Vegan Tahini and Date Banana Bread with frosting sits on a wooden board. A slice of this gluten-free and vegan banana bread is on a plate next to a coffee at the back.

The classic vegan banana bread takes on a contemporary twist with our gluten-free vegan banana bread with tahini and dates. 

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As with any banana bread, the hero ingredient in this recipe is…. you guessed it… the bananas.

Overripe bananas with lots of brown spots are ideal for this recipe. Keeping the natural sweetness of the bananas in mind, we’ve only 150g of sugar in this recipe. However, tailor the sugar content to align with your taste preferences.

In this vegan banana bread recipe, we mix things up with this recipe with dates (added sweetness) and nutty, creamy tahini.

What is tahini?

Tahini is a versatile and delicious paste made from ground sesame seeds. This Middle Eastern culinary gem boasts a rich, nutty flavour with a creamy and smooth consistency. Tahini plays a crucial role in various cuisines, particularly Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes, where it adds depth and richness to sauces, dips and dressings. Beyond its culinary uses, tahini also offers a nutritional punch, delivering essential nutrients such as healthy fats, protein and various vitamins and minerals. Its distinct taste and nutritional profile make tahini a popular ingredient in savoury and sweet recipes, contributing to many delightful and globally-inspired dishes.

Unhulled vs Hulled Tahini

The key distinction between unhulled and hulled tahini lies in the presence or absence of sesame seed hulls, the outer layer that encapsulates the seed.

Hulled Tahini:

  • Process: Hulled tahini is made from sesame seeds that have had their outer hulls removed before processing.
  • Flavour and Texture: This results in a smoother and creamier texture than unhulled tahini.
  • Colour: Hulled tahini is generally lighter in colour, showcasing a more traditional appearance.

Unhulled Tahini:

  • Process: Unhulled tahini is crafted from sesame seeds with their outer hulls still intact.
  • Flavour and Texture: This type of tahini tends to have a stronger, more robust flavour and a slightly coarser texture due to the presence of the hulls.
  • Colour: Unhulled tahini often has a darker colour compared to hulled tahini, owing to the retention of the outer seed coating.

Choosing between hulled and unhulled tahini depends on personal preference and the intended use in recipes. Hulled tahini is often preferred for its smoother consistency and milder flavour, making it versatile for both savoury and sweet dishes. On the other hand, unhulled tahini is appreciated for its more intense sesame flavour and potentially added nutritional benefits from the retained hulls, such as additional fibre and minerals.

Ingredients for our Gluten-Free and Vegan Banana Bread with Dates and Tahini

  • Dairy-Free Margarine – To keep this recipe vegan and dairy-free. If dairy isn’t an issue, feel free to use butter.
  • Brown Sugar 
  • Hulled Tahini – We used hulled tahini in our recipe, but you can use unhulled tahini if you prefer. Or if you’re not sure about tahini, but want to add a nutty element to your banana bread you could use peanut butter instead.
  • Orgran Egg Replacer – This is our favourite brand of egg replacer. It is available from supermarkets and health food stores across Australia. One teaspoon of Orgran Egg Replacer mixed with 30ml water is the equivalent of one egg. If you don’t need to make a loaf of egg-free or vegan banana bread, use two eggs at room temperature instead of the two teaspoons of egg replacer and 30ml water.
  • Water – If using Orgran Egg Replacer. If using a different brand, follow the instructions on the packet to produce the equivalent of 2 eggs.
  • Vanilla Extract 
  • Coconut Milk – We used coconut milk in this recipe to add a creamy element that compliments the tahini. You can replace it with soy milk or almond milk if you prefer.
  • 2 large overripe Bananas 
  • Pitted Dates 
  • Gluten-Free Self-Raising Flour – We used Bob’s Red Mill Self-Raising Flour in this recipe. You can use any gluten-free flour blend you like.

