In college there was a friend of my older sister’s that was often surprising us with yummy homemade banana bread and banana cake. (The banana cake she would make into sweet little heart shapes and frost with cream cheese frosting!) She would surprise you with these goodies in your mailbox or at your dorm room door when she thought you needed a little pick-me-up, and it always worked. Later, she was kind enough to share her recipes and fifteen years later they are still two of my favorites.
When I went gluten-free the banana bread was one of the first recipes I tried, and luckily it worked like a charm! Not all recipes can be substituted cup per cup, but this one works well. I use an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend that already has xanthan gum mixed in, but if yours doesn’t add about 1-1/2 teaspoons.
This time around I tried making it dairy-free as well. It tasted really yummy but didn’t rise very well. I’ve included both options, but just keep that in mind. It may have had something to do with the sugar too, I suppose. I substituted honey for sugar so in addition to gluten- and dairy-free it is also refined sugar free. Don’t let that turn you away! It’s moist, yummy, and (I am ashamed to admit) I ate three pieces as it was cooling!
Brandee’s Banana Bread Special (Re-vamped Emily-Style!)
½ cup butter (substitute coconut oil or Palm shortening for dairy-free)
1 cup sugar (I used about ½ cup honey; you can typically substitute honey cup per cup but I find it often too sweet so I always go a little less – I thought the sweetness was just right in the end result!)
1/3 cup sour cream (Can leave out. I’ve used yogurt also. I leave it out lately unless I have some dairy-free yogurt in the fridge because my little one loves this and is dairy-free)
2 large (or 3 medium) ripe bananas, mashed
Sift into above mix:
2 cups sifted flour (as I mentioned above I use equal amounts of my favorite gluten-free flour mixture. I love the Arrowhead Mills brand and it already has the xanthan gum mixed in! (Xanthan gum works as a binding agent, sort of to replace the gluten that would help hold the wheat flour together.)
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon soda
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
Pour into GREASED loaf pan. Bake at 325 degrees F for 55 minutes to 1-1/4 hours, or until a toothpick comes out clean. (Use knife to loosen edges and turn onto a cooling rack after a few minutes.)
My friend had a note to leave out the cinnamon in the batter and add some on top with cinnamon, brown, and white sugars for a yummy topping, which is delicious, but I like cinnamon so I add it to the batter anyway! This batch I sprinkled just cinnamon on top of the batter before cooking it, since I wanted to do refined sugar free, and it worked well (and made the house smell so good!)