If you are making homemade banana bread but you’re all out of butter, no need to fear! There are numerous substitutes you can use to bake banana bread no matter what recipe you are following.
And in case you are looking for a non dairy or vegan friendly butter alternative, you will find multiple great ingredients to choose from.
Butter plays an important role in the texture and flavor of banana bread. Butter produces a fluffy texture thanks to it’s leavening ability. And it also improves the texture by providing moisture.
On top of that, butter provides a rich and creamy flavor that is wonderful in banana bread.
So when you are looking for an ingredient to use instead of butter, you want to select one that provides a similar flavor and texture.
Alright, so what are the best substitutes for butter when making banana bread?
The top butter alternatives you can use in your banana bread recipe are olive oil, ghee, coconut oil, applesauce, avocado, and pumpkin puree.
Read on to learn more about each substitute option and how to use them in your banana bread recipe.
Related Recipe: Banana bread without baking soda
Butter Alternatives for Baking Banana Bread
Butter is called for when making banana bread for a couple very good reasons. It’s provides a lot of flavor thanks to it’s butterfat content.
A big part of that classic banana bread flavor comes from using butter. In addition to the flavor punch it packs, butter also provides much needed structure and moisture.
Fortunately, you can produce similar results without butter. The key is to know how to incorporate your butter substitute so that you get a great flavor and texture in your banana bread.
Related: Butter alternatives in muffins
Olive oil is an excellent dairy free and vegan friendly substitute for butter you can use in any banana bread recipe.
Olive oil provides a fairly strong flavor but it works well in banana bread. The flavor compliments the sweetness and pairs well with any nuts you may add to your bread.
Go with a quality, extra virgin olive oil and use the substitution ratio below.
Related: Replacements for olive oil
Equivalent3 tablespoons of olive oil equal 4 tablespoons of butter
Ghee is one of my personal favorite butter substitutes for baking banana bread. It produces a moist texture and adds a wonderful flavor note that compliments banana bread incredibly well.
Ghee is clarified butter, and it has a moisture content a bit higher than regular butter.
This added moisture can create a slightly denser texture than when butter is used, but you can reduce other liquids by about a quarter of a cup if you want a fluffier texture.
Related: Substitutes for ghee
Equivalent1 tablespoon of ghee equals 1 tablespoon of butter
Coconut oil is another excellent vegan friendly and dairy free butter substitute that works well when baking banana bread.
Coconut will add a subtle coconut flavor to your bread, but it pairs surprisingly well with banana, In fact, banana bread made with coconut oil is my oldest son’s favorite!
The texture is a little less fluffy than when using butter, but it’s a great all around replacement for butter.
Related: Replacements for coconut oil
Equivalent1 tablespoon of coconut oil equals 1 tablespoon of butter
Applesauce is a classic butter substitute, and it’s a great dairy free option for making a vegan friendly banana bread.
Using applesauce will up the sweetness of your recipe, so you can reduce other sugars if you wish.
The biggest concern when using applesauce instead of butter is the increased moisture content. I recommend you reduce other liquids by a total of 1/4 cup to get the best texture and structure.
Equivalent1 1/4 tablespoon of applesauce equals 1 tablespoon of butter
Mashed avocado is another solid dairy free substitute for butter. It provides an earthy flavor that works well with banana while providing enough structure and moisture for a great texture.
Banana bread made with avocado is a bit denser than when using butter, but it’s still tasty and moist.
Keep in mind that avocado will alter the color of your banana bread, but it’s not noticeable in recipes that include chocolate chips.
Equivalent1 tablespoon of mashed avocado equals 1 tablespoon of butter
This is a fun substitute to use for the pumpkin fans out there! Pumpkin puree will provide you with enough moisture and structure for a great texture.
It will obviously add pumpkin flavor to your bread, but I am quite fond of pairing pumpkin with banana. And if you enjoy the fall deliciousness that is pumpkin, you will probably enjoy it too!
Related: Substitutions for pumpkin puree
Equivalent1 tablespoon of pumpkin puree equals 1 tablespoon of butter
Butter Replacement in Banana Bread FAQ
Can you use mashed banana instead of butter?
You can use additional banana instead of butter, but the texture will be a bit denser than what you would get from butter. The flavor obviously isn’t a concern so as long as you don’t mind a less fluffy bread, it’s a solid substitution option.
Can you use Greek yogurt instead of butter?
Yes, unflavored Greek yogurt is a good butter replacement you can use in any banana bread recipe. The flavor adds some tanginess that works well with banana. The moisture level is great but it will produce a denser loaf of banana bread.
Can you replace butter with peanut butter?
Yes, peanut can be used to make banana bread. The flavor works wonderfully but it will produce a denser, less fluffy finished product.
Use a 1:1 ratio when subbing peanut butter for butter.