Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Recipe Review; Banana Nut Bread

Here is the recipe I ended up using, as I did have to use a couple of substitutions. I highly recommend you go look at and follow the original recipe if you can, Karina really knows what she's talking about!

  • 1 cup mashed very ripe (this makes a difference - my second batch were not as good due to the bananas being less ripe) bananas
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil
  • 1 1/4 cups dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown rice flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca starch
  • 1 tbsp ground flax seed
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon (I almost always use far more cinnamon than any recipe calls for, and always find that it needs it!)
  • 1 cup smashed walnut pieces

Ready to be baked!
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Line a 9" thick ceramic loaf tin with a piece of parchment paper. Grease the ends. (I used a Pyrex loaf tin as this was all that was available in stores locally, and it turned out fine - you just need a thick tin.)
  2. Mash the bananas with a potato masher, then mix with the sugar, eggs and oil until combined. If the sugar is old you may want to sieve it to remove stubborn lumps, and if it is fresh but still wants to stay in lumps I found that leaving it a few minutes to dissolve in the liquid before mixing again was effective.
  3. Add the flours, starch, flax seed, baking powder, xanthan gum, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon, combine then add the vanilla and beat until a smooth sticky batter forms.
  4. Place the walnuts in a Ziploc bag and crush with a rolling pin, then stir into the batter by hand.
  5. Use a spatula to scoop the batter into the loaf pan and smooth the top out. You can put some whole walnuts on top for decoration if you like, but I really like the texture of the top crust of this bread so I did not.
  6. Bake on the center rack for 55 to 65 minutes, if necessary, until the center is done (a wooden cake tester should emerge clean). Ovens vary, so check the loaf at 50 minutes. My first loaf took 70 minutes, my second attempt took 60, but I think I should have left it in a few minutes longer.
  7. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Karina says that this banana bread stays moist overnight if tightly wrapped, but recommends that you wrap and freeze any extra slices if you will be eating them later than that. The first time I made this I was not able to find out if this was true or not - it was so good that my husband and I ate it all in the first day!

Can't wait to dig in!

It is honestly the best banana bread I have ever had, and my husband says that it ties first place for him, with a banana bread that has cream cheese frosting on the top. Even he admitted though, that frosting would ruin the perfection that is this bread! Moist and and flavorful with a crispy chewy crust and a fluffy inside, this recipe was perfect.

Slightly sunken top.

This was also the recipe that I learned the trick to getting gluten free breads to rise - make sure your ingredients and your mix is at room temperature. I did not on my first attempt, and as you can see the top never really rose, and indeed sunk a little when I checked on it and had to leave it in the oven. But the second time, I was making two loaves, one of this recipe and one of zucchini bread (recipe review coming soon!) so I had to leave it on the side as I was mixing the second loaf. That was the only difference, and just look at the difference it made!

I will be posting a gluten free baking tips page soon as I learn more tricks to this. It really is a very different baking experience.

I would give this recipe 5 out of 5 stars - Perfect. This was my first attempt at baking a gluten free loaf, and I found it simple enough that I would recommend you do the same if you have not done so yet!


  1. This sounds absolutely scrumptious! I'm going to give it a try with Tofu in place of the eggs. I wonder how it would be substituting zucchini for the banana? I'll bet it would be just as good and a great, versatile recipe to have on hand!
    I would like to invite you to link into our recipe carnival. It is open until midnight Wed. and is a weekly event, opening at 7 pm Sunday evenings ☺ Hope to see you there!

    1. It was! Good luck with the tofu, that is something I have never tried before.

      I am not sure I would try straight up substituting zucchini - gluten free breads can be pretty finicky and zucchini is quite a different texture than banana. The banana seemed to dissolve into this mixture, whereas the zucchini bread I made had a couple of extra steps to deal with the moisture in the zucchini, as well as some different ingredients.

      I will definitely take a look at your recipe carnival! Thank you for the invite.

    2. Rachel, so happy you joined in. I'm going to try this recipe this weekend, both with the banana and zucchini. I'll let you know how the Tofu works out. So far, it has worked wonderfully as an egg replacement for me in most baked goods. Alternately, I would use applesauce.

    3. Do let me know how the zucchini works - I am afraid I cannot eat soy, so unfortunately the tofu is not something I could ever use. I am still looking for a good zucchini bread recipe though, so will be eagerly awaiting your results!


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