These Healthy Vegan Banana Brownies have a cake-like texture, with hints of banana bread, crunchy walnuts and rich chocolate flavor! Best of all, they're a sweet treat you can feel 100% great about. With no oil or refined sugar, these banana brownies are WFPB (whole-food, plant-based) and made with gluten-free oat flour.
Why You'll Love Them
Go ahead, have a brownie for breakfast. These moist and chocolatey vegan banana brownies are so healthy you can do just that. One cup of mashed, overripe banana provides moisture, binding, and sweetness, while a bit of maple syrup and coconut sugar make them dessert-worthy.
Oat flour provides texture, nut butter gives them a bit of richness, and cocoa powder brings ALL the chocolate vibes. That's right, there's no actual chocolate in these babies, unless you want to add chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate.
At just 120 calories per brownie, these are surprisingly light, so I wanted to be sure to give you a heads up!! If you're looking for a super dense, fudgey type of brownie, these may not be the ones for you...
But if you like the sound of a naturally sweetened, moist, cake-like brownie married with the warm flavor of banana bread and the crunch of walnuts, you're definitely in the right place!
- Bananas - make sure to use bananas that are very soft, sweet, fragrant, and moist. Since we're not using oil, a lot of the moisture in the brownies comes from the bananas.
- Oat flour - use fine oat flour, whether store-bought or homemade in a high speed blender.
- Cocoa powder - regular or Dutch process.
- Sweeteners - maple syrup contributes moisture and flavor, so I can't recommend a substitute. Brown sugar may be used instead of coconut sugar.
- Almond butter - I like raw, unsalted almond butter in this recipe. Use your favorite nut or seed butter. If it's salted, reduce the sea salt to ¼ teaspoon.
- Coffee - just 1 tablespoon of brewed coffee really adds to the rich flavor. A bit of liquid is also important for the overall consistency of the batter. So if you don't have coffee, use your favorite non-dairy milk instead.
- Cinnamon - adds depth and lovely banana bread vibes! But if you don't enjoy cinnamon feel free to reduce or omit it.
See recipe card below for amounts and full instructions.
How to Make this Recipe
Making these healthy brownies is really easy. The process looks like this:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment.
- Combine the dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.
- In a smaller bowl mash the bananas very well with a fork (or using clean hands).
- Stir the other wet ingredients into the mashed banana.
- Next, add the wet ingredients to the dry, and stir until well combined. Fold in the walnuts.
- Pour brownie batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 30 to 33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Tips for Slicing
Well, maybe there is one difficult thing about making this recipe, and that's waiting while they cool! Between the bananas, cinnamon, maple, and cocoa, they smell totally irresistible.
Since these brownies are gluten-free and have a tender, cake-like texture, it's best to wait until they're completely cool before cutting into squares. I know it's tough. But I believe in you!
And hey, if the smell of banana bread and chocolate brownies overtakes your will, and you cut into them a bit early, is a bit of crumbly, moist, chocolatey-ness really such a bad thing? I think not.
For breakfast: imagine this - you wake up the next day, and while enjoying a hot cup of coffee or tea you pull a healthy banana brownie straight out of the fridge for breakfast. And maybe you even pair it with a spoonful of peanut butter to make it extra filling. There are worse ways to start the day!
After lunch or as a snack: these are perfect on-the-go or as an afternoon snack since they're fine at room temperature all day.
For dessert: I'm perfectly happy having one or two of these after dinner as a healthy dessert. If you want to kick up the dessert-factor, serve these with your favorite non-dairy whipped cream or ice cream plus a dash of cinnamon on top!
Banana brownies taste fantastic with a scoop of any of these vegan ice creams:
- Almond butter - feel free to substitute tahini for a nut-free option. These also taste amazing with peanut butter or cashew butter.
- Flour - though I haven't tested the recipe yet with other whole-grain flours, I do think it will be fairly forgiving. The key is to use the same weight in grams. For example, if you wanted to use white whole-wheat flour instead of oat, use ¾ cup (approx. 90 grams) instead of 1 cup.
- Cocoa powder - for the best flavor I recommend regular cocoa powder instead of raw cacao powder (though you can definitely use cacao if that's what you have). And as noted in the recipe, if using Dutch process cocoa instead of regular, use baking powder instead of baking soda.
Once the brownies are cool, I like to leave them on the parchment paper and transfer them to a storage container with a tight-fitting lid. If you need to stack them to fit inside the container, just place parchment between the layers to prevent them from sticking together.
You can store the brownies at room temperature or in the refrigerator. I've tried them both ways and actually prefer them cool out of the fridge.
Banana brownies freeze well, too. They thaw fairly quickly, so just pull one from the freezer an hour or two before you'd like to eat.
Make sure to use very ripe bananas with plenty of dark spots. They should be sweet, fragrant, and moist. If the bananas are on the dry side, the brownies will be slightly drier, too.
More healthy vegan sweet treats:
I hope you love these delicious and healthy Vegan Banana Brownies! If you try the recipe please leave a comment below to let us know! You can also tag me on facebook or instagram with @myquietkitchen.
Healthy Vegan Banana Brownies (Oil-Free, Oat Flour)
- 1 cup oat flour (100 g) - Use certified gluten-free oat flour if needed.
- ½ cup natural cocoa powder - If using Dutch-processed cocoa (alkalized), replace the baking soda with baking powder.
- 1 teaspoon baking soda (replace with baking powder if using Dutch-processed cocoa)
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup mashed overripe banana (about 2 large bananas) - Use bananas with a lot of dark spots
- ¼ cup maple syrup
- ¼ cup coconut sugar - Can sub brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon brewed coffee or non-dairy milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ⅓ cup runny almond butter, unsalted - Or any nut/seed butter you like; will alter flavor.
- ½ cup chopped raw walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl whisk together the oat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
- Place the bananas in a small bowl, and mash with a fork. It's fine to have a few larger pieces remaining. Measure to make sure you have 1 cup of mashed banana. Add the maple syrup, coconut sugar, vanilla, and almond butter, and stir vigorously until combined.
- Pour the wet mixture into the dry, and stir to combine. Fold in the walnuts.
- Transfer batter to prepared pan, and bake for 30 to 33 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let brownies rest in the pan for 30 minutes, then lift out by parchment paper. Allow to cool completely before cutting into 16 squares.
Estimated Nutrition (per serving)
Nutrition information is an estimate and will vary depending on the exact amounts and specific products and ingredients used. We calculate this information using the online calculator cronometer.com. For the most accurate nutrition information we recommend calculating it yourself to reflect the specific ingredients used in your dish.