This soft vegan banana bread is filled with fall flavors and finished with a sweet brown sugar topping. Originally published September 2019. Last updated January 2023. This post is sponsored by Savings.com.
This banana bread is perfectly moist, lightly sweet, and full of delicious mix-ins that provides bursts of fruity, crunchy, and nutty goodness that make it the best harvest banana bread you've ever tasted. And it's vegan but you won't even know the difference. Let's get into the details!
What You'll Need for this Recipe
What can you put in banana bread? Making banana bread vegan is pretty easy because the texture of overripe bananas takes the place of eggs. You just need a quality vegan butter and you're set. Here's what to add to the grocery list.
- Almond Milk
- Apple Chips
- Baking Soda
- Brown Sugar
- Dried Cranberries
- Maple Syrup
- Matchstick Carrots
- PURE BLENDS™ Avocado Oil Plant-Based Butter
- Sea Salt
I pick up PURE BLENDS™ avocado oil plant-based butter from HEB--which y'all likely know is my go-to grocery store. PURE BLENDS™ avocado oil plant-based butter is certified vegan and I use it just like dairy-based butter in vegan baking recipes.
What does it taste like?
Harvest banana bread is a bit like banana bread meets carrot cake. You'll taste the classic sweet and creamy fruitiness of ripe bananas plus tart cranberries and apples complemented by warming spices like cinnamon and nutmeg.
There's also a variety of textures in this recipe, with crisp walnuts, chewy dried cranberries, tender apple, and of course the dense chewy crumb of the banana quick bread. Banana nut bread with carrots and dried cranberries is a flavor bomb that makes for a decadent chew.
The result is better than any other banana bread I've ever had. And I'm not just speaking for my own taste buds. I knew it was a winner after sharing it with banana bread loving friends, one of whom hit me with a "Listen..." text after tasting. It's that good!
Making the Vegan Brown Sugar Streusel
How to make a vegan streusel topping? Streusel is combination of butter, flour, and sugar. To make it vegan, simply replace the dairy butter with PURE BLENDS™ avocado oil plant-based butter. Banana bread with streusel topping is a unique way to treat yourself to something different. Just grab the following ingredients and check out the easy recipe card instructions below!
- Brown Sugar
- PURE BLENDS™ avocado oil plant-based butter
- Sea Salt
Use your fingers to shape and place the crunchy brown sugar topping over the banana bread batter. It's sticky so won't work well with a spoon or spatula. Just scoop some up, press it flat with your fingers, and lay it on top of the batter. Repeat til it's all done!
Tips & Tools for Making the Best Harvest Banana Bread
Grab a silicone spatula, whisk, and large mixing bowl to make the crunchy banana bread batter. You'll also need a loaf pan. This is the same one I use to make banana rum pecan bread, poppy seed banana bread and my chai spiced banana bread!
Apple chips are a secret flavor and texture weapon in this unique banana bread recipe for fall. Fresh apples release a little too much liquid while baking so, to capture that autumnal apple-y flavor, use apple chips. They'll kind of re-hydrate in the batter and come out tender without getting mushy.
Can I use un-ripe bananas in banana bread? Yes, you can use bananas that are still completely yellow or even just a hint green with good results. Just mash them well with a fork or kitchen spoon to get soft texture.
What kind of carrots to use in baking? I like matchstick carrots in banana bread and quick carrot cake because they're easy and just the right size. Alternatively, you can shred larger carrots to incorporate into the batter.
Thoroughly coat your mix-ins in the flour mixture. This step keeps them from all sinking to the bottom and burning. You can see how well distributed the dried cranberries, apple chips, walnuts, and carrots are through the slices I baked in these photos.
Because every oven is different, checking your harvest banana bread for doneness is crucial to avoid over-baking. This is a very dense batter with lots of mix-ins so it will take a little while to bake but don't forget about it. Pro tip: If your brown sugar topping starts to burn before the loaf is baked, place a foil tent over top.
More Favorite Fall Baking Ideas
This is one of my favorite easy recipes with apple chips and I hope you'll try it soon and very soon. And sharing is caring so be sure to pin it for later and follow me over on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Vegan Harvest Banana Bread with Brown Sugar Streusel
Harvest Banana Bread Batter
- 1 ½ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 cup apple chips broken into pieces
- ½ cup walnuts
- ½ cup matchstick carrots or shredded carrots
- ⅓ cup dried cranberries
- 3 very ripe bananas
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ⅓ cup PURE BLENDS™ avocado oil plant-based butter melted
- ¼ cup almond milk
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
Crunchy Brown Sugar Topping
- ½ cup flour
- ¼ cup brown sugar
- 2-3 tablespoon PURE BLENDS™ avocado oil plant-based butter melted
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with nonstick oil and line with a strip of parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, cinnamon, sea salt, and nutmeg together until uniform.
- Stir in apple chips, walnuts, carrots, and dried cranberries to dredge (cover in flour) until coated. This step prevents the walnuts, carrots, and cranberries sinking to the bottom of the batter and burning while baking.
- Add peeled bananas to another bowl and mash into a kind of paste with a fork or kitchen spoon. Small chunks of banana are ok. Add brown sugar, melted butter, almond milk, and maple syrup and stir until uniform.
- Add wet banana mixture to dry flour mixture and stir until just combined (about 35 stirs), scraping sides of bowl as you go. Do not over mix as this will result in tough banana bread. Transfer batter into a prepared loaf pan and set aside.
- Combine streusel ingredients: flour, brown sugar, melted butter, and sea salt, in a small bowl until uniform. The mixture with be thick and sticky.
- Use your hands to flatten and spread streusel over top of banana bread batter in an even layer.
- Place pan on middle oven rack and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Cool for about 30 minutes in pan then remove to finish cooling.
This recipe is proof that eating "better" isn't about making sacrifices but opening up deliciously creamy and unexpectedly wondrous possibilities. Check out more delicious plant based recipes.