Banana bread is hugely popular. We love bananas, so we get it. Classic banana bread is a quick bread, and those rely on easy-to-use and fast-acting baking powder and baking soda. No yeast or rise times needed for these breads! Here you will find our best tips and tricks, and recipes. Most can be prepped in the time it takes for the oven to preheat. And we took slight liberty and included some muffins; you could always scrape the batter into loaf pans and adjust the baking times.
How To Make The Best Gluten-Free Banana Bread
First, let’s take a look at how to make gluten free banana bread. Couldn’t be easier! The classic banana bread is oil based, so the process often begins with whisking together wet ingredients in one bowl (like your oil, eggs, mashed bananas, etc.)
Then dry ingredients are whisked together in another bowl (flour, leaveners, salt, etc.) and then combine the two mixtures. This is our Zucchini Banana Bread below.
Some folks like to whisk the sweeteners with the wet, which you would definitely do if you are using liquid sweeteners, like honey or maple syrup, but if you are using white sugar or brown sugar, they might be combined with the wet or the dry. Always follow the directions in individual recipes.
Gluten-Free Flour Choice Matters
When it comes to flour, gluten-free blends vary greatly. Use what is asked for. We love Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Flour, and use it often. Sometimes we will suggest King Arthur Flour Measure For Measure. They are not interchangeable. Always follow the recipe.
Any which way, you are then simple combining the wet and dry and scraping into your prepared pan. TA DA! You can do this without an electric mixer, simply using bowls, whisks and maybe a silicone spatula.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most Frequently Asked Questions that we hear when it comes to baking the best gluten-free banana bread loaves.
For banana bread, you want very ripe bananas. The more black spots the better. The bananas should have a pronounced banana fragrance, as well. See the banana on the bottom? That one is ready to make banana bread! There should be NO GREEN whatsoever. And even the all-over yellow one in the middle is not ripe enough.
We like to peel super ripe bananas, pop them into zip top bags, and store in the freezer. They can be defrosted and used in recipes.
If you only have unripe bananas around (like the top two in the image above), don’t bother making banana bread. Or, you could try the tips below.
There are a couple of things you can try to ripen bananas. You can place your unripe bananas in a paper bag along with a piece of ripe fruit, like an apple. The ethylene gases thrown off of the ripe fruit can help ripen the unripe fruit. This obviously takes time – usually a couple of days.
Then, there is this trick, which sounds little crazy, but if you have to have your banana bread NOW, it is worth a shot. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Place unripe bananas on a sheet pan and bake until the skins turn black all over, about 25 to 30 minutes. Timing is not as important as how they look. Black ALL over! Let cool, peel and use the flesh. The sugars “cook” and caramelize and you get an approximation of “ripe” bananas.
There are many kinds of breads. Some use a sourdough starter; others use yeast; and then there are “quick breads”. Banana bread is possible the most famous and common. Quick breads are quick to make because they don’t have to be set aside to rise. They depend on chemical leaveners, like baking powder and baking soda and their batters can be made so quickly, you can often have them ready to go in the oven by the time it preheats.
Our recipes will produce moist gluten free banana bread! If you follow our instructions. And that means using the ingredients called for, following our techniques, using the pans suggested etc.
As far as baking is concerned, if you over-bake, you will end up with dry banana bread. We give you time cues and visual cues. Use them all. See our section on Tips For Making The Best Gluten-Free Banana Bread.
There is no “best” for a recipe that is already developed. You will get the best results from our recipes (and any recipe) if you use what the recipe creator used to develop and test the recipe.
If you come across a recipe that calls for “gluten-free flour”, I wouldn’t touch that recipe with a 10-foot pole. That recipe developer is not helping you have success. Gluten-free flour blends vary hugely in what they are made up of, in addition to ratios. Then, some contain additives, like xanthan gum, which can truly improve your gluten-free baking, and others do not.
We use a variety of gluten-free flours and blends in our recipes. Use what the specific recipe calls for. You will often see Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Flour called for. Other times we use King Arthur Flour Gluten Free Measure for Measure, or another brand, such as Better Batter. These are NOT interchangeable. You might read elsewhere that they are. We have all about 40 years experience as professional recipe developers specializing in baking. Trust us.
Quick breads are actually often best the day AFTER they are baked, which is somewhat atypical for baked goods, which are often at their peak the fresher they are. A sit overnight allows quick bread texture to improve.
Once your gluten free banana quick bread is completely cool, wrap well in plastic wrap and store at room temperature overnight.
For longer storage, we suggest the same: well wrapped in plastic wrap and room temperature storage. In this case we usually also pop the loaf in a large zip top plastic bag and remove all the air.
You could, but we don’t suggest it. Refrigeration will dry out your quick breads.
The best way to slice banana bread is after it has sit overnight. Your slices will look cleaner and neater. If you slice it right after cooling, they might not look as nice, but they will still taste fantastic!
