There is a world where butter-free banana bread exists and is delicious! It’s this world–right here! Not only is this an easy banana bread recipe, but it’s also the most moist banana bread recipe that you’ll ever sink your teeth (or dentures) into. It’s my family’s favorite banana bread recipe, hands-down.
Why no butter?
While there are a plethora of reasons why one may seek out a banana bread recipe without butter, most come down to dietary restrictions. Vegans, for example, don’t eat any food (aka, butter) that comes from or exploits animals. Likewise, some people have a low tolerance for dairy. The list goes on and on.
The great thing about this banana bread recipe is that it IS vegan, but it’s masquerading as your grandma’s great aunt’s cousin’s recipe that somehow survived the sinking of the Titanic.
What other fats/oils can I substitute for melted butter?
- Coconut Oil
- Olive Oil
- Avocado Oil
Oil of Olay
In this recipe, we used canola oil, but you can totally use olive oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc. You’ll notice the only real differences if you use different oils are a flavor and slight texture difference.
We’ve made this recipe with olive oil before, and we could definitely taste the olive oil. I didn’t mind this, per se, but it did taste a bit more savory this way, which threw me off a bit.
If you’re going to swap out vegetable oil I’d stick to more neutral-flavored oils or oils we associate with sweet foods, such as coconut oil.
Banana Bread Ingredients:
This recipe makes 2 loafs of delicious banana bread.
- 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 4 overripe bananas (mashed up)
- 2 tablespoons sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
How To Make Banana Bread Without Butter:
Step 1: Preheat Your Oven to 350
Using the index finger and thumb on your dominant hand, turn the knob…I’M JUST KIDDING. You know how to turn on your oven.
Step 2: Sift Dry Ingredients Together
Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together into a mixing bowl.
I have listed above in my “Recommended Equipment” list to use a sifter, but you can use a metal strainer if you don’t have one lying around. See my cool image below.
*Chef’s Note: If you don’t have baking soda, you can use two heaping tablespoons of baking powder and get similar results.
Step 3: Beat Sugar & Eggs
Grab a large bowl and your hand-mixer (I wish I had the old type of hand-mixer my mom used to use in the ’70s…yes, she still has it, and I love it) and beat together the sugar and eggs. You can also use a stand mixer (like I did).
Beat the sugar and eggs for about 10 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and airy, or as my wife says, with a french accent, “until it’s fully emulsified.” She’s a chef, so she knows what’s up.
Step 4: Add the Oil
Once you’ve got a fluffy egg and sugar mixture, slowly add your oil while continuing to mix. The simplest method is to put the vegetable oil in your measuring cup and slowly drizzle it into the mixture.
Step 5: Mash Bananas
If you haven’t mashed your bananas yet, now’s the time. You don’t need a fancy tool. Just use a fork, a spoon, or your hands, and mash the ripe bananas into oblivion.
Once you’re done mashing, add the bananas to the mixture.
Step 6: Add Wet Ingredients
Now it’s time to add the remaining wet ingredients. Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and blend for 30 seconds.
Step 7: Fold in Dry Ingredients
Remember your dry ingredients you just sifted like a pro? Grab that bowl. Add the dry ingredients a bit at a time, folding them in. If you’re not sure what folding is, it’s basically just big stirs.
*Chef’s Note: Feel free to blend using your mixer rather than folding the dry ingredients by hand. If you blend, only blend for 10 seconds. If you mix by hand, mix for a minute or two in order to fully mix the ingredients.
Step 8: Pour Mixture Into 2 Bread Loaf Pans
You do not need to line your baking pans with parchment paper, nor do you need a greased loaf pan. The beauty of using oil in this recipe is that your banana bread will slide out fairly easily.
Also, when the butter-free banana bread has cooled for a bit, it will naturally shrink a tad–just enough to easily drop out of the baking dish.
