Paleo Banana Bread

This paleo banana bread, made with coconut flour and almond flour, is gluten free and dairy free. For those not keeping track of such things, it’s also awesome tasting.

A loaf of paleo banana bread on a round metal trivet with one slice cut from it.

This paleo banana bread recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free, for those keeping track of such things. But it’s also compelling enough in the taste department to make anyone—even someone without those particular dietary restrictions—crave a second slice. Maybe even a third. Do we hear fourth? Just bear in mind that with its subtle hint of cardamom, this is most definitely not your grandma’s banana bread. It’s even better. Originally published June 6, 2015.Renee Schettler Rossi

Paleo Banana Bread

  • Quick Glance
  • (2)
  • 15 M
  • 1 H
  • Serves 12
5/5 - 2 reviews
Print RecipeBuy the Sweet Paleo cookbook

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Special Equipment: 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch or 7 1/2-by-3 1/2-inch loaf pan

Ingredients


Directions

Preheat the oven to 325°F (162°C). Slick an 8 1/2-by-4 1/2-inch or 7 1/2-by-3 1/2-inch loaf pan with coconut oil, ghee, or unsalted butter and line it with parchment paper, letting the ends of the parchment extend beyond the sides of the pan.

Weigh the flours and sift them into a large bowl. (That’s right, you want to first weigh the flours rather than measure them by the scoop. Trust us on this. And then you want to sift the flours through a strainer, ensuring there are no chunks of almonds that’ll make your banana bread gritty. If your almond flour is too coarse to strain, toss it in a food processor and pulse until it’s sufficiently fine.) Toss in the cardamom, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt and mix well.

In another large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, dump the coconut oil, ghee, or unsalted butter along with the bananas, eggs, maple syrup, and vanilla. Gently stir with a spoon or beat on low speed with the paddle attachment of your stand mixer until very well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients in 3 batches, mixing just until fully incorporated after each addition. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top.

Bake for 45 to 65 minutes. Your banana bread is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. (This banana bread tends, like most paleo breads, to be a touch dense, so err on the side of overbaking it rather than underbaking it.) Remove it from the oven and let the banana bread cool in the pan for several minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge of the pan to loosen the banana bread and use the parchment paper to lift the loaf from the pan. Transfer to a wire rack to cool a little longer. The banana bread is best when served warm. Cool any leftover bread and then tightly wrap it and stash it in the refrigerator. Warm the leftover bread prior to noshing.

Print RecipeBuy the Sweet Paleo cookbook

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Recipe Testers' Reviews

This banana bread is definitely a winner! I was drawn to this recipe because it's gluten-free. I'm always on the lookout for delicious alternative recipes for family members with wheat sensitivities. Upon closer inspection, this recipe is paleo as well, and that interested me even more. Finding healthier (grain-free and refined white sugar-free) alternatives to replace my traditional favorites isn't easy, but this loaf is a keeper. Like any other banana bread recipe, this one is quite straightforward and easy to follow. Anyone looking to give alternative baking a try, this is a great loaf to add to your recipe file. It's lovely for breakfast or a comforting afternoon treat with tea.

We had a total of 9 taste testers in our family—7 adults and 2 kids. Everyone enjoyed the loaf—it's even kid-approved! I will definitely be making this loaf again. And very soon! Family members have already put in their requests for more. For the next go-around, I plan on increasing the cinnamon to 1 teaspoon instead of just 1/2 teaspoon and possibly even including a dash of freshly grated nutmeg for added spice. The bananas I used were just ripe, and this certainly didn't take away from the flavor nor anyone's enjoyment, but I think the banana flavor would have been even more pronounced had I used bananas that were riper. So now I have bananas ripening on my counter for the next batch. Can't wait!

I was surprised and delighted by how delicious and (dare I say it) moist this paleo banana bread was. I love love LOVE traditional banana bread and wasn't sure how it would come out using gluten-free flours. The first bite erased all doubt from my mind. The cardamom gave the banana bread a beautiful, delicate, floral aroma, which faded a bit once the bread was cool but still gave it a more sophisticated flavor than classic banana bread.

The crumb was really soft and lighter than it tends to be in the classic version, yet it still felt substantial. It was fantastic straight from the oven slathered with salted butter. (I know I should have waited for it to cool a little, but when something smells this good, waiting is for chumps.) Maybe best of all, the loaf held up really well in the fridge. It took us about 5 days to finish the whole loaf, and it was almost as good on day 5 as day 1. It hardly lost any moisture. I didn't get to try it with my other favorite banana bread spreads (peanut butter and cream cheese), but I know they would be great on this bread as well.

The only reason this doesn't get full marks from me is the almond flour was slightly coarse, which affected the texture. Having said that, other brands might be different, and you could probably give the almond flour a quick blitz in the food processor, stopping before it turns into almond butter, to get it a little finer. I also worried about being able to find the coconut and almond flour, but they were sitting side by side in the first grocery store I went into—bonus! I had a slightly nontraditional loaf pan—12-by-4 1/2 inches with a rounded bottom. At 42 minutes, the bread was done, and I probably could have pulled it out a minute or two earlier, but it got a nice brown crust and didn't dry out or burn.

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Comments

    1. Lee, muffins usually take 25 to 30 minutes to bake, but check with the tester to make sure it comes out clean.

  1. I needed a good banana bread recipe for a bake sale but it didn’t need to be gluten free, but this one had good reviews so I thought I’d try it. I started by weighing out my almond flour, but 200 grams was about 4 cups, too much and I went back to using the cup measures. I also didn’t think this had enough banana flavor even though I used at least 3 bananas, but it was very moist.

    1. Debbie, different almond flours can have different densities and so the cup measure will vary slightly. I’m glad to hear yours turned out moist. May I ask, how ripe were your bananas? That can have an effect on the banana flavor…

        1. Ah, okay, thank you, Debbie. Well, perhaps this just isn’t the banana bread of your dreams then. If you don’t need to keep vegan, we have a classic banana bread recipe as well as a gluten-free banana bread recipe and even, because we like to indulge ourselves, a chocolate and bourbon banana bread recipe. And, in case you have leftovers, we also have a recipe for banana bread french toast. Kindly let us know if you try any of these and they’re more to your liking.

    2. Hi Debbie, thanks for reaching out about the banana bread. I’m curious what brand of almond flour you used? Usually 1 cup of almond flour weighs just shy of 100 grams.

      1. It was Bob’s Red Mill super fine, a one pound bag weighing 453g. When I weighed out 200 g the bag was 3/4 empty.

        1. Debbie, there’s something odd here, and it might be that you used super-fine flour. 200 grams is 44% of the bag, less than half. I wonder if your scale is calibrated?

    1. Rebecca, we haven’t tested it that way and baking is such a precise science, we just can’t say with certainty. In fact, I’d caution against it. Coconut flour tends to be far more absorbent than other flours so you typically have to adjust the amount of liquid in a recipe. It’s usually not recommended that you substitute more than 25% of a flour in any recipe with coconut flour. I’m sorry but I really think you’ll be disappointed if you make the substitution.

  2. I made this today. Was a bit worried about the baking time shown, but in a regular loaf pan it turned out fantastic at 60min 🙂 I did make a double batch – only used 5 eggs and added a teaspoon of baking powder. It is soft and totally delicious!

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