Landscape photo of Tiramisu Banana Bread

Tiramisu Banana Bread (Vegan Gluten-Free)

A deliciously light and moist coffee banana bread with a hidden cream cheese-style filling topped with whipped dairy-free cream and dusted with cocoa. This Tiramisu Banana Bread is easy to make, naturally vegan, gluten-free and so moreish.

The banana bread for March is here and it is such a good one, the best loaf to offer a little pick me up. Tira-mi-su is an Italian word, that translates as “life me up” or “pick me up” so it’s no surprise that this banana bread will make you smile inside and out when you eat it. It’s packed with flavours, textures and easy ingredients plus it looks amazing to show off to friends and family.

Sprinkling cocoa powder over Tiramisu Banana Bread
Tiramisu Banana Bread

How delicious is this Tiramisu Banana Bread?

This loaf is really special, it’s:

  • Moist, light and cakey
  • Rich and decadent
  • Packed with subtle coffee flavours (without being overpowering)
  • Has a hidden cream cheese filling reminiscent of the layered dessert
  • Made with simple, vegan and gluten-free ingredients
  • Optionally alcoholic if you want to add coffee liqueur
  • Easy to make in 2 bowls with 10 minutes of prep time
  • A fun one to make for guests

If you already want to bake this loaf, skip ahead to the recipe card below, or let’s first discuss the ingredients and method in more detail.

Close up of Tiramisu Banana Bread
Tiramisu Banana Bread

What ingredients go into this banana bread?

The recipe has three parts; the cream cheese filling; the banana bread batter and the decoration. Let’s start with the cream cheese filling which is adapted from my Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake Brownies:

  • Vegan cream cheese: there are a few to choose one, so pick your favourite although you don’t want it too runny. Full-fat is best if you have the option as it’s creamier and low-fat options tend to have more water which can ruin the batter.
  • Dairy-free yoghurt: the thicker the better and as above, full-fat is best.
  • Almond butter: or another nut or seed butter. You need the smooth, runny one for this mix so the filling is smooth. Other options include cashew butter, tahini or sunflower seed butter.
  • Caster sugar: to keep the white colour of the cream cheese, opt for caster sugar which is also finer and results in a smoother filling. You could also use golden caster or coconut sugar.
  • Cornstarch: this acts as an egg and thickens the mix to add the lovely rich and creamy texture that’s almost fluffy when baked. Arrow root powder will also work.
  • Vanilla essence: for the flavour.

For the banana bread batter, we need a few simple ingredients that come together in one bowl:

  • Ripe banana: the riper the better for banana bread as they are softer and sweeter. I always buy bananas a week before I know I’ll need them. Make sure to weigh the banana rather than just use 3 or 4 as they vary so much in size.
  • Sunflower or coconut oil: if using coconut oil, melt and then allow it to cool down so it’s not too hot as this could cause the oil to seize up when it mixes with the cooler ingredients. If using sunflower oil, use it as it is and other neutral oils will work like olive oil.
  • Sugar: I love to use coconut sugar inside the loaf as it’s rich and caramel-like but golden caster sugar or regular caster sugar will also work.
  • Plant based milk: use any carton of milk like oat, almond, coconut or pea. I use unsweetened milk, too.
  • Vanilla essence: for the flavour.
  • Lemon juice: the acidity helps to bind the batter as it mixes with the milk and will “curdle” it to form a buttermilk. You can also use apple cider vinegar.
  • Plain or GF plain flour: this keeps the Tiramisu Banana Bread light and moist. I imagine half plain ad half buckwheat flour would be so delicious, and if using gluten-free flour make sure it contains xanthan gum or add some yourself (read this post for more information on how much to add).
  • Espresso coffee powder: for the coffee richness of the classic dessert. Instant espresso powder is best rather than granules, so either grind the granules down much smaller or dissolve the coffee in 1 tsp hot water and add to the wet ingredients. As this is only for flavour, you can use decaf.
  • Bicarbonate of soda and salt: for the rise and taste.
A loaf of Tiramisu Banana Bread with a slice cut off
Tiramisu Banana Bread

Finally for the decoration:

  • Coffee liqueur or coffee: this step is optional but adds more coffee flavour. When the loaf is still warm, brush the top with coffee liqueur (for an alcoholic version) or regular coffee (brewed and then cooled down). You can skip this step for a milder coffee flavour.
  • Dairy free cream: to keep to tradition, I went for a light-as-air whipped cream topping which works perfectly for the classic peaks on top of the dessert. You can use coconut whipping cream (like this brand) or I also like this oat-based cream or your favourite non-vegan cream just went vegan, Elmlea. If you prefer coffee buttercream, try this one here, and it will be so delicious still.
  • Cocoa powder: or cacao powder for the chocolate dusting.

How do I make this Tiramisu Banana Bread?

The steps are easy and you just need two bowls to start. You can watch a recipe video here.

