I started baking with almond flour because of my daughter’s gluten sensitivity. The breads, cookies, and bars I’d been baking since she was tiny were no longer suitable. Among them was banana bread, a longtime favorite.
I tinkered with my tried-and-true recipe for banana bread to make it gluten-free, swapping in almond for wheat flour. It worked! No fancy flour combos, xanthan gum, or kitchen trickery needed.
This banana bread is a supremely moist, dark chocolate-studded loaf that doesn’t last more than a few days on my counter as my family chips away at it, one scrumptious slice at a time.
Why Choose Almond Flour
There are myriad reasons to reach for a bag of almond flour beyond the fact that it’s gluten-free. First off, it’s nutritious. After all, it contains just one ingredient: almonds. That means it has all the same nutrition benefits—a source of fiber, vitamin E, magnesium, and healthy fats, which makes whatever you bake with it particularly satisfying.
I also happen to love the taste—the sort of sweet, nutty flavor you might expect from almonds. It’s worth noting that almond flour has a higher fat content than wheat flour, which means it spoils more quickly. As such, store it in the fridge or freezer, particularly if you don’t use it often.
When you swap wheat flour for almond flour, you can’t expect the same results. Both are tasty but different. Almond flour banana bread doesn’t rise quite like regular banana bread. It’s a bit denser, very moist, with a slightly coarser texture. Regardless, this banana bread is embraced in my house just as enthusiastically as my standard loaf.
The Best Almond Flour for this Recipe
For this recipe, I use Bob’s Red Mill Super-Fine Almond Flour. King Arthur, another brand I like, also sells finely ground almond flour. That refined texture is more akin to wheat flour and works well.
I’d avoid using almond meal since is coarser. In a pinch, I’ve made my own almond flour in a high-speed blender. That said, super-fine almond flour is fairly easy to find and is widely available online.
Tips for Making Almond Flour Banana Bread
Even though this is a simple and forgiving recipe, here are a few pointers to set you up for success:
- Use ripe bananas: Choose ripe bananas that are mottled with brown spots. They become sweeter as they ripen. Speed up the process by stashing the bananas in a brown paper bag for a few days, ideally accompanied by an apple or a fully ripe banana.
- Use a metal loaf pan: I noticed the banana bread browns better and is less likely to slump in the center when baked in a metal loaf pan. If you only have a glass loaf dish, set it on a dark baking sheet to bake. That may help.
- Test for doneness: This loaf bakes longer than a regular banana bread. It should be deeply brown, firm to the touch, and may appear a bit more moist than typical banana bread when you insert a knife in the center. I found 1 hour and 10 minutes to be the magic number, but ovens differ so rely on the visual cues for doneness.
- Let it cool: This banana bread should cool for a minimum of one hour after baking (even longer is better). It becomes sturdier as it cools—it’s worth the wait!
Swaps and Substitutions
If you want to tinker with this recipe, I recommend spices and add-ins rather than swapping the flour or other ingredients. This guide provides plenty of mix-in ideas or check out the suggestions below:
- Add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans instead of or in addition to the chocolate chips.
- Use 1/3 cup cacao nibs in lieu of the chocolate chips.
- Add 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, cloves, or allspice or 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger.
- Just before baking, decorate the top of the banana bread with 12 dark chocolate couvertures, which are chocolate disks that make a good addition to your baking pantry.
- Use an equal amount of honey in place of maple syrup.
More Almond Flour Recipes
- Flourless Lemon Almond Cake
- Almond Flour Waffles
- Grain-Free Apple Honey Cake
- Rhubarb Almond Skillet Cake
- Mini Flourless Chocolate Olive Oil Cakes
Almond Flour Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
Nonstick cooking spray, for the pan
3 medium ripe bananas
2 large eggs
1/4 cup (55g) light or dark brown sugar, lightly packed
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups (250g) super-fine almond flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 heaping cup (105g) dark chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 350°F:
Use nonstick cooking spray to generously grease a 1-pound (8 1/2x4 1/2-inch) loaf pan.
Mash the bananas:
In a large bowl, add the peeled bananas and use an electric mixer to beat them into a purée with no obvious lumps. If you don’t have an electric mixer, use a fork to mash the bananas into a purée. You should have about 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas.
Add the remaining wet ingredients:
Add the eggs and beat with an electric mixer or fork until fully blended. Add the brown sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla, and beat again to fully blend.
Add the dry ingredients:
Add the almond flour, cinnamon, cardamon, baking soda, and salt right on top of the banana mixture. Use a fork to stir the dry ingredients together. Then, use a rubber spatula to mix the batter together until just combined, being sure to scrape the bottom and sides.
Add the chocolate chips:
Add the chocolate chips and mix just until combined.
Bake the banana bread:
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake until the top feels firm to the touch and a knife inserted into the center comes out with moist crumbs and some melted chocolate (not coated in wet batter), about 1 hour and 10 minutes. The top will be deeply brown. Don’t worry! The inside is very moist.
Cool and serve:
Let the banana bread cool in the pan for at least 1 hour. Run a butter knife around the edges and gently tip it out. Set it upright.
Store it in a lidded container or wrap it with plastic wrap. It will keep on the counter for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to 6 days.
|Nutrition Facts (per serving)|
|Servings: 8 to 10|
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 17g||22%|
|Saturated Fat 3g||16%|
|Total Carbohydrate 30g||11%|
|Dietary Fiber 5g||18%|
|Total Sugars 20g|
|Vitamin C 3mg||16%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.|