Banana Bread, Gluten-Free

We had a terrific weekend! So busy and so full of friends. We went to 1 adult birthday party, 1 kid birthday party, 1 donut party, and we had friends over for brunch.  It was a wonderful way to usher in October.

This recipe was requested by one of my readers, Marilyn in Colorado.  Marilyn has been a terrific help to me–she’s been reporting back on the ways altitude affects my recipes.  I have to say, I am so very thankful to her to be willing to do this!  It’s such a service to me–I’m at sea level, so I have no way of testing my recipes for altitude.  Thanks, Marilyn!  Anyway, Marilyn asked that I post a recipe for banana bread–and specifically, she asked if I would adapt the recipe from The Silver Palate Cookbook.  I was happy to comply–as you know, Sheila Lukins is in my pantheon of cooking goddesses!  I love her.  Sigh.  And The Silver Palate Cookbook is one of my favorite cookbooks.  You really can’t go wrong with it.  I use it all the time.

Now, I haven’t really talked about it here, but in addition to a gluten-intolerance and a wheat allergy, I have a form of allergies called Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS).  OAS is where certain raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts can trigger a food-allergy reaction in individuals who are prone to it.  These same foods cooked are usually fine for these people.  OAS works like this: you have an environmental allergy (often to tree pollen).  So the pollen from certain trees make you sneeze.  At the same time, the protein structure of certain raw fruits, vegetables, and nuts is similar to the pollen structure of the trees you are allergic to.  When a person like me, with OAS, eats a raw fruit/veggie/nut that has the similar protein structure to a pollen I’m allergic to (and guess what?  I’m allergic to most tree pollen), my body mistakes it for that pollen, goes wacky, and has a food allergy reaction.  Some of these reactions are an itchy throat or tongue; others are a tummy ache, nausea, vomiting; others are full-fledged anaphylaxis.  The weird thing is that I am able to eat most of these same things if they are fully cooked.  So, I’m not completely unable to eat these things, but I have to avoid them if they’re raw. Also, OAS is not a food allergy–so you don’t test allergic to the foods you react to with it. Another fab thing (not) about OAS is that it gets worse as you age. So, each year I become unable to eat things that I was able to eat before. As you can imagine, all of this makes things tricky on the food front.

As it turns out, bananas cause some of my more intense OAS reactions.  If I eat a raw banana, I can go into anaphylactic shock.  So awful.  So, I’ve kind of avoided bananas for several years.  And Girlfriend has hated raw bananas her whole life–which makes me wonder if her body knows they (maybe) aren’t good for her?  OAS has a genetic component.  Anyway, when Marilyn asked about banana bread, I decided to see if I could eat cooked bananas.  And it turns out that I can!  Yay!  Ever since I figured this out, I’ve been making banana bread.  I now make it about once a week.  And, as it turns out, Girlfriend likes bananas in bread and muffins (I’ll post the muffin recipe later)–and she loves this bread.  dAhub has always eaten bananas, so he is thrilled to have bananas around again.

As I was adapting this recipe, I found that I needed to experiment with the amount of bananas in this recipe.  The original calls for 3 large, ripe bananas.  I found that 3 large bananas yield over 2 C of mashed banana.  Over 2 C mashed bananas yields a yummy bread, but I find it to be too soft and floppy.  I find that 2 large bananas yield about 1 1/2 C of mashed bananas. 1 1/2 C of mashed bananas creates a nicely balanced bread– good texture, full of banana flavor, but not too floppy.  You can do your own experiments and see what amounts you like.

I have also included pecans as an optional ingredient.  I love pecans (remember, I am a Southern girl at heart) and, in the spirit of full disclosure, they are one of the last nuts I can eat (yep, OAS to most of them–even when cooked). And, to put this bread completely over the top on the deliciousness scale, I have added chocolate chips as another optional ingredient. Just so you know, the more additions you put into the bread, the more delicate it is, structure-wise. So, if the bread has both the pecans and the chocolate chips, it will tend to fall apart (especially when warm). But it is sooo good with the additions… To be honest, we tend to make it most often with just the pecans, and use the chocolate chips in the bread every so often for extra-special occasions. Delish!

