Here’s my promise. This gluten-free banana bread recipe works.
It’s moist, tender, has the consistency of banana bread traditionally made with all-purpose flour, stays moist for days, has a high dome, tastes the way you’d expect banana bread to taste, it isn’t gritty, and looks just like the recipe photo. There’s no weird combination of gluten-free flours. In fact, any gluten-free, or grain-free flour, by itself, or combined, will work. Here’s how: psyllium husk powder.
Psyllium husk is a soluble fiber that comes from the seeds of the Plantago ovato plant (yes, the plantain plant, but not the banana-like one, ironically). This magic ingredient is a minimally-processed (husk separated from seed and left whole or ground), gelatinous binder that adds bulk and structure to gluten-free baking, essentially replacing gluten when mixed with water.
The addition of psyllium husk powder in this recipe gives the leaveners and gluten-free flour something to cling to, something for the gas bubbles to climb so the cake has a structure and won’t collapse on itself, and something for the flavors to permeate.
The recipe below makes the cutest, mini-est loaf, perfect for snacking, breakfasts, and gift-giving.
Gluten-Free Banana Bread Recipe
Makes one mini loaf (4-inch by 6 2⁄3-inch loaf pan, or “ninth” pan)
- 1/2 cup cassava flour (I use this brand)
- 1/2 tsp. psyllium husk powder (I use this brand)⠀
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. baking soda
- 1/4 tsp. gray sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 4 tbsp. butter, melted
- 2 tbsp. sour cream or buttermilk
- 2 tbsp. heavy cream or milk
- 1 large ripe banana
- 1/4 cup maple syrup (grade B if you can find it)⠀
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 medium egg
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a mini loaf pan with parchment; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, add cassava, psyllium, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, butter, sour cream, cream, banana, maple syrup, vanilla, and egg.
- Using a hand-held blender fitted with beaters, mash ingredients with beaters until flour is moist. With beaters on low, mix ingredients, slowly increasing speed to high (this will prevent a dust cloud of flour that can often happen with cassava).
- Continue beating on high until mixture is smooth; transfer to loaf pan. Place pan on a baking sheet; place baking sheet in oven. Bake 20 minutes, then turn pan. Bake an additional 6 – 8 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle produces a moist crumb that clings to the toothpick.
- Remove pan from oven, let cool 30 minutes before slicing. Once cool, wrap bread tightly in parchment, waxed paper, or similar to keep moist up to 3 days.
- The recipe can be doubled to fit into a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
- The recipe has not been tested without eggs, but give it a try and let me know how it worked.
- Butter can be replaced with olive oil; sour cream and heavy cream can be replaced with 3 tbsp. of plant-based milk and 1/2 tsp. of apple cider vinegar.
- Gray sea salt contains all of the minerals that are typically stripped away in other types of salt.
- The bread will keep for about 5 days, but after 3, it will begin to lose moisture. Bread can be kept in the refrigerator up to 7 days, and freezer up to 1 month.