I know I know the last thing this blog needs is another banana bread recipe! But this recipe never set out to be one but it kinda turned into one. The way this Gluten Free Cranberry Banana Bread came into existence was a bit of a series of trial and errors. Let me explain, I wanted to make a gluten free quick bread. I’m still at the trial and error stage of gluten free baking and my initial attemp was less than stella shall we say.
It was dry, very crumbly and too much on the savoury side, because of my choice in flours. More on that later. I already had buttermilk in this recipe and I was worried if I added loads more the batter may become to liquidy (is that even a word?) because it already had a few other liquids in it. So I went to one of my best friends in baking, ripe bananas. And they were perfect, so what was meant to be a gluten free cranberry bread became a gluten free cranberry banana bread.
Gluten Free Flours
Lets start with what makes this loaf gluten free. It’s really down to the flours I have used, I used a combination of rice flour, coconut flour and gram (chickpea) flour. I used rice flour as this can help keep the bake light as it has a super fine texture and is perfect in sweet bakes. I like coconut flour as it is high in fiber and has a sweet nutty flavour to it, but I did use it sparingly as it is a notoriously thirsty flour and can dry many bakes out. The final flour I used was gram or chickpea flour. This flour is high in protein but is more known for savoury foods but I like its savoury nutty flavour and thought it would go well in a quick bread considering the other 2 flours I was using tended to be sweeter flours. Luckily my experimenting paid off in the end!
To give it every chance of succeeding I also used xantham gum to bind everything together. My first attemp was okay, it was very savoury tasting, even though I do have sugar in this recipe. The tartness of the cranberries combined with the flours just made it too savoury if I had had applesauce in the house I would have tried using that but I didn’t so I went to my old faithful friend and chucked 3 mashed ripe bananas in it and you know what? It came out perfect! Still not super sweet but the ripe bananas gave it that little extra something it needed. Moisture and sweetness.
But like I said this gluten free cranberry banana bread is not a super sweet bread the tartness of the cranberries keeps it a little at bay. So it’s great for breakfast.
Another great reason to love this bread is no mixer is required only 2 bowls and a wooden spoon! Great, less washing up to do, what more could you want?
And just in case we don’t get to chat before the ringing of the bells, happy New Year everyone!
Gluten Free Cranberry Banana Bread
- 175 grams rice flour (1 and 1/3 cup)
- 50 grams coconut flour (1/2 cup)
- 60 grams gram / chickpea flour (1/2 cup)
- 1 teaspoon gluten free baking soda
- 1 teaspoon xantham gum
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 110 grams melted coconut oil (1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon)
- 200 grams light brown sugar (1 cup - packed)
- 3 medium ripe bananas - mashed
- 2 large eggs
- 85 millilitres buttermilk (1/3 cup + 1 teaspoon)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 165 grams fresh cranberries halved (1 and 1/2 cups when whole)
- 3 tablespoons Demerara sugar (optional)
- Pre heat your oven to 180C / 350F / Gas mark 4 and either line or lightly grease a 2lb loaf tin.
- In a medium bowl sieve the rice flour, coconut flour, gram flour, baking soda, xantham gum, cinnamon and salt together. If you don't have a sieve then place everything in the bowl and gently whisk everything together until well combined.
- In a larger mixing bowl pour in the melted coconut oil (I zapped mine in a microwave for 30 seconds) and the sugar and mix them together.
- Add in the mashed banana, eggs, buttermilk and vanilla extract. Mix until everything is very well combined.
- Pour in the dry ingredients and gently fold them in to the wet ingredients.
- Carefully fold in the halved cranberries.
- Pour the batter into your prepared loaf tin and if using sprinkle the sugar on top then pop it in your oven.
- At the 30 minute mark you may want to cover your loaf with a tin foil / aluminium foil cover to stop over browning on top.
- I have a slow oven so it took exactly 1 hour to bake all the way through but please check you loaf at the 45 minute mark by inserting a skewer into the centre of your loaf. If it comes out clean then it's baked through. Check in several places to make sure. If not give it another 5 minutes and check again.
- Once baked through take it out of the oven and leave it for 15 minutes in its tin before turning it out onto a wire rack to fully cool down.
- This loaf can be frozen for up to 2 months. Or stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 7 days.