Banana bread is one of those comforting desserts that are so perfect, you think you can’t mess with them.
But what if you have a gluten allergy? Or maybe just want a lighter version without all the extra carbs from flour?
Well, that’s where this flourless banana bread recipe just shines!
This soft, moist, yet fluffy spin on the original is every bit as satisfying. It can also be modified to work for different dietary considerations, so that’s a plus!
The main ingredient in almost all cake or dessert bread recipes is white all-purpose or cake flour.
When you omit this crucial ingredient that gives the cake its structure, you end up with something that has the texture of a banana pudding
That’s great, but it isn’t what we’re making today.
Enter our star ingredients: Old-fashioned rolled oats and almond flour.
These two ingredients do such a great job of replacing all-purpose flour that you probably won’t miss it at all.
While the banana bread won’t end up tasting strongly of oatmeal or almonds, these ingredients provide the scaffolding on which we build our flavor.
I’m glad you asked that question. The answer is: It tastes just like banana bread!
Think of the aromatic banana flavor mixed with the warming spice of cinnamon and nutmeg.
Maybe with a hint of chocolate from mini chocolate chips, and the slight crunch of toasted walnuts.
As for the texture, it’s just as satisfying!
The exterior is caramelized and well-browned with a crackly, golden top. The interior is super moist, yet fluffy and delicious.
The texture isn’t at all dense and gummy like “healthy” baked goods. It actually has a well-developed crumb structure like a proper banana bread.
Here are the ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious gluten-free banana bread:
Uncontaminated rolled oats form the main bulk of the banana bread. When ground into fine flour, their texture is super close to white flour and behaves almost exactly the same.
Use regular rolled oats if you have no gluten sensitivity. The results are identical.
This makes the banana bread more moist and hearty. It also cuts away some of the carbs, making it slightly better on the glycemic index front.
Don’t confuse almond flour with almond meal, though. Almond flour is made of blanched and peeled almonds, which makes it lighter in color and texture.
Almond meal is made of raw, unpeeled almonds, which makes it coarser and darker.
If you want the extra fiber, you can use almond meal, but that will make the banana bread denser and less airy.
This is an incredibly important ingredient, especially if you want to keep this banana bread unsweetened.
The more ripe a banana gets, the more its starches break down into sugars, making it sweeter, softer, and more fragrant.
If you use a yellow banana with a couple of brown spots, that’s great. But you know what’s even better? A completely brown banana!
These don’t work in much else, so using them in banana bread is ideal.
If you can’t use your overripe bananas right away, don’t fret! Just peel them, cut them in half, and freeze them in a zip top bag.
When the time comes to use them, take them out of the freezer an hour or so beforehand. They should thaw and mash perfectly.
If you have an egg allergy or just want to make this completely vegan, this flourless banana bread recipe works perfectly with vegan egg substitutes like chia or flax eggs.
All you have to do is add 2 teaspoons of chia seeds to a quarter cup of water, or one tablespoon of ground flaxseed to 3 tablespoons of water. Set aside for 5 minutes then substitute this mixture for a regular egg.
Double or triple the amount based on how many eggs you need in this recipe or any other recipe you want to veganize.
Using oil or butter makes the banana bread crumb softer and fluffier. This is a huge part of what makes this banana bread moist and decadent.
Milk, dairy or non-dairy alike, can help achieve this result but to a lesser extent. If you opt to make a fat free version, it’ll be less moist than the one using oil.
The iconic banana bread flavor isn’t just bananas, it’s also scented with vanilla extract, as well as a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg.
If you’re shopping for nutmeg, try to get the spice whole and freshly grate it using a Microplane. This ensures a much more potent flavor and aroma.
Try it once and you won’t even touch the pre-ground stuff!
These are the leavening agents that help the banana bread rise.
For a more exciting banana bread, add in some semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips, and maybe some chopped toasted walnuts.
To toast your walnuts, put them in a dry skillet over medium heat and toss them around until you start to smell them.
Turn off the heat immediately and transfer them to a cutting board to cool before giving them a rough chop.
Feel free to experiment! If you’re not a fan of walnuts and chocolate chips, try raisins and sliced almonds. The options are endless!
There’s not a whole lot you need to make this banana bread recipe if you can get your hands on oat flour. All you’ll need is a whisk and a wooden spoon to mix everything in a large bowl.
If you can’t find oat flour, then you just need old-fashioned rolled oats and a food processor or high-speed blender to grind the oats into a fine flour.
Thanks to their fluffy texture, rolled oats produce an equal volume of oat flour when ground. That means that 2 cups of rolled oats produce 2 cups of oat flour.
If all you have is steel-cut oats, you can use them instead. Just keep in mind that steel-cut oats produce double the amount of oat flour.
That means you only need one cup of steel-cut oats to make 2 cups of oat flour.
You should also note that steel-cut oats are a bit tougher on your appliances than rolled oats. So, you’ll want to pulse the blender or food processor on and off to break them down into smaller bits without burning the motor.
Other than that, the recipe comes together fairly easily. And you’ll only have to worry about cleaning the food processor bowl and nothing else.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
- 1 ¾ cups mashed banana (5 medium bananas or 4 large bananas)
- 2 cups rolled oats (choose gluten-free oats if necessary)
- 1 cup almond flour
- 1 egg or egg substitute (chia or flaxseed egg)
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (about ¼ of a nutmeg)
- ¾ teaspoon salt
- 1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ cup dairy or dairy-free milk OR coconut oil OR melted butter
- ½ cup maple syrup or honey OR equivalent amount of powdered sweetener
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- ½ cup semi-sweet or dark chocolate chips (optional)
- ½ cup chopped toasted walnuts (optional)
- Line a 9” x 5” loaf pan with a parchment paper sling that hangs over two of the pan’s edges.
- Preheat your oven to 350℉.
- In a high-speed blender or food processor, add your rolled oats and blitz them until they’re a fine flour consistency.
- Add the rest of your ingredients except for the optional mix-ins and give them a spin.
- Once everything is incorporated, add the chocolate chips and walnuts and stir them in with a wooden spoon. You can save some to top the banana bread before baking.
- Pour the batter in the loaf pan and shake it a little to even it out.
- Place on the middle rack of the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Keep the oven door closed with the loaf pan inside for 10 more minutes before taking it out.
- Check with a toothpick to see if there’s any raw batter, if so, bake for 10 more minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean.
- Leave in the pan to cool for 5 minutes before taking the banana bread out to cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes.
- Slice and enjoy!
Sarah is the founder of Baking Kneads, LLC, a blog sharing guides, tips, and recipes for those learning how to bake. Growing up as the daughter of a baker, she spent much of her childhood learning the basics in a local bakery.