Friday, December 14, 2012

Holiday Treat #9: Banana Bread

This recipe is part of this year's Holiday Treat Extravaganza!  To see all the recipes, click on the page tab of the same name located at the top of the blog.  To submit a recipe or a request, send a message to

Banana bread may seem like an odd choice to add to a holiday treat list, but I don't feel that way at all.  Sliced on a dessert platter or served with tea or coffee to holiday guests, banana bread makes a great holiday dessert.  I love baking mine as muffins for my son to eat for a breakfast treat.  This past week, though, I decided to bake some as mini loaves in festive baking pans, and this may be my new favourite way to make this recipe.   Wrapped in cellophane with some ribbon and a pretty gift tag and these make great gifts for neighbours or co-workers.

Mini loaf pan. These come in packs of 8, at most bakery supply stores

The lovely people at BabyCakes NYC have graciously given me permission to post their banana bread recipe on my site, so a big thank you goes out to them.  A friend of mine sent me this recipe after bringing some along when she came to visit, and my son ate 4 of the muffins.  It is my new favourite banana bread recipe, which is impressive because it is not only gluten free, but dairy, sugar, nut and egg free, too.  Yup.  A vegan banana bread that tastes incredible. 

BabyCakes NYC's Banana Bread


2 cups Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All-Purpose Flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. xanthan gum
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut oil (the recipe calls for some oil to grease pan, but for mini loaves in individual wrappers, this isn't necessary)
2/3 cup agave nectar
2/3 cup rice milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas  (My son doesn't like chunks of banana, so I puree mine, but simply mashing with a potato masher is sufficient)
1 cup chocolate chips (optional)  I use Enjoy Life chocolate chips because they are gluten and dairy free, and produced in a dedicated facility.

Yield: 10 slices of regular loaf, OR approx. 16-18 muffins, OR 8 mini loaves
Preheat oven to 325F.
If using loaf pan, grease pan.  Line muffin tins if making muffins.  No prep necessary for mini loaves if baking in individual paper pans.

1- In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, baking soda and xanthan gum.  Add coconut oil, agave nectar, rice milk and vanilla extract to dry ingredients and stir until mixture is smooth.  (Stir by  hand, it is very easy to get everything mixed and smooth.) 
Fold in mashed bananas with a plastic spatula until evenly distributed throughout the batter.  If using chocolate chips, add them now.

3- Fill loaf pan halfway with batter.  If making muffins, fill muffin tins with batter.  If making mini loaves, fill almost to top with batter, evenly distributed among the 8 pans. 

4- Bake according to method of preparation.
Traditional Loaf: Bake on centre rack for 35 minutes, rotating 180 degrees after 20 min.  Loaf is done when a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.  Allow to cool for 20 minutes.  Run a knife around the edges and invert loaf onto a cutting board.  Place another cutting board on top and invert again to be right side up.

Muffins: Bake 20-25 minutes.  Check muffins after 20 minutes.  Muffins are done when a toothpick inserted in centre comes out clean.

Mini Loaves: Place mini loaf pans on a cookie sheet.  Bake 25-30 minutes.  Check after 25 minutes.  Loaves are done when a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean. 

***Serve immediately or cover with plastic wrap and eat within 3 days.  I have also frozen the muffins and they hold up quite well when defrosted. 

This is a favourite recipe of mine and has become a go-to staple when I feel like baking.  The ingredients may not all be familiar at first, but I purchased everything at my local grocery store.  Search the natural or organic aisle for the coconut oil and agave nectar if you don't see them in the baking aisle.  I hope you enjoy this banana bread as much as I do!

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