but take lots of "tastes" of the wet ingredients mixture. I'm so glad you liked this recipe dear Nuriya! Thanks a billion for trying my recipe and for the sweet note. <3
It's easy to make it and it's delicious! Thank you for sharing!
I'm wondering if you think soaking cashews and then whirring them up could sub for the cashew butter. It's less labor intensive but maybe there's a downside...? Can hardly wait to try this yummy-looking, yummy-sounding treat!
Hm, I think the biggest problem would be the extra liquid absorbed into the cashews. Also usually one needs to add more water to soaked cashews to get them to turn over. But let me know if you experiment! I usually just use store-bought cashew butter, which is easy peasy. :)
I don’t think I’ve ever left a review on any website but had to leave one because it was so good. My son has a ton of allergies and I’ve made so many different paleo banana breads. We recently had to cut eggs out too which is how I stumbled upon this recipe. This is the best tasting banana bread I’ve ever had. Can’t wait to try some more of your recipes!
I'm so glad you found your way to this recipe and that it was a big hit! Cannot thank you enough for the rating and review - it really helps readers find my recipes! I've had to cut out grains and eggs recently too due to food sensitivities, so there are lots of new baking recipes on my site that you and your son should be able to enjoy including zucchini bread, chocolate chip cookies, and fruit cobbler. Please let me know if you try any more! :)
Hi Alanna, thank you so much for another wonderful recipe. I made muffins and I am getting ready to make more. I have made many dry and tasteless banana breads over the years, always looking for the one. This is it! I had to sub peanut butter as that is what I had but I am looking forward to making the recipe as written. Happy Holidays!
Ah I'm so glad you love the recipe and that it worked well with peanut butter - yum! I'm getting ready to bake some with my over-ripe bananas as we speak. :)
Maya Perez says
It sounds really amazing recepie but l am really worried about the total flour being 1/4+1/4+ 6 tbs it's almost 3/4 flour all together sounds to low for any cake. I might make it with 1/2 +1/2 + 2 tbs for Tapioca starch ..... let me know your thoughts on it. Thank you
Hi Maya, this is a short loaf, hence the lower amount of all ingredients including flour. I've made this at least dozen times (and the cinnamon date nut version too) and it always works! Best to measure by weight if you can, and to use the flours called for if you have them. But each individual kitchen and set of ingredients is different, so feel free to experiment of course! Please let me know what you try.
Stephanie Yount says
Hi & thank you!
I love bananas 🍌 but I don’t know much about baking chemistry yet. If I wanted to double the bananas in the recipe, how would you suggest to tweak the other ingredients?
Hi Stephanie, I tested this recipe so many times with these ratios, I'd recommend making it once first as written. If you have more bananas that need to be used, make two loaves! It's a short loaf, hence the smaller amount of bananas and all other ingredients compared with most other BB recipes. After you've made it once, you'll have a better of sense whether you want to change the amounts. Please let me know how it goes!
Sonya Parekh says
Thanks so much for the recipe! I was wondering what I could sub for the almond flour to make this nut free? Thanks!
Alanna Taylor-Tobin says
Hi Sonya, Tiger nut flour makes a great nut-free sub if you happen to have access to some! If you do grains, you could try a grain flour such as teff, oat, or buckwheat. Let me know what you try!
hello! I've made this loaf, it's amazinggg!
I just wanted to ask if we could use olive oil instead of cashew butter and if it's a 1:1 sub?
Also, can we double the recipe for a taller loaf? Thanks
Alanna Taylor-Tobin says
I'm so glad you love this recipe! Please feel free to add a star rating if you're so inclined!
As for swapping the cashew butter for olive oil, I'm afraid that won't work well, the cashew butter contains fiber and protein as well as fat, whereas olive oil is 100% fat. However you could use olive oil in place of the coconut oil/ghee if you like.
I can't recall whether I tested a double recipe in a loaf pan when I was developing this recipe. I'm concerned that it would take a long time to bake through and that the outside might get overcooked and the inside could stay too doughy. But I'd be very curious to know how it goes if you give it a try! One solution might be to use a larger (10-inch) loaf pan so there's more surface area. OR you could double the recipe and bake it in an 8x8" square pan. Please let me know what you try!
Thank you for sharing this recipe. It's delicious!! I used a"mixed nut butter with seeds" product which includes both cashew and almond butter. I also used flour made from 2 parts tapioca flour and 1 part brown rice flour as a substitute for the cassava flour.
It is decadent-tasting indeed! Made a double batch and will refrigerate the second loaf but I am sure it will disappear quickly around my place. I am really enjoying your book!! So many more recipes to try.
Alanna Taylor-Tobin says
I'm so glad you loved the banana bread and that the nut and seed butter worked well – that sounds delicious! Very cool that the tapioca and brown rice flour mixed worked well to replace the cassava. Very happy that you're enjoying Alternative Baker too. Please let me know what you make from it!