This banana bread without baking soda is essentially the easiest and simple quick bread recipe with a strong banana flavor. With only a few basic ingredients and one-bowl you can make this sweet, moist, tender, fluffy and light textured bread. Do you like quick breads? Try my 4-Ingredient Banana Bread, Peanut Butter Bread and Praline Apple Bread.
Table of Contents
Why This Recipe Works?
- This banana bread without baking soda uses a few simple and easily accessible ingredients.
- This bread will take only 10 minutes to assemble.
- The taste is superb and you’ll want to have it again and again.
- The crumb of the bread is moist, tender and soft.
- The cinnamon powder enhances the overall flavor of this quick bread.
Role of Baking Soda in Quick Breads
Baking soda is also known as Sodium Bicarbonate. The role of this simple yet powerful ingredient is evident, to give a good rise to the bakes. Once the baking soda is added in the quick bread batter, it reacts with the moisture and acidic ingredients such as bananas and brown sugar and creates bubbles of carbon dioxide. These bubbles of carbon dioxide react with heat in the oven and result in light and fluffy quick breads.
There is a reason baking soda is used in quick breads, especially the banana bread. Not only it helps with the lift of the bakes but because of the pH or alkalinity, the baking soda gives an even dark brown edges, top and bottom color and a crispy crust to quick breads as well.
Baking Powder VS. Baking Soda
Both baking powder and baking soda are leavening agents used in baking to give height and lift the bakes. Baking soda is much stronger as compared to baking powder, about five times stronger than the baking powder.
Baking Soda: is also known as sodium bicarbonate. It needs acidic elements to react and produce carbon dioxide during the baking process. Once the bake is in the hot oven, as a single-acting agent the baking soda reacts with the heat and produces carbon dioxide that helps with the rise and height of the bakes.
Baking powder: on the other hand, is a milder leavening agent. It is also made with sodium bicarbonate and some powdered acid such as cream of tartar.
Chemical Reaction: Because of the chemical reaction that occurs because of baking soda and baking powder, it is wise not to prepare the cake batters in advance or you will not get the desired effect.
Single-Acting VS. Double Acting: Baking soda is a single-acting agent while baking powder is a double-acting agent. Baking soda produces carbon dioxide when exposed to heat when the bakes are placed in the preheated ovens. While, on the other hand, baking powder is a double-acting agent meaning it will react twice, first when it is added to the batter, and again with heat when placed in the preheated hot oven.
To make a perfect loaf of banana bread without baking soda, you’ll need bananas. The ripe the bananas, the better. To use bananas in baking, the bakers prefer dark-brown spotted or almost black bananas. This browning happens because the bananas release ethylene gas and polyphenol oxidase (an enzyme that helps with oxidation), which ripens the bananas.
The overripe bananas have more sugar, flavor and aroma than the yellow bananas. You will be amazed to know that dark bananas are more nutritious too, full with high antioxidant and Vitamin C levels.
Tip: Always use over-ripe bananas for baking quick breads and cakes.
Pro Tip # 1 - Room Temperature Ingredients
Always use room temperature ingredients (unless otherwise specified) for baking. Ingredients such as butter, eggs and other dairy ingredients like milk, sour cream, yogurt form an emulsion by trapping air inside the batter. The trapped air expands in the oven resulting in perfect baked treats.
- All-purpose flour: helps with the structure of this quick bread.
- Overripe bananas: use overripe bananas to get the best results.
- Baking powder: Make sure you have a fresh batch of baking powder to get the optimal results.
- Salt: enhances the overall taste of the bread and balances the sugar.
- Cinnamon powder: adds flavor to the bread.
- Vegetable Oil: adds moisture and gives tender crumb.
- Granulated Sugar: for sweetness.
- Eggs: binding agent for the batter and helps with rise of the quick bread.
- Vanilla extract: for aroma.
- Walnuts (chopped): adds to the taste of the bread.
These are basic process shots for this recipe. For detailed instructions refer to the recipe card at the bottom of this post.
1. Combine and sift all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom powder in a bowl. Set aside.
2. Mash the bananas in a bowl. Set aside.
3. Using an electric/hand mixer beat the oil and sugar together.
4. Add in the eggs one by one and beat and vanilla extract. Beat until combined.
5. Add in the mashed bananas.
6. Combine dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
7. Now fold in the chopped walnuts into the batter.
8. Pour the banana bread without baking soda batter into the 9 x 5 inch pan. Bake.
- 9 x 5 inch baking pan.
