Tender and flavorful banana bread without baking soda. This an easy, full-proof, homemade banana bread recipe that relies on baking powder as the leavening agent.
Can you make banana bread without baking soda?
Most quick breads are made with soda. But not this banana bread without baking soda. Instead of the classic raising agent used for making sweet bread, the cake batter will rise nicely thanks to baking powder.
And despite the lack of soda, the banana nut bread will still rise beautifully; it will have a tender crumb and be perfectly fluffy.
Are you looking for more delicious recipes using bananas? Check out the Pumpkin Banana Muffins, The Best Banana Carrot Muffins, and the Banana Muffins with Nutella.
What is the difference between baking soda and baking powder?
They are both leavening agents that help bake goods rise during baking.
Baking soda or sodium bicarbonate is an alkaline salt compound that is activated when mixed with an acidic ingredient (for instance, vinegar, lemon juice, or buttermilk) and a liquid. When activated, it produces carbon dioxide, which helps baked goods rise.
Baking powder is a mixture of sodium bicarbonate (soda) and an acid (for instance, cream of tartar). This makes it a complete leavening agent as it contains both the base and the acid that make baked goods rise. These two substances produce a chemical reaction when mixed with a liquid, thus activating carbon dioxide. Heat also triggers a second reaction, so the combination of moisture and heat makes the cakes rise.
Can you use baking powder instead of baking soda?
It depends on the recipe; the combination of the ingredients is critical. You should never just replace the soda with baking powder or the other way around.
You can replace the soda with baking powder in a recipe, but not 1:1; it is usually a ratio of 1:3 (so you will need 3 times as much baking powder).
The other way around is a bit more complicated as you must add an acid (like cream of tartar) to the baking soda to make the recipe work.
So unless you are a professional and familiar with all the chemical reactions taking place during baking, you should always follow a specific recipe developed to use one or the other mentioned products.
- Overripe bananas: If you are looking for a banana bread recipe, chances are high that you have some brown bananas in your kitchen. They will be perfect for this sweet banana bread without soda.
- You will need about 3 medium bananas. I weighed mine before peeling – 14 oz (400 g) and after peeling 10.5 oz (300 g). If you make sure you weigh the bananas and use the correct amount, nothing can go wrong.
- Two large eggs at room temperature.
- Vegetable oil: Neutral-tasting vegetable oil; I always use canola in baking.
- Sugar: Granulated sugar for the batter and powdered sugar (icing sugar/ confectioners’ sugar) for sprinkling over the loaf. You can use a combination of white sugar and brown sugar for the cake batter if you like.
- All-purpose flour: I sometimes use cake flour instead of all-purpose; both products will be fine.
- Baking powder: To help the batter rise nicely.
- Pecans: They are delicious and add a nice crunch. However, they are optional and can be replaced with walnuts or other nuts you like.
- Other ingredients: Fine sea salt or Kosher salt, cinnamon, and vanilla extract.
What could I add?
- Walnuts are a good substitute for pecans, but you can also choose almonds, hazelnuts, or macadamia nuts.
- Other spices like carrot cake or pumpkin cake spices, cardamom, allspice, cloves, ginger, or nutmeg.
- Chocolate chips
How to make banana bread without baking soda?
- Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C). Butter and flour the loaf pan (9 inches/ 22 cm). Turn it over the sink and pat it gently to remove the excess flour. You can also line the pan with parchment paper.
- Bananas: Peel and mash bananas with a fork. Set them aside (1).
- Pecans: Chop them and set them aside.
- Dry ingredients: Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set them aside (2).
- Wet ingredients: Place the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer (or in the stand mixer) on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes (3).
- Mix in the mashed bananas.
- Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture (4) and fold in gently using a spatula until just combined (5). Don’t overmix!
- Fold in the chopped nuts in just 2 or 3 movements (6).
- Bake: Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake the banana bread without soda in the preheated oven for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick or a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
- Let the no-soda banana bread cool in the tin for about 30 minutes. Then, remove it and let it cool completely on a wire rack.
- Sprinkle the top of the loaf generously with powdered sugar before serving.
The most important tip: Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it’s the only way to ensure that cakes turn out as they should. Baking is a science, and it requires precise measurements (Amazon affiliate link).
- Room temperature: The eggs and the oil should be at room temperature. They will create a smooth emulsion that traps the air in the batter. This air will expand during baking, making the baked goods light and fluffy.
- Bake the banana bread immediately; otherwise, the baking powder will lose its powder, and the batter won’t rise. Make sure that you preheat the oven and prepare the baking tin before you start mixing the batter.
- Remember to take the toothpick test to ensure that the bread is baked.
Sure. Mix ¾ cup (2 ½ oz/ 75 g) powdered sugar with 3-4 teaspoons of lemon juice. The glaze should be thick yet slightly pourable. Pour over the bread and let set. You could also make a cream cheese frosting.
You used too much flour, which only happens when using cups to measure flour.
Wrap it lightly in a paper towel and keep it in an airtight container at room temperature.
Room temperature: As instructed above. It will be great for about 3 days.
Refrigerate it in an airtight container to store it for about 5 days.
Freeze it for up to 3 months. You can freeze the whole loaf (wrapped in plastic wrap and then in foil) or the individual slices. Freeze the pieces in a single layer on a baking sheet or plate. Once solid, wrap them in plastic or foil and place them in freezer bags or airtight containers.
Defrost in the fridge or on the counter.
More delicious desserts
- Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Irish Coffee Cake (with Baileys)
- Chocolate Cherry Brownies
- Easy Vanilla Muffin Recipe
- Red Velvet Mini Bundt Cakes
- Easy Brownie Blondie Recipe
Check out the condensed presentation for this recipe: Bake Banana Bread without Baking Soda
Banana Bread without Baking Soda
- Loaf pan 9 inches/ 22 cm
- Electric mixer or stand mixer
- 3 medium overripe bananas Note 2
- ½ cup pecans 65 g, Note 3
- 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour 250 g
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt or Kosher
- 2 eggs large
- ¾ cup granulated sugar 150 g
- scant ½ cup canola oil 100 ml
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- powdered sugar for dusting, Note 4
- Preheat the oven to 360°F (180°C). Butter and flour the loaf pan. Turn it over the sink and pat it gently to remove the excess flour.
- Bananas: Peel, mash them with a fork, and set them aside.3 bananas
- Pecans: Chop the nuts and set them aside.½ cup (65 g) pecans
- Dry ingredients: Mix the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a medium bowl. Set them aside.1 ¾ cup flour + 2 tsp baking powder + ½ tsp cinnamon + ¼ tsp sea salt
- Wet ingredients: Beat the eggs, sugar, oil, and vanilla extract in a large mixing bowl on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes. Add the mashed bananas.2 eggs + ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar + scant ½ cup (100 ml) oil + 1 tsp vanilla sugar
- Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and fold in gently using a spatula until just combined. Don’t overmix!
- Fold in the pecans in just 2 or 3 movements.
- Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake the banana bread for 55 to 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool: Let the bread cool in the tin for about 30 minutes. Transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Serve: Sprinkle the bread with powdered sugar or ice it with a mix of powdered sugar and lemon juice (Note 4).
- Scale: Always use a digital kitchen scale in baking; it guarantees the best results (Amazon affiliate link).
- Bananas: Unpeeled weight 14 oz (400 g). Peeled weight 10.5 oz (300 g).
- Nuts: Substitute with walnuts or other nuts.
- You can also ice the banana bread. Mix ¾ cup (2 ½ oz/ 75 g) powdered sugar with 3-4 teaspoons of lemon juice. The glaze should be thick yet slightly pourable. Pour over the bread and let set.