Coffee Walnut Banana Bread

Coffee Walnut Banana Bread (Vegan Gluten-Free)

Coffee walnut cake and banana bread combine in this one-pan cake packed with coffee flavour, walnut pieces, a rich coffee buttercream complete with mini cookies. This banana bread is naturally vegan, gluten-free and quick and easy to make for a fun bake.

I am on a roll with the banana bread recipes, and I got this one ready to share as soon as September arrived (well, the first weekend, that is) and I hope you will love this month’s banana bread as much as we do. 2021 has seen some of my favourite banana bread entries to my on going banana bread challenge and this one is humble but delicious and wows with the simple classic flavours with a fun spin.

Coffee Walnut Banana Bread
Coffee Walnut Banana Bread
Coffee Walnut Banana Bread
Coffee Walnut Banana Bread

This Coffee Walnut Banana Bread is:

  • Rich with coffee flavours
  • Studded with crunchy walnuts
  • Smothered with luscious coffee buttercream
  • Decorated with Mini Coffee Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
  • Easy to make in one bowl
  • Naturally vegan and easily gluten-free
  • Moist, thick and fluffy
  • Hearty and wholesome

I could go on about how amazing this cake is, but I’d rather you make it taste the magic for yourself. Imagine your favourite coffee walnut cake married with a moist loaf of banana bread and this Coffee Walnut Banana Bread is the result.

Coffee Walnut Banana Bread
Coffee Walnut Banana Bread
Coffee Walnut Banana Bread
Coffee Walnut Banana Bread

Skip ahead to the recipe card to make this banana bread right now or let’s see what goes into this bake and the substitutions you can make:

  • Ground chia or flaxseed: I use these interchangeably but prefer chia seeds if I am honest. I always grind my own whole chia seeds in the blender as they absorb liquid much better when broken down and form a better gel to hold the batter together.
  • Banana: like most good banana breads, this Coffee Walnut Banana Bread is even better when the bananas are ripe, so let them sit for a few days until really sweet and soft. This sheet-cake style recipe only calls for 2 bananas and we use most for the batter and slice the remaining banana for on top of the cake.
  • Plant-based milk: any dairy-free milk will work here but my favourites are oat, almond or coconut milk (from the carton).
  • Coconut or caster sugar: for this loaf which is rich in warming flavour and golden in colour, I prefer to use caster or date sugar which both have a warming caramel flavour but golden caster sugar or regular white caster sugar will also work.
  • Sunflower or coconut oil: for a really moist sponge, I like to use sunflower or vegetable oil but melted coconut oil also works well. Any neutral flavoured oil will work here.
  • Vanilla essence: this adds the lovely warm sweet notes. You can use vanilla powder, too.
  • Coffee: simply use ground coffee or coffee powder for the batter. As it is for flavour alone, you can use decaf coffee, too.
  • Plain or GF plain flour: I like to use plain flour for the lighter texture but for a more wholesome textured bake, try spelt or wholemeal flour, too. If you use a GF blend, use a 1:1 baking blend with xanthan gum.
  • Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda: for the rise.
  • Walnuts: these are essential for coffee walnut cakes, and they add such a lovely crunch and texture inside the cake and on top, too.

To make the batter for the Coffee Walnut Banana Bread I always like to blend together the wet ingredients to make sure there are no lumps of banana. This makes the texture more cake-like rather than loaf-like but you can mash the banana by hand, if you prefer. Stir in the dry ingredients, fold in the walnuts and then pour into a line tin. I used an 8-inch square tin for this sheet-cake style cake.

Coffee Walnut Banana Bread
Coffee Walnut Banana Bread
Coffee Walnut Banana Bread
Coffee Walnut Banana Bread

This Coffee Walnut Banana Bread smells pretty amazing as it bakes and is hard to resist straight from the oven. While you can dive straight into the bake, I prefer to allow it to cool down as the nuts taste SO much better and then you can spread it thickly with the coffee buttercream.

