Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (Gluten Free, One Bowl)

Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (V+GF): A one bowl recipe for rich, moist and chocolatey banana bread with walnuts. Vegan, Gluten Free and Dairy Free.

Baking is not as easy as it seems. Okay, no one ever said it was easy. But I sometimes live in a world where I think everyone’s a lot better at doing stuff than I am. In other words, things are harder for me because I’m not the sharpest, uh… whisk in the bowl. –> See what I mean?

I start thinking too much. (Danger, Will Robinson!!) And I get to the point where I’m pretty sure everyone else is a knife and I’m a lumpy, oddly-shaped spatula. With polka dots.

But then I realize, I’m just being extra hard on myself for no good reason. It’s totally untrue that everyone else is perfect and I’m just a manufacturer’s defect. Shoot, I’ve got to start inflating my balloons, not go around popping them. (I mean, what kind of popping can I do with my lumpy spatula anyway?)

I tell that little fruit-print jumpsuit wearing kid inside of me to chill. That all of the mess-ups and scraped knees of my adult life are good. They’re badges of honor and all of that. Do you ever feel this way?

Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (V+GF): A one bowl recipe for rich, moist and chocolatey banana bread with walnuts. #Vegan #GlutenFree |

If you do, just know that you’re not alone. I’m here to make mistakes with you. Hey, we can even swap stories about our biggest disasters (in the kitchen and outside). Case in point: everything that led to this vegan chocolate banana nut bread.

It all started on a Saturday morning. The sun was shining, birds were being their usual chirpy selves, and Erik and I were up working on the blog/baking/laundry/dreams about sleeping in. I had already been working on a recipe for double chocolate banana nut muffins prior to that cheerful morning.

In fact, if I can be honest, I already finished the recipe, shot it and then scrapped the whole thing because perfectionism/pressure/self-imposed madness can be a… well, mad thing. I had already decided that the muffins didn’t rise enough, and if that recipe wasn’t the best it could be (note to self: “best” means everything and nothing, all at once, so yeah), then I wasn’t gonna publish it on the blog.

I had spent some time testing and retesting the recipe over and over again. I finally whittled the bugger to what I wanted it to be. This Saturday morning was supposed to be the final baking—these muffins were the ones I’d shoot.

All was going well. The muffins were busy baking. The oven had filled the kitchen with its warmth. Erik was happily, if not sleepy, typing away at his worky stuff. I was cleaning up after the cocoa powder tornado that had hit the counters.

Then, the timer went off.

Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (V+GF): A one bowl recipe for rich, moist and chocolatey banana bread with walnuts. #Vegan #GlutenFree |

With cocoa-powdered cheeks, and to be honest, cocoa-powdered hair, I headed to the oven. I slipped on my bright red oven mitts, pulled the oven open and was immediately hit by a wave of just-baked warmth. There is nothing that can compare to this feeling, is there? All at once, you feel your heart lift, your face awash in the goodness that is homemade everything, and you know you can conquer the world.

Then, the scents. Oh, the scents! Melted chocolate, fresh-baked aroma swirling through the air, roasted walnuts, so much banana yum, and just everything you’d hope for in perfect double chocolate banana nut muffins.

I carefully lifted the muffin pan out of the oven. Nudged the oven door shut with my knee. Clicked off the oven temperature thingy.

The muffins were perfect. Perfectly round, perfectly lifted dome tops. Perfectly sprinkled chopped walnuts and chocolate chips dotting these perfect domes. Perfectly gorgeous, deeply rich color that is chocolate muffins. They were everything you’d hope for, everything you could pressure yourself into dreaming about.

I set them on the cooling rack on the counter. Erik hurriedly ran towards the muffin pan, eager as can be. We both crouched, wide-eyed, admiring the muffins. Drooling, of course.

Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (V+GF): A one bowl recipe for rich, moist and chocolatey banana bread with walnuts. #Vegan #GlutenFree |

And then, because this kind of perfect thing doesn’t happen very often, I decided, I really, really needed to shoot these muffins.

Cue: “Danger, Will Robinson!!!!”

Erik, being the amazing person that he is, saw the look in my eyes and immediately began helping me set up my shooting area. Foam board, tripod, the works.

Because I’m so smart the lumpiest spatula in the bowl, I decide to carry the still-hot muffin tray to the photoshoot area on the cooling rack. Danger—oh, you know where this is going.

In my rush to get everything done (no time was scheduled for a photoshoot on Saturday, and we had craptons of things to do), I hurried over to the photoshoot area. I was saying who even remembers what, thinking about the call I had to make to my mom, the no bake bites, peanut butter cookies, and chocolate popsicles I still had to make, dreaming about a vacation to Hawaii, and whether or not Erik remembered to throw my favorite sweatpants in the laundry, when it happened.





