Last Updated on December 21, 2022
Looking for a substitute for banana in banana bread? We have the best options for you! And, we will even discuss when and how to use them!
But first, it is important to understand what the functions are of bananas in baking before choosing an appropriate substitute. And, we will also have a look at substitutions for some other banana bread ingredients.
Functions Of Banana In Banana Bread
This may surprise you, but adding bananas to banana bread has more than just a flavoring function. This fruit actually has many functions in baking and is a handy ingredient to have in the kitchen.
First and foremost, yes, bananas do add flavor to the baked item. It is essentially what makes banana bread the delicious treat that it is. Using real bananas instead of extracts or essences adds a much more powerful and authentic flavor.
Furthermore, bananas act as a binding ingredient in batters. This is why you will often see people substitute eggs in baking with ripe bananas. Bananas have a ton of fibers that helps hold different ingredients together. And, it also helps that ripe banana contain a ton of moisture.
Moisture is essential for baking cakes and bread. It is what helps bind ingredients (as we have mentioned above) but it also helps create specific textures and mouth feels. For example, banana bread that doesn't contain a lot of moisture will be extremely dry, bland, and dense. But, adding some ripe bananas will help tenderize the bread and give it that soft and spongy texture we have come to love.
Choosing A Substitute For Banana In Banana Bread
Before simply choosing a substitute for banana in banana bread, you have to consider what you are substituting. If you run out of bananas but still want the banana-like flavor, you will have to add some banana extract, concentrate, or essence.
However, if you are merely substituting the binding ingredient, you can choose something like eggs or applesauce.
If you still want the banana flavor in your bread, you will have to add a flavoring ingredient, regardless of which binding or moistening ingredient you choose.
There are 3 options to choose from; an extract, a concentrate, or an essence. A concentrate or extract will have the best and most authentic flavor. Essences are more diluted and you will have to use more.
This is because of how these flavors are obtained. You can have a look at this fantastic article that precisely explains the differences between these 3 flavoring ingredients.
Substituting the binding abilities
Banana is an excellent binding ingredient and choosing a substitute is pretty easy. Anything that has moisture will bind the ingredients together. The key is to find a substitute that has a similar consistency to that of a banana. This way, you don't have to add multiple ingredients.
The best binding ingredient substitutes for bananas include applesauce, eggs, other pureed fruit, and chia seeds.
If you are substituting the moisture element, you have to choose equally moist ingredients. If you are using chia seeds (as an example), while they will help bind the ingredients together, they won't add sufficient moisture to help prevent the banana bread from being dry.
So, a better option would be a fruit puree that has a similar consistency to ripe mashed bananas. Another fantastic option is applesauce. It will help bind the ingredients together while adding moisture.
Now, you can also add ingredients like milk, cream, or even water for moisture. But, they might make the batter too runny. So, rather add small amounts of these along with the binding ingredient.
Best Substitute For Banana In Banana Bread
1. Banana flavoring
Regardless of which substitute you are choosing, if you still want the banana flavor, you will have to add some form of banana flavoring. This can be an extract, concentrate, or essence.
All of these are easy to find and use. For extracts and concentrates, simply add ½ teaspoon first before adding more. They have very intense flavors and you don't want to add too much. For essences, you can immediately start with a teaspoon.
This is an extremely common substitute for ripe mashed bananas. They are similar in consistency and moisture content. Furthermore, you can easily flavor applesauce with banana extract.
You can use ¼ cup applesauce or apple puree for every medium-ripe banana the recipe calls for. Don't add more than 1 cup of applesauce. The consistency will be completely changed and the recipe won't work well.
3. Chia seeds or flax seeds
Both of these seeds have incredible thickening abilities. First, grind the seeds into a fine powder. Then, combine 1 tablespoon of ground seeds with 2 ½ tablespoons of water. Stir the ingredient together and allow them to thicken for roughly 5 minutes.
This mixture is perfect for substituting 1 medium ripe banana. You may have to add more moisture in another form to adjust the consistency of your batter.
4. Pureed fruit
Instead of applesauce, you can substitute every medium banana with ¼ cup of pureed fruit. To make this fruit mixture, simply cook some cut fruit of your choice before blending it into a puree.
Choose fruits with relatively neutral flavors so you can still add some banana extract.
Oh, and we forgot to mention that you can also use pureed vegetables, like sweet potatoes!
You can use egg whites or whole eggs as a substitute for bananas in banana bread. One large egg replaces 1 banana. When using only egg whites, you will have to use 1 ½ whites from eggs per banana.
6. Silken tofu
Tofu is a fantastic vegan substitute that is easy to use. Simply blend some tofu and use an equal amount in volume. So, if you needed to add a cup of mashed banana, then use a cup of blended tofu instead.
Substitute For Eggs In Banana Bread
Just like you can substitute bananas with eggs, you can also substitute some eggs with bananas. 1 large egg is equivalent to 1 medium-ripe banana.
And, you can even use the chia or flax seed mixtures. 1 mixture of chia seed thickener will substitute for 1 large egg.
