Vegan Brown Bread

This bread is vegan and made with natural sugar
Servings: 12
Jump to Recipe
Time: 1 hr

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Vegan Brown Bread Loaf with a few slices cut off and butter on the side


This Vegan Brown Bread Recipe is delicious, fluffy, and is the perfect snack for St. Patrick’s day (or any day)! This easy recipe is ready in under an hour, is vegan, and made with only natural sugar!

Vegan Brown Bread Recipe Ingredients


Vegan Brown Bread Ingredients laying flay on a black table


How to make Vegan Brown Bread:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Make the flax eggs.  Combine the flaxseed and water in a small bowl and let sit 5 minutes to form a gel consistency.
  3. Make the vegan buttermilk.  Combine the almond milk and lemon juice in a large mixing bowl and let sit for 5 minutes to curdle.
  4. Combine dry ingredients.  Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and sugar in a medium bowl until well combined.
  5. Combine wet ingredients.  Mix the Guinness, flax egg, vegan buttermilk, and melted vegan butter in a large bowl.
  6. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients.  I like to add the dry ingredients half at a time and slowly mix until the Guinness foam subsides. Mix until just combined and a smooth, wet dough forms. A wooden spoon seems to work best for mixing this sticky dough. For best results, leave this to rest for 5 minutes.
  7. Prep the pan.  Spray non-stick spray on a bread pan. Pour batter into the bread pan and smooth out top.
  8. Bake.  Bake for 45 minutes. Check that it is cooked all the way through by pricking the thickest part of the bread with a tooth pick. If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done. If there is batter still on the toothpick, keep the bread in the oven for another 2-3 minutes and then check again. Repeat as needed until the bread is done.
  9. Enjoy with your favorite vegan butter and a pint of Guinness


Quick Facts

How long does this dish take? 1 hour

How much does this make?  12 servings

Does this meet my dietary needs? This easy vegan bread recipe is vegan and refined sugar free.  

How many bowls should I plan for this meal? 2 small bowls, 2 large bowls, and 1 bread loaf pan

How long does this keep?  4-5 days in a sealed container at room temperature, 1 week in the fridge, 2 months in freezer

Is it freezer friendly?  Yes

How do I reheat this?  Eat cold or heat for 30 seconds in the microwave and top with butter

Can I pack this for lunch? Yup! It’s the perfect snack! It also makes great sandwich bread.

What gives this bread good flavor? The Guinness! Guinness is a strong nutty flavor with notes of chocolate, coffee, and oak (weird, I know) and while I do not like Guinness as a drink, it makes wonderful bread! The bite from alcohol cooks out, but the sweet flavors remain and the carbonation make for an incredibly moist yet light bread. If you have ever had traditional Irish soda bread, this is very similar but a vegan soda bread!

Why is my homemade bread so heavy? Hot tip! Adding carbonate liquid will help lighten your add home bread! Yeasted bread at home can become heavy because the gluten does not develop fully or the yeast is killed by overheating. The gluten and yeast produce the light airy texture we all want! This recipe, however, is a quick bread, meaning it does not use yeast as the leavening agent and instead uses other simple ingredients like baking soda and baking flour. The beauty of this and other easy recipes that use carbonated liquids, is that the carbonation adds another leavening agent. When it bubbles as you pour it into the batter and fold the mixture gently, those air bubbles are becoming trapped in the dough creating a light texture and moist bread.

What makes a bread soft and fluffy? A variety of things lead to soft and fluffy bread. The best way to achieve soft and fluffy quick breads is to avoid over mixing. Because this bread relies on baking soda and baking powder, we do not want to develop the gluten. Gluten is developed by mixing and mixing and mixing (or kneading in yeasted breads). For quick bread, the ingredients should be just combined, but no more.

Why is my homemade bread dry? Bread will dry out if overbaked. I always recommend to under bake the bread as it will continue to cook when you pull it out of the oven. This is especially true when baking in a ceramic dish since it retains more heat than an aluminum or steel pan. Ovens also very rarely hold the actual temperature you set them to. So if you find things often are over baked, you may need to lower the temperature.


Substitution Options

All substitution options are a 1:1 substitution unless noted otherwise.

All Purpose Flour: Bread flour could be used or half regular white flour could be replaced with whole wheat flour. A 1:1 gluten free flour blend could be tested, but I have not had good results with it (Yet! I am working on it)

Salt, Baking Powder, Baking soda: Sorry, no substitutions for these.

Flax Egg (Water & Flaxseed): 2 regular eggs, at room temperature, can be used. Try this flaxseed!

Vegan Butter:  Regular butter or olive oil can be used. This is our favorite vegan butter!

Coconut Sugar: Brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup can be used. If using honey or maple syrup, add it to the wet ingredients rather than the dry ingredients.

Vegan Buttermilk (unsweetened almond milk & lemon juice): Standard buttermilk that has been left out for 5-10 minutes (so it is not super cold) can be used. Any regular or plant based milk (oat milk, soy milk, non-dairy milk) of choice can replace the almond milk. Apple cider vinegar can replace the lemon juice.

Guinness Any stout beer, alcoholic or nonalcoholic, root beer, or ginger ale can be used.


Fun Fact! 

Guinness is an Irish original beer developed by Arthur Guinness.  He started brewing in 1759 from an unused brewery in Dublin.  His original lease stated a length of 9000 years!  This was eventually voided when Guinness bought the property. Guinness is known for the perfect pour, and the time it takes for the perfect pint? 119.5 seconds!  Guinness is most consumed by England, Nigeria, then Ireland and nearly 10 million glasses are poured every day!  (Source)


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Try these other delicious recipes!

Instant Pot Shepherd’s Pie

Creamy Vegan Gnocchi

Healthy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Orzo Citrus Salad


Vegan Brown Bread Loaf with a few slices cut off and butter on the side

Vegan Brown Bread Recipe

Servings: 12
Total Time: 1 hour
This Vegan Brown Bread recipe is easy to make, delicious to eat, and is the perfect snack for St. Patrick’s day or any day!  It is ready in under an hour, is vegan, and made with natural sugar
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Snack
Cuisine: Irish
Keyword: brown bread, guinness
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Calories: 194 kcal


  • 3 cup flour
  • 1-1/2 tsp salt
  • 2-1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp flaxseed
  • 1 cup almond milk unsweetened
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup vegan butter melted
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar
  • 11 oz Guinness


  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  • Make the flax egg by combining the flax seed and water and let sit 5 minutes to form a gel like texture
  • Make the vegan buttermilk by combining almond milk and lemon juice and let sit 5 minutes to curdle
  • Mix remaining dry ingredients (flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and sugar) in a medium size bowl
  • Mix flax eggs, vegan buttermilk, melted vegan butter, and Guinness in a large bowl
  • Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until it comes together to form a wet dough.  The Guiness will foam quite a bit when adding the dry ingredients so I will add the dry ingredients half at a time and stir slowly until the foam subsides
  • Let the dough rest for 5 minutes.  While the dough is resting, spray a bread pan with nonstick spray
  • Pour dough into the bread pan and bake for 45 minutes.  Test the bread by pricking it with a toothpick.  If the toothpick comes out clean, the bread is done
  • Enjoy with vegan butter and a glass of Guinness!



Nutritional information is an estimation for informational purposes only
*Note: Substitution options can be found in the substitution section of this post above.


Calories: 194kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 613mg | Potassium: 51mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 240IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 54mg | Iron: 2mg
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Welcome to Joy to the Food! We’re so glad you’re here. We’re Mika and Dan, and the two Nalas (our spunky pups). We’re all about easy and affordable recipes that bring joy to the kitchen and make life stress free!