My husband likes to buy bananas for smoothies. Sometimes they get used for their intended purpose, but often they’re forgotten for days and rediscovered at peak ripeness, brown skinned and tip-toeing into overripe territory. To be honest, I think he does it on purpose. I think he calculates how many bananas he’ll use, and how many will slip his mind so that I have no choice but to make banana bread.
I used to joke around about my “famous banana bread” – sure, it’s a favorite around here, but there’s only two of us (okay, three, I do let the toddler have a bite). Then I made it for Little Miss’ first birthday party and it was a hit. An open house style party to accommodate a large number of people and their differing schedules, I set the desserts out on the kitchen table as decoration throughout the day. By the time dinner rolled around, the cupcakes were untouched, the cake was intact, the cookies were missing a few, and the banana bread was nearly gone. Gluten free, dairy free, and nearly gone already. The reviews were surprisingly enthusiastic, and I was asked by no fewer than 5 people to type up the recipe and email it to them. I’d say that’s pretty successful.
About a month later, I made the banana bread for company, a friend who had recently left his job as a barista at Starbucks and his girlfriend who still works there. My husband jokingly told them that this recipe was based on the Starbucks banana bread and asked them how it stacked up. “Better”, they agreed, “this is better than the Starbucks banana bread.”
I was so excited I could hardly contain myself. That’s pretty high praise!
So here are the details. The original recipe was from A Basic Foodie, a blog that no longer seems to exist – I’m glad I printed it when I did! It was titled “Starbucks Banana Walnut Bread”, and right off the bat I eliminated the walnuts because my husband is not a fan. Over time I started making small tweaks and adjusting the recipe to make it suit my needs.
I have made this recipe dairy free in two different ways with good results, as well and gluten free AND dairy free. Yes, you heard me right – gluten free banana bread that is dairy free also, and is still moist and rich and delicious, and doesn’t taste at all “off”. The texture created by the bananas and the mix of gluten free flour and almond meal saves it from feeling gummy or gritty.
It doesn’t take that long to prepare. It’s easy to make. It’s wonderful – my absolute go to dessert recipe. I even made french toast out of the leftover banana bread recently! Talk about decadent.
Without further ado, here is the recipe. See my notes for tweaks at the bottom.
Gluten free, dairy free banana bread recipe
- 3 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 1 1/4 cup gluten free all purpose flour
- 3/4 cup almond meal
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons cashew milk (or other non-dairy milk)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees and grease one loaf pan.
- Mix sugar, oil, egg, vanilla, milk and bananas in a mixing bowl. Combine completely.
- Add in flour, baking soda and salt.
- Pour a thin layer into the pan, then mix together and sprinkle the streusel so you have a nice layer over the batter. Cover with the rest of the batter and bake for 60-75 minutes, checking at 60 minutes. The loaf will turn golden brown and a toothpick in the center will come out clean when it’s ready.
To make it “normal, with gluten”: instead of the gluten free flour and almond meal, use 2 cups of regular unbleached all purpose flour. If dairy isn’t an issue for you and your family either (lucky you!), feel free to use 2 teaspoons of regular milk or buttermilk.
To avoid nuts: I recently made the gluten version to bring to a meeting, but remembered that a friend was allergic to nuts – no cashew milk allowed! I substituted 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce for the cashew milk and found the batter slightly thicker than usual, but the bread still baked up as lovely as ever. I think it browned slightly less, but the taste and texture were still spot on.
What do you do when you need dairy free and nut free, and you’re out of applesauce? I just used water instead of milk/cashew milk, the 2 teaspoons the recipe called for, plus a little extra splash to thin out the batter a little. Guess what, it worked!
Look at that streusel layer!
So you can go gluten or gluten free, and non-dairy with a milk alternative or applesauce. You could add walnuts. Or go crazy and drop in a handful of chocolate chips. This recipe makes such a beautiful, popular banana bread, and it’s so versatile!
Now go bake! Hope you enjoy my very favorite, famous banana bread recipe.