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Substitute for Banana in Baking (17 options to try)


Were you planning on doing some baking? What if there are no bananas left in the pantry? Luckily, you can use plenty of banana substitutes in baking recipes. Today’s food guide will discuss every option available.

Bananas are versatile ingredients. You can use bananas in desserts, beverages, or savory dishes. Unsurprisingly, bananas are popular in baked goods due to their naturally sweet flavor and soft texture. Let’s see what banana replacement you can use for your baking needs.

Tabletop with Ingredients including bananas, eggs, flour and butter

How Do You Use Bananas in Baking?

Due to their sweet and mild flavor, bananas are a staple ingredient in baked goods. When a baking recipe calls for bananas, it most likely needs it to act as a binder.

Bananas, similar to eggs, act as binders that hold the recipe together. Without these binders, the recipe will fall flat or have no structure.

Other reasons for including a ripe banana in a recipe are their beautiful creamy texture and sweet flavor.

Best Substitute for Banana in Baking

It’s easy to substitute bananas when you’re baking. But remember that using a different ingredient might affect the overall dish.

Here’s a list of every substitute for bananas in baking recipes.

1. Pureed Fruit

Any pureed fruits can be a banana substitute in baking. The best part about purees is that they have almost the same consistency as a mashed banana. If using this substitute, you’ll still get your bread’s creamy and fluffy texture.

Many pureed fruits can be good options. Prunes are a favorite flavor you can use due to their sweet taste. But take note that adding this fruit will cause a difference in coloring.

2. Pureed Beans

Pureed beans are another banana-baking substitute. Although not a conventional option, it can copy the desired smooth thick texture excellently. You can opt for pureed black beans, garbanzo beans, or white beans. Using pureed beans will also give your dish a mild nutty flavor.

If you’re using pureed beans to replace bananas, you’ll need an extra sweetener. Beans have a mild, almost bland taste, so you’ll need more sugar, molasses, honey or syrup.

3. Applesauce

Applesauce is the best substitute for bananas in baking recipes. It’s the closest choice to bananas in terms of flavor, texture and sweet taste. There are many options to choose from when it comes to applesauce. You can make your own by mashing or pureeing apples. Another option is to buy pre-made applesauce in grocery stores.

To substitute bananas, we recommend using 1/2 cup of applesauce for one banana. Remember to keep an eye on the ratio because using too much applesauce can make your batter runny. If this happens, add 1/2 cup of flour for consistency.

4. Mashed Sweet Potato

Mashed sweet potatoes are also excellent substitutes for bananas in baking. They offer a mild natural sweetness that complements baked goods very well. You can add it to recipes like cookies, smoothies, or casseroles. It can also work in any recipe where you would usually use bananas.

You can use the same ratio as bananas when using sweet potatoes as an alternative. But you’ll need to do an extra step for mashing. If you’re in a hurry, you can always use canned sweet potatoes instead.

5. Silken Tofu

Silken tofu is the ultimate vegan baking substitute for banana. It’s worth emphasizing that you can only use silken tofu. It’s the closest thing in texture to mashed bananas.

Use silken tofu in an equal ratio to bananas. It will bulk up your recipe and add a smooth texture. The only downside is that silken tofu has almost no flavor. You can compensate for this with sugar, molasses, or honey.

6. Plain Yogurt

Plain yogurt is a great substitute for a banana in baking. It has a soft and smooth texture similar to mashed bananas. This condiment can add volume to your recipe and provide a tangy flavor.

It’s easy to mistake yogurt for Greek yogurt. Even though they look similar, Greek yogurt is different from regular yogurt. For one thing, Greek yogurt is fattier in content.

To combat yogurt’s sharp taste, we recommend adding more sweeteners. It isn’t very sweet, so we recommend adding honey, nuts, or fruits. Be sure to use regular yogurt and not flavored ones, as they can alter the recipe. 

7. Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is also one of the easiest banana substitutes for baking. It has higher fat content than regular yogurt and a thicker texture.

You can use this instead of bananas to bulk up a dish and add creaminess. But you’ll need to add sweeteners since Greek yogurt has a tangy taste.

8. Coconut Cream

Coconut cream is also an excellent substitute for bananas. It has an intense coconut flavor that will impact the dish. But if you don’t mind the taste, you can use it as an alternative. Coconut cream is thicker than coconut milk and has a higher fat content.

In terms of flavor, coconut cream has a sweet taste and subtle nuttiness. To replace one banana, you’ll need at least 1/4 cup of coconut cream. 

