How to Make Banana Bread Without Baking Soda

A delicious snack you can whip up in a pinch with just a few household staples, banana bread is a sweet, moist treat that’s enjoyed by all ages.

Baking banana bread became a huge thing in the last few years because more people than ever were forced to spend time at home. We think that one good thing that came out of a difficult time is people reconnecting with their families and cooking delicious foods at home again.

Did you know that there’s a National Banana Bread Day? That’s right, February 23rd is the day to make banana bread and celebrate its greatness. When baking powder and baking soda became popular in the 1930s, home chefs started baking banana bread and it began to show up in cookbooks.

I have a couple banana bread recipe options but this one is good if I’m running low on baking powder and have baking soda available. It’s delicious banana bread and you add chocolate chip or mashed banana into that loaf pan for an easy banana bread recipe. It also works for banana bread muffins. It a great banana muffin recipe too.

It can be more like cake than bread in consistency, so it has universal appeal, especially with chocolate.

Next time you spot that sunshine yellow skin turning brown, don’t despair about another wasted bunch.

The riper a banana is, the more delightful the bread will turn out, although there is a limit. Don’t go baking with totally rotten fruit, please. An overripe banana is fine for your healthy banana bread. You can add chopped walnuts for a great banana nut bread.

banana bread

Banana bread is a delicious and comforting treat that many people enjoy, and it often relies on baking soda as a leavening agent. However, not everyone has access to baking soda or may simply want to try a different approach. Fortunately, an alternative method to make banana bread without baking soda exists, producing a delightful result with a slightly different texture.

Substituting baking soda with other ingredients, including baking powder or a combination of yogurt and baking powder, can yield a moist and delicious loaf of banana bread. These alternatives provide the required leavening effect, creating a tender and flavorful treat for everyone to enjoy.

Experimenting with various substitutions can lead to unique and exciting variations of the classic banana bread recipe. Learning to make banana bread without baking soda can expand one’s baking skills and allow for more creativity in the kitchen, ensuring a delightful treat every time the craving strikes.

This recipe doesn’t call for baking soda because the self raising flour takes its place and elicits the necessary rising. Needless to say, you’re never going to throw away your so-called overripe bananas again.

Not only will you get a recipe for a simply delightful baking soda free banana bread, but I’ll also impart some wisdom on how best to store it, variations on the recipe and a bunch of tips and tricks to guarantee your success. Enjoy your homemade banana bread.

Happy baking!


  • 3-4 medium bananas, the riper the better (don’t worry if they’re brown, or even a little mushy, it’ll still make for a delicious banana bread. It’s what I do every time I neglect mine!)
  • 1 egg (you can leave this out if you don’t eat eggs, as it won’t make a huge difference, it just adds to the moistness)
  • 60g of butter or margarine (vegan spreads are fine!)
  • 215g of sugar (either white, brown, caster, or granulated – this recipe is very forgiving!)
  • 250g of self raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (I’d recommend a good pinch of each)

You will need

  • One large mixing bowl
  • A wooden spoon or electric mixer
  • Sieve
  • (8×4 inch loaf tin)

Possible Add Ins

Depending on your personal preference, or if this is a gift, thinking about what the recipient would like, you might want to consider tossing in some extras to spice things up a bit.

Walnuts, chopped finely, is always a hit among those who like a bit of crunch, provided they aren’t allergic, whilst anyone with a sweet tooth might appreciate a good handful of chocolate chips.

Don’t have chocolate chips in your pantry? What about cocoa powder! Turn the whole batter into a chocolatey treat, and for a doubly indulgent experience, why not do both?!

If you’re feeling decadent, why not incorporate a swirl of salted caramel (store bought is absolutely fine, unless you’re already well versed in heating sugar at home) as this can cut through the sweetness to enhance the flavor.

Those on the keto diet or looking to incorporate more protein in their life, especially if you’re treating yourself to a helping for breakfast, might benefit from adding in some vanilla protein powder to encourage bulking up.

Step By Step Instructions

  1. 1Preheat your oven to 180 degrees – wait until things are nice and toasty in there or you won’t get the lovely crisp top you deserve!
  2. 2Prepare your loaf tin (preferably 8×4 inches) by lightly greasing, or use greaseproof paper to line.
  3. 3Take a large mixing bowl and blend your butter and sugar together, either by hand or with an electric mixer if you want to speed things up a bit.
  4. 4Add your egg and beat it in thoroughly, then toss in those bananas and mix until you can’t see any large lumps remaining.
  5. 5Sieve in your flour and add the salt, mixing until everything is just about combined and no more!
  6. 6If you’re going to add in extras, this is the time. Put in HALF of your intended walnuts/chocolate chips/raisins/hazelnuts etcetera now, and then mix, again, until just combined.
  7. 7Pour into your loaf tin, then add in the other half of your extra ingredients. Trust me, this will ensure a good distribution throughout the whole loaf, so every bite is filled with bonus deliciousness!
  8. 8Bake for around 45 minutes to an hour, being sure to keep a close eye on it – should you notice any early browning, turn the heat down a little. When ready, the exterior should be crisp and solid to the touch, with a perfectly soft and chewy center.
  9. 9Leave to cool completely and then slice and serve it up! Either warmed in the microwave for 30 seconds or as is, this tastes absolutely delicious.

Storage Information

Whilst you might be tempted to pop your load in the fridge, if it’s not going in your mouth straight away, the ideal storage location for your banana bread is out on the counter, on a plate and covered in plastic wrap or in a sealed container.

