The Definitive Gluten Free Banana Bread Recipe



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After a month of silence, we’re back! There was an incompatible update, and then the site went completely blank for a while. After discovering that my hosting has been doing automatic backups (Praise Jesus!), reading a lot of help threads, and figuring out exactly how to upload a new version of my theme, Wooden Spoon Baking lives again. I’m sure a garden variety web designer would’ve fixed in three minutes what took me three weeks, but c’est la vie.

I’m back, with banana bread.

After making banana bread pops, an inconvenient realization surfaced: I have yet to post a gluten free banana bread recipe here. Like brownies, I’m sure you have some kind of recipe for gluten free banana bread already. It’s so forgiving, and can be done so many ways. (Proof? An ad for “Lemon Oreo Banana Bread Recipe” just popped up in my sidebar! For so many reasons, eek.) Despite the proliferation of banana bread recipes, even gluten-free ones, here is mine.

Aside from being gluten-free, I’m sure you’re wondering what makes this recipe special. If we’re being honest, not much. It’s bananas and brown sugar and an egg, some cinnamon and oil and gluten-free flours. Yawn.

But here’s the thing: banana bread is not about esoteric ingredients or avant garde preparation. It’s something you make with  your kids or in between loads of laundry on a Saturday. This recipe is a trooper in my kitchen and it can be in yours, too.

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We are going going gum-free today, though, which is worth discussing.  I usually prefer to use xanthan or guar gum in my recipes. Most people digest these just fine, and they serve important functions in many of the foods we eat. I’m not in the camp of rejecting unfamiliar ingredients just because they sound “unnatural” or the average person cannot immediately identify their source. To dispel any rumors you may have heard, xanthan gum is derived from a bacteria grown on corn. Guar gum simply comes from a guar bean. Pretty natural in my book. These gums hold your bottled salad dressings together, give your ice cream its texture, and keep your Frappuccino from melting. And, of course, replicate gluten in your gluten-free baked goods.

Banana Bread 4 640pxI am definitely pro-gum, but chose not to use them in this gluten free banana bread recipe. Things like eggs, yogurt, and sweet rice flour can hold a quick bread together just fine as long as you eat it quickly. Which, as you have probably experienced, is how it works with banana bread. With the reality in mind that we’ll eat this loaf in a day, I developed this recipe the way it is.

That said, if you have the willpower to mete this loaf out over a few days, or plan to zip it up in a bag and share with friends, toss in a teaspoon of psyllium husk (which, yes, is just the husk of a seed that does a pretty neat job of binding quick breads). Dogma has no place here, so do what works for you. At the heart of things, that easygoing spirit is what banana bread is all about.

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The Definitive Gluten-Free Banana Bread
Serves 10
Add 1 teaspoon of psyllium husk to extend the shelf life or give this bread a bit more structure for transport. If you don't have sour cream or want to make this dairy-free, simply mash all three bananas and omit the sour cream.
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
50 min
Total Time
1 hr
  1. 3 bananas (mash 2.5 of them, and slice the remaining half for the top)
  2. 140g (5 ounces or 1 1/4 cup) brown sugar
  3. 1 egg
  4. 45g (1 1/2 ounces or 1/4 cup) oil
  5. 45g (1 1/2 ounces or 1/4 cup) plain yogurt
  6. 1 teaspoon vanilla
  7. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  8. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  9. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  10. 1 teaspoon cinnnamon
  11. 70g (1/2 cup or 2 1/2 ounces) brown rice flour
  12. 60g (1/2 cup or 2 1/4 ounces) sweet rice flour
  13. 70g (1/2 cup or 2 1/2 ounces) sorghum flour
  1. Preheat oven to 350F and line an 8" x 4" baking pan with parchment. You can use the larger standard 9" x 5" loaf pan, but your loaf will be a bit flatter and bake more quickly.
  2. Mix together all ingredients with your favorite bowl and spoon.
  3. Pour batter into pan and smooth the top. Sprinkle on a little cinnamon sugar if you want a crunchy topping, or top with banana slices because it's pretty.
  4. Bake 50-60 minutes, until set in the center. I put some foil on top in the latter 30 minutes of baking to keep the loaf from browning too quickly.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before slicing.
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