  • Make the cream cheese filling: beat the cream cheese and yoghurt till smooth and then beat in the other ingredients.
  • Mash the banana: until smooth, some small lumps are OK.
  • Whisk in the wet ingredients: until combined.
  • Sift in the dry ingredients: and whisk till just combined (a few specks of flour are OK) being careful not to over-mix.
  • Pour half the batter into the tin: and smooth over the top.
  • Drop spoonfuls of the cream cheese mix: on top, using about ¾ of the cream cheese and spread out.
  • Cover with the rest of the banana batter: and smooth over the top.
  • Spoon on the remaining cream cheese: and gently swirl through with a palette knife.
  • Bake till golden brown and smelling amazing: about 50 minutes, covering with foil after 40 minutes if it is browning too much.
  • Brush with coffee or coffee liqueur: if using and cool for 10 minutes.
  • Cool fully on a wire rack: and prepare the decorations.
  • Whip the cream: and pipe on small peaks using a round-shaped or an open-star nozzle (like a 4B tip).
  • Dust with cocoa powder: and slice into the loaf.
A slice of Tiramisu Banana Bread on a plate
Tiramisu Banana Bread
Half eaten loaf of Tiramisu Banana Bread
Tiramisu Banana Bread

How long will this last?

This Tiramisu Banana Bread will keep for 3-5 days, in the fridge once it is decorated with fresh cream, and I like to bring the loaf to room temperature before eating it. You can keep the un-decorated loaf in the freezer for 1 month and defrost at room temperature before decorating it.

Is this loaf gluten-free and nut-free?

Use gluten-free flour to make this loaf gluten-free, making sure it contains xanthan gum or adding some yourself. I like the Doves Farm brand in the UK (which does not contain xanthan gum as it comes) or you can use half GF blend and half buckwheat flour, too. To keep this loaf nut-free, opt for nut-free milk, cream cheese, cream and use seed butter instead of nut free in the cream cheese filling.

Can I make this Tiramisu Banana Bread without the cream cheese filling?

Yes you can, although it will lose one element of what makes this a tiramisu loaf, but it will still be delicious.

Are there other options for decorating this banana bread?

If you would prefer a buttercream frosting, try my Coffee Buttercream here, or a White Chocolate Buttercream like this one, or a classic Vanilla Buttercream will be delicious. For something lighter, use a thick dairy-free yoghurt on top, although you won’t be able to pipe this one, you’d have to spread it on top (like this loaf).

Plates of Tiramisu Banana Bread
Tiramisu Banana Bread

I love this banana bread, what else can I make?

I hope you are going to love baking this and for more coffee-inspired and banana bread bakes, how about my:

Tiramisu Banana Bread (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A deliciously light and moist coffee banana bread with a hidden cream cheese-style filling topped with whipped dairy-free cream and dusted with cocoa. This Tiramisu Banana Bread is easy to make, naturally vegan, gluten-free and so moreish.

Ingredients

    For the Cream Cheese Filling:
  • 75g vegan cream cheese
  • 25g thick dairy-free yoghurt
  • 25g runny, smooth almond butter
  • 25g caster sugar
  • 11/2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • For the Banana Bread:
  • 400g ripe banana (3 large or 4 medium bananas)
  • 50g sunflower oil, or melted and cooled coconut oil
  • 100g coconut sugar
  • 60ml plant-based milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 280g plain or GF flour
  • 1 tbsp espresso coffee powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • For the Decoration:
  • 1-2 tbsp coffee liqueur, or cooled strong coffee, optional
  • 100ml dairy-free cream
  • Cocoa powder, to dust

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line a 9×5-inch loaf tin with parchment paper.
  2. Make the cream cheese middle: beat the cream cheese and yoghurt till smooth and beat in the almond butter, sugar, cornstarch and vanilla.
  3. For the banana bread: mash the bananas into a large bowl. Add in the oil sugar, milk, vanilla and lemon juice.
  4. Sift in the flour, espresso powder and bicarbonate of soda. Add the salt and whisk to a thick, smooth batter.
  5. Pour half the batter into the tin and smooth over the top. Using ¾ of the cream cheese mix, drop spoonfuls over the batter and spread out evenly. Top with the rest of the banana bread batter and then the rest of the cream cheese mix. Smooth over the top and gently swirl through.
  6. Bake for 50 minutes, covering with foil after 40 minutes. An inserted skewer will come out clean when it is baked (the cream cheese layer will stick to the skewer though).
  7. You can brush the cake with the coffee liqueur or coffee. Cool for 10 minutes, lift out the tin and cool fully on a wire rack.
  8. Whip the cream till light and fluffy and it holds its shape. Pipe onto the top of the loaf and dust with cocoa powder.
  9. Enjoy straight away or keep the cake in the fridge for 3-5 days or in the freezer (without the cream) for 1 month. Allow to defrost at room temperature and then top with the cream.
Landscape photo of Tiramisu Banana Bread
Tiramisu Banana Bread

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

With tiramisu banana bread love x

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