Grain-free banana bread that's also paleo, vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, cane sugar-free, and with a nut-free option. Loaded with gooey dates, toasted walnuts, and cinnamon, this healthy banana loaf gets a baklava vibe.
I have a bit of a pet peeve: the other day I came across a gluten-free banana bread recipe that called for "2 bananas." I thought, "how is this recipe supposed to work?" Bananas can vary greatly in size. Two small bananas, mashed, can equal 3/4 cup of puree, while larger bananas could make twice that amount.
In gluten-free and grain-free baking especially, accurate measuring is important since GF flours are less forgiving than all-purpose. The moral of the story is this: mash, then measure your bananas. Or better yet, bust out your food scale and weigh your bananas and other ingredients for the most accurate result.
Now onto banana bread!
Grain-Free Banana Bread with Options
I loved this vegan paleo banana bread with chocolate chips so much that I've been making a different version lately. It's loaded with spicy cinnamon, gooey dates, and toasted walnuts, all of which give it a baklava vibe (the traditional Greek dessert layered with nuts, phyllo, and spiced syrup).
It's so good, I wanted to give it a post of its own!
Topped with a sprinkle of cinnamon sugar, this grain-free banana bread makes a satisfying treat that comes together with just a whisk and a bowl. Slather slices with salty plant butter and a drizzle of honey, and enjoy with a cup of tea for an afternoon snack. Or toast slices in a skillet with a little coconut oil or ghee, then top with scoops of vegan vanilla ice cream for a tasty dessert.
Ingredients & Substitution Suggestions
- This recipe starts with ripe bananas. You want them to be yellow with black spots. You can also use frozen ripe bananas – just let them defrost to room temp before you mash them up.
- Nut butter forms of the base of this recipe. I use raw cashew butter, which gives the bread luscious butterscotch notes, but almond butter will also work. Or use tahini for a nut-free base.
- Melted coconut oil or ghee adds richness. I like the toasty notes that ghee adds, but use coconut oil to keep this vegan. Refined coconut oil will have a more neutral flavor. I think any liquid oil, melted butter or plant butter would also work.
- A little maple syrup and coconut sugar gently sweeten the batter. You can just use one or the other, depending on what you've got. Or try another sweetener such as brown sugar or date syrup.
- Vanilla, cinnamon, and salt add loads of flavor.
- Plant milk adds moisture. I used cashew milk, but almond milk, coconut milk beverage, or any plant milk will work.
- Blanched almond flour and cassava flour work together to create a moist, tender crumb. Tapioca flour adds a bit of chew. You can also use hazelnut meal or natural almond flour in place of the blanched almond flour. For nut-free, try tiger nut flour which is made from a tuber vegetable. If you don't have cassava flour on hand and you eat grains, you can try sweet rice flour or Bob's 1 to 1 gluten-free baking flour instead.
- Baking powder and baking soda lift the batter.
- Toasted walnuts and chopped dates give the bread heft while adding a baklava vibe. Feel free to play with other nut / dried fruit combinations. Or leave the nuts off for a nut-free version of course.
How to Make Grain-Free Banana Bread
Banana Bread for Everyone
This grain-free banana bread is moist, tender, sturdy, hearty enough for a snack and sweet enough for dessert. I hope you love it as much as we do.
*Bojon appétit! For more Bojon Gourmet in your life, follow along on Instagram, Facebook, or Pinterest, purchase my gluten-free cookbook Alternative Baker, or subscribe to receive new posts via email. And if you make this grain-free banana bread recipe, I’d love to see. Tag your Instagram snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet.*
More Banana Recipes:
- Vegan Paleo Banana Bread with Chocolate Chonks
- Gluten-Free Banana Cake with Chocolate Ganache (dairy-free)
- Banana Cream Tart in a GF Cocoa Crust
- Gluten-Free Banana Muffins
More Almond Flour Recipes:
- Gluten-Free Almond Flour Tart Crust
- Almond Flour Pancakes with Citrus and Honey
- Gluten-Free Olive Oil Cake
More Vegan Paleo Dessert Recipes:
Grain-Free Banana Bread with Cinnamon, Dates, and WalnutsPrint Recipe Pin Recipe
- ½ cup + 2 tablespoons (65 g) walnuts (divided use)
- 3 tablespoons (35 g) melted coconut oil, plus a little for the pan (or ghee for non-vegan)
- ½ cup (130 g) room temperature cashew butter (or other nut butter – try tahini for nut-free)
- 3 tablespoons (55 g) maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon (8 g) coconut sugar (or another tablespoon of maple syrup)
- ½ cup (135 g) mashed very ripe banana (from 1 very large or 2 smaller bananas)
- 3 tablespoons (40 g) plant milk
- ¾ teaspoon GF vanilla extract
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons Bob's Red Mill cassava flour (50 g) (or try sweet rice or AP flour for non-paleo)
- ¼ cup + 2 tablespoons (40 g) Bob’s Red Mill blanched almond flour (or natural almond flour or hazelnut flour)
- ¼ cup (30 g) tapioca flour (or try arrowroot flour)
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
- ½ cup pitted chopped dates
- cinnamon sugar for the top (1 teaspoon maple or coconut sugar + 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon)
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350ºF. Lightly rub an 8x4 or 9x5-inch loaf pan with coconut oil and line with a sling of parchment paper.
- Spread the walnuts on a small baking sheet and toast until golden and fragrant, 5-10 minutes. Let cool, then chop coarsely.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the nut butter, maple syrup, coconut sugar, coconut oil or ghee, plant milk, and vanilla until smooth. Whisk in the banana.
- Sift in the cassava flour, almond flour, tapioca flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, adding back anything left in the strainer (the almond flour is fairly coarse so just do your best here!) Stir the batter until smooth and well-combined.
- Stir in 1/2 cup of the walnuts and all of the dates.
- Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle with the remaining walnuts and the cinnamon sugar.
- Bake until a tester inserted near the center comes out with moist crumbs, 40-50 minutes, rotating the loaf halfway through for even baking. Let cool to warm or room temperature, remove from the pan, and peel away the parchment.
- Slice and top with plant butter, flaky salt, and honey if you like (honey will make this not technically vegan). Devour with a cold glass of plant milk or a warm cup of tea or coffee.