How to make the best gluten-free dairy-free banana bread recipe from scratch. Easy, one bowl recipe that makes a moist and delicious loaf.
One of my favorite things to make, because it's easy and because we love to eat it, is banana bread. It makes a delicious snack, dessert, or addition to breakfast. I especially love a loaf of chocolate chip banana bread, hot out of the oven, lathered in butter and washed down with a piping hot cup of coffee….Yum!!
Thumbing thru an old family cookbook my sister gave me awhile back, I found an old banana bread recipe. Her mother-in-law had handwritten the recipe onto the page, and it looked to be well-used.
Even though I'd made banana bread a million times, I knew we had to try it. And I decided to make it both a gluten and dairy free banana bread.
Turns out, this is now my favorite banana bread. It's not too sweet, it's moist and delicious, and it's full of unbeatable flavor that my whole family loves. Although I am partial to a good gluten-free zucchini bread, this hearty banana loaf has really won my heart!
I include chopped walnuts as an optional ingredient in this recipe, but if you prefer plain old banana bread, feel free to omit them from the recipe.
Why Make This Banana Loaf
- It's an incredibly quick & easy, one bowl recipe. No fuss, no fail….You get the idea. And I'll walk you through it step by step!
- This is a gluten and dairy free banana bread, so it's much healthier for those of you that have food allergies like me. Better yet, you can't even tell that it's gluten free or dairy free….It's that good.
- This banana loaf is moist and delicious. It's light and fluffy, yet still sturdy enough to slice. It has a tender bite with an unbeatable banana flavor that nobody can turn down!
Ingredient and Substitution Notes:
- Mashed Bananas – I prefer to use overripe bananas for banana bread. This yields a much stronger banana flavor and a softer texture that just can't be had with underripe bananas. Egg – In this recipe, eggs assist in better rise, a more tender texture and an improved flavor. Although eggs are not dairy, it is definitely possible to make this an egg-free banana bread. The Pioneer Woman has a great list of the Best Egg Substitutes that would work very well for this recipe.
- Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour – The trick to making good gluten-free banana bread is in simply switching out the all-purpose flour for a “cup for cup” gluten free flour. Cup for cup means you don't have to do any figuring or measuring to try and figure out how much flour to use because you use the same amount. I almost always use Authentic Foods Classical Blend gluten-free flour. Time and time again, this flour blend has given me the best results and gluten-free baked goods that taste no different than the original. Of course, if gluten is not a concern, you can substitute regular all-purpose flour with no trouble at all.
- Canola Oil – For this recipe, I recommend using canola oil. If that's not available for whatever reason, you can substitute 1:1 using vegetable oil, coconut oil, avocado oil, or even unsweetened applesauce. Although it is not preferred, you can use melted Earth Balance Buttery Sticks if necessary, or, if dairy is not a concern, just plain old melted unsalted butter.
- Chopped Walnuts – Chopped walnuts are optional, although I highly recommend adding them if you've never had banana nut bread before! If you don't like walnuts, try chopped pecans or sliced almonds.
Keep in mind, all of the ingredients and amounts you'll need are in the printable recipe card below.
How to Make Gluten Free Dairy Free Banana Bread
- Mash up the bananas, and cream (or mix) with the sugar. I use my mixer to mash the bananas, but you can also mash them up with the backside of a fork.
- Add the egg to the banana/sugar mixture.
- Add the dry ingredients and canola oil to the wet mixture, mixing well.
- Finally, gently fold the nuts into the mixture.
Then just scrape the batter into a prepared loaf pan, and bake at 350ºF for about an hour, or until the top is a deep golden-brown, and a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean.
When it's done, I usually let it cool in the pan for a good 10 to 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edge, and plop it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
It's so delicious sliced up and served with a little dollop of dairy free butter– or regular butter if you're not dairy free.