One second, I was squeezing in a super-speedy photoshoot. The next, the entire tray of muffins…

Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (V+GF): A one bowl recipe for rich, moist and chocolatey banana bread with walnuts. #Vegan #GlutenFree |

Were. On. The. Floor.

Upside down.

Perfect domes be damned.

Erik’s mouth is agape. I freeze.

Then I crumple to the floor and dissolve in tears. I messed up. I broke the schedule. I broke the muffins. I ruined our chance to be able to relax tonight.

The tentative, jam-packed schedule of all the things we had to accomplish, all the check marks we’d planned to place on our to-do lists, the “maybe” we’d turn into a “yes” on the question of whether or not we could take a day off in June. All gone.

And I cried like a baby. And then I felt bad for crying like a baby because other people have much more problematic problems in the world. Then I cried harder for being so lame. So selfish. So lumpy. Then I cried some more because I was a crybaby. That’s what we do.

Erik held me and helped me get up.

Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (V+GF): A one bowl recipe for rich, moist and chocolatey banana bread with walnuts. #Vegan #GlutenFree |

And after a time of indulging in my self-ugh, I realized: I need to relax. This, and everything that seems like, well, everything, is not that bad. It’s not that serious. We all need to take a break. We have to give ourselves a break.

You know?

There’s so much pressure to keep up, to be a certain thing, or to have certain accomplishments by whatever arbitrary date. But what about just stopping and taking the time to breathe? To smell those wonderful smells, to pat yourself on the back for being an awesome mother/friend/daughter/teacher, to take a risk, to embarrass yourself, to talk in a silly voice because it’s fun?

And so we cleaned up the chocolate muffin mess, reminded ourselves that this shiz ain’t that serious, finished up SOME of our chores, and went for bagels. Said, screw you to the rest of the chores list. Because. Life is what’s happening when you’re… and all of that.

A few weeks later, I put the muffin recipe aside, because it had an attitude that I’d like to teach a lesson. Then, I baked my first loaf ever. Then I baked it and tweaked it and tested it again. Once more covered in cocoa powder, once more wearing my bright red kitchen mitts, I took the loaf out of the oven.

And it was beautiful. (Plus delish).

Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (V+GF): A one bowl recipe for rich, moist and chocolatey banana bread with walnuts. #Vegan #GlutenFree |

No spills, no crying, no babies. Just love, experiments and that little fruit-print jumpsuit kid in me, tinkering around. Having fun in the kitchen. Lumpy, polka-dotted spatula and all.

Won’t you do the same? Because… this vegan chocolate banana nut bread is:

  • a one bowl recipe
  • incredibly easy to make
  • vegan and gluten free
  • refined-sugar free, dairy free
  • hearty, warm and satisfying
  • richly moist and chocolatey
  • made of simple ingredients
  • not in a muffin pan

And just remember to let yourself breathe sometimes. All the time.

☀︎ Click to pin below ☀︎

Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (V+GF): A one bowl recipe for rich, moist and chocolatey banana bread with walnuts. #Vegan #GlutenFree |

☀︎ Did you make this recipe? Take a pic and share it on Instagram with the hashtag #beamingbaker. I would love to see it! ☀︎

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Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (V+GF): A one bowl recipe for rich, moist and chocolatey banana bread with walnuts. #Vegan #GlutenFree |

Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (Gluten Free, One Bowl)

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4.9 from 18 reviews


Vegan Chocolate Banana Nut Bread (V+GF): A one bowl recipe for rich, moist and chocolatey banana bread with walnuts. Vegan and Gluten Free.



Wet Ingredients

  • 3 medium, very ripe bananas (a little over 1 cup)
  • ¼ cup melted coconut oil
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar*
  • 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water, whisk together, set for 5 mins)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Dry Ingredients

  • 1 ¼ cups gluten free oat flour
  • ¾ cup almond meal
  • ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder or raw cacao powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt



  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper or greased foil. Set aside.
  2. Peel bananas and add to a large mixing bowl. Using a sturdy whisk or fork, mash bananas until smooth. Add the coconut oil, maple syrup, sugar, flax egg and vanilla. Whisk until well incorporated.
  3. Add oat flour, almond meal, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Whisk together until just incorporated, making sure no flour patches remain. Gently fold in walnuts and chocolate chips.
  4. Pour batter evenly into prepared loaf pan. Optional: lightly sprinkle with chopped walnuts and chocolate chips.
  5. Bake for 65-80 minutes. (Mine took 75 minutes.) Test for doneness by sticking a toothpick into the center of the loaf. The toothpick will come out clean when the loaf is done.
  6. Allow to cool on a cooling rack for about 1 hour. Lift out, slice and enjoy!


