I’ve been gluten-free for over 15 years. When I’m craving something, I don’t want a version of it that tastes “good for being gluten-free.” I want it to be as good as the real thing, and this banana bread delivers! It’s soft and moist and has a straightforward banana flavor that’s enhanced only by a touch of vanilla.
TIPS FOR SUCCESSFUL GLUTEN-FREE BAKING
When a gluten-free bread or baked good doesn’t taste quite right, it’s usually because of the texture.
Gluten is an elastic protein found in wheat (and barley and rye) that gives structure and a satisfying chewiness. Without it, gluten-free baked goods have the potential to be dense, crumbly, and disappointing even if the flavor is on point. But they don’t have to be!
With the right recipe, you can end up with a final product that is just as good or, dare I say, even better than the gluten-filled version. The best candidates for easy gluten-free transformation are recipes that don’t rely on the structure and chewiness that gluten provides.
Banana bread is a perfect example. It gets its moistness from the mashed bananas, structure from the egg, and chewiness from the melted butter—the flour contributes less than 50 percent of what it takes to make this loaf!
Not to mention, one of the pitfalls of making gluten-filled baked goods is over-mixing the batter. This develops the gluten and results in an unpleasant toughness. With our gluten-free batter, this is a non-issue.
WHAT’S THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR?
Years ago, you’d have to pull together different combinations of grains and ingredients for gluten free baking.
These days, there are many brands that offer awesome all-purpose gluten-free blends. My current favorite is King Arthur’s Measure for Measure Gluten Free Flour. I also love Cup4Cup Multipurpose Gluten Free Flour (note that it contains milk) and Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
One-to-one gluten-fre flours should work as an equal replacement for standard flour, but it’s always a good idea to double check the fine print on your Gluten Free flour to make sure you don’t need to mix in additional ingredients like Xanthan Gum.
BANANA BREAD SWAPS AND SUBSTITUTIONS
If you’re looking for a classic banana bread, this is it. But, if you want to jazz it up, the sky’s the limit!
- Add some mix ins: You could add 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, 1/2 cup walnuts or pecans, and/or 1/2 cup chocolate chips
- Swap the sugar: You can also adjust the amount of sugar to your liking and even swap one sugar for another. Try raw or brown sugar for an added caramel-like flavor.
- Make it dairy-free: If you’re dairy-free and avoiding butter, use equal parts coconut, olive, or vegetable oil instead.
HOW TO STORE AND FREEZE BANANA BREAD
It’s best to store banana bread covered on your countertop. It should last up to 5 or 6 days that way, but it’s best within the first 3 to 4 days. It is still perfectly edible after day 4, but it might start to dry out.
If you don’t think you’ll use it up in time, don’t worry. Freezing banana bread is easy.
- To find out how read our guide: How to Store and Freeze Banana Bread.
TRY THESE INCREDIBLE BANANA BREAD RECIPES
Gluten-Free Banana Bread Recipe
Make sure you’re using soft, overripe bananas that are anywhere from freckly to completely brown all over. When mashing, I like to leave some lumps in, similar to chunky applesauce.
- 1 1/2 cup mashed overripe bananas, from 3-4 bananas
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups gluten-free all purpose flour
- 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
1 Preheat oven to 350°F.
2 Prepare the loaf pan: Grease an 8x4-inch loaf pan generously with cooking spray.
3 Mix the wet ingredients: In a large mixing bowl, add mashed bananas and stir in melted butter, sugar, egg, and vanilla.
4 Mix the dry ingredients and combine: In a smaller bowl, add flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture to the larger bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until fully combined. (Note that it will be slightly lumpy because of the pieces of mashed banana.)
5 Bake: Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan, scraping the bowl to assist. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a tester comes out clean.
6 Serve: Cool on a rack at least 15 minutes before removing the loaf from the pan. Cool completely before slicing and serving.
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