slices of banana bread on a plate (one cut in half), more in the background

GLUTEN FREE BANANA LOAF

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Incredibly moist, fluffy and delicious, this Gluten Free Banana Loaf is SO good, you won’t even be able to tell it’s gluten free! Whether you’re following a gluten-free diet or simply love a tasty banana treat, this recipe is sure to become a favourite in your kitchen.

Banana bread is like the first thing most people tend to learn how to bake. Either because it’s easy AF or because half the world shares the same quality – buying bananas only to watch them near rot on your kitchen counter. Am I right? As good as I want to be at eating bananas every time I buy them, sometimes they just get the best of me.

And every single time that happens – there they are, just staring back at me. Begging to be used before it’s too late. And as always, making a fresh loaf of banana bread is the answer and the first thing that comes to mind! It feels like the middle of the pandemic all over again where the whole world turned to making banana bread for a living. Remember those days?!

banana loaf in a loaf pan

Thanks to my boyfriend’s unhappy (at times) gut situation – we’ve tried a few different ‘ways of eating’ to say the least. This diet. That diet. You know, to see what works and what doesn’t. Let’s just say that throughout that process, my pantry has acquired a ton of different ingredients… with an abundance of gluten free flours being one of them.

And hey, I’m not gluten free by any means. Nor do the boyfriend and I follow a gluten free diet. But we both love banana bread (and apparently watching bananas go almost bad instead of eating them). And we both sure as heck love snacking. So when those overly ripe bananas stared me straight in the face and asked me what I was going to do with them – it’s almost like I heard the abundance of gluten free flours also calling and begging to be used at the exact same time.

So, I’m happy to report that this gluten free banana loaf is actually one of the best banana breads I’ve ever made. It’s seriously so dang moist and fluffy. And is THE perfect way to use up both overly ripe bananas AND gluten free flour. Gluten free or not – I think you’re going to love this one!

WHAT YOU’LL NEED TO MAKE THIS BANANA LOAF GLUTEN FREE

ingredients for banana loaf gluten free - bananas, gluten free flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, vanilla, eggs, brown sugar, butter, greek yogurt
Complete list of ingredients and amounts can be found in the recipe card below.

A few simple baking staples come together to create this banana loaf that is as moist as it is delicious! It’s easy to make and you might already have most of these ingredients on hand. Let’s discuss them in a little bit more detail down below:

  • (Ripe) Bananas: Essential for adding natural sweetness and moisture to the loaf. They also contribute to the banana flavour of the bread. You want reeeeeally ripe bananas for this one. If your bananas have lots of brown spots and look like they’re close to rotten (jks but not really) then you know that they’re ripe enough!
  • Gluten Free Flour Blend: This is a mixture of gluten-free flours such as rice flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, or a pre-made gluten-free flour blend available in stores. The flour blend provides the structure and texture to the loaf, ensuring it holds together well without the need for gluten. I like using Bob’s Red Mill gluten free flour for this banana loaf recipe.
  • Baking Soda and Baking Powder: These leavening agents help the banana loaf rise and become light and fluffy. Baking soda reacts with acidic ingredients like the bananas and yogurt to produce carbon dioxide, which creates bubbles and lifts the batter. Baking powder contains both an acid and a base, so it works in conjunction with the baking soda to provide additional leavening power.
  • Salt: Enhances the flavour of the other ingredients and balances the sweetness of the bananas and sugar. It also helps strengthen the gluten-free flour structure.
  • Butter (unsalted): Melted butter adds richness and moisture to the banana loaf. It also helps create a tender crumb.
  • Brown Sugar: Provides sweetness and moisture to the loaf. It also adds a hint of caramel flavour, which complements the bananas nicely. You can use white sugar instead, if you prefer.
  • Eggs: Act as a binding agent, helping to hold the ingredients together and provide structure to the loaf. They also contribute to the moistness and richness of the bread.
  • Vanilla Extract: Enhances the flavour of the bananas and adds a warm, aromatic note to the loaf.
  • Greek Yogurt: Adds moisture and tenderness to the banana loaf. It also contributes a slight tanginess, which balances the sweetness of the bananas and sugar. You can use regular yogurt or sour cream instead, if you prefer.
hand grabbing a piece of banana bread off a wire rack with more, ramekin of greek yogurt with a spoon next to it