You can! Freezing does have the potential to dry out your banana quick bread, but not nearly as much as refrigeration. Wrap your cooled bread in plastic wrap, then foil, then place in a zip top bag with air removed. take care that it does not get crushed in the freezer, and use within 1 month. You can defrost at room temperature. It will only take a couple of hours.
You can also slice your bread before freezing. This way you can grab what you want. You could freeze as a loaf, or individually wrap the slices. Slices can be zapped in the microwave for about 10 seconds to revive.
Loaf pans are not all the same, in material or shape, and your choice will affect your final result. Metal, oven-proof glass, and silicone all conduct heat differently. Your recipes will change depending on what you use. Do not interchange.
We use metal pans in all of our quick bread recipes. The choice becomes size.
Most of us think of loaf pans as being 9-inches by 5-inches (23 cm by 12 cm). While these make perfectly serviceable loaves, some recipe’s batter will only fill these up so much. You end up with a short, squat loaf. I often prefer and call for an 8-inch by 4-inch pan (20 cm by 10 cm). Make sure you read the recipes before starting to make sure you have what you need.
In the image below, the 8-inch (20 cm) is on the left. They hold vastly different volumes of batter. Your breads will bake, and look, quite different.
Banana bread often do crack. And that’s OK. It is part of their charm. They crack because as they bake, gas bubbles created from the leaveners got up and out. No biggie. In fact, some bakers compete for the most domed appearance with the nicest “crack”.
You can. It will alter the nutritional content of the bread, the volume, perhaps how it bakes, and could change how well the recipe works or not. We do have banana bread recipes with chocolate and nuts and seeds already, so maybe try one of those first.
Xanthan gum can greatly improve the texture of gluten-free baked goods. Some flour blends already contain it. Even then, sometimes recipes call for additional. Or, if the blends called for do not contain it, maybe your banana bread would benefit from its inclusion.
And then, you have flour blends like Better Batter which use pectin as a dough/batter conditioner.
ALWAYS use the ingredients called for in the individual recipes.
Some banana bread is dairy-free. Other recipes use yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream.
If you want a dairy-free banana bread recipe, please use one that is. If you start tweaking a banana bread recipe that contains dairy, and either remove it completely, or you substitute an alt dairy, the results are not guaranteed in any way, shape or form. We don’t think it is worth wasting your time and money of the ingredients.
If a recipe calls for sifting the flour, please do so. We often whisk our dry mixture together in a bowl, which aerates it similarly to sifting.
Pan prep will be described in the recipes. We often coat our pans with nonstick spray and then line with parchment paper. Do what the recipe suggests for best results.
Tips For Making The Best Gluten-Free Banana Bread
We have made thousands of loaves of gluten free banana bread, and have learned a thing or two; or three! Take our years of professional recipe development experience into your own kitchen to make the best gluten-free banana bread ever!
- Read the recipe first before starting. Make sure you have all the ingredients, equipment and understand the process.
- Pay attention to detail. If the recipe calls for softened butter, or room temperature eggs, that is what you need for success.
- Is your oven calibrated? When was the last time you checked your oven temperature? Just because you set your oven to preheat to 350° (180°C) does not mean that that is the temperature it will ultimately attain. It is not unusual for ovens to vary by 25 to 50°, which can reach havoc with baked goods. Get an oven thermometer (they are quite an expensive), set your oven to 350° (180°C) and then check it against what the thermometer tells you. If your oven is off, consult your manual. Very often the homeowner can calibrate the oven themselves and it does not require a visit from a repair person.
- Pans make a difference! We use metal pans, so do not substitute and oven proof glass pan. You’re a big goods Will Brown very differently, bake very differently overall, and the timing Will be thrown off. Then there is the size to consider. Look at the picture in the FAQ section you will see that there is a big difference between 8-inch (20 cm) loaf pans and 9-inch (23 cm) loaf pans. Your choice of equipment can affect the outcome of your finished product. It’s not just about the ingredients and technique!
- Pay attention to technique. If you are supposed to whisk something together vigorously, then do so. If you were supposed to gently combine ingredients, then that is what you should be doing with that recipe.
- Assessing doneness can sometimes be confusing for people who do not big often. That is why we give you both time estimates, as well as visual cues. Visual cues are much more important than the time. In other words, if the recipe says bake until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few crumbs clinging, that is what you really want to pay attention to. Whether you get to that point in 35 minutes or 45 minutes is not as important.
- Don’t make changes to the recipe. Just don’t. You might think that you are not really changing the recipe but you are. The minute you add a cup of chocolate chips, you have thrown off the volume of the banana bread, and it might bake completely differently. Using a convection oven will change everything, and not for the better. Using a silicone loaf pan will retard browning of your gluten-free banana bread, which you actually want. Browning is the caramelization of sugars and add texture and flavor. Every single time you tweak a recipe, it’s ceases to be the recipe that was developed, tested and proven to work.
