Grain-Free Banana Bread

August 23, 2013
8 Ratings
  • Serves 8
Author Notes

Once you are released from gluten, you find out something you didn't know when you automatically reached for that bag of all-purpose bleached wheat flour. Flours have flavors.

It's true. Flours have flavors. Quinoa flour is a little grassy, very savory. Buckwheat is nutty, sometimes toasted nutty if you use toasted buckwheat flour. Teff flour has a faint chocolate, molasses taste. If you choose the flours you use for the baked good you want to make by the ingredients you intend to stir together, you might stop thinking about gluten altogether. You'll choose the flours you have for how they can make a banana bread good enough to make small children say yum after they take their first bite. This is that banana bread. —shauna.ahern

What You'll Need
  • 100 grams finely ground almond flour
  • 60 grams arrowroot powder
  • 50 grams buckwheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup (we prefer grade B)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 80 grams coconut oil, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 ripe large bananas
  • 3/4 cup crushed hazelnuts
  1. Preparing to bake. Heat the oven to 375° F. Grease a 1-pound loaf pan.
  2. Mixing the dry ingredients. Whisk together the almond flour, arrowroot powder, and buckwheat flour in a large bowl. (If you want to really aerate your flour, pulse them together in the food processor before beginning to bake.) Add the baking soda and salt and whisk them all together. Set aside.
  3. Combining the wet ingredients. In another bowl, stir together the maple syrup, eggs, coconut oil, and vanilla. Mash the bananas, add them, and whisk until everything is combined well.
  4. Finishing the batter. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, stirring as you go, a bit at a time. When all the flour has disappeared into the batter, and you can't find any more hiding at the bottom of the bowl, add the hazelnuts and stir.
  5. Baking the banana bread. Pour the banana bread batter into the greased pan. Bake until the banana bread is springy to the touch, the edges are pulling away from the pan, and the top is browned, about 45 to 60 minutes. Cool before slicing.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Patricia
  • Renee P.
    Renee P.
  • LittleMissMuffin
  • lajuliaficationdumonde
  • Windischgirl

69 Reviews

Prince728* March 8, 2024
Amazing! So moist and delicious. Followed recipe as written but subbed walnuts for hazelnuts. This recipe will be on definite repeat!
Patricia September 18, 2020
I’ve just put the loaf in the oven. I’m looking forward to tasting this bread.

I used raw Oregon Hazelnuts, I found them somewhat difficult to crush.
Renee P. August 13, 2020
I didn't have enough arrowroot so I made up for it with the buckwheat. This banana bread has the perfect flavour and just the right sweetness. This will be our go-to recipe for banana bread!
LittleMissMuffin May 15, 2020
so many comments! but I couldn't find one that asked this - what if you don't have any buckwheat flour on hand? I have everything else. Could I use regular flour, cake flour, ground up oats, flax, quinoa? Guessing not coconut flour as I know that throws everything else off..
LittleMissMuffin May 17, 2020
FYI i used a mix of regular all purpose And some flaxseed to make up for the lack of buckwheat flour. Same weight. And chopped almonds instead of hazelnuts. Turned out great.
lajuliaficationdumonde August 26, 2019
This is so freaking good. I prefer it with walnuts instead of hazelnuts (feels like the hazelnut flavor is a little too bold and overpowers the banana and buckwheat flavor), and added 3 oz of dark chocolate chunks. It's amazing - my office and my family looooooove and can't believe it's grain free!
Cookie November 25, 2016
This turned out great even with the improvisations I made due to ingredients on hand. I used 1 cup GF pastry flour, 1/2 Cup buckwheat flour, a TSP arrowroot for dry ingredients. For wet, I subbed Agave for the maple syrup and walnuts for the hazelnuts and canola oil for the coconut oil. Added 1/2 tsp of cinnamon per comments. It turned out delicious but cooked far faster than noted in recipe -- at 40 minutes, the edges were burning although the rest was done perfectly. I'd go 35 minutes next time.
Girlfromipanema September 6, 2016
This was not a success for me, unfortunately, but in light of all of the glowing reviews, I am sure it is a mistake I made myself. I don't have a scale, so looked on the King Arthur website for volume conversions; I also used olive oil instead of coconut oil and kind of guesstimated the equivalency in weight/volume. I followed everything else to a T (and included cinnamon- which is a must!). The banana bread tasted good but was dry and crumbly. I definitely think I did not include enough liquids somewhere, I am sure it has to do with a shoddy conversion (I also was a bit low on maple syrup- that may have been part of the problem). I would certainly try this again and increase the liquids. Thank you Shauna!
Girlfromipanema October 10, 2016
Apologies if I am posting my reply twice, I can't see my comment anymore. I remade this with 3/4 cup olive oil and came out amazing. Don't have a scale, but just make sure to keep texture wet enough and you will be fine.
Lyn August 23, 2016
Could I substitute the arrowroot and buckwheat with an all purpose GF flour (Pamela's)? I'm really glad to see your recipe, and I look forward to trying it in the next few days - the bananas are almost ready!
Adrienne January 19, 2016
Hope you can tell me the dimensions of a one pound loaf pan, as written in this recipe. Thanks!
Steve August 2, 2015
To "prep" ripe bananas easily: every time you have a banana that is getting too ripe, put it in the freezer-peeled or not. If peeled, put it in a freezer bag. When you are getting ready to bake, put it on the counter for an hour or two to thaw. Slice off the end of the thawed unpeeled banana, and squeeze it out like a tube of toothpaste.
Windischgirl April 29, 2015
This smelled wonderful and tasted delicious too! I used sliced almonds for the nuts since I had them on hand, olive oil for the coconut oil. Not too sweet , which is how I like it. The buckwheat flour added a nice complexity. Yum!
Shari K. February 15, 2015
Mine also turned out great. I added a 1/2 cup of chopped pecans, because I love the flavor combo and texture. Thank you Shauna!
Lisa December 29, 2014
Scrumptious! Mine turned out much darker than the photo, I don't know why, but it was delicious. It didn't need butter, but I slathered some on it anyway and made a meal of it. Several meals, actually.
ReeceAmy November 22, 2014
Every week I get 3 bananas in my CSA box. Every weekend I make your amazing bread and we feast on it all week! Thanks for all the effort you put into creating your recipes.
PS am so looking forward to my Kickstarter flour mix!
scrapper November 22, 2014
1. (of an author or company) prepare and issue (a book, journal, piece of music, or other work) for the public.

