This tender, lofty and delicious gluten-free vegan banana bread is the answer to all your furious searching on google for the perfect free-from version of a 2020 essential!
I’m a little late to the party, but I finally cracked the gluten-free vegan banana bread recipe of my dreams! Banana bread was having a moment during the spring of 2020 when the pandemic first hit! It may seem to you that I missed the boat, but I have been testing banana bread recipes since before the first lockdown.
I adore banana bread! It’s always incredibly tender, flavourful, and there are no fussy decorating elements! Plus eating cake never felt more justified, not only is it packed with fruit, you’re actually saving those spotty overripe bananas from a fate worse than death . . . the bin.
In general gluten-free flour makes cake recipes dry and crumbly but three overripe bananas turned everything I knew about GF baking on its head. It took me just six recipe tests to realise that I needed to focus on adding ingredients that would soak up the additional moisture from the bananas rather than ingredients that would add more moisture!
This gluten-free banana breads (made WITHOUT EGGS) looks like cake, tastes like cake and has the texture of cake. May poorly risen, soggy banana bread be forever banished!
What do you need to know before you make this recipe?
I’ve broken a few of my gluten-free baking rules with this banana bread. The mashed bananas add a lot of moisture and I’ve countered that by adding extra flour, which makes the batter very thick! Don’t be tempted to add any additional liquid, this loaf will rise and it will be wonderfully moist!
I’ve also set the oven temperature to 180C/350F. Although, as a rule of thumb I cook gluten-free bakes at 160C, the extra moisture in the batter means this recipe turned out better when baked at 180C.
I’ve included all the additional notes for this gluten-free vegan banana bread recipe at the bottom of the page with the hope of improving your experience here at blue border. If you found this useful, I’d love your support on Instagram, click here to follow.
- 2 Tbsp. / 12g ground chia seeds or 15g ground flaxseed
- 75g / 6 Tbsp. water
- 350g / 1.54oz gluten-free flour, all-purpose
- 1 tsp. xanthan gum
- ½ tsp. fine sea salt
- 1 ½ tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 290g / 10.23oz coconut sugar
- 60g / 2.12oz non-dairy milk
- 2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
- 90g /3.17oz neutral vegetable oil
- 3 over-ripe bananas (335g / 11.82oz)
- 1 banana, slightly under-ripe if possible
Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and line a loaf tin with parchment paper.
Make a chia egg by combining the ground chia seed with water and mix well. Set to one side to thicken.
Into a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
In a separate bowl, mash the three overripe bananas and add in the chia egg, along with the coconut sugar, milk, apple cider vinegar and oil. Mix until well combined.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until all the flour is incorporated into the batter. Pour the batter into the loaf tin. Cut the slightly under-ripe banana in half lengthways and place on top of the batter cut side up.
Bake for 50mins – 1 hour, turning halfway through. Make sure a skewer sent through the middle of the loaf comes out clean before taking it out of the oven. Allow the banana bread to cool completely before slicing.
NOTES: Gluten-free Vegan Banana Bread
What gluten-free flour do you use?
I use Dove’s Farm gluten-free all-purpose flour to make this banana bread recipe and I love the way it performs. It’s important to keep in mind that all-purpose gluten-free flour is made of a blend of gluten-free flours (potato starch, corn starch, brown rice flour, white rice flour etc.), each of which will absorb moisture to a different extent.
If you use a different brand of flour you may need to adjust the recipe slightly. The batter should be a little thicker than ordinary cake batter.
What is xanthan gum and do I have to use it?
Xanthan gum is a binder made through the process of fermenting simple sugars. In this recipe, xanthan gum helps hold the banana bread together in the absence of natural binders like eggs and gluten.
I have only tested the recipe with xanthan gum and my instincts are that this recipe needs it buuuuut since it does contain a chia egg it may work without it.
If you’re opposed to using xanthan gum and want to try the recipe without it, go for it. If you do and it works I would love to know, leave me a comment down below.
Can I use a different sugar instead of coconut sugar?
I specifically choose coconut sugar for this recipe because it is a little drier than ordinary flour and helps to mop up some of the extra moisture from the bananas. It is also has a slightly savoury quality which I think balances the sweetness from the bananas.
If you can’t find coconut sugar, I recommend trying this recipe with soft brown sugar (light muscovado sugar) but keep in mind the bake will turn out a little differently.
Gluten-free Cake Baking Questions & Troubleshooting
Why do you use baking powder and baking soda?
Gluten-free bakes always need a little more help. Both raising agents together have a greater leavening ability and gives GF cakes an extra boost.
Why is my gluten-free cake falling apart?
If you did decide to leave out the xanthan gum and your banana bread is crumbling that’s probably why. As mentioned, xanthan gum is an excellent stand-in for gluten and eggs and without it, GF bakes tend to crumble and fall apart.
You didn’t let it cool completely before handling it. Gluten-free cakes are more fragile than cakes made with wheat flour. Allowing your cake to cool completely before slicing allows the crumb structure to fully set. If you skip this step, you may find your cake falls to crumbs.
Why does my cake have a gritty texture?
Rice flour is to blame for a gritty texture in gluten-free bakes. Try using a different all-purpose gluten-free flour or make your own mix. I like this recipe for gluten-free flour by Minimalist Baker and even better make it with superfine brown and white rice flour.