can you eat banana bread without baking soda

This brief guide will address the query, “can you eat banana bread without baking soda?” and if you can replace it or even remove it from the recipe. 

Can you eat banana bread without baking soda?

Yes, you can eat banana bread without baking soda and the reason is simple. Baking soda is an ingredient that will help create fluffy bread, so the lack of this ingredient won’t compromise your health. 

However, replacing baking soda with another ingredient or even removing it from the banana bread recipe, is another topic to discuss. Because more than compromising on your health, you will compromise the texture or even flavor. 

What is Baking Soda?

Baking soda is an inorganic salt made up of bicarbonate and sodium. It has the appearance of a fine, white crystallized powder. If you want to know the chemical formula, it is NaHCO3.

Talking about some chemical characteristics, baking soda, because of being an inorganic salt, it´s an alkaline substance, so when it is combined with some acid compounds, it reacts and creates carbon dioxide, most of the time in the gaseous state. 

What does baking soda do on banana bread? 

A banana bread dough has some acidic compounds, because of the bananas, milk, and eggs, so the chemical reaction of the baking soda and these compounds has as result,  carbon dioxide in the gaseous state. 

This gas forms bubbles on the banana bread dough and at the same time, this helps to create the bread crumb, and the more gas there is, the bread crumb will be bigger and therefore the bread will be more fluffy. 

In food processing, these types of compounds that help you get some gas, in order to have a specific texture are called, “Leavening Agent”. Just for some scientific knowledge. 

Here you have a recipe for banana bread using baking soda. 

Can I Substitute baking soda on banana bread? 

Yes, you can substitute baking soda on banana bread with other ingredients that have a similar function. The most popular are baking powder and yeast. Let’s talk just a little about them. 

Baking Powder

Baking powder is sodium bicarbonate with an acidic compound, usually cream of tartar, already mixed in. 

Remember the chemical reaction we mentioned between sodium bicarbonate and acidic compound? Well, this reaction occurs when moisture is added to the banana bread mix, mostly water or even milk. 

The result is the same, carbon dioxide, in order to make some gas bubbles and make the banana bread fluffy. 

Here you have a recipe for banana bread using baking powder. 


Yeasts are microorganisms that literally eat the sugar in the medium in which they are in order to transform it into ethanol and carbon dioxide. This is a biochemical reaction that is called “fermentation”. 

You do not need to worry about ethanol, when yeast is used for baking, at the time the dough is baked, the alcohol evaporates. 

The banana bread is called “quickbread” because the making of the dough is quicker if you use baking soda, baking powder, or even yeast instead of nothing. 

Why? In bakeries, the use of yeast, most of the time, is for some specific bread, more traditional. You can find yeasts fresh or dried. 

If yeast is dried, you need to “wake up” the microorganisms with some water, mix it with the ingredients of the bread dough and let it rest for a couple of minutes, or even hours depending on the type of bread you are making. 

This “rest” helps the yeast make the biochemical reaction we already mentioned before. So, the more rest the yeast has, the more carbon dioxide will be and the bread will be more fluffy. 

So if you use yeast for your banana bread, it is a slower process, so you’re banana bread is not a “quickbread” anymore, but is an alternative if you want your banana bread to be fluffy and if you don’t have any baking soda o baking powder. 

Here you have a recipe for making banana bread with yeast. 

What happens if I don’t use baking soda on banana bread? 

If you do not use baking soda on your banana bread, or even baking powder or yeast, your banana bread will be heavy and dense. It will not have the same texture or flavor. 

The decision of using or not baking soda on your banana bread, is about your preferences on how fluffy you like your bread. 

Other FAQs about Bread that you may be interested in.

How to store homemade sourdough bread?

How to store banana bread?

How to make soft bread crumbs?


In this brief guide, we have discussed the query, “can you eat banana bread without baking soda?” and if you can replace it or even remove it from the recipe.

Hope you find this article useful. 


Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.