Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread

Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread (Vegan GF-Option)

A light and fluffy banana bread loaf with a hidden gingerbread man all the way through! Make up two different banana breads to make this impressive vegan cake topped with thick, creamy gingerbread buttercream and homemade gingerbread cookies.

I cannot believe this is my last banana bread of 2020. Wow, this year has flown by so fast! I remember writing out this last of banana bread ideas on my flight back from Australia in December 2019, thinking this would be a fun challenge for the year ahead. Little did I know that banana bread would become a craze throughout lockdown… but with or without lockdown, I have kept up with my banana bread promise and even stuck to my original time frame, too. This Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread has been a long time coming for me, as I’ve been looking forward to it all year. I wanted to make it a little extra special so instead of just a delicious gingerbread flavoured banana bread with the odd gingerbread cookie on top, I went one step further and made a Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread.

Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread
Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread

What makes it hidden? The darker coloured gingerbread man-shape running all the way through the centre of the loaf. If you’re a bit confused as to how this got there, you’re not alone. It took me a lot of research to figure out the secret and now I’m sharing it with you. There are a few extra steps involved with this month’s banana bread but it is well worth it! Plus, if you want a quicker option, you can simply make either of the loaves below: a Ginger Cacao Banana Bread or the Lightly Spiced Gingerbread Banana Bread and frost them in the same way for an equally as delicious bake.

To make the Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread:

  • Firstly make the Ginger Cacao Banana Bread: this is the darker loaf and forms the hidden gingerbread man shape in the centre.
  • This must cool down fully before you can proceed: it’s a good idea to make this one the night before.
  • Cut the loaf into slices: cut out the gingerbread man shape and line up to one side.
  • Keep the scraps of banana bread: either eat them with ice cream/yoghurt or blitz and transfer to the freezer and make cake pops at a later date!
  • Make the Lightly Spiced Gingerbread Banana Bread: line the bottom of a tin with some batter.
  • Line up the gingerbread men shapes: cover completely with the remaining batter. Work gently and carefully to not squidge the shapes and make sure they’re all covered.
  • Bake until golden: then cool, frost and decorate as normal.
Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread
Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread
Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread
Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread

The extra steps to this Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread really make for an impressive cake! It was really fun to make and turned into my weekend project, but I enjoyed it every step of the way. 

Now, let’s talk frosting for this Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread. I feel as if I have upped my frosting game for the last few banana breads and I have got through SO much icing sugar, but for good reason. This vegan gingerbread cream cheese buttercream is similar to my cinnamon one as I loved it so much. Spread it think and then top with lots of gingerbread cookies – I used the ones from the Vegan Gingerbread Wreath and Shapes recipe (I made a 1/3 batch and used about half of them for this banana bread).

Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread
Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread

The resulting Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread is fun to look at and even better to eat. It’s light and fluffy with lots of warming spices and a lovely moist but crumbly texture. It is delicious with a cup of tea or coffee or served as a dessert. It is great for a festive bake this time of year and can be easily gluten-free, it’s nut-free and obviously it’s vegan and dairy-free.

I hope you will love this special Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread and enjoy eating it with loved ones. If you are looking for other banana bread ideas, how about my:

Ginger Cacao Banana Bread (Vegan GF-Option)

  • Servings: 1 loaf, serves 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A rich ginger and cacao banana bread that is light and fluffy and simple to make. Serve this loaf as it is topped with thick luscious frosting or use this for the “hidden” gingerbread shapes in the second loaf.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas, (300g)
  • 75ml sunflower oil
  • 100g coconut or caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 225g plain or GF plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 15g cacao powder

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line a loaf tin.
  2. Mash the bananas and whisk in the sunflower oil, sugar, vanilla essence and lemon juice.
  3. Pour in the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice and cacao powder. Stir to a thick batter.
  4. Transfer into the lined tin, smooth over the top and bake for 35 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  5. Cool for 10 minutes, lift out the tin and allow to cool fully.
  6. If making the Ginger Cacao Banana Bread only, once cooled, skip to step 7 below and frost and decorate the loaf. If you are making the Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread, once cooled head to step 4 below.