Banana Bread, Gluten-Free
-adapted from The Silver Palate Cookbook
-makes 1 9″x5″ loaf

Special Equipment Needed
-a stand mixer is helpful, but a hand mixer will do, as well
-a 9″x5″ loaf pan

Note:this recipe uses my gf flour mix, Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix (mix together and store in a cool, dark place):
1 1/4 C (170g) brown rice flour
1 1/4 C (205g) white rice flour
1 C (120g) tapioca flour
1 C (165g) sweet rice flour (also known as Mochiko)
2 scant tsp. xanthan gum

Ingredients
1/2 C (1 stick; 4 oz; 115g) unsalted butter at room temperature
3/4 C (155g) granulated sugar
2  extra large eggs
2 C (280g) Jeanne’s Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour Mix
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2-3 bananas, about 1 1/2 C mashed (you can use up to 2 C of mashed bananas–but 2 C will make a very moist and floppy bread)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 C chopped pecans (optional)
1/2 C semi-sweet chocolate chips (optional)
Extra butter and tapioca flour for pan

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F/180 degrees C.  Butter and flour your loaf pan with the extra butter and tapioca flour.

In a small bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.

In the bowl of a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until light and fluffy–about 3 minutes.  Add the sugar and beat another 2 minutes.  Add the eggs and beat for another 2 minutes.  Add the vanilla and beat until just combined.

Add flour mixture to the butter mixture–beat until just combined.  With a large spoon or spatula, fold in the bananas and then the pecans and chocolate chips (if using).

Scrape  into prepared pan.  Bake for 50-60 minutes–or until a tester comes out clean.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes and then carefully turn out onto rack to cool completely.

Enjoy!
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Comments

  1. Amber H says

    Do you think this bread would freeze ok? We’re going on vacation and I’d like to be able to make it ahead of time to bring with us for easy breakfasts. I can bake ther if needed but figured it would be easier to make ahead if it will still be ok frozen and thawed!

    • says

      Amber: Yes, it should freeze fine. I recommend slicing it before you freeze it if you want to use a slice or two at a time. Also, if you’re not going to slice it, defrost the loaf by placing it in the fridge for 24 hours before use.

      • Amber H says

        We’re at our vacation home and decided to make it fresh. Only problem is that there’s no loaf or muffin pan. Would this turn out ok in a cake pan? Do I need to make any adjustments to the recipe?

        • says

          Amber: I’m sure using a cake pan would be fine. Depending on how large it is, you may not need to use all of the batter. You will need to monitor the baking time–I would recommend checking the baking time starting at about 30 to see if it’s done and then go from there.

  2. Julie says

    Hello, I am dying to feed my 6 year old DD…poor thing has it really bad…with red lips and the mood comes with it… However she can’t have corn, eggs, oranges or tomatoes…and mostly spices… I have noticed and keep a food journal… She has done great with corn diet… I promise her I can make anything… Lol… However, please help me change this banana bread to corn free dairy free…lol…help … Just got some brown rice super fine yesterday… I so can wait to see her happy..lol

    • says

      Julie: Oh, I’m so sorry for your daughter. It’s hard when you’re little and have food intolerances. Check out my Ingredient Substitutions post for info on how to make things dairy-free (the only corn would come from the starch in the baking powder you use–so use one that has no cornstarch).

  3. Betty says

    I made this into muffins, and added 1 scoop of whey protein isolate (I have athletes). I used large eggs, but added some egg white to make 1/2 cup eggs. Turned out delicious!!!

  4. Betty says

    Hi Jeanne, I’d like to make banana muffins. You mentioned in your post that you have a separate banana muffin recipe. Would you share it or what changes do you recommend to make these into muffins?

    • says

      Betty: You can put this batter into muffin cups and bake them–they will work fine. You may need to tweak the baking time a bit. Also, the other recipe is one I can no longer test–I am now completely allergic to bananas–so I can’t put it on the blog. Sigh. I’m so sorry!

  5. says

    I’m making this today….but my batter seems very thick. I don’t see where any liquid (buttermilk, etc) is included. Is this correct?

