15 Banana Substitutes In Baking

Mary and Brenda Maher

By Brenda & Mary

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You’re planning to bake but just realized you’re out of bananas—or maybe you’re skipping them on purpose. It could be a rare allergy, or maybe you’re watching your sugar or potassium intake. Whatever the reason, finding banana alternatives in baking can seem tricky since they add so much moisture and sweetness to recipes.

Banana Substitutes

But fret not! I’ve got some fantastic alternatives that will help you easily whip up your favorite treats. Stick around, and let’s explore how to work with your beloved recipes without bananas!

How to Choose a Good Substitute for Banana in Baking

Bananas play a bigger role in baking than just adding flavor. They act as binders, holding the ingredients together and providing much-needed moisture. That is why your substitutions for bananas in baking should be able to mimic their binding and moisturizing properties.

This swap gets a bit tricky compared to, say, smoothies, where you’re mainly after that creamy texture and fruity taste. Greek yogurt or coconut cream, while great for smoothies, won’t cut it here.

What Can I Use Instead Of Banana In Baking? 15 Options

1. Plantains

At first glance, plantains look almost identical to bananas. But these starchy fruits are a whole different ball game. Plantains are usually cooked before eating – whether fried, baked, or mashed into dishes.

Nutrition-wise, these fruits pack a bigger punch than bananas. They’re higher in calories but also contain more vitamin C, potassium, and magnesium per serving. Even the peel is nutritious and can be used for fiber-packed cookies.

In baking, ripe mashed plantains can directly substitute mashed bananas at a 1:1 ratio. This is typically about one cup of mashed plantain per banana in your recipe.

The taste is distinct – more savory and almost tangy compared to bananas. But that unique flavor can work amazingly in things like quick snack cakes, muffins, and breads, muffins.

One thing I love about this banana replacement is they add an awesome chewy texture thanks to their higher starch content. Just be warned that gumminess can happen if you go overboard with the amount.

2. Oatmeal

Like bananas, oats are an awesome source of fiber – both the soluble and insoluble kinds. They’re also crammed with other health benefits like supporting healthy cholesterol levels and keeping you feeling fuller longer.

But we can’t just toss some oats straight into banana bread batter. The texture would be all wrong. Instead, you’ll want to grind those oats into a fine powder first using a blender or food processor. This trick helps mimic the smooth, uniform consistency of mashed bananas.

One thing to keep in mind: oats aren’t quite as naturally sweet and moist as bananas. So start by using just ¼ cup of the oat powder for every ½ cup of mashed bananas your recipe calls for. You can always add more if needed. A little extra sugar and liquid (like milk or juice) can help, too.

With those adjustments, oats make a surprisingly tasty and nutritious stand-in for pancakes, muffins, and even cookies. The best part? You get all those awesome fiber points without that distinct oat flavor overpowering your treats.

3. Chia Seeds

Why chia seeds? Like bananas, they create this amazing gel-like texture when mixed with water. It’s perfect for binding ingredients together. This can be a real lifesaver in recipes like cakes or muffins, where you traditionally rely on the creaminess of bananas.

Simply sub 1 tbsp of chia “eggs” for each banana your recipe calls for. The chia will provide that needed moisture while letting the other flavors shine.

These little seeds may be tiny, but they are nutritional powerhouses. They’re loaded with fiber, antioxidants, and even omega-3s.

One note: Chia is virtually flavorless on its own. So, you may want to bump up spices or add a bit more sugar to compensate for the banana’s natural sweetness.

4. Sweet Potatoes

These orange tubers have a delightfully mild sweetness all their own. They also have plenty of calcium, fiber, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and zinc. So they’ll one-up bananas in that department while keeping things moist and flavorful.

From cakes and breads to muffins and cookies, sweet potatoes are a brilliant substitute for mashed banana. They add irresistible moisture, nutrition, and a delightful hint of sweetness.

Using them is simple. Just mash up some cooked sweet potato and use it as a 1:1 swap for the mashed bananas in your recipe. If replacing whole bananas, use ½ cup of the mash per banana required.

The sweet potato’s light sweetness means you may not need many other adjustments. But you can always add a touch more sugar or spices if desired to enhance the flavors.

5. Soaked Cashews

Soaked cashews, when pureed, stand in for bananas with surprising elegance. Originating from the cashew tree, these nuts boast a creamy texture and a subtly sweet, buttery flavor when soaked and blended. They’re a powerhouse in creamy desserts like mousses but can also rock the stage in baked goods.

For optimal creaminess, soak the raw cashews in water for at least four hours, or better yet, overnight. After draining them, throw them into a high-power blender until they reach a smooth and lush consistency. Finally, use this cashew cream instead of mashed bananas in your recipes with a one-to-one ratio.

Since cashews are high in fat, consider dialing back the butter or oil in your recipe.

