John writes these articles to try to pass on any great recipes and tips that he's picked up during my culinary journeys.
Both my mom and my sister are gluten-intolerant, which, when combined with my sister's food allergies, can make family cooking a bit more challenging. My mom is a good cook, and she's learned a lot about the substitutions that make it possible to recreate favorite recipes without the gluten. For the most part, these recipes are good—some are even very good—but you generally wouldn't say that they were as good as the original.
This recipe is an exception. This is not "good for a gluten-free cake"; it's outstanding on its own merits. The recipe was kindly supplied by my mom, who transcribed it from the Gluten, Wheat, and Dairy-Free Cookbook by Antoinette Savill.
This cake is lemony, moist, and delicious and will keep well for several days. Even if you have no problem with gluten, you should try this fantastic recipe.
- 1 cup rice flour
- 1 cup buckwheat flour (I use 2 cups of rice flour)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter or margarine
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 23 ounces bananas, (3 average-sized)
- 4 large eggs
- 4 tablespoons icing sugar, (I use regular sugar)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Sift flours with baking power and salt.
- Beat the butter, sugar, and bananas together until smooth. Stir in eggs.
- Add wet mixture to flours until blended.
- Pour into a large loaf pan and bake for 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean and bread is just firm.
- Cool bread for 10 minutes. Mix sugar and lemon juice and drizzle over top. (I like it lemony so I use more lemon juice.)
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About Celiac and Gluten Intolerance
Celiac disease or gluten intolerance is a fairly common condition, and it's under-diagnosed. People with celiac disease have problems absorbing the nutrients and vitamins in all foods when they eat wheat in any form. This can lead to serious health conditions over time.
If you feel pain after eating gluten-rich foods (pasta, bread, and pastries) or have any form of abdominal discomfort on a regular basis, you may want to get checked for celiac disease. A simple blood test will tell you with certainty, or you can just avoid wheat for a few days and see if your symptoms get better.
sharon on March 24, 2016:
Thank you thank you for sharing. This is by far the best gluten free cake i have baked. It soft moist and not grainy like other rice flour cakes. I added 1 tbs lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest and 3 tbs poppy seed. Came out superb.
Sommer on January 24, 2016:
Made it this morning and it is fabulous! I substituted white sugar for coconut sugar. When I was creaming the butter, sugar and banana, I had a weird consistency that I thought might affect it. NOT. AT. ALL. In the future, I may grind the coconut sugar to a finer consistency before mixing (personal preference), but doesn't seem to be necessary. I like the rich flavor it gave the bread; although first time making it, so I don't have a reference to go by. Also substituted buckwheat/rice flour with King Arthur GF flour. It did come out darker than your pics, but I'm assuming due to the coconut sugar. I covered mine halfway through baking with aluminum foil so the top wouldn't get too crusty. Then topped it with lemon glaze and a little powdered sugar to cut the tartness. Will definitely be making this again and experimenting with different flavors, etc.
Stacey on January 02, 2016:
I have made this twice now and have found it absolutely delicious. The second time I made I only put 1/2 cup of butter and it turned out amazing. I can even do less. Delicious desert!
Jessica on December 03, 2015:
This recipe is so amazing. The cake is moist and smells delicious. Bananas really have an impact on the smell . I Would put less sugar , as for it the cake is yummy. :)
Tacocat on June 07, 2014:
there's no way 23 ounces of bananas is 3 medium size ones. I have 4 medium to large ones in the bowl now and the weight is only 17 ounces. Clarify please.
Sharice from Rhode Island on November 29, 2012:
Looks good and by the sound of these comments it is! I gotta bookmark this and try it! Great Hub
Tori Leumas on September 17, 2012:
I make a lemon loaf similar to this, but the banana added to it sound really good! I might give this a try.