For the Frosting:

  • Dairy-Free Margarine –  Again, substitute with butter if you don’t need a vegan banana bread.
  • Gluten-Free Icing Sugar – Always double-check ingredients to ensure your icing sugar is gluten-free.
  • Freshly Brewed Coffee – This adds a beautiful depth of flavour to the frosting. Omit to make it family-friendly.
  • Hulled Tahini 

Instructions: Preparing a Moist Banana Bread 

  1. Preheat and Prepare: Preheat your oven to 180°C and lining a loaf tin with baking paper. This step ensures a perfect bake and easy removal.
  2. Mixing the Magic: Combine the dairy-free margarine, brown sugar, and hulled tahini in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer to whip up a pale and creamy mixture.
  3. Egg Replacement: Mix the Orgran Egg Replacer with water and pour it into the margarine mixture. Beat until the combination is smooth and well incorporated.
  4. Flavour Infusion: Add the vanilla extract, coconut milk, mashed bananas and chopped dates. Stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture is combined.
  5. Gluten-Free Flour: Gradually add the gluten-free self-raising flour, stirring until the batter is free of lumps. This ensures a smooth and consistent texture.
  6. Baking Brilliance: Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake in the preheated oven for approximately 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 5 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack for complete cooling.
  7. Frosting Finale: For the frosting, combine the dairy-free margarine, gluten-free icing sugar, freshly brewed coffee and hulled tahini in a bowl. Use an electric mixer to beat until creamy.
  8. Spread the Love: Generously spread the frosting over the top once the banana bread has cooled. If you feel extra indulgent, sprinkle chopped dates on top for a delightful finish.

This gluten-free vegan banana bread is a perfect blend of nutty tahini and chewy sweet dates that create a delicious treat for your taste buds. So, if you love baking, give this recipe a try and let this indulgent dessert be the star of your next gathering. Your kitchen will be filled with enticing smells and mouth-watering delights!

For more delicious banana-based recipes try our Irresistible Vegan Banana Pops Board, Dairy-Free Chai-Spiced Banana Bread, Egg-Free Banana and Walnut Muffins or our Gluten-Free Hot Cakes with Caramelised Banana.

FAQs for Perfect Banana Bread: Overcoming Common Challenges

Why does my banana bread turn out dry or overly wet?

Moisture balance is crucial in banana bread, and the flour-to-banana ratio plays a significant role. Using too much flour results in dry bread, while insufficient flour leads to a wet texture. The secret lies in how you measure the flour. Avoid the “scoop straight out of the bag” method, which can pack too much flour. Instead, opt for the “spoon and level” method. Spoon flour into a measuring cup and level it off with the flat side of a knife or straight edge to achieve the right consistency.

What’s the best way to ensure my banana bread is fully cooked?

Don’t risk discovering undercooked banana bread after slicing. Conduct the skewer test while it’s still in the oven. Insert a skewer into the centre, and if it emerges clean or with just a crumb or two, your bread is ready. If there’s still raw batter on the skewer, return the bread to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, then check again.

Do I need to let my banana bread cool?

Proper cooling improves the texture and shelf life of your banana bread. Cool your banana bread in the pan for 5 minutes, then transfer it to a wire-rack to cool completely. This is to prevent the bottom from turning soggy. Let the bread cool entirely on a rack before wrapping it in plastic or transferring it to an airtight container. Additionally, allowing the bread to cool firms up its structure, ensuring neater slices. If you prefer warm bread, feel free to reheat a slice in the oven.

Vegan Banana Bread with Tahini and Dates

Recipe by Cara Boatswain | Photography by Brandee Meier
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Course Baked Goods
Servings 10 people

Ingredients
 

  • 100 g dairy-free margarine
  • 150 g brown sugar loosely packed
  • 90 g hulled tahini
  • 2 teaspoons Orgran Egg Replacer
  • 60 ml water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk
  • 2 large bananas mashed
  • ½ cup pitted dates roughly chopped
  • 280 g gluten-free self-raising flour

FROSTING

  • 100 g dairy-free margarine
  • 125 g gluten-free icing sugar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly brewed coffee
  • 2 tablespoons hulled tahini
  • ¼ cup pitted dates roughly chopped, to serve (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 180°C and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
  • Place margarine, brown sugar and tahini in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer until pale and creamy. Combine Orgran Egg replacer with 60ml water, pour into margarine mixture and beat until combined.
  • Add vanilla extract, coconut milk, bananas and dates. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined, then add flour and stir until free of lumps. Pour into prepared tin and bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  • To make the frosting, place ingredients in a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Spread over banana bread and top with chopped dates (if using).

Notes

If you don’t require the recipe to be vegan or egg-free, you can use 2 eggs in place of the Orgran Egg Replacer. If using eggs, omit the 60ml water too.
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