Shauna, since your recipes are published, for the public, not just for your own personal use, I think it would be doing a great service to people who have followed and loved your books from inception, if you would include both weight measurements and volume measurements in all your recipes. Yes, it's a little extra work for you as the author but it shows a tuning-in and respect for your readers.
I purchased your book, Gluten Free Girl, the moment it became available. I have made many of your recipes and purchased every other book that you and the Chef have written. But I find myself becoming increasingly irritated and aggravated by assumptions that you seem to make as far as availability of ingredients to the average person living in the average community. Most people do not live in wonderful Seattle where you can literally get anything you want as far as ingredients go. When you publish a recipe and blithely assume that everyone has a local pig farmer that they can consult about the exact cut of meat and the pigs diet, I start to roll my eyes and lose interest.

I also bake using weight measurements but most people don't. When I share a recipe with a friend who I know does not have a gram scale I am always careful to give them the approximate equivalent in a volume measurement. I realize that this is not an exact science but the recipes turn out fine and lovely even when the volume measurements are used.

We all live in a real world. Your readers, and fans, live in a wide assortment of communities. It would be much appreciated if you were able to acknowledge this fact.

Many thanks
Kris November 20, 2014
Poor Shauna! I was amazed to read some of the nit picky and outright aggressive comments below. People, figure out how you need to eat for 'you' and your needs. If you don't eat sugar, or meat, or dairy that's just super. But why beat someone up for being patient enough to deconstruct a much loved baked good recipe so that it's grain free? And then shares it! I have to shake my head at people who have nothing better to do than whine that a recipe wasn't custom made for them or worse: accuse a kind and well meaning person of being disingenuous.
babs1652 May 7, 2015
taryn February 10, 2014
I made this nut-free and it is honestly the best banana bread I've ever had! I have a whole grain GF mix of equal parts buckwheat, millet, and sorghum so I used 150 grams of that in place of the buckwheat and almond. Also used tapioca instead of arrowroot because that's what I had in my fridge, and butter instead of coconut oil. I upped the butter to 90 grams to account for the lack of almonds but it may not have been necessary. I also used chocolate chips instead of hazelnuts. :) Of course, it's no longer grain free or dairy free at this point, but this recipe will definitely be my go-to for banana bread from now on. Thanks, Shauna!
Lisade February 9, 2014
Simple and delicious! Thanks for awesome recipe.
Rita November 24, 2013
My son can't stand the taste of almonds and seems to taste it even when it's hiding amongst other flavours. Do you have any other suggestions for the almond four? Thanks.
Michelle June 13, 2014
Ground up sunflower seeds or pumpkin seeds have always worked beautifully as an almond substitute.
Rita June 13, 2014
Thanks - will give it a go. Cheers
Daphne October 17, 2013
I have made this at least five times now, and it never fails. Delicious and easy - the only "prep" is buying bananas in advance and waiting for them to ripen. Thanks for this great recipe.