If you have a few overripe bananas knocking about on the kitchen counter, these delicious vegan banana brownies are a perfect way to use them.
To me, there is nothing more comforting than freshly baked banana bread and brownies, so I thought it was a good opportunity to combine them into one deliciously mouth-watering treat - I think you're gonna love these too.
What's to love about these brownies:
- Tastes like a combination of chocolate banana bread and brownies.
- Fluffy and slightly fudgy without being overly dense.
- Naturally sweetened with coconut sugar.
- Great for chocolate lovers.
- Easy to make.
- Eggless and dairy-free.
- A great way to use up overripe bananas.
Notes about the ingredients
- Overripe bananas: The spottier the better for this recipe, you don't want to use underripe bananas as they will be too starchy and not quite sweet enough for these brownies. The brownies themselves call for 2 bananas, and you can additional banana slices on top if you have them to hand.
- Dark chocolate: A good quality vegan dark chocolate with a minimum of 70% cocoa solids is what I recommend for these brownies.
- Cocoa powder: This recipe calls for natural cocoa powder or raw cacao powder, not Dutch-processed cocoa which can be found in these vegan gluten-free brownies.
- Coconut sugar: Using unrefined sugar like coconut sugar keeps this a somewhat healthy banana brownie recipe. You can use another brown sugar in place of coconut sugar, such as muscovado or soft brown sugar.
- Plant-based milk: You can use any non-dairy milk of your choice here. Coconut milk, soy milk, or almond milk is mixed together with apple cider vinegar which creates a vegan buttermilk substitute that will tenderize the brownies.
- Sunflower oil: Again, any neutral oil will work here such as light olive oil or rapeseed oil.
- Baking soda: This is a leavening agent which helps to lift the brownies when baking, creating a lighter cakier texture so they don't become too dense.
- Coffee: This elevates and intensifies the chocolate flavor of these banana brownies.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla is a natural sweetener and flavor enhancer which adds another layer of flavor to the brownies.
- Sea salt: This helps to balance out the sweetness of desserts, while also enhancing the chocolate flavor.
How to make vegan banana brownies
(Full ingredient quantities and instructions can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post)
Prepare the ingredients and equipment
- First things first, you'll want to get your oven preheated to 170°C so that it will be hot by the time the brownies are ready to go into the oven.
- Line the baking pan with parchment paper. I've used both 8 x 8-inch and 7 x 11-inch pans to make these brownies and both work well.
- Make the vegan buttermilk by mixing together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar.
Preparing the wet ingredients
To make a double-boiler, fill a saucepan of water one-third way with water and place it on medium heat to get a low simmer. Add the chocolate to a heat-resistant bowl and set the bowl on top of the saucepan of water. The steam from the water will rise and gently melt the chocolate.
Once the chocolate has been melted, remove it from the heat and whisk in the sunflower oil. Set the chocolate mixture aside for later while it cools slightly.
Next, you'll want to use a big bowl for whipping the aquafaba as it will increase in size and get fluffy. The aquafaba is a replacer for eggs in a lot of vegan recipes, it will act as a binder as well as help to create an airy and fluffy consistency to the brownies. Whisk the aquafaba for about 5 minutes using a handheld electric whisk. Once the aquafaba is airy and fluffy, set it aside until you have prepared the rest of the ingredients.
Next, mash the spotty bananas using a fork. Use a large bowl that's big enough for all of the wet ingredients (preferably bigger than what I've used here!).
Add the coffee, vanilla extract, and coconut sugar to the bowl with the mashed bananas and whisk until they form a paste. Add in the vegan buttermilk followed by the melted chocolate mixture and whisk well to combine. whisk again for another few seconds.
Now carefully fold whipped aquafaba into the wet ingredients using a spatula. Once all of the aquafaba has been incorporated into the wet ingredients, you can start adding in the dry ingredients.
Making the brownie batter
Start adding the dry ingredients to the bowl in 2-3 increments (that's the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt). Don't be tempted to overmix the batter, a few small pockets of flour in the batter are completely fine.
Lastly, fold the chocolate chips or chopped chocolate chunks into the batter. Be sure to save a few for topping the brownies before baking!
