Bananas are a popular baking item for all kinds of recipes, including bread, muffins, and plenty of other goodies.
Of course, there are people who don’t care for bananas, forgot to grab some at the grocery store, or simply cannot eat bananas for whatever reason.
The nice thing about baking is that there is a substitution for almost any type of ingredient out there.
If your recipe is typically for bananas, you can use something else. You just want to choose wisely so you use something that will produce a similar result in the end as far as texture is concerned.
What is the perfect substitute for bananas in baking? Probably one of the most popular substitutions you can use is applesauce. However, there are several really great substitution options so you don’t have to just settle for applesauce either.
In this guide, we will share with you the 5 perfect banana substitutes in baking. There are great options out there, including alternative fruits that offer alternative flavors.
You are bound to find something that works really well here and you know will you have options as well. Keep reading to learn about the perfect banana substitutes and more.
Choosing A Banana Substitute For Baking
Mmmmm do you smell that? Freshly baked bread or maybe muffins? Whatever it might be, the kitchen smells amazing!
Oh wait – does that have bananas in it?
When you need a banana substitute, don’t panic. There really are a lot of options to choose from to produce similar results. Obviously, your flavor is going to be different no matter what you use, but you should be able to mimic a similar texture still.
Check out these things to consider before you pick out a substitute!
Let’s be honest. We already know the flavor is going to be different, but the one thing we really don’t want to negatively affect is the texture.
When you make things like bread and muffins, bananas aren’t just used for the flavor. They also produce a different texture than if you just made plain bread.
The good news is that this texture is actually pretty simple to mimic. There are other fruits that you can mash up to create a similar effect. Most of your substitutes are still going to be a mashed food item, but you might be able to find different substitute options out there as well.
Just remember, you want to use something that is going to produce a similar result as bananas would. This means the texture and consistency of whatever you use needs to be fairly similar to what a mashed banana would be for the best results.
We know your substitute probably won’t taste like a banana. But what kind of flavor are you going for? Take note that the substitutes you see here are all going to have their own unique flavors.
This means that when you decide what type of substitute you want to use, you want to make sure you’re going to like the flavor option.
Obviously, if you don’t like applesauce, you probably should avoid that option as a substitute, right? Although here, you will get the flavor of apples and it won’t just taste like applesauce.
This holds true of any possible substitution option.
The other thing you want to think about is what are you really going for? You can substitute different foods from different categories and they will all produce different results. The thing is, you’re using something different so that’s what you expect, right?
Other pureed or mashed fruits are a very common option. You will see a couple of those on our list. In fact, that is really the majority of what you will see.
But you aren’t limited to those. Some people would recommend using eggs, egg whites, or even flax and egg combinations instead of a banana. And then there are others who simply look for a silky alternative.
Something like silken tofu might even be an option here. The key is texture, as you can always add and change flavor.
So you know you have options, but it’s up to you to decide what it is you are going for and what you want your end result to look and taste like.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Bananas in Baking
Alright, now you know some basic things to consider or at least keep in mind before you pick out a banana substitute.
There are plenty of different options, so no matter what your own preferences are, you should be able to find something that will easily work for you!
Below, you will find our top picks for the 5 best substitutes for bananas in baking.
We want to mention again that applesauce is probably one of the most popular substitute options.
You can make it on your own or you can just buy it from the store. You can use unsweetened, sweetened, or even applesauce with cinnamon and they will all taste great!
Applesauce makes a good substitute and you probably won’t notice a difference in the texture, which is always a plus. It’s pretty easy to use as a substitute, but there are also a couple of things you should know about doing so.
For example, the recommendation for a substitute ratio is to use about ½ of a cup of applesauce to replace a single banana.
This is where it gets tricky though. You should never substitute with more than 1 cup of applesauce. The more you use, the more likely you are to run into issues with loose or watery textures.
If you use more than 1 cup of applesauce, your batter is going to get too watery and probably won’t work out quite the way you want it to. However, if you need more substitute, what do you do?
You can just settle for 1 cup of applesauce and see how it turns out. Chances are this is not going to ruin your recipe if you needed to replace 3 bananas instead of 2.
The other alternative you can consider if you need a little more is to also add a whole egg or some egg whites to help thicken the batter with the use of applesauce in the mix.
If you want an applesauce recommendation, here is an option for you.
Suggested Product: Mott’s Original Applesauce
These little cups are a great option because they come individually packaged so you don’t have to open up a whole can or jar that you’re simply not going to use.
Each cup is a small portion so you can use 1-2 cups and have about the right amount for your substitution needs.
Since they are individual cups, you can just pull one out when you need it or use them for snack foods as well. It’s a win-win.
2. Canned Pumpkin
Not a fan of applesauce? Why not try canned pumpkin? This way, you’ll basically be making pumpkin bread or muffins instead of banana. It’s a great way to bring a seasonal flavor to your favorite recipes.