Kirbykay on June 21, 2012:
Thank you - I tried this recipe tonight. I was a bit cynical as things I have made with rice flour in the past always tasted a bit grainy. However, this is fab! :-)
Lisa on June 07, 2012:
My little sister was diagnosed with Celiac a number of years ago. We see each other once a year at Thanksgiving, and since I do all of the baking I thought it was only fair that she should have something baked as well. I found this recipe and made it. She LOVED it. Apparently her boyfriend did too, because when she went to bed there was 3/4 of the loaf in the pan, when she came down the next morning her boyfriend had eaten half of what was left. When she called him on it his comment was, "but it tasted so good..I couldn't help it". I've made this many times since, and since I modify every recipe I ever touch here are my changes... Bob's Red Mill all purpose gluten free flour mix, 4 really ripe bananas, a couple of cap fulls of vanilla, a little more than 3/4 cup of butter flavored EVOO, the juice of one good sized lemon and then add enough of the icing sugar to cut down the tartness. The last loaf I made was for my husbands camping trip last weekend...no one on the trip was gluten intolerant...they all loved the cake. Thanks for posting it!!!
JH on February 13, 2012:
Really really great! I substituted half the amount of butter with about quarter cup light olive oil. Made this bread for all my wheat allergic friends with your suggestion of just rice flour. Great texture and used regular sugar with the lemon juice for the icing. Much more beautiful and sparkly than with icing sugar. Thank you again for this marvelous recipe. One of my friends has not eaten banana bread in 25 years!!!
Joan Myers on February 02, 2012:
I made this with Bob's Mills Gluten free flour. I added a bit of vanilla and some cinnamon .....so wonderful! I am happy and now have a cake I can feel like I can enjoy....YUMMMMMMM!!!
Hannah on January 04, 2012:
Best GF banana bread recipe I have tried! Whole family loved it. Thanks.
Jtlt04 on December 20, 2011:
I just wanted to say thank you for this delicious recipe, to find something this good and tasty is hard to find. I have been cooking for couple months to find something for my husband to eat.
Angelgirlpj on December 05, 2011:
My 3 sisters are gluten intolerant and also 2 brothers, they were all diagnosed in the last 2 years which has made baking for me more expensive and changed. I however found Bob Red Mills all-purpose flour to be great, so today when I try this yummy recipe I will use it. Even my husband and grand children like it after it's baked. Licking the beaters with GF flour is out of the question as it's grainy tasting.
John D Lee (author) on August 22, 2011:
Thanks for all the comments everyone. I am glad to hear that people are liking it as much as i do. To those that have omitted the lemon juice...you don't know what you're missing - it's the best part!
mamaPonyo on August 18, 2011:
My little girl and I have been sampling ours straight out of the oven and we love it! I've made and eaten plenty of regular banana/butter cakes before and had some doubts about the recipe as I'm not a frequent (or very successful) user of rice flour, but this is really good. I've also made other gluten free cakes, mostly from the Babycakes book and although fair enough the recipes are gluten, egg and sugar free, the taste and texture always left a lot to be desired. Plus all that xanthan gum gave us scratchy mouths.
I made half quantity with the following variations - brown rice flour, 65g butter, 65g olive oil, 1/2cup Demerara type sugar (called cassonade), 2 small bananas, 1tsp vanilla extract, a handful of dried blueberries (the little one likes them). We baked it in a loaf tin at 170c for about 50 minutes. The batter poured like regular butter cake batter with a not very nice sandy texture on taste but the end result is so delicious, we forgot about the lemon. It is quite moist and light (I used an electric mixer for the butter/sugar/eggs) and the crust has a really nice crumbly crunch. My only adjustment for next time would be less sugar. We are also being careful with ingredients as our 16 month daughter has been previously tested with dairy, egg and gluten allergies, however as she gets older we are trying to introduce these foods gradually on advice from our paediatrician and dietician. We are so excited we had to write to tell you this recipe is definitely a keeper, thank you so much !!
saif113sb on July 22, 2011:
Thank you so much great recipe.
lypsyncr001 on March 14, 2011:
I have just made this loaf - very tasty. I followed the recipe exactly - with vegan margarine (lactose intolerant)and tastes v. good :) It may be a bit too sweet for me but will defintely satisfy all those with a sweet tooth. I chose not to add the lemon topping and its still good. I baked it for nearly 2 hours at gas mark 4.
