What Is Dairy-Free Banana Bread?

C.B. Fox

Dairy-free banana bread is a type of yeast-free bread that contains fresh bananas. This type of bread is commonly eaten as a light breakfast or as a snack in Europe and North America. Banana bread is usually sweet, though not as sweet as a cake. When it is made without any dairy products, banana bread contains flour, bananas, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, oil, and sometimes eggs.

Bunch of bananas.
Bunch of bananas.

In most recipes, the only type of dairy product in banana bread is butter. Butter gives banana bread a soft texture and also flavors the bread. Instead of butter, dairy-free banana bread must include another type of fat, such as oil or margarine. These fats can be substituted one to one for butter. Clean-flavored oils, such as coconut oil or vegetable oil will soften the bread without adding any additional flavor, while stronger-flavored fats, like margarine, will alter the texture and give the dairy-free banana bread a more buttery flavor.

Dairy-free banana bread is made with oil instead of butter.
Dairy-free banana bread is made with oil instead of butter.

Some recipes for banana bread call for milk in order to give the bread a creamier texture. Milk can be replaced with additional bananas, water, or a milk substitute such as rice milk. Some recipes for banana bread also call for chocolate, so cooks who are making dairy-free banana bread should make sure that the chocolate doesn't have any milk or butter in it.

Though they aren't technically a type of dairy product, many people who do not eat dairy will also avoid eggs. Eggs are commonly used in breads such as banana bread because they help bind the ingredients together. In dairy-free banana bread, the banana can act as a binder or the eggs can be replaced with binders such as xanthan gum or guar gum. An egg replacer can also be used in a dairy-free banana bread, but cooks should take care that the egg replacer doesn't include any egg or dairy in it.

Dairy-free banana bread is a type of quick bread, a kind of bread that requires no yeast. Baking powder is used to make a banana bread rise, which it does by causing a chemical reaction that creates bubbles of carbon dioxide in the bread. People probably first started making dairy-free banana bread about a hundred years ago, when baking powder was in regular use. The widespread availability of bananas in recent decades have helped to make it popular.

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Discussion Comments


I love banana bread and I make it often because we buy bananas regularly. We don't eat them fast enough though, so every now and then I am left with a bunch of over-ripe bananas. The easiest way to use them is banana bread. I also appreciate that I can make banana bread without using dairy. I avoid dairy products because they give me an upset stomach.


@stoneMason-- Did you read the article?

The author mentioned two great replacements for eggs in banana bread as a binder-- xanthan gum or guar gum.

What you said about bananas is absolutely true though. Bananas do not only make bread moist, but they also act as a binder. So eggs can be completely left out of banana bread without affecting the texture of the bread. Two other alternatives for eggs in banana bread are applesauce and yogurt.


I actually don't use butter in my banana bread. I always use vegetable oil which makes the bread lighter in my opinion. So my banana bread is naturally dairy-free. I do use eggs though and I don't know how one can make banana bread without egg as it keeps everything together. I think some people who avoid dairy also avoid eggs, so this is something to consider.

I think that it's easy to avoid dairy in banana bread because dairy is usually used to make the banana bread moist and soft. Fresh bananas already serve this purpose in banana bread. So an extra, ripe banana can be added to the recipe when dairy is left out. The result will be just as good.

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