It’ll be safe there for around four days, at which point the texture might begin to change a bit, drying out a little, though it’s fine to eat for up to a week. Blast it in the microwave for a few seconds and some of that original moistness may return.

However, if at any point you begin to notice any discoloration or mould, it’s evident that it’s no longer appropriate for consumption and you ought to say your final farewell to those bananas you saved from the brink of death.

Should you wish to have banana bread on hand indefinitely, pop it in an airtight container and store it in your freezer, where it will basically keep forever. I’d suggest enjoying it within three months though, after which point it succumbs to freezer burn.

If you only have a couple of slices left, the best way to freeze successfully is by wrapping them individually in aluminum foil before popping them in a container, so they don’t stick together and will be somewhat protected from the dreaded burn.

For added retention of that deliciously moist center, I’d advise also placing the wrapped slices or remaining loaf in a sandwich bag and squeezing as much air as you can out of it, before popping it into your chosen container

Defrosting is easy – just pop it on the counter for a few hours, come back and you’ll be good to go, though if it’s only a couple of slices it might take less time, if you’re lucky. Single slices can be encouraged with a zap in the microwave or toaster!

Variations, Tips, and Tricks 

If you’re a banana bread veteran, bored of the standard recipes in your arsenal, or you’d like advice on how to perfect your recipe, why not consider some of the following adaptations to customize your experience.

Sweeten The Deal

A lot of recipes for banana bread floating around the net or in classic cookbooks will call for white sugar, or possibly a blend with dark or light brown sugar. Choosing to go full brown sugar will lead to a darker loaf, exuding some molasses flavor.

Alternatively, you could choose to get your sweetness from other substances, for instance maple syrup or honey, which also serve to increase the moistness of the bread. For every one cup of brown sugar, take a half cup of these luscious liquids.

Sinking Mix-ins?

If you find that your nuts or chocolate chips seem to drift towards the bottom of the loaf, even if you follow our top tip for distribution, try coating them in a tiny pinch of flour before you pop them into your mixture, and it might solve your problem.

Maximize Moistness

We’ve already established that the key to a super-tasty loaf is super-ripe bananas, but how else can you ensure this is the case?

Well, the key ingredient in a moist banana bread is fat, which can come from several sources.

Most recipes will suggest butter, and maybe an egg, but you could also use…

Other tips for a decadent banana bread include being sure not to overmix the batter or overbake the loaf, measuring your ingredients as accurately as possible and sieving your flour to prevent lumps.

Emergency Ripening Methods

Sometimes, out of nowhere, a sudden craving for banana bread urges.

But alas, all of your bananas are far from ripe, and there’s no way to get what you want. Unless…

Solution One: Oven 

If absolutely nothing is going to stand between you and the loaf of your life, the answer lies in your trusty oven. Simply preheat that bad boy to 148 degrees and cook your bananas, skins and all, on a baking sheet, until they’ve gone black.

It should take around 10 to 15 minutes to achieve full darkness – leave them to cool, peel them open (it might be a bit mushy and warm, so be careful!) and they’re ready to toss in with your dry ingredients.

Solution Two: Paper Bag

If you’re capable of being more patient, or want to give future you a nice surprise, just pop your ‘nanas in a classic brown paper bag with an apple.

Our crunchy friend will emit extra ethylene gas alongside them, and they’ll be ripe in a couple of days.

Keep an eye on them though, as if they’re riper than you anticipated, they might go all mushy unexpectedly quickly, and you’ll have a soggy situation on your hands, eating disappointment instead of delicious, delicious banana bread.

Banana Bread Without Baking Soda

Gluten-free: No 
Dairy-free: No
Suitable for nut allergies: Yes
4.99 from 79 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 9
Calories 280 kcal


  • One large mixing bowl
  • A wooden spoon or electric mixer
  • Sieve
  • (8x4 inch loaf tin)


  • 3 - 4 medium bananas, the riper the better (don’t worry if they’re brown, or even a little mushy, it’ll still make for a delicious banana bread. It’s what I do every time I neglect mine!)

  • 1 egg (you can leave this out if you don’t eat eggs, as it won’t make a huge difference, it just adds to the moistness)
  • 60 g of butter or margarine (vegan spreads are fine!)
  • 215 g of sugar (either white, brown, caster, or granulated - this recipe is very forgiving!)
  • 250 g of self raising flour
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste (I’d recommend a good pinch of each)


  • To begin, preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
  • Whilst the oven heats up, line a loaf tin with greaseproof baking paper.
  • In a large mixing bowl, add your butter and sugar and begin to combine with an electric mixer.
  • Next, add in your egg and ensure that it is thoroughly combined with the mixture. When you’re happy, you can add in your bananas. Continue mixing until you no longer see any lumps.
  • Gently sift in your flour to the wet mixture and add in the salt. Continue mixing until you are happy with the outcome.
  • Now you can add any extras in this step. We recommend only adding in half at first and mixing until fully combined.
  • Add your mixture into your lined loaf tin. Next you can add in the remaining half of your extra ingredients.
  • Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
  • Place your banana bread onto a cooling rack and serve once fully cooled.


Calories: 280kcal
Keyword Banana Bread, Banana Bread Without Baking Soda
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Cassie brings decades of experience to the Kitchen Community. She is a noted chef and avid gardener. Her new book "Healthy Eating Through the Garden" will be released shortly. When not writing or speaking about food and gardens Cassie can be found puttering around farmer's markets and greenhouses looking for the next great idea.
Cassie Marshall
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