– *You may substitute coconut sugar with dark brown sugar.
– Store in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
– This loaf freezes well. Wrap in parchment paper and store in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 1 month. Allow to thaw at room temperature for 30 minutes, or pop in the microwave for 30 seconds or more.

  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 65 mins
  • Category: Breads, Vegan, Gluten Free, One Bowl

© All content and images are protected by copyright. Please do not use my images without my permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please re-write the entire recipe using your own words and include a link to this post for the recipe.

Chocolate + Bananas = <3. Try my Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Popsicles (Vegan, Gluten Free).

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Popsicles (V+GF): Just 6 ingredients to creamy, delicious chocolate peanut butter popsicles that taste like an ice cream sundae. #Vegan #GlutenFree |

Satisfy your chocolate craving with my Best Vegan Brownies. Divine chocolate love.

The BEST vegan brownies you’ve ever had: divinely rich, fudgy, and moist, bursting with chocolate flavor. BEAMINGBAKER.COM #Vegan

What makes you feel better when you’re feeling overwhelmed?

I can’t wait to hear your responses.

Love, demeter | beaming baker


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  1. Oh honey. I have SO been there. And been there, and been there. I’ve decided it is a Food Blogger Badge Of Honor – you don’t get to be in that club until you have had a kitchen disaster. I’m betting those squished muffins would make amazing ice cream topping! And you have an awesome guy who clearly is there for you through thick and thin. And now, beautiful, scrumptious chocolate banana bread! xoxoxo!

    1. That’s a great way to look at it, Kate. I’m gonna remember that the next time (oh, yes, there WILL be a next time) this happens. By now, I have a lifetime membership! Lol. Thanks for all of your positivity Kate. So many x’s and o’s! 🙂

  2. Okay, seriously, I’m pretty sure God directed to your page RIGHT now for a reason. I just opened my browser and typed in your blog and I was nodding along, then sighing alongside you with those muffins on the floor (it’s happened to me too!!) and THEN the part about taking a break was like a slap. We are all SO hard on ourselves and I’ve been particularly hard on myself of late. This is a good cue for me to go back to Netflix and take a break. On the bright side, this bread looks phenomenal and really wishing I was your neighbour so I could beg for a piece right now! 🙂

    1. Oh, Jessica, you know EXACTLY what I mean! Sighing over here just remembering it all. Sometimes life is just moving at too fast of a pace, then we realize that we’re the ones who actually set the pace. Imagine that. 😉 I hope you get a chance to truly relax and enjoy yourself soon. Imagine me cueing up your fave show for you on Netflix. <3 Thanks Jess! xo

  3. Accidents happen all the time, especially to me as I am a veryyyyyyy clumsy girl. One time, my batter was so thick I had the hard time pouring it into the pan, the glass bowl slipped from my hands then it shattered into pieces. I threw the batter with shards of glass. Another was when I lift a warm-fresh-from-the-oven cheesecake to take a phone shot but it fell and smashed into the table. Then there’s this banana sheet cake frosted with THICK cream cheese frosting, I was about to put it in the fridge when, again, it slipped and fell upside down. If I will list it here it will definitely look like a blog post, and I don’t want to ruin your comment section haha. Oh well. Glad this lovely banana nut bread made it through your shooting area hehe 🙂

    1. Sheryl, thank you SO much for sharing your kitchen accidents. I’m not gonna lie, I felt like I was right there, and cringed and gasped for you! Omigosh with that glass bowl… Sigh, glass is the worst, isn’t it? Suddenly the kitchen becomes like movie-level dangerous. Lol. And that banana sheet cake… Sheesh! Made it through my shooting area: LOL. Agreed! Thanks Sheryl! 🙂

  4. I’m drooling, this looks absolutely amazing! Pinned and saved and all those good things, I’m definitely making this soonish!
    BTW: You? A spatula? Then what am I? I truly suck at baking 😀
    You see, I rarely have horrible disasters in the kitchen (other than my casual monthly failed seitan accidents), because I never bake. Everything I make I can taste while preparing. Like all the time, every 10-20 seconds. I have no chance to make them taste too bad – Benefits of only making pastas and salads! So I always appreciate people like you who can bake. That’s like magic to me 🙂
    Oh, and so sorry about your muffin incidents. And also sorry, that I laughed so hard while reading it. But Erik was there and helped you, he is so sweet!
    Anyway, hope you two have a wonderful week! 🙂