Thank-you so much for the recipe - it was just what i needed! :)
dtmedley on January 24, 2011:
Can anyone please tell me how much banana to use in cups rather than ounces? This sounds amazing!
Ruth on January 12, 2011:
I had to change the recipe a bit to eliminate the eggs and the sugar to make it lower in fat. Instead of the eggs I used 4 tablespoons of flax seed (pulverize after measuring) and instead of the butter I used 1 cup of sunflower oil and finally instead of the sugar I substituted 1 cup of very ripe dates. I used a food processor to blend the dates properly with the bananas. I am sure the original recipe is fantastic but my daughter is unable to eat not only gluten but foods high is sugar and fat. These modifications have produced a fantastic banana bread (without the icing) and I am sure you would not be disappointed. It is fantastic.
Abby on January 08, 2011:
This loaf is fantastic, I took it on holiday to a batch with 4-5 familys staying there, my friends Mum is gluten intolerant, everyone was eating it and loved it unaware it was a gluten free recipe I was getting worried there wouldn't be any left for my friends Mum
Venus Love on December 28, 2010:
Good point above, this recipe looks tasty, but all that sugar and butter are just as bad if not worse then the gluten!
I am substituting organic cold pressed coconut oil in place of the butter, but I just went with 1/2 cup, I also added some liquid lecithin; and liquid stevia drops, brown rice syrup, pure maple syrup, and a little bit of organic honey for the sweetener. I used oat and rice flour, 1/2 cup whole wheat flour (as I am ok as long as I use it in moderation), I also used a packaged gluten substitute which I have been experimenting with, because I ran out of eggs and I wanted to make sure it holds together.
Hopefully they come out ok, as I love to make healthy things taste good!!
Verena on December 14, 2010:
I want to try this recipe and sub sorghum flour (higher protien) and less sugar and add nuts (more protien).
Be aware new Celiacs, that you need to be super aware of what you eat and ensure you get proper nutrition. Just because it's gluten free doesn't mean healthy. Sweets are meant to be a treat, a bit a day, or once per week. Almost all store purchased GF stuff has little or no nutritional value.
I guess what I'm saying is you can go GF but keep your high sugar, white 'flour' diet and not get healthy anyway. I cook more than bake, lots of veggies, the San-J soy sauce is my saviour, with garlic, ginger and apple cider vinegar, cayenne, for stir frys. Quick and easy.
I did the same, went gluten free and then the test was negative, finally they did a DNA test and it came back positive. I knew anyway.... what a life change for me!
Check into bean and sorghum flours and purchase the high quality flours from www.authenticfoods.com
Vicky on November 17, 2010:
What a great recipe, I just want to let you know that I added 1 tsp of "xanthan gum", it just makes it a little
better in texture.
Michelle on October 04, 2010:
This bread is amazing!
Mandy E on October 03, 2010:
I've just had my bloods taken to be tested for Coeliacs & decided to try a recipe... I've never cooked gluten free before...I cooked this recipe...and OH MY GOODNESS!
YUM YUM YUM!!!
My children love it & even my fussiest eater went back for thirds (that being my husband :)...
fantastic. Thankyou. :)
mia on September 19, 2010:
thankyou for this great recipe, my daughter is gluten, dairy, soy and corn free diet. This is the first gluten free thing i have baked and loved! I varied it slightly I added 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract and I used raw sugar, 1 cup of nuttelex and 2 tblsp of olive oil. I did them in muffin patty pans and half i topped with organic shredded coconut on top. The lemon is delicious, I also tried a couple with a tea syrup in replacment of the lemon which was also nice. I think these would make nice cup cakes with cocnut icing (pure icing sugar 1 tblsp cocconut cream). Thakyou thankyou my 3 year old with autism just loves this recipe so do I mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
Annabanana on September 08, 2010:
Hi! I just made this and it is fantastic, thanks so much!