  6. Stephanie says

    I made this tonight and they are amazing!! Very tasty and just like traditional banana bread. I added cinnamon and white chocolate chip and pecans, delicious!! It’s a keeper

  7. Emma says

    I made this last week…
    AND IT WAS FABULOUS!
    I made a couple of changes which worked great…
    1. half the butter and sugar and instead put 1 80ml tub of apple sauce
    2. Used “Cloud Nine Gluten Free Flour Blend” instead of Jeanine’s
    3. Used 2.5 extremely over ripe bananas, which helped to substitute some of the sugar

    The bread is absolutely delicious, and I will be making more in the future!

  8. says

    I just had a bite of this delicious bread–my first attempt at gluten free baking. Success! I added cinnamon and mace but otherwise followed the recipe exactly. I love the buttery taste; no need to add more. I may try it with shortening next time, which is what my mother’s traditional recipe uses.

  9. Bettina says

    I used 2tsp ground white chia seeds and 6 TBSP warm water as anegg substitute as well instead of butter I used 3 TBSP melted coconut oil and mashed avocado to measure 1/2 c total and then only used 2 mashed bananas. Recipe was awesome

  10. Angie says

    This was delightful!!!! I made it exactly as described and added both the chocolate chips and pecans. Kids, adults, gf and non gf, all loved it!!!! Thank you!

  11. Sing says

    Thanks for the recipe! I have tried it several times but they all came out to have a gummy texture. The taste was still great but they kind of stick to my teeth. I replaced eggs with flaxseed meal and butter with oil the first time. Replaced eggs with flaxseed meal and butter with applesauce the second time. They both came out having a gummy and dense texture, although still moist and tasty. They did not rise much if at all. I tried the recipe with regular flour and eggs replacing only butter with oil the third time and it came out more light and fluffy. All three times, I only used a spatula to mix. What am I doing wrong? I really want to get it right so my son can enjoy it since he is allergic to diary, eggs and soy. Thanks!

    • says

      Sing: Let’s see. Did you check my Substitutions post? I recommend that you do that before you try again. A few things:
      -you shouldn’t substitute a liquid oil for butter in a recipe–you need to substitute an oil that is solid at room temp (I use Earth Balance soy-free buttery sticks or coconut oil)
      -the gumminess is due to using flax seed for the eggs. You need to play around with the amount and find the best for the recipe (try using less water with the flax seeds next time–and maybe add some extra baking powder)
      -the lack of rise is due to no eggs–see the Substitutions post about fixes for that
      -using applesauce for the butter is the same problem as oil–it’s not solid at room temp.

      Please read through the Substitutions post. And realize that with so many substitutions, you are going to need to do some tweaking to get it right.

      • Sing says

        Thanks so much for the tips. I just read the Substitution post. I have been using cold water for the flax seed meal! Can I make a batch of the flax seed mixture and store in fridge to use as needed or would it go bad quickly? I will need to go shopping for some Earth Balance.

        • says

          Sing: You’re welcome. Also, I have made the flax seed mixture in advance and have stored it in the fridge–but only about 24 hours in advance. I don’t know how long it would last. I would experiment and see–but I’m guessing only about 3 days or so. Flax tastes horrible when it goes bad. Also, bring it to room temperature before you use it in the recipe.

          • Sing says

            Tried it again with Earth Balance, extra tsp of baking powder and one tbsp less of water in the flaxseed mixture. It turned out to be fluffy! It still had just a little bit of chewiness but it was not dense at all. Yay, I am so happy that it worked! Thanks so much!

  12. Sharon says

    Hi Jeanne: thank you so much for your recipes. I have made your banana bread and your white bread, both are delicious. Other recipes that I have tried always go so flat but these two recipes came out exactly like wheat type bread. Thank you so much for you recipes can’t wait to try more. Thanks again

  13. Mary says

    Thanks a million for this recipe. I made it earlier this week, using the chocolate chips (mini ones), but not the pecans (didn’t have on hand), and this bread turned out fantastic. Incredibly moist and with a perfect texture. It was not gummy, like my previous attempts at GF quickbreads have been. I cooked mine about 10 minutes longer than the suggested 60 minutes. My husband, who is not GF, said this bread was the best banana bread he’s ever had. Once again, success with one of your recipes. (I use your AP flour recipe regularly now, so it’s convenient to have it already made up to use in recipes like this.) THANKS for sharing!

