Banana bread with oil is super moist and easy to make. No butter or mixer are required for this sweet and flavorful loaf! It's perfect to make when you're out of butter, can't get to the store, or for when you want to make traditional, old-fashioned banana bread dairy free.
Making banana bread with oil instead of butter has so many benefits! The main one is that it makes the bread extra moist. This is because oil is liquid at room temperature unlike butter, which is solid. Paired with 2 cups of mashed banana (about 4-5 whole bananas!), this might be the softest, moistest banana bread you'll ever eat.
Secondly, this recipe is so easy to customize and take on the go. You can add your favorite mix-ins, like chocolate chips, shredded coconut, or chopped nuts, and the bread will still turn out perfectly.
Lastly, you don't need an electric mixer! In fact, using a rubber or silicone spatula to gently fold in the dry ingredients yields the best results. Just grab a bowl, a whisk, a spatula, and your baking pan and you're ready to go!
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities and full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Mashed bananas- It's time to use those those mushy, brown bananas sitting on the counter! Overripe bananas have a sweeter flavor and are easy to mash, making them ideal for baking. Bananas that are fragrant with lots of brown spots are perfect.
- Oil- I prefer making banana bread with oil because it adds a ton of moisture. You can use any neutral oil, like vegetable oil, canola oil, or avocado oil. I made this recipe with extra-virgin olive oil and I loved the herby, grassy flavor it provided. It's also a very healthy fat with great nutritional benefits!
- Eggs- Two large eggs bind all the ingredients together. Make sure they're room temperature so that they mix in easily.
- Vanilla extract- A splash of vanilla enhances all the other flavors. Use real vanilla, not imitation vanilla. Using high quality, real ingredients makes a huge difference.
- Apple cider vinegar- While unexpected, apple cider vinegar helps tenderize the gluten. This is the key to making soft, delicious, moist banana bread. The best part is that you can't taste it at all!
- Flour- All purpose flour is best for creating a soft crumb yet hearty texture.
- Sugar- Granulated sugar sweetens the batter and helps retain moisture.
- Baking powder and baking soda- These leaveners work together to help banana bread rise and get fluffy. Make sure they're fresh, not expired or hard!
- Salt- A pinch of salt enhances the other flavors and keeps the bread from being overly sweet.
- Cinnamon- Ground cinnamon adds a warm, cozy flavor. You can use any variety, from Ceylon to Saigon. Here's a helpful article about the different types of cinnamon.
- Eggs: If you're vegan, try using 2 flax eggs instead. Make these by combining 2 tablespoons water with 5 teaspoons flax meal (ground flaxseeds). Let it thicken for a few minutes before using.
- Flour: Substitute Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour to make gluten free banana bread.
- Granulated sugar: For a deeper flavor, experiment with using brown sugar or turbinado (Demerara) sugar instead.
- Apple cider vinegar: White vinegar is the best substitute, but white wine vinegar and unseasoned rice vinegar also work.
Helpful Equipment and Tools
- I recommend a 9x5" or 1 pound loaf pan lined with parchment paper to bake the bread in, but you can use a larger pan if needed or split the batter between mini loaf pans.
- There's a few different ways to mash bananas. You can use a fork, potato masher, pastry cutter, or your stand mixer with the paddle attachment
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make banana bread with oil instead of butter! Before you start, preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C, line your loaf pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
STEP 1: First, mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl. You can leave them as chunky or smooth as you want.
STEP 2: Pour the oil, eggs, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar into the banana puree. Whisk until well combined.
STEP 3: Fold the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until no dry streaks of flour remain. Don't overmix.
STEP 4: Next, pour the batter into your prepared pan. Top with a sliced banana if desired and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs.
STEP 5: Let your banana bread cool in the pan for 20 minutes (it'll continue to bake slightly during this time), then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Allow it to cool completely, slice, and enjoy.
Expert Baking Tips
- Use overripe bananas. For the best results, use bananas that are soft and fragrant with brown speckles. Don't use green or hard yellow bananas! They have less sugar and more starch than ripe bananas, so they'll be harder to mash and make your banana bread less sweet.
- Measure your flour correctly. Using a kitchen scale to weigh the flour in grams will have the most accurate results. If you don't have a scale, fluff the flour up in the bag before gently scooping it into your measuring cup.
- Don't overmix. It's important to gently fold in the dry ingredients with a silicone spatula until the dry streaks of flour just disappear. Mixing with a hand mixer or stand mixer can lead to gummy, tough banana bread.
- Light vs dark baking pans. For the best results, use an aluminum loaf pan. Because aluminum pans are lighter in color, they attract heat at a slower rate, creating softer baked goods. Black pans and silicone get too hot, resulting in dry or burnt bread, and glass pans don't heat up evenly.
Additions and Variations
Here are some ingredients to add to your banana bread. If you try any of these variations, let me know how it goes in the comments!
- Chocolate chips: If you're a chocolate fan, add some semi-sweet, dark, or mini chocolate chips to take your banana bread to the next level.
- Nuts: ½ cup of chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds add a crunchy texture.
- Dried fruit: Add chopped dried apricots, cranberries, or raisins for a burst of flavor and chewiness.
- Spices: Experiment with warm spices like nutmeg, cardamom, or ginger for extra flavor.
- Seeds: Adding ¼ cup chia, sesame, or poppy seeds to the batter lends extra crunch.
- Nut butter: Swirl peanut butter, almond butter, Nutella, or Lotus Biscoff spread into the batter for even more flavor.
Storage and Freezing
Store the banana bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week. It'll last a few days longer in the refrigerator, but the low humidity environment might cause it to dry out.
Allow the banana bread to cool completely and then slice and wrap each piece tightly in plastic wrap. Place the wrapped slices in a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months.
When you're ready to enjoy, take a slice out of the freezer and let it thaw at room temperature for a couple hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
I don't recommend using frozen bananas in this recipe. When bananas are frozen, ice crystals form throughout them. So when the bananas are thawed, they contain more water. This extra water can impact the texture of banana bread.
Due to its thick and wet batter, this banana bread takes a while to bake. To make sure the center is baked through, insert a toothpick or wooden skewer occasionally. If there's wet batter on the toothpick, put the banana bread back in the oven for a few more minutes before checking again. I also recommend using an oven thermometer to make sure your oven is at a consistent temperature throughout the baking process.
Yes! All you have to do is scoop the batter into a lined muffin tin and bake normally. However, muffins will bake up quicker due to their smaller size. I'd give them about 20 minutes, but keep an eye on them and check for doneness often.
More Breads to Try
Banana Bread with Oil
- Preheat the oven to 350°F/180°C, line a loaf pan with parchment paper, and set aside.
- Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl with a fork, making them as chunky or smooth as desired.2 cups mashed bananas
- Pour oil, eggs, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar into the banana puree. Whisk until well combined.½ cup oil, 2 large eggs, 2 teaspoon vanilla extract, 3 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- Fold flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon into the wet ingredients with a rubber spatula until no dry streaks remain.2 cups all purpose flour, 1 cup granulated sugar, ½ teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Top with an extra sliced banana if desired and bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the banana bread cool in the pan for 20 minutes, then transfer to a wire cooling rack. Allow it to cool completely, slice, and enjoy.