August 30, 2011

Gluten-Free Chocolate Banana Bread

Dear Friend,

Do you remember when I bought $200 worth of gluten-free flour? - that was insane. Do you also remember when my dog jumped on the counter and ate the gluten-free bread? - that was a disaster.

As a result, I don't seem to have any space in my cupboards for non-gluten-free foods..... and my dog is getting fat.

I wish you were here to organize my cupboards. I'm sure you would find room for chocolate and dried cherries. You always did have better spacial organization skills than me.

I also wish you were here to talk some sense into my dog. He's impossible.

For my first attempt at gluten-free baking (and to make some room in the cupboard), I made you some banana bread. I only put a small dent in the gluten-free flour, but it's still a start.

I decided to start with something safe. Something that I've made a million times before. I figured it would be hard to mess up banana bread. Not impossible, just hard.

Luckily, I buy more bananas than I can handle, and almost always have at least 12 in the freezer. I remember you telling me that your freezer is also always stocked with black bananas. Soul mates, you and I.

Sometimes I don't get them into the freezer in time. Last week, I had some super-ripe bananas that exploded in my fruit bowl. True story. I must have had 25 fruit flies in my kitchen.

My sister once told me you could get rid of fruit flies by following these simple steps:

  1. fill a bowl with fruit juice (just covering the bottom)
  2. squirt in a few drops of dish soap
  3. cover the bowl with Saran wrap
  4. poke the Saran with tiny holes

I don't have much room on my counters for a fruit fly trap - my kitchen is so tiny. You try this fruit fly trap first, and let me know how it goes. I think that's fair - I tried gluten-free baking first.

I wanted to write you, to tell you how amazing this banana bread turned out. It's moist, chocolatey, banana-y (is that a word?), and super cool. If you blind-folded me, put me in a taste testing contest, and then handed me this banana bread, I would have said, hands-down, that it was made with wheat flour. No word of a lie.

You should share this recipe with your banana loving gluten-free friends. They will love you, just like I do.

Your truly,


[Print Recipe]


1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
4 over-ripe bananas, fresh or frozen
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 3/4 cup gluten-free all purpose flour
1 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1/2 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 F.

2. With an electric hand mixer or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy {approximately 5 minutes}.

3. In a small bowl, mash the bananas. If your bananas were frozen, let them thaw, peel and drain off excess water.

4. Mix the bananas into the butter mixture, and add the vanilla. 

5. Mix in the 2 eggs, and beat for 2 -3 minutes until combined.

6. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, salt, and cocoa powder. 

7. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and then combine with a spatula or wooden spoon. 

8. Add the chopped walnuts and chocolate chips. Stir.

9. Grease a loaf pan with butter or cooking spray. Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake on the middle rack for 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and continue cooking for 10 more minutes.

10. Remove the banana bread from the oven and let cool for 30 minutes. Remove from the pan, slice and serve. Can be stored in the fridge for a week. 

[If your banana bread falls once out of the oven, it probably didn't cook long enough.]


  1. heather, your bread looks really moist and delicious!
    i made a non-gluten free version some time ago and everyone loved it, i'm sure yours didn't last so long either, huh?
    greetings from germany!

  2. Thanks so much Jennifer. Pretty much lasted a day!

  3. Wow. This banana bread looks incredible. And gluten-free to boot. I was just diagnosed with celiac disease and am starting to build up my recipe collection. I will be adding this one to the bunch.

  4. Alishia - I'm glad I could be a part of your recipe collection. Good luck!

  5. I've been gluten free 3 weeks this coming Monday and this was my first experiment and it turned out awesome! I subbed what g-free flour I had (gluten free pantry all purpose flour), left out the cocoa and nuts but I was so happy with it! This isn't going to be so bad after all. :) Thanks so much!