HOW TO MAKE A GLUTEN FREE BANANA LOAF

hand holding a halved slice of banana bread, more in the background

You can find full instructions for how to make this gluten free banana loaf in the recipe card down below. But here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:

  • Use (overly) ripe bananas. Make sure your bananas are ripe with brown spots on the peel. Ripe bananas are sweeter and easier to mash, which will enhance the flavour and moisture of the loaf. Have overly ripe bananas but not ready to bake yet? Freeze them! Then let them thaw for a few hours at room temperature before using them in this recipe.
  • Measure ingredients accurately. Use measuring cups and spoons to accurately measure all the ingredients, especially the gluten-free flour blend. Proper measurement ensures the right balance of ingredients for the best texture and flavour.
  • Mix the dry ingredients well. Whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a separate bowl before adding them to the wet ingredients. This ensures even distribution of the leavening agents and helps prevent clumps in the batter.
  • Don’t overmix the batter. Mix the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Overmixing can result in a dense and tough loaf. It’s okay if there are a few lumps in the batter.
  • Use parchment paper or grease the loaf pan. To prevent the loaf from sticking to the pan, either grease the pan well with butter. Or cooking spray or line it with parchment paper before pouring in the batter.
  • Use an electric mixture if you have one. You don’t necessarily need an electric mixer for this recipe. But it can certainly make the process easier and faster, especially for creaming the butter and sugar together. However, if you don’t have one, you can still achieve great results by using a sturdy whisk or a wooden spoon for mixing.
  • Spread the batter out evenly in the loaf pan. I like using the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula to make sure the top is flat and spread out nicely.
  • Bake at the right temperature. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) before baking the banana loaf. Baking at the correct temperature ensures even baking and proper rising of the loaf.
  • Check for doneness. Use a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf to check for doneness. If it comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs, the loaf is ready. If there is wet batter clinging to the toothpick, continue baking for a few more minutes.
  • Cool the loaf properly. Allow the banana loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool completely. Cooling allows the loaf to set and prevents it from becoming too dense. It also makes it waaaay easier to slice without falling apart!
two slices of banana bread on a plate, more in the background
FAQ

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

WHAT FLOUR IS GLUTEN-FREE?

Gluten-free flour refers to any type of flour that does not contain gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. There are several types of gluten-free flours available, each with its own unique flavour, texture and nutritional profile. Common gluten-free flours include rice flour, almond flour, coconut flour, tapioca flour, sorghum flour and buckwheat flour.

These flours are often used alone or in combination with other gluten-free flours to create gluten-free baked goods such as bread, cakes, cookies and pastries. Gluten-free flour blends, which are pre-mixed combinations of different gluten-free flours and starches, are also popular for their convenience and versatility in baking. When using gluten-free flour in recipes, it’s important to pay attention to the specific type of flour called for and to follow any additional recipe modifications or instructions to ensure the best results.

IS BAKING POWDER GLUTEN FREE?

Yes, baking powder is typically gluten-free. It is a leavening agent commonly used in baking to help baked goods rise. Traditional baking powder is made from a combination of an acid (such as cream of tartar) and a base (such as baking soda), along with a starch to absorb moisture and prevent the ingredients from reacting prematurely.

The starch component of baking powder is often derived from cornstarch, potato starch or another gluten-free source. As a result, most commercially available baking powders are gluten-free. However, it’s essential to check the label to ensure that no gluten-containing ingredients have been added, as formulations can vary among brands.

Additionally, if you have celiac disease or a severe gluten intolerance, it’s always a good idea to choose products labeled explicitly as gluten-free to avoid any potential cross-contamination during manufacturing. Overall, baking powder is a safe and commonly used ingredient in gluten-free baking.

WHY DID MY GLUTEN-FREE BANANA BREAD NOT RISE?

Several factors could contribute to gluten-free banana bread not rising properly. Firstly, the absence of gluten, which provides structure and elasticity in traditional baking, can affect the rise of gluten-free baked goods. Gluten helps trap air bubbles formed by leavening agents like baking soda and baking powder, aiding in the rise and texture of the bread. Since gluten-free flours lack this structure, achieving the same level of rise can be challenging.