  14. Jennifer says

    This turns out heavenly plain! (without the nuts and chocolate) I didn’t have any in the house but tried it anyway. I LOVED it and had to ask my husband. Is this really as good as banana bread with wheat. (I can’t remember anymore) I was just in love with it. He said it was better and my family gobbled it up. Next time I am making 2 at least. Thank yo.

  15. Crystal says

    I am loving this website. We recently learned that our 2nd born has High-Functioning Autism, and are now in the process of switching the household to the GFCF diet. I love cooking/baking and trying new recipes, but have been concerned as to what I will find and what will have to change. Your selection of recipes has me SO excited to get back to baking! Thank you! Also, I too have OAS, but don’t know much about it. Thank you for the information you provided – it has opened another door for me that I didn’t know was there. :)

  16. Michael says

    Thank YOU! I am the cook in the house, but my wife recently became aware that GF would alleviate some of her issues. I am working my way through your recipes. It makes me happy to know that I can cook food that makes her feel better AND enjoy it myself.

  17. Kat says

    I’m new to the whole gf thing. I was recently diagnosed gluTen intolerant, and I have to admit that I’ve been in mourning over the loss of all my favourite goodies. I’ve been looking through your blog and have been inspired. I’m baking again and for the first time in my life I don’t feel horrible after I’ve eaten. I just made this recipe and made it into muffins. They are SO GOOD! They are actually better than what I use to eat when I was using wheat flour. Thank you so much for this blog. You are giving me back one of my loves: baking delicious things. I just ordered you Christmas book and am looking forward to trying out the recipes this holiday season. Thank you!

  18. theresa says

    Tried your double chocolate zuchhini bread last night but tried to make a double batch. Is it supppose to be so thicj? my hand mixer coulbarely turn!. Used 5 eggs plus 1 egg white to try eqaul 4 xtra lg eggs. ended up adding 1/4c sour cream , splash of almond mili (1/8 c) and a mashed banana. Forgot the choc chips so while it turned out good, not sweet enough for most of the family. Should I cut down on the cocoa or increase the sugar? by how much? And do I make any chages to the basic recipe if I want to make a 2x choc banan zucchini bread? really new at this. Thanks for your help.

    • admin says

      Theresa: Yes, the chocolate, chocolate zucchini bread is very thick. When you doubled the recipe, did you put it into two different loaf pans? With most baking recipes, it’s not a good idea to double recipes. It’s best to make the recipe two times. To make it sweeter, I would add a bit more sugar. Also, hm, banana-zucchini bread. I can’t quite think how that would work out. I would experiment by adding 3/4 cup banana and 3/4 cup shredded zucchini and see how it turns out. Part of the fun of baking is experimenting! FYI: one extra-large egg equals 1/4 cup of egg.

  19. says

    I just made these right now muffin style and they are delish! My son has autism and i have been on the search for the best gfcf flour for the last 2 years and yours by far is the best. I hope you don’t mind me sharing your recipes on my blog? thank you again for sharing your wonderful baking with the world :)-

    Cate

  20. joanne says

    any suggestions if you wanted replace the sugar?? I am looking start cooking more gluten free ( for health I am not Celiac.. but I know I feel better cutting back on gluten.) and also cutting back using sugar or artifical sweetners.. I do use NuStevia, Honey. but wouldn’t know how much.. I am not a baker nor a scientist…

    thanks! and I am looking forward to diving into your site. I bought all the ingredients to make your GF flour… I have it all made and I am ready to bake.

    • admin says

      Joanne: I haven’t really baked with stevia. For baking with honey, you have to reduce the amount of other liquid in recipes because honey adds liquid. But, the problem with substituting honey is that you alter the structure of the baked item. And, it will be more sticky. There is palm sugar and maple sugar that behave in mostly the same ways as regular sugar. You might want to try those. Be aware that they will add a slightly different taste to your baked items.