Lightly Spiced Gingerbread Banana Bread (Vegan GF-Option)

  • Servings: 1 loaf, serves 10-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A light and fluffy banana bread loaf with a hidden gingerbread man all the way through! Make up two different banana breads to make this impressive vegan cake topped with thick, creamy gingerbread buttercream and homemade gingerbread cookies.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas, (300g)
  • 75ml sunflower oil
  • 2 tbsp plant-based milk
  • 100g coconut or caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 225g plain or GF plain flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • Gingerbread Cream Cheese Buttercream:
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 50g vegan butter/margarine
  • 50g vegan cream cheese
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • Decorations: gingerbread shapes, edible glitter, sprinkles

Directions

  1. Make sure you have made the Ginger Cacao Banana Bread as above and it is fully cool. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line a loaf tin.
  2. Mash the bananas and whisk in the sunflower oil, plant-based milk, sugar, vanilla essence and lemon juice.
  3. Pour in the flour, baking powder, ginger and mixed spice. Stir to a thick batter. If you only want to make a lightly spiced Gingerbread Banana Bread, simply transfer all the batter to the tin now and bake for 35 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean and head to step 6. Or, continue with step 4 to make the Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread.
  4. Transfer 1/4 of the batter to the tin and smooth over the bottom. Slice the cooled Ginger Cacao Banana Bread into thin slices (the thickness of your gingerbread cutter). Cut out a gingerbread shape from each slice and leave to one side. Keep the scraps of Ginger Cacao Banana Bread in an airtight container.*
  5. Line the gingerbread shapes into the loaf tin down the centre in one straight line and press together so they “stick”. Pour over the remaining banana bread batter, working gently and spooning over any mix at the sides to make sure all of the gingerbread shapes are covered. Bake for 35 minutes until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes, lift out the tin and allow to cool fully.
  7. Make the frosting by adding all the ingredients to a food processor or add into a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk until fluffy.
  8. Spread the frosting over the banana bread and top with the gingerbread cookies, edible glitter and sprinkles.
  9. *keep your leftover Ginger Cacao Banana Bread to eat as it is or to make cake pops. Blitz them into breadcrumbs and pop in the freezer until you are ready to use them. Recipe coming soon for this!
Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread
Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread so please leave a comment below and tag my in your wonderful bakes! I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With hidden gingerbread love x

18 thoughts on “Hidden Gingerbread Banana Bread (Vegan GF-Option)

  1. naturally.sophiexx says:

    Hey my great friend Amy! Looks divine and I adore 🥰 Gingerbread and I wouldn’t have chosen to do in a banana 🍌 bread reticent but honestly looks delicious 😋 for sure. It looks really complicated lol 😂 for a beginner cook like me, but I so want to make the hidden gingerbread banana loaf for sure. I can’t wait to bake this for Xmas hopefully and I be sure to tag you into my bakes using your recipes that are so down to Earth 🌍 and inspirational! They honestly make me smile each day and especially during. Covid lockdowns and now.
    It only feels like yesterday that you started your 12 month banana 🍌 bread recipes and me/ my parents so enjoy your banana bread recipes and all of your other recipes as well. Without you I wouldn’t dare to learn how to cook etc a massive thank you. Sorry for my long essay comments as well and commenting twice on here.
    Aww 😍 can’t believe I was in Asia and Australia 🇦🇺 last April-May 2019 and you were in Australia with your friends in November and December. Definitely want to go back to Aus for sure- take me back. A year after Covid came and hols aboard cancelled xxxxx
    Best Wishes 😋😍🍫😊🌱🌈🥰💜💙😍🍫👩🏻‍🍳🌍xxxxxx
    Sophie, my mum and dad, My dog 🐶 Ben says woofs to your Jessie. Also a hi to your bro Ben

  2. naturally.sophiexx says:

    Aww 😍 need to bake my own gingerbread men and gingerbread cookies 🍪 and how do you make your icing so well. Also when I tried making vegan 🌱 icing previously it was very runny and clear not sure what I did wrong. My dad even tried but between us we couldn’t work out why we had such thin icing that was like water?
    Instead we used just normal icing sugar and ahhh 😱 I so wanted to correct the vegan 🌱 icing. Are you able to explain how I can prefect vegan icing again? Soz for beginner cook questions xxxxx sorry it’s taken me so long to read your last 4 blog posts

    • nourishingamy says:

      You need to only add VERY small amounts of water to the icing so make sure you read and follow the recipe carefully! It’s only icing sugar and water so it’s naturally vegan x

  3. Rin says:

    This looks absolutely delicious!!
    I’d love to try it out but would it be possible to substitute in oat flour instead of plain flour ??
    Thanks 🙂

    • nourishingamy says:

      Hi Rin,
      Thanks so much! I hadn’t tried it with oat flour, it should work although it could be a bit squidgy. Maybe half later flour and half plain flour would be better? Let me know how you get on!

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