Indulge in the luscious aroma of our Maple Walnut Bread, a delightful vegan treat crafted without eggs or dairy. Moist and rich, it’s infused with the natural sweetness of ripe bananas, the rich flavor of coffee, and the earthy allure of real maple syrup. With an extra dash of maple flavoring, each bite is a symphony of maple bliss.
You’ll enjoy Maple Walnut Bread for its exquisite blend of flavors and its comforting, moist texture. The rich sweetness of real maple syrup, complemented by the deep maple undertones, creates a harmonious symphony of taste.
Substituting fruit puree for eggs is a perfect way to add richness of flavor and moisture to vegan baked goods. Vegan chocolate chip banana bread uses bananas (of course!) and vegan pumpkin muffins and vegan pumpkin cookies with chocolate chips both use pumpkin puree not only for the pumpkiny flavor but for richness and moisture.
The addition of ripe bananas to this maple walnut loaf not only imparts natural sweetness but also keeps this vegan quick bread wonderfully moist, while the crunch of toasted walnuts adds a delightful contrast. Knowing that it’s entirely vegan, without eggs or dairy, makes this bread not just a delectable treat but also a guilt-free indulgence that aligns with my values. Each bite is a reminder of the simple pleasures in life, making Maple Walnut Bread an irresistible favorite.
Ingredients needed to make vegan maple walnut bread
- all-purpose flour – You will need to sift the flour or “lighten” it before measuring or you will get too heavy a loaf. See the blog post below.
- baking powder – Make sure your baking powder is fresh!
- salt and ground cinnamon
- maple syrup – Use real maple syrup in this recipe, not fake pancake syrup.
- brewed coffee – The coffee adds a rich underlayer of flavor to this maple walnut loaf. If you are not a coffee drinker you can use instant coffee (prepared), decaf coffee, or even water with about one teaspoon of coffee extract. OR if you are really opposed to using coffee then substitute with any plant milk of your choice.
- melted coconut oil – You can use virgin or refined coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil will give a slight coconut flavor (which honestly I don’t notice and may even prefer).
- maple flavoring – Use maple flavoring for an extra boost of maple flavor. If you don’t already have maple flavoring and don’t want to purchase it, use vanilla extract instead.
- mashed banana – Remember that a brown spotted banana will be nice and sweet! You will be using only one-half cup of mashed banana for this recipe. I can usually get that from one banana but have an extra one on hand just in case.
- chopped walnuts – You can substitute with chopped pecans if you prefer.
- You’ll need a bread loaf pan too!
How to make your own vegan maple walnut bread
The exact ingredients with measurements can be found in the recipe card below along with more concise abbreviated instructions. Read on for more details, tips, and tricks so that you will feel confident making this recipe.
STep 1: Getting ready
Preheat oven to 350° F and set the oven rack to the center position. Use vegetable cooking spray or vegetable shortening to grease the inside of a 5” x 9” loaf pan. As an alternative to greasing the pan, you can also line the loaf pan with parchment paper if desired. Make sure a little bit hangs over the edge.
Chop the walnuts if they aren’t already chopped. I like to buy my walnuts already chopped. As long as they are super fresh, I can’t taste a difference between the prechopped walnuts and the walnut halves.
If you want to chop walnut halves, you can use a cutting board OR I love this handy chopper! It requires no electricity, is small enough to leave on my countertop in the corner, and easily gets the job done.
Step 2: The dry ingredients
Use a medium-sized bowl to mix the dry ingredients. The first step is to measure the flour. Since I do not measure my flour by weight but by volume, it’s really important to either sift it before measuring or to use the lighten, measure, and swipe method.
My grandma taught me how to measure flour for baked goods. She called this “lightening” the flour. The first step is to aerate the flour by stirring it up a bit.
Next, use a scoop or a large spoon to gently remove some from the top, and then shake the lightened flour into your measuring cup. You will need to repeat this a couple of times until the flour is measured just over the top of your dry measuring cup.
Finally, you take a knife or other straight surface, and quickly swipe across the top, leveling the flour without smooshing it down.
Add the properly measured flour to the medium bowl along with the baking powder (NOT baking soda!), cinnamon, and salt. stir everything together to evenly distribute. You want to thoroughly mix the dry ingredients before adding them to the wet ingredients (in a later step).
Steps 3-6: The wet ingredients
Melt the coconut oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds until it’s nice and clear. Depending on how cold your other ingredients are, you might need to re-melt it later with the other wet ingredients.
I know there is always debate about whether you should use virgin coconut oil or refined coconut oil. Truly, this is a matter of personal preference. Some people think that virgin coconut oil is extra coconutty tasting. If this bothers you then use refined coconut oil. I don’t mind the ever-so-teeny-tiny coconut flavor that virgin coconut oil imparts.
Can you substitute vegetable oil for the coconut oil?
Yes, you can substitute any neutral-flavored oil for coconut oil. Be aware though that this recipe was developed using coconut oil and I think gives it a moist, yet firm texture in the cooled baked product.