The nice thing about substituting with canned pumpkin is that you can pretty much use the same recipe you are already using and you can substitute in an equal portion as well. No worrying about making your mix too wet or too thin or too thick, for that matter.
Just be sure to give the canned pumpkin a good stir and you should be able to substitute as-is. The one thing you do want to know about using canned pumpkin is that it may not have enough flavor or sweetness.
Some people combat this by adding some allspice, cinnamon, or even nutmeg. Others choose to just add sweetener to give it that little boost of sweetness that really will perfect the overall flavor that you’re after.
You might even be able to use plain yogurt to sweeten it slightly. If you do add yogurt, you will want to slightly reduce how much canned pumpkin you use so that your substitutes don’t end up too heavy in comparison to the rest of your recipe.
Finally, the last thing you should know about using canned pumpkin instead of banana is that it won’t work in every single recipe.
While it’s odd to find contradictions, you should be aware that if you are using a recipe that requires lemon juice or vinegar, pumpkin might not really be a great option as this will mess with the flavor.
In this case, you should look for an alternative substitute. Check out this canned pumpkin option.
Suggested Product: Libby’s Pumpkin Pie Filling
This pumpkin pie filling could be the perfect option for baking. After all, it’s already prepped and ready for baking use!
It’s made in the USA and is 100% pure with absolutely no preservatives or scary additives either.
This is a single can but if you wanted to buy in bulk, you can do that from this brand as well. It’s a simple pumpkin puree that is easy to work with!
3. Mashed Sweet Potato
If you read that and instantly thought about skipping this option, wait just a hot minute! Your use of mashed sweet potato might be more limited but if you use it right, you might just decide you really like it.
This is another option that you’re going to have to play around with to get your flavors right. However, if you cook the sweet potatoes and mash them just like you would mash real potatoes, they can be pretty useful.
This form of sweet potato is also great for things like baked oatmeal or smoothies as well. You will just need to be sure you cook the sweet potato and then mash it or puree it.
In this case, you will also want to be sure to add some spice or sweetener to enhance the flavor. You know when you have sweet potato casseroles at Thanksgiving, they are sweetened with cinnamon and other sweet spices and then usually topped with marshmallows, right?
Look up a recipe for that sweet potato bake and use a similar approach to flavor it for baking with it. You can use a similar amount of mashed sweet potato to substitute for banana and you probably don’t need very much.
If you don’t want to mess with cooking a raw sweet potato, you could also just use something like canned yams instead. We prefer raw sweet potato cooked and then mashed.
The downside here is you have a little extra work to do since you need to cook your sweet potato. Remember if you aren’t up for that, you can use canned alternatives.
We don’t have a product to share here since we recommend using a fresh sweet potato if you go this route!
4. Eggs or Egg White/Flax Combo
This is a strange option, but typically when you use bananas or something along that line, you don’t use eggs or you reduce your eggs.
If you want something besides bananas, you could just use eggs instead. The banana is considered to be a binder and eggs will have the same effect but obviously not the same flavor.
If you are relying on bananas for sweetness, you will need to adjust your recipe and add some sugar or something along those lines.
You can use whole eggs or you could use an egg white and flax seed combination instead. It really depends on your preferences.
To use eggs as a substitute, simply trade out one banana for one whole egg. It gets a little more complicated with egg whites but you may need more like 1 ½ for a substitution and then a small amount of flax seed in combination with that.
You could also forget the flax seed and just do eggs or egg whites plain and simple! A lot of people use flax to bulk it up a bit but also because flax seed is an excellent protein source. Eggs are also a reliable protein source.
You just need to remember that you don’t have your sweetening addition, so be sure to adapt your recipe for this difference!
Again, we don’t have a product recommendation for you here, as you can just grab eggs from your local grocer instead.
5. Silken Tofu
Finally, if you want a vegan alternative that you know won’t be tainted, you could go with silken tofu. The texture of this is very similar to that of yogurt or even canned pumpkin, so it makes a great alternative in that regard.
Silky foods like these are not sweet, just like we mentioned earlier with canned pumpkin and even sweet potatoes as a substitute. You are going to need to plan to add a little something for sweetness purposes.
You can substitute tofu in an equal proportion to your banana measurement. There are a lot of different options out there when it comes to tofu.
We recommend using something soft or perhaps a little firm. You don’t want fully firm in this case, as it might affect the texture in the end.
Here’s a great option.
Suggested Product: Mori-Nu Silken Tofu
This soft, silken tofu comes in a 12-ounce pack and you actually get 12 of those.
They are individually packaged so you can use just what you need and save the rest for later.
This brand is Kosher, gluten-free, and non-GMO verified. It has no preservatives and the perfect silken texture.