Baking the brownies
Pour the brownie batter into your square baking pan. Slice the bananas lengthways and arrange them on top of the batter. Sprinkle some coconut sugar or dark muscovado sugar on top of the bananas to help them brown and caramelize in the oven.
Bake the brownies for 25-30 minutes. To check if they are ready, pierce them with a knife or skewer, the knife should be almost clean, with a few crumbs. Bear in mind that the brownies will continue to cook from the heat built up in the batter after you remove them from the oven.
These vegan banana brownies are best stored at room temperature in an airtight container. They'll stay fresh for 3-4 days. You can also store them in the fridge if preferred.
Tips for the best brownies
- Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting them into servings. This will probably take up to an hour (I know I know it's not easy to wait, it just minimizes the crumbs you'll have trying to cut them while still hot).
- Use metric gram measurements to get the most accurate results, as with all baked recipes!
- Serve these vegan brownies with a scoop of vegan ice cream to take them to the next level. They'll be delicious with pretty much any non-dairy ice cream but in particular this no-churn chocolate ice cream!
Frequently asked questions
These brownies can be frozen for up to a couple of months and thawed before serving. Note that defrosted bananas do tend to go a little mushy, so if you don't fancy that I'd recommend leaving the top layer of bananas off before baking.
I always use a double-boiler (aka bain-marie) when melting chocolate. Chocolate can be finicky to work with, so using a double-boiler gives you maximum control of the melting process.
More vegan desserts
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!
- 220 g (7.76 oz) vegan dark chocolate, or dark chocolate chips
- 118 ml (½ cup) sunflower oil, or neutral oil such as rapeseed oil or light olive oil
- 120 ml (½ cup) soy milk, or other plant-based milk
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 118 ml (½ cup) aquafaba, * see notes
- 2 (200g) ripe bananas, plus 2 more for topping if desired
- 2 tablespoons Instant coffee, mixed with 2 tbsp (30 ml) boiling water
- 180 g (1 cup) coconut sugar, or dark muscovado sugar or soft brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 250 g (2 cups) plain flour
- 50 g (½ cup) raw cacao powder, or natural cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon Baking soda
- ½ teaspoon Sea salt
- 1 tablespoon coconut sugar, for garnish
- Preheat your oven to 170°C. Line an 8x8" or 7x11"' baking pan with parchment paper and set it aside. Separate out 100g of the dark chocolate and cut it into chunks, set it aside.
- Add the remaining 120g of chocolate to a heat-proof bowl and melt it over a double boiler. Remove from the heat, whisk in the rapeseed oil and set aside.
- In a small bowl or cup, mix together the soy milk and apple cider vinegar to make a vegan buttermilk mixture and set aside.
- Add the aquafaba to a separate large bowl and beat using an electric whisk for 5 minutes until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Mash 2 of the bananas with a fork in a large bowl. Add the coffee, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract and whisk the mixture to combine. Add the vegan buttermilk mixture and whisk again until mixed. Then add the melted chocolate mixture and whisk for another 30 seconds to combine. Carefully fold the whipped aquafaba into the bowl with the wet ingredients using a spatula.
- In a separate large bowl, mix together the flour, cacao powder, baking soda, and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the bowl with the wet ingredients in 2-3 increments, do not over-mix. Lastly, fold in the reserved chocolate chunks (you can hold a few tablespoons to scatter on top of the brownies before baking if desired).
- Pour the batter into the baking tin, using a spatula to spread it out evenly. Slice the remaining bananas (if using) lengthways and arrange them on top of the batter.
- Sprinkle the top of the bananas with coconut sugar and place in the oven to bake for 25-30 minutes. Check the brownies are done by piercing them with a clean knife or skewer, it should come out clean with a few crumbs. If there is a lot of batter on the knife, bake them for another 5 minutes.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely before removing them from the pan and cutting them into servings.
- These vegan banana brownies are best stored at room temperature in an airtight container. They'll stay fresh for 3-4 days. You can also store them in the fridge if preferred.
- Aquafaba: The liquid part from tinned chickpeas.
- Allow the brownies to cool completely before cutting them into servings to minimize crumbs.
- Use metric gram measurements to get the most accurate results, as with all baked recipes!
- Serve these vegan brownies with a scoop of vegan ice cream to take them to the next level.
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