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Gluten-free Banana Nut Bread

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My youngest asked me to not just make plain gluten-free banana bread, but instead to include some nuts. I created this gluten-free banana nut bread with chopped pecans in it and it was a huge hit! My son declared it the best gluten-free banana bread ever and has requested I make it again this week.
Gluten-free Banana Pecan Bread

This banana bread recipe is just slightly adapted from one I was making before my celiac diagnosis. My notes say that it was our family favorite in June 2009, which was one year before my celiac diagnosis. It’s been tucked away since and I just pulled it out a few weeks ago to give it a try with my gluten-free flour blends. Happy that it worked just perfectly.

Why didn’t I already have a good moist gluten-free banana bread recipe on my site? Mainly because I always make these gluten-free banana muffins – I love how convenient they are for freezing and then putting in my kids school lunches.

But my kids aren’t in school right now, and they both wanted gluten-free banana bread with nuts, so I made it for them! Also I did make a batch without nuts and it was excellent as well, so feel free to make this banana bread without nuts too!

Ingredients for gluten-free banana nut bread

Notes on ingredients and substitutions for this gluten-free banana bread recipe:

  • Bananas – be sure to use very ripe bananas. One mostly covered with black spots or even almost all the way black. The number of bananas you will use will depend on the size of your bananas. I used three in order to get the 1 cup mashed banana I needed.
  • Buttermilk: If you don’t have buttermilk on hand you can either use 1/4 cup milk or non-dairy milk alternative with 1  tsp lemon juice mixed in or use buttermilk powder, following the package instructions for how to replace 1/4 cup buttermilk with it.
  • Butter: This recipe calls for 1/2 cup of butter which is 1 stick of butter or 8 Tbsp. You can also use 1/2 cup shortening. I have made this with shortening and it works well. You can use Crisco but I prefer this organic vegetable shortening. 
  • Baking powder and baking soda – no substitutions! I want to point out that yes you are using both of these! Don’t omit!
  • Gluten-free Flour: Use your favorite good quality gluten-free flour blend (i.e. no bean flours, not only rice flour, and is certified gluten-free). I tested with King Arthur Measure for Measure Flour with great results and then the next time with Authentic Foods Multi-Blend Flour. Other blends that I always highly recommend are gfJules and Cup4Cup.
  • Pecans: While I used pecans, you can absolutely choose to use a different nut. People commonly make banana bread with walnuts, and almonds are another option. You can also omit the nuts completely. You could even use chocolate chips instead!

I bought my pecan pieces at my local store because I was out and needed them today, but I usually order them from nuts.com here because they’re so good! I did chop them up into smaller pieces as my family prefers that.

Chopped pecans for gluten-free banana bread

Can this gf banana bread recipe be made dairy-free?

Yes! This recipe can be adapted to avoid dairy by using shortening, and by making your own buttermilk substitute with 1/4 non-dairy milk plus 1 tsp. lemon juice. The gluten-free dairy-free version of this bread will taste great too!

Mixing gluten-free banana nut bread

How to make gluten-free banana bread:

  • You’ll just need two bowls, some measuring cups, and a mixer (stand or hand mixer).
  • In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the sugar and the room temperature (slightly soft) butter or shortening for 1 minute. Beat in the eggs one at a time.
  • Add the mashed bananas and buttermilk and mix.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum (if needed), baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture about a third at a time, mixing on low between additions.
  • Next you stir in the 1/2 cup pecan pieces.
  • Spread the batter into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. 
  • Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes – until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs only – no wet batter. The baking time will vary depending on the size of your pan. For my 9x4x4 pan in an electric oven, it took 65 minutes.
  • Remove pan and place on cooling rack. Wait to slice and serve until completely cooled or it will fall apart.

You’ll notice I give a range for the baking time and tell you to rely more on the toothpick method instead of the exact time. The main reason for this is that there isn’t really a standard size for loaf pans. I have 6 in my cupboard and they’re 5 different sizes. There is a large range of length and widths, and some pans flare out while others have straight sides. Try to pick one that is roughly 8-9″ long by 3.5-5″ wide. If yours is much bigger, then yours will be flatter and cook quicker. If your pans are smaller, then you might need to divide this batter into two pans so your pan doesn’t overflow.

The loaf pan I used for this is one of my favorites for tall loaves that bake evenly. It is this USA loaf pan that has straight sides and measures 9x4x4″. If that one is out of stock, I also recommend the classic USA loaf pan – it’s a similar size just doesn’t have the straight sides – it has a little flare instead like many loaf pans have.