  21. Aimee says

    Thank you so much for sharing your info regarding OAS my son has been experiencing this since birth. We went to many doctors and none of them believed him they felt he was just not wanting to eat his veggies. He is now 17 and a few years ago an alergest finally believed him but never gave it a name and basically said let him be the judge if he can eat it or not. He was not too informative. My son also said cooking it allows him eat just about any veggie or fruit. He misses watermelon the most. I am sooo glad I found your site. We have various forms of autism in my family and have been considering a GFCF diet to help with symptoms as I have tested and come to know from experience how much our diet affects our behavior/moods. Baked goods are always hard to change. I am looking forward to trying some of your great reciepes.
    ~Aimee

    • admin says

      Aimee: I have to say that my experiences with OAS are ten times more frustrating than my experiences with gluten intolerance. Bleh. Thank goodness you found an allergist who keeps up with the science. FYI: I seem to develop OAS to more things each year–which, I guess, is the way it works. I am now learning how to cook just about anything that includes fruit, nuts, or vegetables–including salad. :) Also, please note that you can make most of my recipes dairy-free by using a non-dairy butter replacer and/or non-dairy milk. I would recommend that you also stay away from soy–especially non-organic soy.

  22. Lisa says

    Wow!! I am new to this site. GF for about ten months but I’ve kept baking for my family; I just don’t eat the results—bummer! My forays into GF baking have been mostly disastrous so far, but in two days I’ve had two big successes with your recipes and tips. Today my husband e-mailed me from work to say that the banana bread is “awesome.” He is VERY hard to please and stingy with praise (but lovable, ha ha), so I nearly fell off my chair reading that! But I knew that he was right, because I had tasted it too. No graininess whatsoever—I can’t believe that your flour blend is so simple, yet produces such amazing results. THANK YOU for all your generosity and hard work!

  23. Lindsey March says

    You are a complete genius. Just made this. Great expectations. Peering through the oven door every five seconds. Emerged from oven looking like real baking. We could hardly wait for it to dool down before we stuffed it in our “cake holes” (that is what my mother said it was – a cake hole!). Delicious. Delicious. Moist. Melting choc chunks. Heaven. I think I love you! Thank you so much for doing this.

  24. Ila says

    Heather: My daughter is allergic to bananas too. We have many food allergies in our house as well (over 60 in the whole family) and have done many substitutions, including the usual gluten free, dairy free, egg free, yeast free, sugar free, etc. One thing that we have found that substitutes well for either apples or bananas is using pears — either as a whole, chopped up, cooked, raw or as a “sauce.” A quick way to have pearsauce (as we call it) is to buy pear baby food. Somehow my family doesn’t want to eat “baby food”, so we call it “pearsauce.” :) Anyway, we have used this pearsauce to substitute for applesauce (apple allergies) but also have used it to replace mashed bananas with success. We have made Pear Bread instead of Banana Bread, for example and have loved it. You may want to give it a try. It won’t be quite the same, but it is still very good. Even our extended family have loved it.

  25. Heather says

    Hi, I’m allergic to bananas. Has anyone ever tried pawpaws, and do you know if you can get any in Pennsylvania (mail order?)?? I heard they’re like bananas, and I REALLY miss banana bread!!! Thanks.

    • admin says

      Heather: I don’t know if you can get them in Pennsylvania? Have you done a Google search? If that doesn’t turn up anything, I would go to the produce people at your grocery store and ask if they know how to get them. Good luck!

  26. Regee says

    Argggg, just wrote a long note but the code thingy didn’t read….

    Anyhoo, this is in the oven as I type:-) ?-should the batter be thick? I allmost added liquid but didn’t. All your recipes have turned out great for me, sooo……………………
    When will you add more here? Are you working on a book??
    Thanks so much for sharing!!

    • Regee says

      This turned out very good!! I took it out a tad bit too soon tho…..
      but still delicious!!! Another winner in my book:-)

  27. Megan says

    I just made this tonight! DElicious I might add! I added 1/4 tsp cinnamon and 1/8 tsp nutmeg and 1/4 cup walnuts! I also made homemade struesel for the top! 1/4 cup Brown sugar. 3 TBS GF flour and cut in 2 TBS of cold butter! It was AMAZING! The base for this recipe is amazing and I will forever use it! :) Thank you again! I love the adventures in trying all your food!! I can’t wait to purchase your cookbook!!