- Once your banana bread is baked to perfection, do not overlook that cooling it properly is a key part of the recipe. Place your hot pan on a cooling rack. Typically, a quick bread will be cooled for some time before it is unmolded from the pan. Then, it will further cool on the rack. Do not wrap your gluten free banana bread for storage until it is completely cooled. I like to cool our quick breads upright.
- Proper storage of your banana bread should be considered part of the recipe. Follow the instructions in the individual recipes, but in general, we like to store quick breads at room temperature wrapped very well in plastic wrap. Do not refrigerate as that tends to dry them out. You can freeze them, and those instructions are given in the FAQ section.
Easy To Make Gluten-Free Banana Bread Recipes
Our gluten-free banana quick bread recipes are all easy to make. If you follow our instructions you will be rewarded with the most moist, flavorful banana breads you have ever eaten. Folks will clamor for the recipes! We have banana breads with chocolate, banana peanut butter, zucchini, coconut, nuts, seeds, chia, carrot cake banana bread mash-ups, muffins and more.
Gluten-Free Lower Fat, Reduced Sugar Banana Bread
Don’t let the title fool you into thinking this banana bread is lesser. This is actually our community members’ favorite banana bread! Incredibly moist, packed with banana flavor and just happens to be lower fat, and with reduced sugar. Gluten-free, too but you would never know it. Get the recipe for Gluten-Free Lower Fat, Reduced Sugar Banana Bread.
Chocolate Coconut Banana Bread
We love chocolate and we love banana bread. Why not a chocolate banana bread? With coconut thrown in for good measure. Rich, deep chocolate flavor with bananas and coconut, all in an easy-to-make quick bread. Fancy enough for a brunch with guests – and would be a hit at any bake sale. Get the recipe for Chocolate Coconut Banana Bread.
Zucchini Banana Bread
We love zucchini quick bread and banana bread, so we figured why not combine the two? The alchemy created this new recipe so that we don’t have to pick and choose. Moist banana bread with extra flavor and nutrition! Get the recipe for Zucchini Banana Bread.
Gluten-Free Mini Nutella Banana Muffins
Just look at that photograph! Moist banana muffins swirled with our version of homemade Nutella. It truly does not get better than this. Get the recipe for Mini Gluten-Free Nutella Banana Muffins.
Nana’s Gluten-Free Banana Bread
Being the banana lovers that we are, we believe you can never have too many banana bread recipes. This one is based on one of our community member’s beloved family recipe and is based on buttermilk. To make it lactose-free, we have created a faux buttermilk using lemon juice and lactose-free whole milk. Gluten free too! Get the recipe for Nana’s Banana Bread.
Gluten-Free Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Bananas and dark chocolate have an affinity for one another, showcased beautifully in these banana bread chocolate chip muffins. These have an incredibly tender texture, and always bake up with a beautiful dome, which will entice at any bake sale, breakfast or brunch. Get the recipe for Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins.
Gluten-Free Banana Carrot Chia Corn Muffins
These muffins are in mash-up of banana bread, carrot cake, and corn muffins, with chia seeds thrown in for extra protein and texture. Get the recipe for Banana Carrot Chia Corn Muffins.
Gluten-Free Poppy Seed Carrot Banana Bread
We love combining ingredients and flavors that we think go well together. In this case a quick bread that is part banana bread and part carrot cake is enlivened with popp yseeds. Get the recipe for Poppy Seed Carrot Banana Bread.
Gluten Free Banana Bread Muffins
Here we have gluten free banana bread in muffin form, and we do love the optional topping of multiple seeds and nuts. Get the recipe for Banana Bread Muffins.
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Banana Muffins
These muffins can be prepped in the time it takes to preheat the oven. Lactose-free “buttermilk”, ripe banana, creamy peanut butter, brown sugar, eggs, vanilla, GF flour blend, leavener – and no additional fat. Click here for the Peanut Butter Banana Muffins recipe.
14 Of The World’s Best Homemade Gluten-Free Quick Breads
Quick breads are “quick”! No yeast, no rise times. Quick breads rely on baking powder and baking soda for leavening action. They are even easier to make than most cookies, because you can often whip up the batter without a mixer, the mixture is scraped into one pan, and you’re done – often in the time it takes for the oven to preheat!
We have your favorites – all gluten-free, all low FODMAP, like banana bread and zucchini bread, but we also have so many more! Chocolate, coconut, strawberry, lime, and even a few soda breads, lower fat, reduced sugar, and vegan…let’s bake! Read 14 Of The World’s Best Homemade Gluten-Free Quick Breads
23 Low FODMAP Banana Recipes So Good A Monkey Would Fight You For Them
We are bananas for bananas and bet you are too. While we love banana bread (and we have several variations), there are many more ways to get creative with this nutritious, tropical fruit. At about 110 calories for a medium banana, 0 grams of fat, 1 gram protein, 3 grams fiber, and 450 mg potassium, we can all feel good about indulging. And all of them gluten-free and low FODMAP too! Read 23 Low FODMAP Banana Recipes So Good A Monkey Would Fight You For Them