I just wanted to point out that it isn't really a great idea to just stop eating gluten to see if you have an intolerance or celiac - that's what I did and it kind of resulted in my being screwed over. If you stop eating gluten before you are tested (and trust me, if you stop for a bit and feel way better you won't want to start up again!), then the tests will come back negative. I refuse to eat gluten again for the tests and go back to the pain/exhaustion/crazy moodiness/10 or so bathroom trips a day just for a formal diagnosis, so I don't have one - even though I know my own body and I know that I feel 15000x better since going gluten free two years ago. So if you suspect a gluten intolerance/celiac disease, don't stop eating wheat, go get tested first! Also, the article suggests just avoiding wheat to see if you have celiac, but gluten is in more than just wheat. So if you avoided wheat for awhile but had, for example, a beer or two or a chocolate flavoured popsicle or a rice crispy square (all made from barley) each day then your symptoms would persist, leading you to believe that a gluten intolerance is not the problem at all. So definitely get tested before trying any treatments/dietary restrictions yourself :)
Delicious recipe, though, thanks again!!
girly_girl09 from United States on August 20, 2010:
thank you - I CANNOT wait to try this; I used to love lemon bread and have been looking for a GF version! My lovely mother likes to pamper me every once in a while and offered to bake me a few loaves of GF bread this weekend. (I love to cook but have never loved baking bread) I'll have to e-mail her this. :)
Laura uren on July 19, 2010:
thank you for a wonderful loaf that is guilt free and the kids enjoy this and hubby does too again i thank you
Rachel on July 17, 2010:
AMAZING!! thank you so much for such a simple and delicious recipe!! I only had a lime instead of lemon and it worked amazingly! I've baked gluten free for the last 4 yrs and have had so many disasters...not with this recipe! I also substituted 1 cup of plain yogurt for 1 cup of the butter and it still tastes so good! thanks so much!
Sandy on July 10, 2010:
Yummy, yummy! I just found this recipe today. I was told I needed to go gluten free about 2 months, and this is the first muffin/bread I've made that tastes good! :) Now I'm thinking of buying the cookbook you listed above.
Lucienne Newsom on July 04, 2010:
Two thumbs up and a WOOOOOOO! Excellent recipe :) ...
I played with it a bit, added vanilla & almond extracts, cinnamon & a little itty bit of nutmeg - used a combination of rice, soy & almond flours, then tossed in fresh blackberries & blueberries - made a crunchy topping out of butter, brown sugar, graham, cinnamon, oats, pralines, almonds & lemon juice ... nommy! All out of lemons so made my glaze with lime - oh, so very good :)) black & blue banana cake with a citrus kick :))
Irina on June 22, 2010:
i can't seem to find white rice flour. do you think using brown rice flour be ok?
DDavison on May 22, 2010:
Yum! I have been looking for a good gluten free banana loaf recipe and love the lemon twist on this! I only had cream cheese on hand and about a tablespoon of butter and this recipe was still fantastic! Really nice and moist! I also used less sugar, but I always cut sugar to about 2/3 of what recipes call for. Thank you soo much for sharing!!
Matt on May 12, 2010:
Follow up -- It tastes great! I cut it once lengthwise and about four times across, and with it being concave it made some nice triangular shaped pieces.
Matt on May 12, 2010:
I'm only a few days into going after gluten free, and this is the first time that I've baked using white rice flour. The cake has come out of the oven, after one hour baking, quite a bit concave. Total mind blow. I'll see how it tastes within the next fifteen minutes or so.
Alison Graham from UK on May 12, 2010:
A great recipe, thanks
John D Lee (author) on April 26, 2010:
Thanks very much for the kind words!
OldCrohnie on April 26, 2010:
I came here looking for great gluten free banana bread. I found it, the kids - who are not gluten free won't stay out of it! I also found many more recipes I love. I actually made 3 of yours today!!! Thanks for posting!