Gluten-free Banana Bread with Nuts loaf in pan

I have two of the loaf pans since my gluten-free zucchini bread makes two loaves. If you have two, you can also double this easy gluten-free banana bread recipe to make two loaves.

If you make two loaves, or even if you just make one loaf of this but want to save half for later, you can definitely freeze this. Let cool first and then wrap the loaf with aluminum foil and then place in a freezer bag.

You can also cut into slices and freeze each slice in plastic wrap and place all slices in a freezer bag that way you can pull out one slice at a time for a snack.

If you have more ripe bananas on hand, be sure to check out all of my gluten-free banana recipes here.
GF Banana Bread with Pecans
We thought slices of this bread were even more flavorful on day 2 and 3. It was all finished off early on day 3!

Gluten-free Banana Nut Bread Recipe:

Yield: 1 loaf

Gluten-free Banana Nut Bread

Gluten-free Banana Pecan Bread

This recipe makes one loaf of gluten-free banana nut bread. Feel free to double to make two loaves if you have enough ripe bananas. You can omit the nuts for a delicious gluten-free banana bread too! Or you can add chocolate chips if you'd like!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp.) butter or shortening (room temperature)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 very ripe bananas)
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups good quality gluten-free flour blend
  • 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum (if needed, see note)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer, cream together the sugar and the room temperature (slightly soft) butter or shortening for 1 minute.
  3. Beat in the eggs one at a time on medium just until mixed in.
  4. Add the mashed bananas and buttermilk and mix on medium for 1 minutes.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour blend, xanthan gum (if needed), baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  6. Add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture about a third at a time, mixing on low between additions.
  7. Add the chopped pecans and either stir by hand with a spatula, or for a short time with your mixer on low. Just until pecans are mixed in.
  8. Spread the batter into a loaf pan that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray. My pan is 9x4x4". Choose a pan that is about 8-9" long and 3.5-5" wide.
  9. Bake at 350° for 60-70 minutes - until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs only - no wet batter. The baking time will vary depending on the size of your pan. For my 9x4x4 pan in an electric oven, it took 65 minutes.
  10. Remove pan and place on cooling rack. Wait to slice and serve until completely cooled or it will fall apart.

Notes

If the gluten-free flour blend you use already has xanthan gum or guar gum in it, then omit the xanthan gum called for in this recipe.

See blog post for recommendations for ingredients and substitutions and for information about loaf pans.

These can be made dairy-free by using shortening, and by making your own buttermilk substitute with 1/4 non-dairy milk plus 1 tsp. lemon.

If you double this to make two loaves, or even if you just make one loaf of this but want to save half for later, you can definitely freeze this. Let cool first and then wrap the loaf with aluminum foil and then place in a freezer bag.

You can also cut into slices and freeze each slice in plastic wrap and place all slices in a freezer bag that way you can pull out one slice at a time for a snack.

Recipe adapted from an old blog called Good Things Catered that I found in 2009 that is no longer online.

Pin this to your gluten-free recipes board on Pinterest:

Loaf of Gluten-free Banana Nut Bread

I hope you and your family enjoy my version of gluten-free banana bread as much as my family has enjoyed it. If you make it, would you please come back and leave a 5 star rating and any comments on your experience? Thank you!

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Elaine Perrott

Tuesday 15th of September 2020

Another home run. I'm getting to be a famous gluten free baker thanks to you. Great recipe.

Mary Jane

Sunday 2nd of August 2020

I made your banana nut bread recipe today. It is delicious. A keeper recipe for me too.

Thank you for sharing.

Mary Jane

Nancy

Tuesday 12th of May 2020

This recipe is a keeper! my bread turned out perfectly. I added mini chocolate chips and walnuts, used parchment pater to line the pan. Hope it lasts until breakfast!

Pam

Wednesday 22nd of April 2020

Excellent banana bread! I followed the recipe with no changes except mine cooked in a 8.5 x 4.5 loaf pan in 50 minutes. I then took it out of the pan and put it in the turned off oven for 5 more minutes.

Thank you so much for this recipe!

Marion G. Simon

Sunday 19th of April 2020

Thank you so much for your very detailed instructions. I am new to gluten-free . I have just been diagnosed with lymphedema and am 84 years old. I appreciate your recepies. DELISH. Thank you for educating me with your recipes and patience in helping us discover another way of making some of our old favorites. God Bless...STAY WELL