Substitutes For Sugar
If you are using granulated sugar, try sticking to granulated substitutes. They are usually equal in sweetness. However, if you are using liquid sweeteners (like honey), then again, try sticking to similar liquid sweeteners (like syrup). This way you can substitute these in equal parts.
Substitute For Shortening In Banana Bread
Shortening can only really be substituted with real butter or vegan butter. Liquid fats will completely change the consistency of the batter and will produce a completely different product.
Substitute For Sour Cream
Sour cream can easily be substituted with buttermilk, cream cheese, or even homemade sour cream.
To make your own, simply combine 1 cup of cream with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Allow the mixture to sit for a bit before whisking it.
Can I Substitute Cream Cheese for Butter in Banana Bread?
You can not substitute cream cheese for butter in banana bread as they do not do the same thing. Butter adds moisture, flavor, and tenderness to baked goods, creating a light baked good. While cream cheese does help with texture, it is mainly added to bread and cakes for flavor.
You can add cream cheese to banana bread, as it gives your banana bread a delicious flavor. However, you still need to use butter or a replacement for butter such as margarine, shortening, or oil.
What Can I Substitute for Cinnamon in Banana Bread?
If you do not like cinnamon, you can simply omit it from your banana bread as it is only added for flavor. However, instead of cinnamon, you can use pumpkin pie spice, apple pie spice, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, or cardamom. Each of these spices or blends of spices will give your banana bread a wonderful flavor if you don't have any cinnamon on hand or prefer not to use cinnamon.
What is the Purpose of Cream of Tartar in Banana Bread?
When added to banana bread, cream of tartar works as a leaving agent with baking powder. It helps give banana bread its delicious texture. However, not every banana bread recipe will call for cream of tartar, but don't worry it will still be delicious.
In addition to working as a leavening agent, cream of tartar also works to stabilize egg whites. If you don't have any cream of tartar, you can use 1 ½ teaspoon of baking powder to replace every teaspoon of cream of tartar. In addition, you can also replace cream of tartar with vinegar or lemon juice.
Can You Use Unbleached Flour to Make Banana Bread?
You can use unbleached flour to make your banana bread. However, all-purpose bleached flour is often used as it typically creates softer textures and higher volumes in baked goods.
What Tastes Good with Banana Bread?
While banana bread tastes great on its own, there are also several great things you can pair it with. You can spread butter, Nutella, honey, cream cheese, peanut butter, or apple butter on your banana bread for a wonderful flavor. In addition, you can also add a vanilla glaze to your banana bread or even top it with chocolate ganache for a special treat.
Banana bread also tastes great when served with fruit, such as citrus fruit or strawberries. You can also serve your banana bread with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, especially when it is still warm from the oven.
How many salts Do You Add to Banana Bread?
Most banana bread recipes will call for a ¼ teaspoon or a ½ teaspoon of salt, however, the exact amount will vary by recipe. Salt will not give your banana bread a savory flavor but will instead enhance the flavor of your bread. Even though it's a small amount, salt is still an important ingredient in your banana bread.
How Do You Make Banana Bread Softer?
To make banana bread softer, be sure not to overmix your batter. Overmixing the batter of your banana bread can result in a tougher texture, so be sure to only mix it enough as it needs.
In addition, be sure to use an over-ripe banana, as this will give your banana bread the best flavor and texture. Be sure to also carefully measure out your flour, as adding too much flour can cause your banana bread to become dense. The best way to measure flour is to use a kitchen scale or use a spoon to scoop it into your measuring cup and a butter knife to remove any excess.
If you feel like you have learned something about choosing a substitute for banana in banana bread, let us know in the comments below! And, as always, feel free to share this informative article with your family and friends.
What can i substitute for eggs in banana bread?
You can use 1 medium ripe banana to substitute 1 large egg. Otherwise, you can make your own faux eggs using 1 tablespoon of ground flax or chia seeds and 2 ½ tablespoons of water. This mixture will also substitute 1 large egg.
What can i substitute for sugar in banana bread?
When using granulated sugar, try choosing a substitute that is also granulated and equal in sweetness. And, if you are using liquid sweeteners like honey or syrup, try substituting them with similar products. This will make substituting easy and effortless - you won't have to worry about how the substitutes will affect the consistency of your banana bread.
What can you substitute for shortening in banana bread?
The best substitute for shortening in banana bread includes real butter or a vegan butter substitute. You can incorporate them in the same manner and use equal amounts too.
What can you substitute for sour cream in banana bread?
You can use equal amounts of buttermilk, cream cheese, or a homemade sour cream. To make your own sour cream at home, combine 1 cup regular cream with 1 teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar. Mix the ingredients together and use the amount the recipe originally calls for.
Lindy Van Schalkwyk is a culinary specialist with a background in Advanced Cooking, Advanced Pâtisserie, Media Communications and Nutrition. She has gained invaluable experience in the culinary industry having worked in some of the top restaurants in Africa in 2016 and 2017. Her expertise in nutrition has enabled her to develop recipes for special dietary needs. In 2018, Lindy began working in the Food Media industry, focusing on recipe development, recipe writing, food writing and food styling.