Kim on April 11, 2010:
Was very curious to try this recipe ! I followed your recipe exactly but used 1 large loaf pan and 1 mini to share. So far the smaller one is out and it looks, smells, and yes, tastes fantastic ! I am wondering though if the extra 2 Tbsp of butter is really necessary...I had butter "foaming" and cooking around the edges...thanks for the recipe ! I never knew rice flour could taste this good.
Caitlin on March 10, 2010:
I just tried this today it's gd I just added some walnuts and nutmeg an cinamin. Which was just great thanks for the great recipe
JennLee on March 01, 2010:
Mmmmm!! I added chopped walnuts, pecans & mini semi-sweet chocolate chips to this and my BF loved it. I am loving being G-Free!
John D Lee (author) on January 05, 2010:
You are very welcome SophiaGrea
SophiaGrea on January 03, 2010:
This is a fab recipe! I tried it without the bananas and a little extra lemon dash to make a pure lemon loaf. It tastes just like the little slices you can purchase at starbucks! thankss!!
John D Lee (author) on December 28, 2009:
Glad you liked it Selena ...but you gotta use the lemon topping - it's the best part!
Selena Shannon on December 28, 2009:
Bliss! Used half rice flour, half Bob's gluten free flour mix. Added 3/4 tsp. xanthan gum and 1 tsp. vanilla extract. Tastes like the real thing. Forgot the lemon topping but it is more than fine as is.
John D Lee (author) on December 21, 2009:
Hi Nat, Thanks for the comment and the best wishes - glad you like this lemon loaf as much as we do!
Nat on December 18, 2009:
Thank you sooo much for sharing this.
You and your mom improved the life of celiac people!
It's delicious, and way better than banana loafs I get from Starbucks.
I'm so happy that I found this just before Christmas. :)
Wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
sarah on December 05, 2009:
My boyfriend is gluten intolerant, while I am not.
He's not really one for substituting, so we don't really do much baking, but eat lots of rice and chocolate... never cakes and bread.
Always pitied him not being able to eat the delicious things I can.
Until I made this recipe...
If this is gluten-free cooking, i'd be happy to chuck out wheat any day.
J White on October 03, 2009:
I wanted to add that I used 1 cup rice flour and 1 cup garfava flour. :)
J White on October 03, 2009:
We've been GF for about a year and the only thing we have not found a good sub for are breads and muffins, and we used to eat a lot of them! Last week I had several very ripe bananas and did a search for "best gluten free banana bread". You recipe popped up and I gave it a try. OMG! Wonderful stuff! It is the first gluten free banana loaf that has all been eaten. It has kept in my fridge for just under 2 weeks and was still moist and yummy. Thank you so much!
David H on August 25, 2009:
Hi All, here's a couple of Convertor programmes changes Cups to Grams/Ozs etc and Vice-Versa.
Courtesy of JSWARD.Com
Courtesy of Gourmet Sleuth.
Courtesy of Global Gourmet.
P.S. fully intend trying the recipe.
John D Lee (author) on August 23, 2009:
Sorry, I don't have the weights off hand. DO you have a volume measurement? 1 cup equates to 250 ml.
I hope that this helps a bit
Fats on August 22, 2009:
I would love to try out your recipe but was wandering if it would be possible write up the measurements in grams as cups are not available for me.
Would really appreciate it, if not I'll have to guess!
John D Lee (author) on June 13, 2009:
Kathryn, thanks for letting me know - I am very happy you had success with it!
Kathryn on June 03, 2009:
Hi. Great recipe. I made it and took it to work and both the gluten frees and the nonGFs asked for the recipe. ( PS this is also the 1st time I have been asked for a recipe!). Thanks!
John D Lee (author) on April 05, 2009:
Hey that's great - I will have to try your variations for pancakes and waffles - great ideas!
Megan on April 04, 2009:
I have to say, this is the best gluten-free anything I have ever made! I've used this recipe to make donuts, waffles and pancakes (add milk), cake (add sugar and frosting), and cake-ish cookies.
Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!