{Vegan} Banana Bread with a Salted Date Caramel Swirl

So, we are talking banana bread today.  This quick bread is probably one of the easiest and most familiar baked goods in many kitchens with a plethora of recipes out there to prove it.  Earlier, I posted a maple-olive oil banana bread recipe that has been in my rotation a few years now from the Shutterbean blog that I absolutely adore.  The bread AND the blog. Actually, it’s been the only recipe I’ve used since I first started making banana bread.

However, this time I decided to change it up a bit and mash up two recipes that I’ve been eyeing on for some time that I found on a couple of my favorite blogs.  So we have a vegan banana bread with a vegan, naturally sweetened salted date caramel swirl.  YUM!  Do not let the vegan-ness scare you away; there are no weird ingredient substitutions or fancy ingredients.

This bread turned out barely sweet, dense, and moist due to the number of bananas used.  Then to bite into the date-caramel swirl within the bread is just a flavor bonus.  I feel the bread is best served warm, straight out of the oven.  However, simply toasting a couple slices in the morning works just as well and makes for a filling and delicious breakfast.

Vegan Banana Bread 5

Vegan Banana Bread 6



For the Salted Date Caramel:

  • 8 medjool dates, pitted
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste

How To:

Warm almond milk in a small saucepan until hot but not boiling.  Remove from heat and combine with dates, vanilla and sea salt in a high-speed blender.  Pulse/blend until smooth, adding more almond milk as needed to keep the mixture going.

Beware, the consistency should be a bit thicker almost like a paste.  Makes it easier to swirl into the batter.

(from Ambitious Kitchen)

For the Banana Bread:

  • 4-5 very ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar {natural cane sugar would work as well}
  • 3/4 cup coconut oil, melted and cooled
  • 1 tbs pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup almond buttermilk (see Note)*
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • dash cinnamon & cardamom
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 3 cups whole wheat pastry flour {or white whole wheat flour}

How To:

Preheat oven to 350˚F.  Lightly grease a loaf pan with oil and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, blend the bananas with a hand mixer or immersion blender until smooth. Whisk in the coconut sugar, coconut oil, and vanilla extract, followed by the cinnamon/cardamom, baking soda, sea salt and half of the flour. Whisk in the buttermilk then, using a rubber spatula, stir in the remaining flour. Do not over mix or else your bread will be tough and chewy.

Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Using a spoon, dollop approximately a quarter of a cup of the salted date caramel over the top, making sure to spread the dollops out evenly.  Using a butter knife, marble the caramel by dragging it across the top of the batter over the length and width of the pan.

Pour the remaining half of the batter into the pan.  Repeat the same marbling process over the top of the loaf using another quarter cup of the salted date caramel.

Bake for 50-55 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.  Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert on a wire rack to cool completely. Banana bread will keep loosely covered, at room temperature, for up to three days.  Although I have refrigerated mine and warmed slices by lightly toasted them.

*Almond Buttermilk:  Combine 1 tbs apple cider vinegar and 1 cup almond (or soy) milk in a measuring cup and let sit for 10 minutes until curdled.

(slightly adapted from Oh, Ladycakes)

Vegan Banana Bread 4

Vegan Banana Bread 2

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