Monika’s Molecular Meals: Gluten-Free Banana Bread With DIY Banana Butter

By Monika Knapp | 24 March 2021 2259 views
gluten free banana bread

Gluten-Free Banana Bread Recipe

Monika's Molecular Meals: Gluten-Free Banana Bread With DIY Banana Butter

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Wanna know how many results you get when you google “gluten-free banana bread”?

Seventy-seven million, four-hundred thousand.

Of course, this pales in comparison to the number of results you get when you Google plain old  “banana bread,” (326 million), but still.

And we all know that not all recipes are created equal… especially when it comes to gluten-free baking.

There are a lot of you out there in search of a rock-solid gf banana bread recipe which makes sense, considering how many gluten-free dessert and bread recipes are simply cardboard-flavored atrocities masked in sugar.

Well, I’ll tell you one thing this banana bread recipe does NOT taste like cardboard.

It’s nutty, toasty, chocolatey, laced with banana, and not very sweet at all. Which means yes, this would make an incredibly delicious (and healthy!) breakfast.

(Or if you’re like me, you’ll take any opportunity to eat it with EVERY meal. Fortunately, it’s healthy enough that you can do that!)

And if you’re not on board with me yet, I have two words for you:

Banana. Butter.

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A lot of gluten-free recipes suffer because they’re dry and crumbly. This banana bread isn’t either of those things, but it’s made even more moist by the addition of a healthy-ish topping that takes under 5 minutes to make.

And one more thing this banana bread recipe has going for it?

You get to use more than one freaking banana in it! 

Seriously, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been left with half a bunch of rotting bananas only to find recipes that call for one banana.

Sure, I usually freeze the rest for smoothies, but if the whole point of banana bread is to use up leftover bananas, let’s make sure the recipe includes more than one banana. Right?

Rant over.

Let’s get this banana bread started:

Monika's Molecular Meals: Gluten-Free Banana Bread With DIY Banana Butter

FTH’s Gluten-Free Banana Bread With DIY Banana Butter (AKA Crack Spread)

Equipment Needed: Oven or toaster oven; blender or food processor; whisk; small saucepan; 9×5” loaf pan

Recipe Time: 1 hour

Makes: 1 9×5” loaf


  • 2.5 cups gf rolled oats, blended into a flour (or toasted and then blended see Recipe Notes)
  • 1 cup of your favorite gluten-free flour blend
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp maca powder
  • 3.5 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (more or less if your bananas are more/less ripe see Recipe Notes)
  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed by hand (310g) plus 1/2 medium-ripe to ripe banana, mashed and set aside separately
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup coconut sugar dissolved into 3 Tbsp coconut oil (it’ll be more of a crumbly paste than a syrup)
  • 3/4 cup dairy-free milk
  • 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 1-2 Tbsp honey (optional only if it isn’t sweet enough for you)
  • 2 Tbsp butter
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1) Prep your loaf pan and preheat your oven.

Preheat your oven, countertop oven, or toaster oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Wipe the loaf pan with coconut oil, making sure to cover the sides completely since this banana bread does rise quite a bit.

2) Batter (it) up!

In a large bowl, add the oat flour, gluten-free flour, cinnamon, maca powder, baking powder, and kosher salt. Whisk to combine.

Add the bananas, coconut sugar/oil paste, milk, and vanilla. Stir gently with a wooden spoon do not overmix!

At this point you can taste and add more sugar if desired before adding the egg. Add the egg when you’re ready and stir until just combined.

3) Bake.

Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for 35-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the thickest part of the bread comes out clean and the top looks golden brown.

(I know 35-50 minutes may seem like a pretty wide range, but there is so much variation between ovens. It’s really up to you to judge based on how it looks, smells, and reacts to the knife test.)

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For maximum evenness, turn once halfway through baking (and try to avoid opening your oven more than that one time to turn the loaf).

Let the loaf cool for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

And here’s how you’re going to distract yourself from slicing into the loaf while it’s still too hot:

4) While your loaf bakes, make the banana butter.

In a small skillet or saucepan, melt the butter over medium-low heat until foaming. 

When the foaming subsides and your kitchen starts to smell like chestnuts roasting over an open fire, add the reserved 1/2 mashed banana. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon to combine, and then lower the heat and saute until you’ve reached your desired consistency.

This “banana butter” is fantastic on its own, but you could easily amp it up with cinnamon, nutmeg, some honey, and/or sea salt.

When the loaf is cool, slice, slather in banana butter, and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • If you enjoy the nutty flavor of oats, try toasting them before blending them into a flour! You don’t want them to get super crunchy, but if you toast them for 7-10 minutes, or until just starting to brown and become fragrant, it’ll really kick the flavor up a notch.
  • Your bananas will taste sweeter or less sweet depending on how ripe they are. So if they’re really brown and have a lot of sugar in them? You may need to up the salt. On the flipside, if they’re yellower and a little less sweet? You won’t need as much salt.
  • Like I mentioned in the beginning, this banana bread isn’t very sweet. So if you need a little more sugar, you can make a syrup with coconut sugar by combining it with water over heat in a 1:1 ratio. You could also just use honey (although most resources say it’s not as good for you but more on that in a bit).
Monika's Molecular Meals: Gluten-Free Banana Bread With DIY Banana Butter

“Can I Substitute Chocolate Chips For Cacao Nibs?”

This was the first question my mom asked me when I showed her the recipe. (She’s a fiend for banana bread, so we’re always sharing recipes.)

And it’s a fair question… but the thing is, cacao nibs are very different from chocolate chips.

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You may or may not know this already, but cacao nibs are simply cacao beans that have been chopped up into edible pieces they’re not processed at all like chocolate chips, and there’s no added sugar.

Chocolate chips are not the same at all.

For starters, the first ingredient is most chocolate chips is SUGAR. Then they add in some chocolate… milk fat… cocoa butter… and maybe some additional flavors and preservatives.

So instead of eating little bits of cacao beans, you’re eating bits of sugar, chocolate, and whatever other chemicals the food company felt like adding in. 🙁

This means you get a lot more nutritional value from cacao nibs they won’t spike your blood sugar, and they’re chock-full of antioxidants.

It’s sort of like asking if you can substitute Splenda for coconut sugar in this recipe, right?

Like yeah… you CAN.

But you might not feel good eating this banana bread if you do.

(And the recipe probably won’t turn out as good, either.)

Here’s why:

gluten free banana bread

Warning: Do NOT Substitute NutraSweet Or Splenda For Coconut Sugar In This Recipe (Here’s Why)…

A recent study in Current Diabetes Reviews showed that aspartame (AKA NutraSweet) can not only induce weight gain instead of weight loss…

But it also suggested that aspartame releases the stress hormone cortisol, which causes your body to pack on pounds.

I mean, I get it… it’s a zero-calorie sweetener. The temptation is there!!

But I’m telling you, this stuff is BAD for you… really bad!

(Which just goes to prove that not everything that’s low- or no-calorie is good for you or your waistline.)

It’ll make you gain weight…

And not only that, but it’ll actually mess with the chemistry of this recipe and might make it taste and look kinda funny (if not outright bad).

The good news is that if you don’t want to splurge on coconut sugar, you do still have some low-calorie sweetener options that ARE good for you

And won’t get your hormones all out of whack like NutraSweet and Splenda will…

Here’s what they are:

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[Note: This post was updated by Fit Trim Happy on December 8, 2019.]