Step 9: Bake the Banana Bread
Bake for 45 minutes. Using the toothpick/knife/fork method, test the bread after 45 minutes have passed. If your utensil comes back a bit gooey, cook in additional 5-minute increments, checking each time.
Step 10: Let the Bread Cool
This is a key step. The bread needs time to cool and set in order to keep it’s shape.
Once your banana bread is done cooking, set it in a safe area to cool until it’s room temperature.
You’ll notice that the bread will shrink a bit, which will make it easy to remove from the pan.
Easy Banana Bread Recipe Without Butter
- Preheat your oven to 350°
- Sift the flour, salt, and baking soda together into a mixing bowl. You can use a metal strainer if you don't have a sifter lying around.
- Grab a large bowl and your hand-mixer and beat together the sugar and eggs. You can also use a stand mixer. Beat the sugar and eggs for about 5-10 minutes or until the mixture is fluffy and airy.
- Once you've got a fluffy egg and sugar mixture, slowly add your oil while continuing to mix. The simplest method is to put the vegetable oil in your measuring cup and slowly drizzle it into the mixture.
- If you haven't mashed your bananas yet, now's the time. You don't need a fancy tool. Just use a fork, a spoon, or your hands, and mash the ripe bananas into oblivion. Once you're done mashing, add the bananas to the mixture.
- Add the sour cream and vanilla extract and blend for 30 seconds.
- Add the dry ingredients a bit at a time, folding them in. If you're not sure what folding is, it's basically just big stirs.
- Pour the mixture into 2 baking pans. You don't need to line your baking pans with parchment paper, nor do you need a greased loaf pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes. Using the toothpick/knife/fork method, test the bread after 45 minutes have passed. If your utensil comes back a bit gooey, cook in additional 5-minute increments, checking each time.
- Once your banana bread is done cooking, set it in a safe area to cool until it's room temperature.
How do I store my banana bread?
Once your banana bread has cooled completely, wrap the loaves in plastic wrap, aluminum foil, or an airtight container and place them on the counter or in the refrigerator. (Our loaves don’t last very long since we devour them!)
Can I freeze my banana bread?
Yes! The great thing about this banana bread is how moist and juicy it is. If you decide to freeze it, make sure you use a freezer-safe bag. I’d recommend using a FoodSaver to be safe. FoodSavers suck all the air out of the bag and create a complete seal. If you don’t have one of these contraptions, or you can’t afford one, a freezer-safe plastic bag will do.
Once you’re ready to thaw your banana bread, take it out of the freezer and set it on the counter for 3-4 hours, or in the refrigerator for a day.
How long will it stay fresh?
It’ll stay fresh for 4-5 days in your refrigerator if wrapped properly. I wouldn’t go more than a day leaving it out on the counter.
Can I add other ingredients?
You can add anything you want (in moderation). An easy recipe to try is chocolate chip banana bread. Follow the same recipe above and add 1/2 a cup of chocolate chips.
We didn’t add any chocolate chips, walnuts, or cranberries to this recipe for simplicity’s sake. But if I could have a do-over, I’d definitely add chocolate chips.
Can I substitute brown sugar for white sugar?
Yes, but you’ll need to bake the bread for a little longer since the brown sugar is wetter than white sugar. This will also change the overall texture of the bread a bit. If you don’t want it to be overwhelmingly sweet, I’d suggest using less sugar if you’re going the brown sugar route—just experiment. You can’t go wrong with a recipe like this.
Do I have to use a bread pan?
Not at all. You can make butterless banana bread muffins if you’d like. If you go this route, fill up your muffin tins about halfway full before baking. You don’t need to bake these as long, either, since there’s less batter in each dish. Cook for 25 minutes and check for doneness via the poking method.
“Quick breads” (aka, breads that don’t need yeast) pop up in various cultures worldwide. And ours, in the West, happens to be banana bread because we’re culturally such big fans of the banana flavor.
Thank you for taking the time to read this recipe. I hope it was easy for you to follow!
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