Substitute For Banana In Baking and How To Use It Correctly

Substitute For Banana In Baking and How To Use It Correctly

Last Updated on August 10, 2022 by Cinthia

Are you looking for a substitute for banana in baking? Well, we’ve got you covered! From plantain to the egg; our comprehensive guide has it all!

Bananas are delicious ingredients that add a ton of delicious juicy flavors and textures to any baked product. But sometimes it isn’t possible to use them. For this reason, we have made an in-depth guide on the many substitutes you can use when to use them, and even how to use them best.

Functions Of Banana In Baking

Believe it or not, but bananas do actually have a function when used in baked goods.

Yes, the most obvious effect it has is adding that delicious tropical banana flavor. Bananas generally have quite strong flavors, so no matter how or where you use them, you will most likely taste them.

Take our Moist Banana Bread for example. Even though we use a cake mix (which usually has overpowering flavors of their own, you still pick up strong banana flavors.

Then, bananas also have strong binding characteristics. This is thanks to the fibers they contain. When a ripe banana is mashed, it helps bind the wet and dry ingredients together.

Simultaneously, it also adds moisture! This is why recipes almost always call for ripe bananas – because they have more moisture.

Bananas also help add texture to recipes. You can use them mashed, sliced, chopped, or pureed. The form you use will have a direct effect on the texture of the recipe. When used mashed or pureed, it naturally makes the product softer (because of the moisture it adds). Bananas can potentially cause dense products, but not dense like fruitcakes. Denser like, well, banana bread.

Unfortunately, not everybody loves bananas. Or, sometimes, you may not have the amount of the type of banana the recipe calls for. Some people even have allergies. Regardless of what your reason is for wanting to substitute them, we have got you covered!

substitute for bananas in baking

Choosing A Substitute For Banana In Baking

So, now that we have covered the functions of bananas, let’s look at a substitute for bananas in baking.

The most important factor to consider is what you want to substitute in terms of function. If for example, you need to substitute the banana flavor, you would choose something that has a banana flavor.

But, if you need to substitute the moisture (and the flavor doesn’t really matter), you will choose a wet ingredient.

And similarly, if you want to substitute the texture that banana adds. You will choose a substitute that is similar in texture. So water, for example, won’t work because it is way too runny and will make the texture potentially mushy.

The best way to decide on which substitute you need to use is to experiment. You can to a certain extent use logic, but baking is chemistry and sometimes what you think will work simply doesn’t.

What Can I Use Instead Of A Banana?

Our guide helps take the thinking out of substituting! And, we have included a wide range of substitutes so that you are guaranteed to find something that works for you.


Plantains, also generally referred to as cooking bananas, are a type of banana species, but they aren’t bananas. They are by far the best banana replacement you can use!

Plantains have virtually the exact same texture and flavor as bananas have. They are less sweet, but the banana flavor is still there. You can buy them in an unripe form (when they are completely green and hard) or their ripe form (when they are pitch black and very soft).

Plantains are much bigger than bananas – this is what mostly makes them different.

Now, unfortunately, they are a bit difficult to find depending on where you are in the world. But, we are sure with a bit of research you can find some in your area.

How to use plantains

When used correctly, plantains will match the flavor, texture, moistness, and binding abilities that bananas have.

Because they are much larger compared to bananas, you will have to substitute them using grams. For example, if a recipe calls for one banana, it usually weighs about 116 grams. So, when using plantain as a substitute, weigh out 116 grams as well. You can also work in cups, but measuring by weight in baking is always more accurate.

You also have to cook plantains. They are inedible when raw – or at the very least extremely unpleasant.

When using plantains for baked recipes, you will almost always have to buy ripe plantains. But luckily, these are much easier to find compared to unripe plantains.


Applesauce is also a great substitute for bananas in baking. You can use either store-bought or homemade applesauce for this substitute. As long as it has a nice thick consistency.

But unfortunately, applesauce does have some downsides. First, it doesn’t have a banana flavor. And, you can only substitute 2 bananas. Otherwise, the sauce will make the mixture too runny.

However, both of these problems can be fixed. To add banana flavor, you can add some essence or extract. And, to make the mixture less runny (if you substituted more than 2 bananas) you can add more dry ingredients like flour.

Chiquita Banana Bread Mix

How to use applesauce

To use applesauce as a substitute, replace every banana with 1/2 cup of applesauce. It will help add moistness to the baked item and help bind the ingredients together.


Yes, just like bananas work as a substitute for eggs, eggs can also work as a substitute for bananas. And, it is extremely easy! For every banana that you need to substitute, you can use one large egg.

The only thing to take into consideration is that eggs don’t have a banana-like flavor and if you use too much, it can make your product dense and rubbery. We would recommend only using 2 eggs at most.

banana replacement

Canned pumpkin

Now, this might sound very strange and far-fetched, but canned pumpkin actually has virtually the same consistency as a pureed banana.

The biggest downfall is the pumpkin flavor. But, this allows you to make a pumpkin cake (or muffin or bread) instead of a banana flavored one. Unfortunately, pumpkin also has an extremely strong flavor and no amount of banana extract can change that.

Mashed sweet potato/potato

Very much like the pumpkin substitute, cooked and mashed sweet potato or regular potatoes have very similar textures and binding abilities to bananas. And, they aren’t as pungent as pumpkin puree. This allows you to try and incorporate some banana flavors using extract.

Can You Substitute Banana For Milk?

Bananas are fantastic nutritious substitutes for dairy products, however, it depends entirely on the consistency you are using.

Milk will help add moistness to the baked goodies. However, it will also make the mixture runnier. So, you should avoid using too much. You can counter the runny texture by adding more flour.

Final Words

As you can see, there is no shortage of substitutes for bananas. You can choose something as simple as an egg or more complex like applesauce. Regardless of which you choose, always experiment and make notes on the changes you’ve made. Let us know if you found this article useful or if you have any questions.

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