6. Eggs

Egg Substitutes for Baking

To replace one mashed banana, you’ll use one whole egg. But keep this in mind. While bananas add moisture to recipes, eggs primarily work for structure and binding. If your recipe also depends on bananas for sweetness, toss in a bit of extra sweetener.

Besides their structural benefits, eggs pack a punch of protein and essential vitamins, which may give your baked goods an added nutritional boost. This choice is superb for lighter, fluffier results. It was a lifesaver for me in cakes or muffins where I wanted a rise hard to achieve with bananas.

7. Applesauce

I love substituting applesauce for bananas in many muffins, cakes, and even some bread. That is where applesauce can enhance the moisture content while providing a subtle fruity undertone without overpowering other flavors.

What’s interesting about applesauce in baking is its role as a natural sweetener. If your recipes call for a ton of sugar, it can help dial that down.

This substitution also shines in diets requiring low potassium. It allows you to enjoy flavorsome, moist textures without worrying much about dietary restrictions.

One-to-one is my go-to ratio when replacing mashed bananas with unsweetened applesauce. For recipes demanding whole bananas, use ½ cup of applesauce per banana.

8. Pumpkin Puree

This is a handy sub all year round. When you swap pumpkin in, you’re infusing your baked goods with a burst of beta carotene, which gets converted to vitamin A in the body. Not to mention, it’s also rich in fiber and potassium.

Using it brings a dense, creamy texture, ideal for heavier dishes like pies and quick breads. And when it comes to flavor, it offers a mild, earthy base, which goes well with warm spices like cinnamon and clove.

Pumpkin puree works like a charm in a one-to-one ratio when replacing mashed bananas. Half a cup of pumpkin puree will do the trick if your recipe calls for whole bananas.

Whether you’re using store-bought or making your own puree, remember this substitute could alter the overall sweetness. You might want to adjust your sugar levels accordingly.

While pumpkin is versatile, it’s denser than applesauce. Consider this when choosing your substitute based on the desired outcome of your bake. This makes it a stellar choice for recipes that can handle a bit more body and texture.

9. Zucchini

Zucchini may seem like an odd banana stand-in, but trust me with this one. This mild, moisture-rich veggie can work wonders in quick breads and muffins when you’re out of bananas.

My trick is to grate that zucchini up using a box grater, then squeeze out any excess liquid. This will prevent your baked goods from getting too soggy. From there, you can substitute the shredded zucchini for mashed bananas in a straight 1:1 ratio.

Zucchini may be super mild in flavor, but it won’t add sweetness like bananas. You’ll likely want to increase the sugar a bit. Tossing in some extra spices or vanilla can also help round out the flavors.

Note that zucchini has no binding power on its own. That means you’ll want to stick to using it for quick breads, muffins, and other baked goods that don’t require much structure. Anything too delicate may end up being a terrible, fallen mess.

10. Avocado

One benefit of avocados is their ability to help your body better absorb nutrients from other foods. Using them in things like carrot cake or zucchini bread is a no-brainer. That mild avocado flavor can also create an insanely fudgy, creamy texture in richer, denser treats like chocolate muffins or brownies. Your taste buds will be delighted.

You’ll generally want to use a 1:1 ratio of mashed avocado to mashed bananas. For whole bananas, use about ½ cup of the green stuff per banana. This helps replicate that iconic moisture and texture.

The one potential downside is that avocados aren’t particularly sweet on their own. For sweet baked goods, you may need to increase the sugar content.

11. Prunes

These dried plums can work shockingly well when you’re out of bananas for baking. Their natural sweetness and moisture make them an ideal stand-in for things like cakes, quick breads, and muffins.

The key is pureeing those prunes into a smooth paste first. This replicates the texture of mashed bananas perfectly. From there, you can use the prune puree as a straight 1:1 substitute in your recipes.

Beyond just solving the no-banana dilemma, prunes also bring a few bonus benefits to your baked goods. Their concentrated sweetness means you may be able to cut back on added sugars. And its stickiness helps keep things incredibly tender and moist for days.

Prunes have a distinct flavor that some may find off-putting. But in many baked goods, those rich notes blend right in with the other flavors. A little citrus, cinnamon, or vanilla can also help mask any pruney taste.

12. Silken Tofu

Firm Tofu

For all my vegan bakers out there, silken tofu is an absolute must for your pantry stash. This creamy, protein-packed ingredient can easily be used for bananas in all sorts of dairy-free treats.

The beauty of silken tofu is its luscious, smooth texture, which beautifully mimics mashed bananas. It keeps things incredibly moist and binds ingredients together like a dream. From brownies and cakes to muffins and breads, tofu has you covered.

You can use the same quantity of blended silken tofu as the amount of mashed bananas required. If your recipe calls for 1 cup of bananas, simply blend up 1 cup of that luscious tofu.