9. Plantains

Plantains are also the perfect substitute for bananas besides applesauce. Since they come from the same family, they have the exact banana flavor you’re after. But there are several differences between the two. Plantains contain more starch, are less sweet, and are bigger than yellow bananas.

You’ll need more sugar to increase the sweetness when using them as a substitute. You can also use the 1:1 ratio when it comes to plantains.

10. Egg White or Egg

Did you know you can use egg white as a substitute for bananas? This idea works in recipes where you need bananas as the binder. When used as an alternative, you can either use whole eggs or egg whites.

Egg whites work as a leavening agent and provide volume to recipes. Whole eggs work the same but also add fat and flavor. Choosing which type to use is up to your preference.

11. Soaked Cashews

Soaked cashews can substitute for bananas if you’re looking for extra creaminess. They are nutty, flavorful, and rich.

But if you need a binder, cashews may not be a good idea. Even so, they work great in bread, muffins, or cookies.

12. Avocado

Avocados can also substitute for bananas, especially in smoothie recipes. They have the same soft and creamy textures with a slightly sweet taste.

Keep in mind that the fruit’s green hue may affect the color of the dish.

13. Flaxseed or Flax egg

Flaxseed can work as a banana substitute. Vegans usually use flaxseeds to replace egg whites. In this case, we recommend using flaxseed to make a flax egg. To add sweetness, use honey, syrup, or molasses.

To make a homemade flax egg, mix raw ground flaxseed with water. After 5 minutes, you’ll have a mixture similar to egg whites in texture and flavor.

14. Oatmeal

If you’re looking for texture, you can use oatmeal as a banana substitute. These ingredients pair well, especially in baked oatmeal recipes. So, it’s not a surprise to replace one with the other.

We recommend using oatmeal in baked goods instead of bananas. Doing so helps you achieve that grainy texture.

15. Mango

Mango is one of the more surprising banana substitutes. Mangoes have the same creamy texture and sweet flavors as bananas. But mango is noticeably sweeter, so you should adjust your measurements.

Mango works best as a substitute in smoothies and beverages.

16. Chia Seeds

If you need a substitute for bananas, you can use chia seeds. We recommend this if you only use the fruit to bulk up a recipe. Chia seeds absorb liquid and give the recipe a thicker consistency.

Chia seeds make a great binder for protein bars, puddings, or baked goods.

17. Pumpkin Puree

Canned pumpkin is a good choice for replacing bananas in most recipes. It’s a sweet seasonal flavor that’s excellent in muffins, cookies, or bread. The best thing about canned pumpkin is that it has almost the same flavor and texture as bananas.

You can opt for making your homemade pumpkin puree using fresh pumpkin if you have extra time and are not in a hurry.

Since canned pumpkins may taste less sweet than fruits, you’ll need to add an extra sweetener. You can use sugar, honey, or spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

How to pick the best Substitute for Bananas in Baking

There are factors to remember when choosing a banana substitute for baking recipes. This is especially true if you’re making delicious banana bread. When using a different ingredient, there will be changes in your final dish.

Texture

The most obvious difference is the texture. Fruits are great for baking banana bread as they help add texture. The result is fluffier and grainier bread. Any ingredient near the consistency of a mashed banana will be a great substitute.

Flavor

One of the reasons recipes call for bananas is their distinct banana flavor. The flavors will vary across different substitutes. So, we recommend using fruits that are close to bananas in taste.

Recipe

Lastly, you have to think about the overall recipe. Is this a dessert recipe or a savory one? Remember, different ingredients will yield different results.

What Popular Recipes Use Banana Substitutes?

Many recipes call for bananas, but you can use other ingredients instead. You can replace bananas is the recipes such as: banana bread, oatmeal cookies, or breakfast smoothies.

What Ingredient Can Be A Banana Substitute For Smoothies?

Many ingredients fit perfectly as a banana replacement. You can use avocado, cashews, Greek yogurt, or chia seeds when making smoothies.

How many bananas in a cup of mashed bananas?

There are approximately 2 average size bananas in one full cup.

Summary

Bananas are some of the most popular fruits for baked goods due to their sweet flavor. Their creamy texture also acts as binders in recipes.

The best substitute for bananas in baking recipes is applesauce or plantains. They both have the same flavors, texture, and creaminess that you want in bananas. When using it as a substitute, follow the 1:1 ratio.

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Natalia | Flavorful home
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!

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