Brew or make and measure the coffee if you aren’t using left-over brewed coffee from the morning. When I say one-half cup of coffee, I mean an actual measuring one-half cup – not one-half of a coffee cup (despite the above ingredients photo)! So make sure to measure!
Mashing the banana
Mash the banana until it’s pureed. You don’t want big banana chunks in this recipe – it’s not banana bread! I mash right into a measuring cup to ensure I am getting no more and no less than one-half cup.
It might be tempting to use up the rest of the banana if you have more than one-half cup mashed. Please don’t be tempted to do this. Either throw it away, eat it, or freeze it to use in a smoothie for a little extra sweetness (like this yummy orange pineapple smoothie).
You should be able to get away with using one banana, but I always have two on-hand just in case. Just in case I have underestimated the size of my banana. And just in case there is a weird brown part I don’t want to use. Because I’m too creeped out to use the yucky parts!
Use a large bowl for the wet ingredients because you will be combining the dry ingredients INTO the wet ingredients. Add the mashed banana, maple syrup, melted coconut oil, coffee, and maple extract. Whisk until smooth.
If your wet ingredients are too cool the coconut oil might begin to solidify. To warm the wet ingredients enough for the coconut oil to melt again, place the bowl with the wet ingredients in the microwave for 30 seconds – one minute.
Stir the wet ingredients together until everything is well mixed. As with the dry ingredients. You want the wet ingredients to be thoroughly mixed before combining them with the dry ingredients.
Step 7: Mixing it all together
Once the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients have been mixed separately, it’s time to combine them together. It’s important that this is gentle combining – NOT overmixing! This is why I stress that the dry ingredients and wet ingredients need to the thoroughly combined separately before mixing them together.
Since we are making a “quick” sweet bread, it’s important to NOT overmix the batter. Just stir till combined. And DON’T use an electric mixer. Use a sturdy large spoon or spatula to combine the batter. Overmixing the the batter will overdevelop the gluten which will lead to a gummy heavy loaf of bread.
This vegan quick bread mixes better if you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients before combining.
Next, gently fold the chopped walnuts into the combined batter. It’s important that the nuts are chopped ahead of time. Once the batter has been combined, you want to get it into the pan and the oven as soon as possible – not wait around for the nuts to be chopped! If the batter sits for too long it might rise too fast and then fall before the baking has finished.
Steps 8-9: Baking the maple walnut bread
Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Again, it’s important the have the loaf pan prepared ahead of time and the oven preheated.
Smooth the batter till it’s even and bake at 350°F for 40-50 minutes. Make sure to check your baked maple loaf at 40 minutes. You can check by inserting a toothpick to see if it comes out clean and by pressing gently to see if it bounces back. If your finger leaves an indent, put it back in the oven for a few minutes.
If the bread is not quite finished at 40 minutes then check again every three minutes until it’s done. The only reason it might take longer than 40 minutes is if your oven runs a little cool or if your banana has extra moisture.
Let the baked walnut maple bread sit in the loaf pan for about 20 minutes to cool. Then carefully turn it out onto a wire rack to complete cooling.
Serving and saving the maple loaf
You can serve your still warm yummy baked maple walnut bread with some melted cinnamon maple butter (highly recommend!) or jam.
The bread will cut easier when completely cooled…but I don’t usually have the patience for that! This bread is best served the same day you make it. If you want to serve it the next morning for breakfast then wrap it up tightly and let it sit on your counter overnight.
If you need to save your maple walnut bread longer than overnight then put the tightly wrapped loaf in the fridge for up to three days. I would warm it up slightly before serving.
The printable recipe card
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Maple Walnut Bread, Vegan
- 2 cups all purpose flour sifted before measuring, see blog post
- 1 Tablespoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup maple syrup real maple syrup
- ½ cup brewed coffee
- ¼ cup coconut oil melted, see notes
- 1 teaspoon maple flavoring
- ½ cup mashed banana see notes
- ¾ cup chopped walnuts see notes
- Preheat oven to 350° F Grease well or line a 5” x 9” loaf pan with parchment paper. Chop the walnuts if they aren't already chopped.
- In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to evenly distribute. Set aside.2 cups all purpose flour, 1 Tablespoon baking powder, ¾ teaspoon salt, ¾ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Melt the coconut oil in the microwave for about 30 seconds until it is clear.
- Mash the banana. I measure out exactly one-half cup of mashed banana. That will take one or two bananas depending on the size. Do NOT use any more than one-half cup.
- In a large bowl, combine mashed banana, maple syrup, oil, coffee, and maple extract. Whisk until smooth.½ cup maple syrup, ½ cup brewed coffee, ¼ cup coconut oil, 1 teaspoon maple flavoring, ½ cup mashed banana
- If the coconut oil begins to solidify in the cold ingredients, heat it all together in the microwave for about 30 seconds- one minute, until the coconut oil melts again.
- Stir in the flour mixture until just mixed. Do not overmix! Fold in the chopped walnuts.¾ cup chopped walnuts
- Pour the mixture into the prepared loaf pan and spread until even.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Make sure to check it at 40 minutes.
- Allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before removing from the pan.
- Best served the same day. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container. Serve at room temperature.