    1. A napkin for your drool? 😉 Thanks for all of the good things!
      Alright, maybe I’m a lumpy spatula and you’re a casserole dish. Hehe… especially considering how you love making savory dishes. 😉
      Oh gosh, cooking is a whole ‘nother thing! Lots of trickery there too, so I respect your skills in the kitch, E!
      How did I know that you would laugh? Oh Evi! Lol. Hope you have an awesome week too, friend. 🙂

  5. Oh Demeter! I completely understand your pain. But we all have been there, and I still get so many failed baking projects and every time it happens I just want to go cry. I agree with you that sometimes we just need to relax go for it again. I also assume that’s failure is the part of life and we shouldn’t be so harsh on ourselves. And I am drooling!! Not because this is gluten-free and vegan chocolate banana bread, but because you made it look so yummy and intriguing. And also because chocolate and bananas are hit in my book. So much yes to this beauty!!! This bread makes up for your muffins. ?

    1. Anu, thank you for taking the time to write such a thoughtful comment. <3 You're so right, failure really is just a part of life. It's time to acknowledge that and be okay with it. 🙂 It's been just the best thing realizing that we're not alone in feeling this way. Thank you, friend. xo

  6. I feel like a lumpy spatula all the time and I’ve (too many times to count) broken down in tears because what I planned in my head doesn’t work out in real life. You’re so good at inflating other people’s balloons so I hope you realize how amazing you are! And this bread is everything!

    1. Thank you for sharing your experiences with me Megan. <3 My dear, I am ALWAYS here to inflate your balloon. Always. Big hugs to you. xo

  7. Oh Demeter, we all have those doubtful days (unfortunately). Please know you are an awesome cook/ baker and fellow blogger that I had to pleasure to come across recently. I enjoy your work, your photography and your sensible personality. This is just another incredible work of yours, it’s beautiful and looks amazing. Thanks for sharing your behind the scene story with us! Big hugs 🙂

    1. Silvia, you are so kind and wonderful. I feel the same about you–your enthusiasm for bringing whole foods into the kitchen, your gorgeous photography and your kindness continue to astound me daily. Thank you for your amazing, thoughtful words. <3 Big hugs right back to you. xo

    1. Oh yes! When you start picturing yourself eating, you know it’s time to start baking! 😉 Thanks Marsha!

  8. Oh girl! We have all been there! You know that hurricane buildup, everything is tense and then it all crashes down (literally, sometimes). Sometimes those things need to happen to force us to take a step back. But I’m glad that you put the muffins on timeout and made this bread instead! Chocolate and banana, heck yes! Pinning of course!

    1. Omigosh, “hurricane buildup” is EXACTLY it. Literally, figuratively, disaster-ly (you know what I mean)… You’re right–these things happen to make us slow down and shake us out of our sometime self-induced mania. You are so wise, as usual. Thanks so much Megan. 🙂

  9. Demeter I want to hug you right now and tell you you’re not alone. I’m with you on having a recipe, and pictures all ready to go and then deciding you’re not going to post it because you’re not 100% satisfied. And I’m with you when you think that somebody else out there it’s doing it better than you. But it’s only because we’re hard on ourselves. And that’s not going to help. This banana nut bread is so scrumptious and good looking and yummy that I want to bake it and eat it right now. Pinned, of course! And those gorgeous muffins, they’ll come back, because we all want them to appear on your site. Great job! Have a beautiful day!

    1. Nicoletta, I’m hugging you right back. <3 You're so right--we are so incredibly hard on ourselves... and that doesn't do any good for anyone. I'm so glad that we have each other--friends like you make it all easier. Please know that you can lean on me too, anytime. 🙂 Have a wonderful day Nic. xo

  10. I think you are a great baker and this bread looks awesome! Love the texture! I’ve had a lot of baking fails, but it feels great once you get it right 🙂

    1. Thank you for saying that Mira. 🙂 So true… once you get it right, angels sing. 😉

  11. Those darn muffins and their attitudes! So glad you decided to teach them a lesson – I’m sure they’ll come back with their muffin tails between their legs and ask to start again…at least I hope they do! (Come on little muffins – I’m already dreaming about your puffy domed tops!) But until then… This bread? All sorts of YES! I can’t handle that melty chocolate chip right in the middle! Have a great Monday, my friend! xo

    1. Right?? That’s what I’m saying! 😉 Hehe… Annie, you gave me a good chuckle with your fantastic anthropomorphizing (lol) of those attitude-y muffins! So I’m gonna put more melty chips on for your slices! 😉 Happy Monday to you too, friend. xo

  12. You really hit the nail on the head, friend. I think I’m also a lumpy spatula, but I’ve decided that it’s best to revel in your lumpiness instead of be jealous of all those other knives. We’re all awesome and super cool in our own right. And oh my goodness, I haven’t had any majorly disastrous messes of beautiful blog food during a photo shoot – but I’m sure it’s bound to happen when I think I can handle moving all the things/setting everything up by myself/fighting off my little dog when he just wants to see what’s going on up there on the marble board. I hope your week is filled with all sorts of good things – especially this yummy banana bread 🙂

    1. You’re so right, Jess! Let’s be lumpy together. 🙂 Aw.. the image of your little dog hopping up for a peak is just the cutest thing! 🙂 Sending you good vibes for an awesome week as well. Thank you friend!

