A few years ago, my dad’s step mom, Ama, was visiting from the South of France and noticed a few overripe bananas sitting on our kitchen counter. With her French accent and broken English, Ama asked us if we had ever made banana bread. Of course we had, but we happily took her recipe scrawled in her loopy script, anyway.

The next day, we beat the fruit flies to the definitely-brown bananas and made Ama’s banana bread. I may be biased, but her banana bread recipe may just be one of the best loaves I’ve ever had. The interior is soft and gooey, but the bread holds together so well. It’s perfectly dense, making it a delicious and satisfying breakfast with an egg or two, or a great snack to tide me over.

Kennedy Dierks

I can say with confidence that I’ve never had a bad slice of banana bread while utilizing her recipe — and that includes the time I straight-up forgot to add the bananas to it.

Plus, it’s delicious hot out of the oven, room temp, straight from the fridge, or even after being in a Ziploc overnight. It makes my day ten times better when I remember I baked a loaf the day before and have a slice waiting for me in the fridge – as Ama says, the bread really is better the next day.

Kennedy Dierks

One of my favorite parts of this recipe is that it comes together in a large mixing bowl with a whisk, and bakes in a loaf pan, aka minimal dishwashing and maximum banana bread enjoyment.

While Ama’s recipe — which was originally written in French by her mother — includes eggs and butter, a few simple swaps with pantry ingredients make this recipe vegan-friendly without sacrificing flavor or texture. 

Ama's Banana Bread (Veganized!)

  • Prep Time:15 mins
  • Cook Time:55 mins
  • Total Time:1 hr 10 mins
  • Servings:8
  • Easy


  • cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • cup neutral oil such as vegetable canola or coconut
  • teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ¼ cup flour I’ve used AP and whole wheat
  • teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • Optional add-ins:
  • cup vegan chocolate chips
  • cup toasted walnuts Ama’s favorite!
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds
Kennedy Dierks
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  • Step 2

    Grease a loaf pan with coconut oil, canola oil spray, or even line it with parchment paper. If you want to be sure it won’t stick, you can also dust the pan with a bit of flour — be sure to grease the corners!

  • Step 3

    In a large mixing bowl, combine the applesauce, sugar, and oil. Add the vanilla extract and mix.

    Kennedy Dierks
  • Step 4

    Mash three bananas (spotty, overripe bananas work best, but any well-mashed banana will do) and add to the other wet ingredients in a large mixing bowl.

  • Step 5

    Sift the baking soda, salt, and flour; then gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in the bowl, stirring until combined. Add mix-ins, such as walnuts or chocolate chips, if desired.

    Kennedy Dierks
  • Step 6

    Pour the batter into the loaf pan, and bake it in the oven for 55 minutes, or until golden brown on top and a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool.

    Kennedy Dierks