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Banana Bread Without Baking Soda

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Banana bread is a timeless treat that can, and should, be consumed any time of day.  It’s easy to prepare and a perfect crowd pleaser for breakfast, a midday snack, or even dessert. 

The variations of recipes for banana bread are almost endless. This one is simple, moist and absolutely packed with banana flavor.

It’s the perfect option when you have browning bananas on the counter begging to be made into a treat, but no baking soda in the pantry. 

It is important to note that baking soda is used in quick breads for good reason, and typically should not be omitted without a replacement leavening agent.

Substances like baking soda provide the lift for baked goods that we are accustomed to. If you do have baking soda on hand, you simply need to add 1 teaspoon to this recipe. 

Substitutes For Baking Soda In Banana Bread

A couple of easy swaps for baking soda in banana bread is baking powder (I personally use this one that you can pick up on Amazon) or yeast. Banana bread is very forgiving and these replacements can be made with little to no difference in your results.

  • Baking Powder – A general rule of thumb is to use 3x as much baking powder when replacing it for baking soda. Baking powder is a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar, so you need quite a bit more of it to get the same leavening power. 
  • Yeast – The yeast we purchase in the store is typically shelf-stable and just needs moisture to “wake it up”. When using it as a replacement for baking soda simply mix the ingredients as normal, leave in the mixing bowl covered with a clean dish towel, and place in a warm spot for about an hour, or long enough for the dough to double in size. Proceed as directed for baking.

Sometimes, however, we simply don’t have any of these options and we still want banana bread. And banana bread we shall have! 

This recipe will yield a delicious loaf of banana bread, sure to please anyone who gets a slice. You can expect it to be denser and rise less than other recipes, but there is no compromise on flavor. 

Banana Bread Instructions

Here’s how to make banana bread without baking soda:

  1. The first step in any banana bread is to crush those bananas. You can choose your preferred banana crushing method – smash, squish, blend, pound – as long as you end up with a pile of mush. The best tool for this is a culinary masher (like this one from Amazon). Very ripe bananas will be the easiest to work with and produce the sweetest flavor for your finished product. 
  2. Next be sure to prepare your loaf pan with some kind of grease (butter, coconut oil, cooking spray) and parchment paper for effortless removal. 
  3. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F so you can pop it in right away. 
  4. After you have gathered your ingredients, simply cream the butter and sugar. 
  5. Add the eggs, mashed banana, and vanilla. Mix.
  6. Stir in flour, cinnamon, and salt. (Be careful not to overmix)
  7. Pour that batter into your prepared loaf pan and it’s ready to go. 
  8. It’s that easy!

An optional finishing touch prior to baking, that I have done here, is to add a thinly sliced strip of banana on top with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon sugar. It adds just a bit to the flavor but a great deal to the overall appearance of your loaf. 

You want to keep the banana slice quite thin, as it will not soften much in baking, so too thick will cause an odd contrast of textures. 

Banana Bread Add-Ins

A few more additions you may like to try: 

  • Your favorite nut. Chop up your nut of choice, such as walnuts or pecans, and stir into the batter as a final step. 
  • Another fruit. You can chop up larger fruits, like strawberries or mango, or use whole berries. These can be mixed in right at the end. 
  • Chocolate. Use chocolate chips or chunks and stir in at the end as a delicious extra treat. 
  • Cocoa Powder. Instead of chunks of chocolate you can make the batter itself chocolate by stirring in ½ cup cocoa powder. Or, for extra decadence, do both! 
  • Carrots or Zucchini. For both extra color and flavor, shredded carrots or zucchini make a wonderful addition to your banana bread. (These contain a good bit of moisture so be sure to let them sit on paper towels for about 10 minutes before stirring in to absorb the extra water.) 
  • Protein Powder. For some extra staying power, especially if eating this for breakfast, stirring in a serving of vanilla protein powder with the dry ingredients can be a great addition. 

You are now equipped to create a delicious loaf of banana bread with whatever you have on hand. Enjoy! 

How To Make Banana Bread Without Baking Soda

Step 1: Gather your ingredients and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F

Step 2: Cream together butter and sugar with the whisk or paddle attachment in your mixer.

Step 3: Add eggs, vanilla, and crushed bananas. Mix until well combined. 

Step 4: In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, and salt until evenly combined. Add to your creamed mixture until just combined.

Step 4: Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Add the toppings, if desired. 

Step 5: Bake at 350 F for 55 minutes to 1 hour.

Banana Bread Without Baking Soda

Banana Bread Without Baking Soda

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes

This banana bread doesn't need any leavening agent! We think it's delicious without baking soda. We hope you will too!


  • ½ cup butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3-4 bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Optional Topper: Two thinly sliced strips of banana and cinnamon sugar.
  • 1 tsp cinnamon to 1 tbs sugar is a good ratio for making your own cinnamon sugar.


Preheat the oven to 350º. 

Grease and flour a loaf pan, or line with parchment paper. 

Cream together butter and sugar with the whisk or paddle attachment in your mixer. Add eggs, vanilla, and crushed bananas. Mix until well combined. 

In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cinnamon, and salt until evenly combined. 

Add to your creamed mixture until just combined. This is easiest done by hand using a spatula. 

Be sure not to overmix! 

Pour into the prepared loaf pan. Add the toppings, if desired. 

Bake at 350 for 55 minutes to 1 hour. You can gently press the top of your loaf to test doneness or use a toothpick - when inserted in the middle of the loaf it should come out clean. 

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then on a wire cooling rack for at least 10 minutes before slicing.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 270Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 39mgSodium: 122mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 4gSugar: 37gProtein: 3g

Up Next: The Best Flours For Banana Bread

One Comment

  1. This was friggin delicious!! I was kind of skeptical but OMg Im so glad I tried it. The only thing I did sifferent was add 2 tsp of baking powder. This recipe was amazing

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