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ's
There are many factors that can contribute to crumbly banana bread. As I mentioned earlier, it is important to use a quality cup for cup gluten-free flour, like Authentic Foods Classical Blend. Sometimes butter can also make banana bread more crumbly, as it absorbs the moisture out of the batter when mixing. This is why I recommend using canola oil over anything else. Using underripe bananas and overcooking the banana bread can also make banana bread crumbly and/or rubbery in texture. If all else fails, try sifting the flour!
First off, make sure that your baking powder is not expired. It is also possible that your banana bread needs xanthan gum for strength. Most cup for cup gluten-free flours already contain some xanthan gum, but if yours does not, you may need to add more– Just be sure to follow the package instructions and recommended amount.
This is usually because the banana bread was undercooked, preventing the middle from fully setting up and causing the bread to collapse as it cools. A rule of thumb is to insert a toothpick or cake tester into the center of the bread, and if it comes out clean, it's done. If the top is browning too quickly, simply cover your banana loaf with a sheet of aluminum foil until done.
What Else Can You Add to Banana Bread?
Bananas pair so well with so many different foods that the options for banana bread add-ins are seemingly endless. Here are a few ways that you can take your banana bread to the next level…
- My favorite banana bread add-in is a teaspoon of real vanilla extract. It's simple, but a hint of vanilla really sets banana bread up a notch.
- Peanut butter and bananas are a natural pair, right? Next time you make banana bread, try swirling some peanut butter into the batter before baking. Better yet, add some dairy-free chocolate chips in WITH the peanut butter.
- Of course chopped walnuts, pecans and sliced almonds go great in banana bread, but so do flax seeds, chia seeds, and sometimes even small sunflower seeds. Don't be afraid to switch it up…
- If you like coconut, shredded coconut blends very well with the banana in this recipe. Don't like coconuts? Try shredded zucchini or even shredded carrots– kind of like carrot cake!
- Try adding some pumpkin puree for added flavor and even more moisture! Then go a step forward and add a pinch of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, or even cloves. Pumpkin spice banana bread anyone?
More Gluten-Free Recipes and Baked Goods
- These light and fluffy gluten-free blueberry muffins are perfectly sweet, and they are the best breakfast treat!
- If you like banana bread or zucchini bread, you'll LOVE these gluten-free dairy-free zucchini muffins…
- Bubbly apples and warm spices make this gluten-free apple crisp one of my favorite family desserts. Top it off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and you're living the good life!
- My youngest son LOVES these bakery style blackberry and strawberry muffins. Plus, they're so easy!!
- This gluten-free lemon pound cake is a fan-favorite recipe, and it's not hard to make dairy free!
- This easy peach cobbler dump cake only uses 5 ingredients, and it's gluten-free! This has to got to be one of the best dessert recipes I know.
- Speaking of peaches, this has got to be the best ever gluten-free peach crisp recipe. Fresh peaches and a crispy oatmeal topping that is out of this world….What's not to love?!
- How to bake moist, fluffy gluten-free pumpkin muffins from scratch, with a simple cinnamon sugar topping. Now THIS is a breakfast treat.
If you try this recipe, why not leave a star rating in the recipe card right below and/or a review in the comment section further down the page? I always appreciate your feedback. You can also follow me on Pinterest, Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. And subscribe to my email list too!
Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Banana Bread
- Pre-heat the oven to 350° F and grease a loaf pan with cooking spray.
- Using a mixer, mash the bananas.
- Cream (or mix) the sugar into the bananas.
- Add the egg to the sugar mixture, mixing well.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix the dry ingredients and the canola oil into the sugar mixture.
- Gently fold the walnuts into the bread batter by hand, mixing them in well.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Sprinkle with extra walnuts, if desired.
- Bake at 350° F for about 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean and the loaf is golden brown.
- Let it cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes; then run a butter knife around the edge, and plop it out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- Slice and serve your banana loaf with dairy free butter– or regular butter if you're not dairy free.