Additionally, using too much or too little leavening agents (such as baking soda or baking powder) can impact the bread’s rise. It’s essential to measure these ingredients accurately according to the recipe to ensure proper leavening.

Overmixing the batter can also lead to a dense texture and hinder the bread’s ability to rise. When gluten-free batter is overworked, it can lose the air bubbles necessary for rising. Mix the ingredients until just combined to prevent this issue.

Furthermore, the moisture content of the bananas and other wet ingredients can affect the bread’s rise. Using overly ripe bananas that are too wet or adding too much liquid can result in a denser loaf. Ensure the bananas are mashed thoroughly. Also, measure the wet ingredients accurately to maintain the proper balance of moisture in the batter.

Lastly, baking at the wrong temperature or for an incorrect duration can impact the rise of gluten-free banana bread. Baking at too low a temperature or not baking long enough can lead to a dense and undercooked loaf. Conversely, baking at too high a temperature can cause the bread to rise too quickly and then collapse.

By addressing these potential issues, you can troubleshoot and improve the rise of your gluten-free banana bread for a lighter and fluffier texture.

WHY DID MY GLUTEN-FREE BANANA BREAD SINK IN THE MIDDLE?

If your gluten-free banana bread sank in the middle, several factors could be at play. Firstly, the absence of gluten, which provides structure and stability in traditional baking, can make gluten-free baked goods more prone to sinking. Without gluten to support the rise of the bread, it may collapse in the middle as it cools.

Additionally, overmixing the batter can lead to gluten-free banana bread sinking in the middle. When gluten-free batter is overworked, it can lose the air bubbles necessary for rising, resulting in a dense texture and collapsed center. Mix the ingredients until just combined to prevent this issue.

Using too much leavening agent, such as baking soda or baking powder, can also cause the bread to rise too quickly and then collapse. Make sure to measure these ingredients accurately according to the recipe to maintain the proper balance of leavening agents.

Furthermore, underbaking the banana bread can lead to a sunken middle. If the bread is not baked long enough, it may not set properly in the center, causing it to collapse as it cools. Make sure to bake the bread until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.

Lastly, opening the oven door too early in the baking process can cause the temperature to drop suddenly. This can affect the bread’s rise and result in a sunken middle. Avoid opening the oven door during the first half of the baking time to maintain a consistent temperature.

By addressing these potential issues, you can troubleshoot and prevent your gluten-free banana bread from sinking in the middle, resulting in a perfectly risen and delicious loaf.

two pieces of banana bread on a plate, more on a wire rack in the background, bread knife in the front
slices of banana bread on a plate (one cut in half), more in the background

BANANA LOAF GLUTEN FREE

Yield: 1 Loaf
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes

Incredibly moist, fluffy and delicious, this Gluten Free Banana Loaf is SO good, you won't even be able to tell it's gluten free! Whether you're following a gluten-free diet or simply love a tasty banana treat, this recipe is sure to become a favourite in your kitchen.

Ingredients

  • 3 (overly) Ripe Bananas
  • 2 cups All Purpose Gluten Free Flour (or Blend)
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan or line it with parchment paper.
  2. In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until smooth.
    mashed bananas in a bowl
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
    flour in a bowl
  4. In a large bowl, cream together the melted butter and brown sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla extract and mashed bananas.
    brown liquid/batter in a bowl
    egg in a bowl being creamed with brown sugar
    yellow batter in a bowl with a rubber spatula
  5. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, stirring until just combined. Fold in the plain yogurt or sour cream until evenly mixed.
    yellow batter in a bowl with a spatula
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and spread it out evenly with the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula.
    yellow batter in a loaf pan
    hands holding a loaf pan with yellow batter
  7. Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
    baked banana loaf in a loaf pan
  8. Allow the banana loaf to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
    baked banana loaf on a wire rack
Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1775Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 383mgSodium: 2893mgCarbohydrates: 358gFiber: 10gSugar: 152gProtein: 51g

Nutrition is only an estimate and calculated using Nutritionix.

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