There are a lot of -frees with this gluten-free banana bread – gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, refined sugar-free – but it’s amazing. The first time I tested it I was genuinely blown away by how virtually identical the crumb and flavour were to my usual spelt flour banana bread.
A number of readers have made my tahini banana bread with buckwheat flour, so I thought it’d be a good starting point, but mixing with oat flour is what makes the texture so great. I’ve added chocolate chunks (obviously) but the mix-ins are flexible.
Even though I don’t have such a problem with gluten, I love baking with alternative whole grain flours and GF ones are great. This oat flour banana bread has become a go-to, despite using spelt as by base flour for just about everything otherwise.
Why You Should Try This Recipe
- It’s a one-bowl recipe: as with most GF recipes, there’s little worry about over-mixing and no need to use separate bowls. Less dishes needed.
- No eggs needed: bananas are a natural binding agent so there’s no need for eggs or egg replacers like flax, making for a super simple quick bread with a very light crumb.
- It’s a fantastic flavour: nutty buckwheat, peanut butter, and spices make for a more complex banana bread that’s great for an adult palate.
Ingredient Notes and Substitutions
- Non-dairy milk: I use oat milk but any other refrigerated milk type will work (not canned coconut milk).
- Peanut butter: for a nut-free option, use sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter. Alternatively, tahini is a great seed based option – and if you just want to change the nuts up, any runnier nut butter will work well. Avoid the dry bottom-of-the-jar stuff.
- Olive oil: the flavour isn’t really noticeable here, but feel free to use another light-tasting liquid oil.
- Maple syrup: runny honey can be subbed if the recipe doesn’t need to be fully vegan.
Step by Step
1. Blend: mix the bananas and other liquid ingredients until pureed, or mash the bananas and mix.
2. Mix the batter: add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
3. Transfer: pour the batter into a lined loaf tin and top with more chocolate (optional).
4. Bake: for about 50 minutes, or until it passes a skewer test.
The ripeness of the bananas contributes significantly to the sweetness and flavour of the loaf, so go for spotty, brown bananas. If you prefer less sweetness, then using slightly less ripe bananas is an easy way to reduce it.
I ground my own buckwheat flour for this recipe, which is easy to do with a higher powered food processor (or a grain mill, which I use). It has to be finely ground, though, so I would generally recommend buying buckwheat flour instead.
I recommend the immersion blender method because it makes for a very nice smooth batter and light crumb. If you prefer chunks of banana, go with the fork method.
My bread tin is a little longer and lower than standard (26×10.5cm / just over 10 inches long) which means a slightly shorter cooking time. There are a number of variables, including true oven temperature, type and size of baking tin, any substitutions, using volume vs weight, etc. so doing a toothpick or skewer test is what’s going to ensure your banana bread is fully baked.
Walnuts, hazelnuts, mixed seeds, raisins, chopped dates, and so on, are all great additions here. Use them in place of or in addition to the chocolate, adding within reason. If you use way too much it’ll alter the structure of the loaf (I wouldn’t go over about 3/4 cup total). You can also add a little shredded coconut if you like – here’s a coconut banana bread if you love that combination.
How to Store
Storage: keep in a sealed container for 3-4 days at (cool) room temperature, or refrigerate to store longer.
Freezing: this freezes well as a full loaf or individual slices. Place in an airtight container and freeze for up to three months.
- Don’t make unlisted substitutions: while both gluten free, almond flour and coconut flour can’t be subbed 1:1 for oat or buckwheat flours as they absorb liquid at different rates.
- Use weights if possible: if you have a kitchen scale, bring it out for this recipe. Gluten-free is a bit finicky, and although this recipe is pretty forgiving, you’ll still get the best results by weighing ingredients rather than using unreliable volume measurements.
- Check oven temperature: if you’re following recipes precisely as written and still not getting perfect results, it might be a problem with your oven temperature. Many ovens run at incorrect temperatures and a portable oven thermometer will help.
More Gluten Free Banana Recipes
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Vegan Gluten Free Banana Bread
- 3 large ripe bananas about 250g / 9 oz., weighed when peeled
- 180 ml oat milk
- 100 grams natural peanut butter
- 60 ml olive oil
- 60 ml maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 125 grams oat flour
- 120 grams buckwheat flour
- 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- 100 grams dark chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and line a bread tin with parchment paper.
- Add the bananas, milk, peanut butter, olive oil, maple syrup, and vanilla to a large bowl. Use an immersion blender to mix until smooth. Alternatively, blend in a standing blender, or mash the bananas with a fork before whisking in the other ingredients.3 large ripe bananas, 180 ml oat milk, 100 grams natural peanut butter, 60 ml olive oil, 60 ml maple syrup, 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Add the oat flour, buckwheat flour, arrowroot, cinnamon, baking powder and soda, salt, and nutmeg to the bowl. Mix until well combined and no visible streaks of flour remain.125 grams oat flour, 120 grams buckwheat flour, 2 tablespoons arrowroot flour, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- Stir the chocolate into the banana bread batter, mixing until it’s evenly incorporated throughout.100 grams dark chocolate, chopped, or chocolate chips
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking tin, topping with additional chocolate if desired.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick or skewer inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean. The top of the loaf should be quite golden in colour.
- Cool the banana bread in the tin for ten minutes before removing and cooling fully on a rack. This keeps well for 3-4 days in a sealed container at room temperature and freezes well.
* For American cup measurements, please click the pink link text above the ingredient list that says ‘American’.
Nutrition is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate. If this information is important to you, please have it verified independently.