This gluten free banana bread cake recipe is incredibly simple and quick, requiring only about half an hour of your precious time. But it’s half an hour well spent, for the cake is moist and soft and crumbly, with a sinfully delicious caramelised top that is pure crispy caramelised goodness and ohmygosh so delicious.
Recently, I’ve been interacting more with the gluten free community. I personally don’t have a super-serious gluten allergy, but an excess of gluten makes me “puff up” (hiii, water retention) and just feel blah. It’s disconcerting reading stories of people with coeliac disease – way too many start viewing food as their enemy. I had someone say to me that the one thing they really need is to “be reminded of a time when food used to be enjoyable”.
Part of the problem definitely stems from the belief that preparing gluten free food is difficult, and that gluten free foods can’t be as tasty as their gluten-containing counterparts. And that’s simply… not true. It’s one of those things that used to be (somewhat) true, and isn’t any more, but still persists in our consciousness. Of course, some things are difficult to replicate without gluten – I have not yet attempted gluten free bread, but it sounds tricky. At the same time, there are so many amazing gluten free (or more widely, allergy friendly) bloggers out there, and I’m sure that even the most tricky gluten free recipes have been – at least partially – mastered.
Of course, wanting to continue eating as we did before the transition is also problematic. Instead, we should accept that the allergy or intolerance necessarily means changing our eating habits and make the most of it. In my case, I simply stopped eating things like bread or pasta. And while it was strange and occasionally difficult doing so, it has opened my eyes to so many other fun alternative dishes.
Instead of eating (gluten free) bread for breakfast, which would leave me hungry about an hour later anyway, I now feast on a variety of oatmeals, smoothies, omelettes, granolas and more – all of which are also dairy and refined sugar free. My lunches, on the other hand, are a delightful mix of salads, quinoa bowls, risottos, and other yummy things. Do I miss bread, or pasta, or gluten in any other form? No, not really.
Now, that’s only me, and bread might be your favourite thing in the whole wide world, and your heart might be breaking because you’ve been diagnosed with some form of gluten intolerance or allergy. Google is a wonderful thing though, and searching “gluten free bread recipe” gives me 24,300,000 results. Wanna bet that you’ll find at least one you’ll love? And in the mean time, you still have a myriad other naturally gluten free recipes to explore!
The point I’m trying to make, in a slightly convoluted manner, is that food is and should be fun. Regardless of whether you have no dietary restrictions, or if you eat gluten free, or if the list of things you can’t eat is a mile long – I’m about 99.9999% certain that there are allergy friendly recipes out there that you will absolutely love. Instead of thinking about what you can’t eat, focus on what you can, and turn the dietary restrictions that might seem like a food prison into a wonderful food adventure.
Now, allow me to play my part in your gluten free adventure: with this incredibly easy and quick to make, and so wonderfully delicious gluten free banana bread cake with lemon and blueberries. This is the kind of recipe that comes about when you have too many ripe bananas on hand, and you just throw things together, thinking to yourself: “This should totally work.” And it really really does.
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The ingredients are simple – gluten free flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, pinch of salt, caster sugar. Mashed banana, melted butter, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, vanilla extract. Mix the dry ingredients with the wet, sprinkle on blueberries and bake. Not exactly rocket science, is it?
What comes out of the oven is a moist, soft gluten free banana bread cake that makes your kitchen smell so good that drooling is virtually inevitable. The best part is, indisputably, the caramelised top that is pure crispy caramelised goodness and ohmygosh so so delicious. The blueberries and lemon juice and zest ensure the cake is refreshing, and for whatever weird reason it almost tastes cheesecake-y at times.
It’s super yummy on its own, but you can serve it with a dusting of icing sugar, whipped cream, extra blueberries… anything you fancy, really. It would be absolutely heavenly still warm with a good dollop of ice cream. Directly out of the baking tray with a spoon is also perfectly fine. (I’m drooling just thinking of all the possibilities.)
Regardless of how you choose to serve it, while you savour the aromatic deliciousness that is this gluten free banana bread cake with lemon and blueberries, spare a thought to the fact that… it is gluten free (duh). And when you realise just how yummy it is, and you think to yourself: “Who needs gluten anyway?” – allow me to say in advance, right here and right now : “I told you so.”
GLUTEN FREE BANANA BREAD CAKE WITH LEMON AND BLUEBERRIES
- 1 medium banana, mashed
- 1/3 cup metled unsalted butter
- 2 medium eggs, room temperature
- juice and zest of 1 lemon
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 cup plain gluten free flour blend (I've used a simple store-bought blend of rice, potato and maize flour with no added xanthan gum)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1 cup blueberries
Pre-heat the oven to 350 ºF (175 ºC) and grease a baking tray (alternatively, you can line it with baking/greaseproof paper). I've used a round baking tray 8 inches in diameter.
- Mix together the wet ingredients (banana, melted butter, eggs, lemon juice and zest, vanilla extract).
- Sift together dry ingredients (gluten free flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, caster sugar).
- Mix together the wet and the dry ingredients until you get a smooth batter without any clumps of flour.
- Transfer the cake batter into the baking tray.
- Lightly "sprinkle" blueberries evenly on top of the cake batter. Don't push them into the cake batter, they will partially sink on their own during baking.
Bake in the pre-heated oven at 350 ºF (175 ºC) for 25 to 30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean and the edges are a dark golden brown colour. (Note 1)
- Serve either warm or cold. The gluten free banana bread cake is lovely with a dusting of icing sugar, scrumptious with some whipped cream, finger-lickingly delicious with a dollop of ice cream and to die for directly out of the baking tray with a spoon. Enjoy!
- The gluten free banana bread cake keeps well in a cool dry place for about 3 to 4 days. (I give it a day at most. A few hours is more realistic.)
Note 1: If the top of the cake starts browning too quickly, cover it with aluminium foil until baked.
Looking for more gluten free goodness? I’ve got you covered!