  13. Awwwwww guuurlfriend, I think my heart just broke a little for you while reading this post. I’ve been there… we have ALL been there. I’m totally guilty of being unreasonably hard on myself and forgetting that no one is perfect, and life is too short to be putting all this pressure (over nothing) on ourselves!! You need a vacation, stat! I’m glad to hear you guys said screw it to accomplishing all the things over the weekend and took a moment to get bagels – that my friend is living. 😉 Carbs fix everything. Plus, while I’m sure the muffins were fabulous, this bread looks seriously scrumptious!! Super chocolaty, banana-y, and nutty perfection, Demeter! Boy could eat this entire loaf in one sitting, I’m sure. Dangerous stuff here, girlfriend! Pinned! Cheers – and smile, muffins don’t deserve your tears! xoxo

    1. Chey, I knew that you would understand this perfectly. Thank you so much for always being so supportive and amazing. I don’t know how I’d do this crazy thing without having a friend like you. <3 Vacay: I know, right?? That's why I was so dismayed when I heard that you had to reschedule your vacation again!!! I know that you work so ridiculously hard... I'm crossing my fingers so hard that you get to hit the beach soon. Much love to you, my weird cloth kindred sister. <3 xoxo

  14. Oh Demeter! I totally feel your pain 🙁 So many times I open the oven door and find a total flop and I just want to go cry in a corner! & I’m so afraid I’m going to ruin a near perfect recipe by being careless – like having my backboards fall on top of them (I’ve had a couple of close calls, so it’s sure to happen soon!) But you are so right, sometimes we just need to take a deep breath, relax and try again! This loaf is so splendid, just like all your creations – chocolate and banana is the best combo ever 🙂

    1. Thank you Megan–for sharing your experiences too. The pressure to be perfect can be very overwhelming sometimes. Sigh. Good thing we have each other to make sure we stop being so hard on ourselves. <3 Here's to us relaxing and learning how to breathe. 🙂 xo

  15. Baking is definitely hard! And it’s so hard to take a step back when you’re in the moment and see the bigger picture. I would’ve had the exact same reaction had I dropped those gorgeous muffins on the floor. And that has happened to me more than once, along with a bazillion kitchen fails! But, life must go on, right? I’m so glad you got this banana bread perfected, because it looks SO good! And I love that it’s made in one bowl…my kinda dessert! Pinned, of course! Hope your week is off to a great start!

    1. Thank you for saying that Gayle. Sometimes I think, honestly, am I not that good at this? Then I’m like, okay, chill out! Lol. Thank goodness I have you to talk to, or I’d be talking to myself all day! 😉 Life definitely must go on. Thanks for your supportive comments & for pinning. Hope you have an awesome week G! xo

  16. Mind blowing how you make vegan food look so dang good! I think you are personally responsible for all the drool on my keypad! Beautiful. What more can I say? Have a great week~

    1. Aw… thanks so much Laura! 🙂 Oh no, perhaps it’s time to bring the rain catcher in from your garden? 😉 Have a great week too, friend!

  17. Oh wow, Demeter! This looks unbelievably delish! I think you are an AWESOME blogger!!! I can’t even believe that you would doubt your baking abilities one bit!! Seriously?!!!! And, yes, we all have to take note of what you said – inflate our balloons and not pop them. We could all use a little more of that, can’t we?

    So unfortunate about your muffins! I would have cried too! I can imagine your excitement when you opened the oven only to lose them all over the floor. What a freaking bummer!! We all have those moments, though, so you’re not alone, girl 😉

    My mouth is watering over this banana bread! Look at all that chocolate! And it looks so moist. Forget about those muffins. This looks unreal 🙂 Gimme! Pinning, of course!

    Hope you have a fantastic week, girlie! xo

    1. As always, thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful words Dawn. <3 It's definitely time to focus on the good, breathe, and start inflating our own (and each others) balloons! Hope you have a wonderful week as well. Thank you a million times over for your constant support. You're the best. xo