Gluten Free Banana Bread with Chocolate Cinnamon Swirl – This banana bread might just be the prettiest you’ve ever tried. It certainly is the fluffiest, loveliest I have!
I don’t know why it’s just always so disconcerting to me to get a knock out of nowhere. But here we are.
Thankfully, it was just my friendly new neighbor. She’s amazing, and also works in food sales, so she often ends up with extras, and this time, she had two GIANT bunches of bananas for me. Add those to the two bunches I already had ripening on my counter, and we had a lot of bananas going on.
Which is one of my favorite “problems” to have.
This isn’t just any banana bread.
It’s the culmination of 2 1/2 years of recipe testing. It’s a combination of different elements I’ve loved from all the different versions we’ve tried over the years. And it’s everything I’m looking for in banana bread–light, fluffy, and the perfect amount of sweet.
The swirl is what really puts this version over the top. It’s beautiful, for one, but it also adds that little pop of chocolatey goodness that makes this feel like a real treat instead of a quick way to use up overripe bananas. The bread itself is naturally sweetened which leaves room for the sweetness of the swirl, made from an incredible combination of coconut oil, cinnamon, and dairy free chocolate chips.
Notes on the Recipe:
Don’t over-swirl. If you’ve ever made something swirl before, you know that it’s really easy to go from “a little bit swirled” to “now it’s all the way mixed in.” My best tip is to use a sharp knife and try making a few figure-8’s. Try 2-3 and see how it looks, then decide if you’d like to do more.
Not gluten free? No problem! I use Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 Gluten Free Baking Mix for this recipe, which is a literal 1 to 1 substitute for white flour. You should be able to swap out the gluten free flour for an equal amount of white flour without any trouble.
Want to skip the swirl? If you’re not a chocolate person, or don’t want to do the swirl, I recommend adding about 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to the batter. You can also sprinkle some dry oatmeal over the top for decoration/garnish before baking.
Freeze the leftovers. You can easily double the recipe to make two loaves. I freeze the second loaf for another day by putting it in a freezer-safe zip-top bag and removing any excess air from the bag before sealing it and putting it in the freezer.
Alternatively, you can freeze individual slices, which is great if you want to pack them in lunches or pull some out for a snack or breakfast. Place cut slices on a baking sheet lined with parchment or a silicone baking mat. and put that into the freezer for 30-40 minutes, or until they’re partially frozen and no longer tacky. (This will keep them from sticking together in the freezer.) Transfer slices to a bag and store in the freezer until you’re ready to use them!
Like this recipe? You might also like…
- Naturally Sweetened Gluten Free Pumpkin Muffins
- Gluten Free, Vegan Cookie Dough Nice Cream
- 7 Ways with Overnight Oats
For the banana bread:
- 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 large bananas)
- 2 eggs
- 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted (can sub butter)
- 1/3 cup pure maple syrup
- 1/3 cup almond milk (can sub dairy or coconut milk)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 3/4 cup gluten free all-purpose flour (like this one)
For the swirl:
- 1/2 Tbsp coconut oil
- 1/4 cup chocolate chips
- 1 Tbsp cinnamon
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl, combine mashed bananas, eggs, coconut oil, syrup, milk, and vanilla. Stir to combine well. Stir in salt, baking soda, and flour until combined.
- Prepare a 9×5-inch loaf pan by greasing (with coconut oil or nonstick spray). I also recommend lining it with parchment paper.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan.
- To make the swirl, melt coconut oil, chocolate chips, and cinnamon together in a saucepan over low heat until completely melted and smooth. Pour the chocolate mixture in a straight line down the top of the batter. Use a knife to gently swirl it a bit (I suggest making a few gentle figure-8’s).
- Bake at 325 degrees for 50-60 minutes, or until completely cooked through in the center and golden on top. Allow to cool before slicing.
- Store leftovers in the refrigerator 4-5 days, or in the freezer up to 3 months.