Remember that tofu is virtually flavorless on its own. For sweeter baked goods, I usually want to add a little more spices, vanilla, or added sugars to make up for the banana’s inherent sweetness.

13. Ground Flax Seeds

These tiny seeds pack a nutritious punch with their fiber content. When mixed with water, they form a gel-like texture that mimics the binding properties of mashed bananas without any added flavor.

Simply mix 1 tablespoon of the ground seeds with 3 tablespoons of water. Let that mixture sit for about 5 minutes to thicken into a goopy, egg-like consistency. This “flax egg” can replace 1 banana in your recipe.

Remember that flax is flavorless. You may want to increase other ingredients like sugar or vanilla.

I often use this trick in my whole wheat banana muffins or breads. The flax helps retain moisture while letting the other flavors, like cinnamon and nutmeg, shine through.

14. Beans

Creamy bean purees can work amazingly well as a substitute for bananas in rich, dense treats.

Whether you go with black beans, white beans, or even chickpeas, they have an ultra-smooth, dense texture when pureed. And their mild, earthy flavor works well with other ingredients like chocolate, cinnamon, and vanilla.

You’ll want to use an equal amount of the bean puree. So if your brownie recipe calls for 1 cup of banana, simply blend up 1 cup of those beans until satiny smooth.

Beans aren’t inherently sweet. You’ll likely need to add more sugars, syrups, or other sweeteners by a few tablespoons to balance out any residual savory notes.

15. Other Fruity Purees

Many fruits have similar natural sweetness and moisture that can make up for bananas in certain cakes, quick breads, and muffins.

Fruit purees add a fresh, vibrant flavor to baked goods. They also tend to be lower in calories and higher in fiber than bananas, so in addition to being delicious, they’re pretty darn nutritious, too.

I’ve introduced applesauce and pumpkin puree – some of the most popular swaps. But don’t be afraid to get creative with frozen or fresh fruits like pears or berries once blended up into a smooth puree.

When using fruit substitutes for bananas, you’ll generally want to replace bananas in a 1:1 ratio. Pay attention to the liquid content of whichever fruit you use. If it’s particularly juicy or watery, you may need to reduce some other liquids in the recipe. That’ll keep the batter from being too runny.

Best Banana Supplements

Sometimes, you just need an extra boost of those essential vitamins and minerals bananas provide. But fresh bananas may be out of the question. Even substitutes in baking might not cut it.

That’s where banana supplements can come in handy. These shelf-stable products offer a convenient way to get your banana fix without worrying about them going bad too quickly.

Banana powder, for instance, typically captures the same delightful aroma and taste as fresh bananas. It’s a great choice for smoothies or sprinkling over your morning oatmeal or yogurt.

Then there’s banana flour. It comes with a concentrated punch of resistant starch and fiber. This powdery stuff makes a great nutrient-boosted alternative to regular flour in recipes. Fair warning, though, it can lend a slightly gritty texture. You might want to use it in moderation or combine it with other flour.

If you want an all-in-one banana boost, look for fruit-based supplements. Some of them contain both the pulp and peel as ingredients. They essentially act like a multivitamin tailored for banana lovers. They have lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and potassium – all the good stuff you’d get from eating the real deal.

Be mindful of the ingredients and nutrition facts, no matter which supplement you pick. Some products might have added sugars or fillers, for instance. Do your research to find one that aligns with your dietary needs and preferences.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Oil Instead of Bananas?

Yes, with some caution. Oil packs a lot more fat and can significantly change the flavor and feel of your baked goods.

What Can I Use to Replace Bananas in Banana Bread?

Try using pumpkin puree or applesauce instead of bananas in your banana bread. These substitutes will keep your bread moist and add a new twist to the flavor, though they tweak the texture and taste a bit.

Which Low-Sugar Swaps Can Work in Place of Bananas?

For a lower-sugar option, consider using eggs, sweet potato, or zucchini. These ingredients are less sweet but still lend the necessary moisture and structure to your baked goods.

What Are Low-Carb Banana Substitutes in Baking?

When you’re cutting carbs, opt for unsweetened applesauce or zucchini puree. These will imitate the moisture bananas provide without the carbs.

What Are Low-Potassium Substitutes for Bananas?

Go for applesauce or pear puree. These are excellent alternatives for anyone monitoring their potassium intake, especially in cakes and breads.

Happy Baking! May your treats turn out fantastic with the banana substitutes above. Don’t forget to share how it went with me!

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Mary and Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher

Mary & Brenda Maher, are the founders of Cake Girls, a Chicago-based online baking shop specializing in cake supplies, party decor, and DIY cake tutorials. They are known for their elaborate and artistic cake creations, which have been featured on the Food Network Challenge and in a reality show, Amazing Wedding Cakes.

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