- Mixing bowls.
- Digital scale.
- Measuring cups and spoons.
- Rubber spatula.
- Pecans/Cashews/Pistachios/Almonds: You may use pecans, cashews, pistachios or almonds instead of walnuts in 1:1 ratio for this banana bread.
- Chocolate Chips: Add ½ cup of chocolate chips to the batter.
- Raisins: Add ½ cup of raisins to the batter after adding the all-purpose flour.
- Pumpkin Puree: Replace the bananas with same amount of pumpkin puree in the fall season.
- Spiced Banana Bread: You can easily convert the banana bread into a spiced banana bread by adding ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, ¼ teaspoon ginger and ¼ teaspoon nutmeg.
- Lemon Icing: Pour over the lemon icing on the loaf to add to and further enhance the flavor of the quick bread.
- Cream Cheese Glaze: Drizzle over cream cheese glaze on the banana bread to get a heavenly flavor. To prepare the glaze use 1 cup powdered sugar, 4 ounces of cream cheese (room temperature), 6 tablespoon milk (room temperature) and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract. Beat using an electric beater until you get a smooth consistency. Tip: Use one tablespoon milk at a time to achieve the desired consistency.
Do Not Overbeat: Avoid the over-beating of the batter once you add the flour or the gluten strands will get active which will result in tougher bread. To avoid it, you just want to beat flour just until is mixed in the batter.
Room Temperature Ingredients: Use ingredients at room temperature so that they incorporate fully to give you best results of the bake once it is placed in the oven.
Very Ripe Bananas: The key to a moist and aromatic banana bread is in the over ripe bananas. You should use overripe bananas to get that perfect flavor. The more brown spots on the bananas, the better it is to use for the bread.
Frequently Asked Questions
It is a hard to omit both baking powder and baking soda. I have tried making a banana bread without both leavening agents and was not successful. I tried incorporating air in the batter, using other ingredients and techniques but nothing worked. The bread came out to be dense in texture and not rising at all or just a little bit. The best method is to make it this way without baking soda but with baking powder.
The simple answer is no. The reason behind not using yeast is because yeast does not react immediately the way baking powder does. That is the reason for quick breads the bakers prefer baking powder or baking soda and not yeast.
Yes, certainly. If you want to make the bread in a day or two, place the bananas in a brown paper bag and make sure to close the bag tightly. This will help to create and trap the ethylene gas in the bag which will help to ripen the bananas quickly. Short on time? Place the unpeeled bananas in a baking tray and bake in preheated 400 F for 10 minutes. This will help to ripen the bananas instantly.
There may be a possibility that your baking powder was old and stale. Always ensure that your baking powder is fresh and in a working condition. To test if your baking powder is still active, pour ¼ cup of boiling water over ½ teaspoon of baking powder. If there if foam and bubbles, your baking powder is active and good. If not, then your baking powder is not active and you need to toss it.
This can happen depending on your oven. If your bread is getting brown too soon in the oven, cover loosely with a piece of aluminum foil enough to cover the top. Remove once the bread is done.
How To Store
- Keep this banana bread without baking soda in an airtight container for 2 – 3 days on the counter.
- This bread will stay fresh in the fridge for up to 4 days.
- Wrap each bread piece in plastic wrap and further add a foil layer. Place the pieces on a baking tray and put in the freezer for about an hour. Once the pieces are hard, add them to a Ziploc bag and freeze it for up to 2 months.
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Banana Bread Without Baking Soda
- 2 cup all-purpose flour (240 g)
- 2 teaspoon baking powder (10 g)
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon powder (1.38 g)
- ¾ cup vegetable oil (180 ml)
- 2 eggs (large)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (5 ml)
- 2 ½ cup bananas (mashed) (about 4 large sized bananas)
- ½ cup walnuts (75 g)
- Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line the bottom of a 9” x 5” loaf pan or grease it with flour or spray with nonstick baking spray. Set aside.
- Take a medium bowl and sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom powder. Set aside.
- Take a large bowl and using an electric mixer cream together the vegetable oil and sugar until combined. It will take about 2 – 3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one by one, keep beating after each addition. Add vanilla and mix.
- Add in the mashed bananas. Mix until incorporated.
- Mix in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter in the lined pan and bake at preheated 350 F for 65 – 75 minutes until the edges are golden brown. Use the toothpick test and insert it in the center and if comes out clean, your bread is ready.