The topping is also simple and you need a few ingredients:

  • Vegan butter: a good trick for the best buttercream is to allow the butter to sit at room temperature for about an hour until it is soft to touch. This makes sure the buttercream is really light and fluffy.
  • Icing sugar: essential for the buttercream. For the best consistency and flavour, I tend to use a 1:3 ratio of butter to icing sugar.
  • Coffee: as above, you can use decaf coffee, too. As this is ground coffee, it will not blend completely but leave small specks of coffee which I love for the overall effect.
  • Plant-based milk: this thins out the buttercream for the smoothest, fluffiest texture.

Smother the Coffee Walnut Banana Bread with the buttercream and then decorate with my Mini Coffee Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies, some extra chopped walnuts and coffee beans, or you can leave it plain and devour as it is.

Can I make this Coffee Walnut Banana Bread nut-free?

Yes, it will not be a coffee walnut cake anymore, but just as delicious. Skip the walnuts inside the cake or use chocolate chips or seeds, instead. Instead of walnuts on top, use nut-free cookies and add chocolate chips or seeds again.

How to store this Coffee Walnut Banana Bread?

This one is so delicious the same day or two days later, it really keeps really well. Store the cake in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the fridge but allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating it. You can also freeze the un-frosted banana bread for up to 1  month.

If you are looking for more banana bread recipes or more cakes to bake, how about my:

Coffee Walnut Banana Bread (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 9-12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Coffee walnut cake and banana bread combine in this one-pan cake packed with coffee flavour, walnut pieces, a rich coffee buttercream complete with mini cookies. This banana bread is naturally vegan, gluten-free and quick and easy to make for a fun bake.

Ingredients

    For the banana bread:
  • 1 ½ tbsp ground chia or flaxseeds (with 3 tbsp water)
  • 2 medium-sized ripe bananas
  • 180ml plant-based milk
  • 70g coconut or caster sugar, plus extra
  • 60ml sunflower oil or melted coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp ground coffee
  • 210g plain or GF plain flour (with xantham gum)
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 60g walnuts, chopped
  • For the buttercream:
  • 75g vegan butter, room temperature
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp ground coffee
  • 2-3 tbsp plant-based milk
  • To decorate:
  • Coffee Walnut Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies
  • Crushed walnuts
  • Coffee beans

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line an 8-inch square tin with parchment paper.
  2. Stir together the chia/flaxseeds and water and stir to form a gel, leave for 5 minutes.
  3. Add 1 ½ bananas to a blender (it should equal roughly 170g) with the plant-based milk, sugar, oil, vanilla essence and coffee and blend until smooth. Slice the over ½ banana into circles.
  4. Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into a mixing bowl and add the salt. Pour in the chia/flax gel and the wet banana mix and whisk to a thick and smooth batter.
  5. Fold in the chopped walnuts and pour into the lined tin. Smooth over the top and top with the banana slices. Sprinkle the banana pieces with a little sugar to stop them drying out.
  6. Bake for 23-25 minutes until golden brown and fluffy and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes then remove from the tin and cool fully on a wire rack.
  7. Make the buttercream by adding the butter to a mixer or bowl and mix/beat for 1-2 minutes until fluffy. Now gradually add in the icing sugar, coffee and plant-based milk until smooth and creamy.
  8. Once the banana bread is cool, spread with the frosting and decorate with the Coffee Walnut Chocolate Chip Mini Cookies, some crushed walnuts and coffee beans.
  9. Eat straight away or store in an airtight container for 2-3 days (at room temperature unless it is warm, then store in the fridge but allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before eating).
Coffee Walnut Banana Bread
Coffee Walnut Banana Bread

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Coffee Walnut Banana Bread so please let me know in the comments below. If you make this cake, please tag me in your bakes as I love seeing them – I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With coffee walnut BB love x

6 thoughts on “Coffee Walnut Banana Bread (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  1. naturally.sophiexx says:

    Hey Amy. Coffee ☕️ walnut cake 🍰 sounds delicious 😋 and I will use tahini and chocolate 🍫 chips. So pleased I can use decaf coffee ☕️ and can’t wait to catch up with your e newsletters via email. Splendid photography as always and saved to my WordPress saved collection

    Like

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