  28. Heather Stepniewski says

    This turned out beautifully, of course. It was so moist and delicious. I added one 1/4 cup chocolate chips and one 1/4 cup peanut butter chips. For dessert I toasted slices under the broiler and topped with ice cream. Just wonderful! Thanks for all the great recipes!

  29. Jennifer says

    Is the muffin recipe different, other than cooking time? I actually came here today looking specifically for banana bread or muffin recipes after seeing some overripe bananas on my counter! Glad you can make and eat them now!

    • admin says

      Jennifer: Yes, the muffin recipe is a different recipe. But, although I haven’t tried it–I’m sure this recipe would make great muffins. Just spoon batter into well-greased and floured (or use muffin papers) into muffin tins and bake about 1/3-1/2 the time.

  30. says

    Love this recipe and just LOVE your new site. I can see that lots of work went into it. You have my vote for the new most gorgeous site. Well done!

  31. says

    Great timing! I have a bunch of bananas in the freezer ready to make bread. My first go at making it GF too.

    But freezing bananas is a great tip. When they start turning dark, pop them in the freezer. They will eventually turn black. They are not rotten. They are actually much sweeter and riper and will keep for months until you are ready to use them. I defrost them enough to cut off the top and squeeze the fruit out like one of those freezer pops.

  32. Rachel says

    Hi Jeanne,
    First off, I LOVE the Silver Palate banana bread recipe–it was my go-to for a long time. (Also one of my fave cookbooks–Chicken Marbella, Chili for a Crowd and the Chocolate Fudge Sauce are amazing and all GF!)

    Anyway, I find that banana breads and cakes work really well with GF baking. Not sure why, but nobody ever seems to guess they are GF.

    I’m really intrigued about the OAS–I’ve never heard of it until your post. I feel like it might be something my husband has. How were you diagnosed? Do you have a doc or naturopath here in Seattle you can recommend that is knowledgable in this area? (You can email me offline if you have a min…if not, no prob!)

    BTW–Kate from Hip Girls said she saw you. I was emailing her–love her blog almost as much as yours! :)

    Rachel

    • admin says

      Rachel:

      Greetings! Thanks for the note. The diagnosing OAS is weird. Because it’s not a food allergy, you don’t usually show up as allergic via testing. The way my allergy doc “diagnosed” me was to put 2 and 2 together after I brought it to her attention. Also, if your husband reacts to things raw but doesn’t react to them fully cooked, then he most likely has OAS to that thing. Also, I am OAS to some things that fall into the same categories that other things I don’t react to fall into. For example, under Birch pollen are many things I react to in their raw state. But, I can still eat some of the other things in their raw state. So, it’s very hard to officially diagnose. I would just suggest that your husband start keeping track of things he reacts to raw and then see if he can eat them fully cooked. So, if he can’t eat zucchini raw (like me) but can eat it fully cooked (like me) chances are it’s OAS. The only thing to do about it is not eat the thing raw. Bleh. It’s challenging, too, because the reactions run the gamut. Some things make my mouth and throat itch. Other things upset my stomach. Other things seem to sieze my vocal cords and I talk like Daffy Duck (so very weird), and other things send me into full-on anaphylaxis. I now carry and Epi-Pen for this and for my wheat allergy. Fun times :).

      Good luck!

      –Jeanne

  33. says

    Wow! Amazing how the power of suggestion can lead to an incredible itch to make this!! I am headed off to Blog Her Food this weekend and was thinking of baking up a bunch of goodies for the fam while I am gone. This would fit the bill perfectly! Love this recipe, Jeanne!!
    And OAS is utterly fascinating to me. My next door neighbor has issues with this as well. She cannot have raw bananas or apples and others as well and cannot eat most nuts. She and I do a lot of cooking for each other (we cook in bulk and then share for our families), so I am always very aware of what is safe and unsafe.
    Thanks for sharing this recipe!
    Kim

    • admin says

      Kim:

      Yay! I’m so glad! And yes, OAS is really bizarre. Not many people know about it. And it’s super-annoying when you are faced with a plate of beautiful but raw fruits and vegetables and you can’t eat them–gah!

      Have fun at BlogHer Food. Say hi to everyone for me! And I want to hear all about it!

      –Jeanne

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