Gluten Free Banana Bread {Dairy Free}

Full of fresh banana chunks and dark chocolate, this gluten free banana chocolate chip bread is a sweet treat for breakfast, dessert, or anytime at all!

Cold weather and snowy days bring out the baker in me.  This morning as the house stood quiet, I whipped up some banana bread.   As my husband and boys woke, they were greeted with the smell of yummy baking goodness.  What a way to start your day!   And when I removed the banana bread from the oven, a line formed in the kitchen (seriously, it did), as each anticipated a warm slice of gluten free banana bread for breakfast.

Banana Bread Must Have Chocolate

I have to make a confession:  I’ve never made banana bread without chocolate.  Ever.  I just can’t imagine why you would make it otherwise.  I simply love how well bananas and chocolate go together.  When I was young one of my favorite treats was chocolate covered bananas.   So in lieu of nuts in my banana bread, I load the batter with dark chocolate.

Vanilla Extract or Vanilla Beans

I don’t think that you can go wrong with either.  My friends over at Rodelle provided me with some vanilla beans to work with.  While I normally include pure vanilla extract in most of my quick breads, I tried using vanilla beans this time.  While I love both, I really loved the addition of the fresh vanilla beans in my banana bread.  There is something so pure and intense about vanilla beans.  I highly recommend trying them out!

Mashed Bananas vs. Banana Chunks

Most recipes for banana bread call for you to  mix in mashed bananas into the batter.  This ensures that every single ounce of bread is full of banana goodness.  It’s certainly an option.

I, however, have a slightly different approach.  I begin by creating a basic gluten free quick bread recipe.  Next, I take 2-3 bananas and break them apart into small chunks.  You’ll need a total of 2 cups of banana chunks.

Gluten Free Banana Bread - The Gluten Free Gathering

Lastly, I fold the bananas, by hand, into the batter.  What I am left with is a gluten free quick bread batter that is full of whole chunks of banana.  When my banana bread bakes up, those chunks fill up my bread.  I simply love cutting (and biting) into a slice that is full of banana that I can actually see (and taste).

Gluten Free Banana Bread - The Gluten Free Gathering

So, I hope that you will give this classic gluten free banana bread a try.  And if you’ve never added chocolate to your banana bread before, please do (and let me know what you think – I love your comments!).

Gluten Free Banana Bread - The Gluten Free Gathering

Gluten Free Banana Bread {Dairy Free}

  • 6 tablespoons dairy free butter, melted & cooled (I used Melt baking sticks)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 vanilla beans, split, scraped, pods discarded**
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons unsweetened milk alternative (I used coconut milk)
  • 1 & 3/4 cup gluten free flour blend with xanthan gum**
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups fresh banana chunks (about 2-3 small, ripe bananas)
  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a standard glass, loaf pan with enough parchment paper to overhang the two opposing long sides by one inch.  Set aside.
  3. Melt the butter alternative.  Allow to cool for 5 minutes.  In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix together the butter and sugar for 1 minute.
  4. Place the vanilla beans onto a cutting board. Carefully slice the pods down the center lengthwise (using the tip of small, sharp knife works best). Next, run a butter knife down the pod to collect the seeds inside. Place the scraped vanilla bean seeds into the bowl. Discard the pods.
  5. Place the eggs and milk alternative into the bowl. Mix together until well combined.
  6. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Gradually add the flour mixture into the wet ingredients. For this step, I prefer to fold the flour into the wet ingredients by hand with a silicone spatula. You only want to combine the ingredients until they just come together. Over mixing can produce a gummy texture in your final product – NOT good
  7. As far as the bananas: select bananas that are yellow with a multitude of brown markings on the skin (as seen in my photos).  You do not want to use bananas whose skins are completely yellow.  You also do not want to use bananas whose skins are more brown than yellow.
  8. Remove the bananas from the skins. Break apart the bananas into small, 1/4″ chunks. Hint: bananas break apart very nicely right along their natural seams. Place the bananas and chocolate chips into the batter. Again, using a silicone spatula, fold the banana chunks and chocolate chips into the batter.
  9. Please note that you DO NOT want to completely mash and mix the bananas into the batter. The beauty of this bread is the chunks of bananas in every bite.
  10. Spoon the batter into the prepared baking dish.
  11. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for 60-65 minutes. Place a cake tester in the center of the loaf to test for doneness.  The loaf is done baking when the tester comes out free of batter.
  12. Once you have removed the bread from the oven, run a butter knife around the edges to loosen. Allow the bread to sit in the pan for 30 minutes prior to removal.
  13. I highly recommend allowing the bread to completely cool before serving.  If you can, allow the bread to cool at room temperature, lightly cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator.  The bread is EXCELLENT chilled!

**Once you have scraped down the vanilla bean pods, you can save them and use them to flavor granulated sugar. Simply place the pods in sugar.

**This recipe was tested with both Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free flour blend and King Arthur’s Measure for Measure gluten free flour blend. Both flours worked excellently in this recipe.

Gluten Free Banana Bread {Dairy Free} - The Gluten Free Gathering - #glutenfree #dairyfree #bananabread #glutenfreebreakfast #glutenfreebananabread #glutenfreebaking #glutenfreerecipes

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This post is brought to you in partnership with Rodelle.  This post also contains affiliate links through Amazon.  Should you choose to click on a link and make a purchase, I will be paid a small commission by Amazon.  This comes at NO additional cost to you and assists with the expenses associated with this blog.  Thank you for your support!

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5 thoughts on “Gluten Free Banana Bread {Dairy Free}

  1. Hi, I am new here and I like your site. I also appreciate that you suggest flour blends with a brand name so that we know exactly what to try (it is very complicated and expensive to try recipes and they don’t work because you messed up something!).


    1. I’m glad to have you here, Robin! I have also found that different GF flour blends behave differently. I do try to list what I have used. If readers use other flour blends, their results may be different. The majority of my recipes use Bob’s 1 to 1 GF flour blend. Of late, I’ve also been working with King Arthur’s Measure for Measure. Both seem to work well. But I’ll continue to list what I use.


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