Banana Bread Muffins or Loaf

Got brown bananas? Muffins are easier to share than slicing a loaf, and they’re also quicker to bake. But if you prefer a traditional bread loaf, see the footnote.

This is very easy, no-muss-no-fuss and quick GF recipe to make.

Makes: 24 muffins, or two 2lb loaves (it’s easily halved if you need less)

Ingredients

  • 5 large ripe bananas – the browner/blacker, the better
  • 2 unwaxed lemons: finely grated zest, and juice
  • 160g unsalted butter, cubed and softened; plus additional cold butter to grease tins if making loaves
    ** See Dairy-Free footnote for substituting vegetable oil for butter
  • 200g sugar (soft light brown or golden caster are best; but plain white caster will do)
  • 100g soft dark brown sugar (dark muscavado or molasses sugar are suitable substitutes for a deeper, richer flavour)
  • 4 large eggs (they should total 250g – 270g when weighed in their shells)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 420g gluten-free flour
  • 4 tsp gluten-free baking powder (only required if your GF flour is plain, not self-raising)
  • 1 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp each ground cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)
  • 100g pecans, chopped finely, leaving aside some larger pieces to garnish (optional – see Nuts footnote)

Kit

  • Two 12-hole muffin tins and 24 muffin cases; or,
    Two 2-pound loaf tins, with baking/parchment paper to fully line each
  • 3 mixing bowls, 2 medium and 1 large; plus a small bowl to whisk eggs if necessary
  • Fine citrus grater
  • Citrus juicer
  • Fork or potato masher
  • Electric mixer (hand-held or stand), if not creaming butter+sugar by hand
  • Cooling rack

Steps

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C  (165 C fan-assisted). Line muffin tins with paper cases (see footnote for loaves).
  2. Slice thickly or break apart the bananas into a medium bowl and add the lemon juice. Mash with a fork or potato masher to the consistency of chunky applesauce.
  3. Cream together the butter and sugars in a large bowl; add eggs one at a time with the vanilla, and beat until creamy and smooth. (If doing this manually, beat the eggs separately and add some at a time.)
  4. Mix the flour, baking powder, spices, lemon zest, and chopped nuts (if using) with a fork in another medium bowl. Add a third or so at a time to the butter/sugar mixture, alternating with the banana mixture, and beat well manually after each addition.
    Remember, this is gluten-free, so you don’t have to worry about over-mixing the dry with the wet – in fact, incorporate as much air as you can. (You’ll see holes open up as the lemon reacts with the baking powder.)
  5. Spoon into muffin cases, filling no more than 3/4 full to allow for a good rise. The mixture should ‘dollop’ – i.e., not be runny, but hold its shape as it’s dropped. Place a pecan chunk in the centre of each (optional).
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or so, turning trays halfway through for even baking, until golden brown and a light finger tap on the centre of a few buns springs back quickly. Remove the trays from the oven, remove the muffins from the trays, and place them on a cooling rack to cool.

Nuts
You could use walnuts instead of pecans if you prefer, but this recipe is just fine with no nuts at all (or, used only as a garnish).

Loaves
You could also make two 9″x5″ loaves from this recipe – just very lightly grease 2 loaf tins and fully line with paper, and increase the baking time to around 45 minutes. Test with a skewer to ensure they’re fully baked.
(Remember with GF loaves to let them cool in the tins before turning them out, as GF bread can be a bit delicate when hot.)

Dairy-Free
If you prefer or need to omit the butter, substitute 160g (175ml) vegetable oil for the butter. If doing this:

  1. Add the oil and eggs to the bananas, vanilla, and lemon juice, and mash them all together. To ensure the eggs are fully incorporated, beat/whisk them well in a small bowl before adding.
  2. Add the sugar to the flour and other dry ingredients in Step 4 above.
  3. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and fold together.
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