Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread [GF]

I was actually thinking about making this banana bread paleo. I really like the idea of the paleo diet, not as a weight loss technique but as a conscious way of eating. I had seen a lot of paleo baking going around and it really made me think, maybe I could do it!

Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread
So I was very curious and first tried making banana bread using coconut flour. Oh how that went terribly wrong. It was just this dense doughy mess that was just unable to bake at all and it left me all depressed, eventually mindlessly playing with it like play-doh.

And then I was pretty shocked how many whole grain flours out there aren’t considered paleo. And those that are considered paleo (almond flour and other nut flours) are just crazy expensive to the point where you are most likely eating a 5 dollar slice of banana bread. Yeah, I don’t think so.

Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread
I learned that basically you can’t have any form of grain on the paleo diet (I know I’m pretty slow). Turns out eating paleo might not really be for me after all! I mean I eat brown rice and brown rice anything like there is no tomorrow. Cause hey! I thought brown rice was good for you!

Well APPARENTLY NOT. Or at least that’s what a lot of paleo gurus and articles on the web are now saying which leaves me all dumbfounded, as if all my morals were just suddenly contradicted. I see words like ‘anti-nutrients’ and ‘high-glycemic’ being thrown around and then I am being told that you should eat white rice over brown rice. Ehrrmm excuse me?? It’s like when I was told that kale is bad for you. The world is starting to not make a bit of sense.

Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread
I am saying no to the paleo masters and sticking with brown rice, despite what they say about the potentially toxic compounds that are found in it’s outer shell. That outer shell contains the micronutrients and when you strip it away you are just left with white starch. And I don’t want to eat just starch. Luckily though I am able to digest brown rice and I feel fabulous afterwards but I also understand that they are saying it might not be the same for everyone. Case closed.

Soooo back to banana bread, I decided to make my own flour blend and learned that a good 70 percent grain and 30 percent starch formula really does the trick. Of course I stuck with brown rice flour and I used tapioca flour (which I always have left over when ever I make pão de queijo) for the starch (this is a good article to read about making your own flour mixture).

Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread
I also used a bit almond flour to give it a little bit of texture. Such a good idea if you ask me. You don’t feel to bad when you are not using 2 cups of it for the batter. You can get a way with using a bit to still add some almond-graininess to your gluten-free bake (graininess is apparently a word, it looks funny).

Coconut flour does add a nice and surprising flavor but I feel it sucks out a lot of the moisture and deters us from that spiced and nutty flavor we have learned to love in our banana breads. And quite frankly the consistency is just never right. You could replace the 1/4 cup of almond flour with coconut flour instead into the mixture if you want that sweet bite of coconut.

Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread
But after two tries (the second time I still tried using some coconut flour but it wasn’t able to redeem itself after that dreadful first attempt) the third won by a landslide. Of course I am in a position to marvel at my bakes but this is by far the best banana bread I have ever had. Better than the many gluten-full banana breads I have tasted before. I have tested it on other people and they were blown away as well. Banana bread success!

Without a doubt it’s the brown butter and the molasses that makes this so darn delicious. It’s no surprise that I am obsessed with brown butter (here, here and here just to name a few) but I am becoming fond of molasses too. I just love how it transforms the color of the batter and the taste is just unexplainable.

Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread
Once again I ate two or three slices as I was shooting this. I mean it was just so HARD not too. Especially when it is this banana bread which once again I have to mention is AMAZING.

Rule of thumb for food photography: don’t shoot on an empty stomach. Unless you are like me and totally mean to eat it anyways.

Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread

Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread [GF]

makes 1 9×5-inch loaf

for the banana bread:
1 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup almond flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
12 tablespoons grass-fed butter
1/2 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons molasses
3 large ripe bananas
1/3 cup almond milk


Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan and set aside. In a bowl, whisk together the brown rice flour, tapioca flour, almond flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and set aside.

Melt butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Keep an eye on the butter and stir occasionally. Soon the butter will start to brown fairly quickly. Remove from heat when butter solids become an amber color and butter smells slightly nutty. Immediately pour hot butter into a small bowl and set aside, or the butter will burn. Make sure you get all the brown bits into the bowl as well cause that’s where all the flavor is!

In a large mixing bowl, mix the butter, coconut sugar and honey together. Add eggs, one at a time and mix well until combined, then add in vanilla and molasses. Mash in the bananas together with the almond milk, making sure their aren’t any big lumps. Add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, mixing well until no flour is seen.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to rest in the pan for 15 minutes, before inverting onto a wire rack to cool completely.

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34 thoughts on “Spiced Brown Butter Banana Bread [GF]

  1. It’s the effort and attempt to make this paleo that counts, girlfriend! Regardless, this bread looks FABULOUS! Banana bread is a favorite of mine, but you took it to new, delicious heights with the spice and brown butter! *Drooling* I am seriously craving an entire loaf of this delicious bread! Cheers, girlfriend and thanks for making me hungry!
    P.S Shooting on an empty stomach is never a good idea! But you sure as heck got some AMAZING shots!

  2. YUM. You are naming some of my favorite flours right there (I never thought I would we talking about my favorite flours). This bread looks fantastic — paleo, not paleo, whatever. Get in mah belly. And you can’t really go wrong with brown butter, ever.
    these photos are fantastic, btw.

  3. This banana bread looks incredible! Brown butter and molasses sound like such a perfect twist for that dark, caramel flavour, and I am so impressed with how much effort you put in to get to this epic gluten-free recipe. And honestly, if you listened to everyone on the internet you wouldn’t be able to eat anything at all haha, so I just say everything in moderation! I love your dark food styling as well, especially with those gorgeous plates <3

  4. Yum, this looks awesome, Linda! I just love that combination of flavours. And your photoshoot is gorgeously dusky with a wonderful choice of colours. I agree that all the conflicting health talk out there can be really confusing and confronting. Like people saying brown rice is bad for you? Or kale! And words like “anti-nutrients” and “toxic” create a lot of hype. It’s interesting that while the paleo peeps are apparently against brown rice, it’s the main staple of the macrobiotic diet, which is also really popular – so in the end how can we really know what to believe? I figure eating plenty of fruit, vegies and whole foods that haven’t been processed is the way to go!

  5. Yummm, this looks so good. I agree, I am a little befuddled by the no grain thing with paleo. I mean, I think avoiding processed grains makes sense, but brown rice? Your gluten free combo sounds amazing here, and I love the addition of almond flour. Plus brown butter and molasses, hello? Amazing, amazing. And I feel like I am ALWAYS starving when doing photo shoots, since I shoot in the middle of the day – lunch time! It is usually really hard for me not to scarf up what I am photographing.

    1. Thanks Meghan! Brown butter and molasses is seriously the best combo ever. And oh my goodness it is so hard during photoshoots! I guess that’s the price we pay for making such delicious food!

  6. Super stoked to have found your blog! This BBread looks insanely good. I loved your tale about navigating your way through what is considered to be paleo. I always pick at my food while I’m trying to take photos of it, even though my brain is like “don’t do that, you’re ruining the photo” I can’t stop myself, zero restraint. PS I like your blog name!

    1. Thanks Hannah! I’m happy I came across your blog too! And I don’t think you are ever ruining the photo! I’m now just convincing myself that there is a rule in food photography where the process of eating the meal is also just as important, right??

  7. Oooh, I can’t wait to try this! I don’t think paleo is for me, especially after I read what you wrote about the flours, haha. That does sound very challenging and my heart wouldn’t be in it. Banana bread is so comforting, I bet your kitchen smelled amazing after all that recipe testing! I might have to bake a loaf this weekend… I’m feeling particularly banana bread + coffee right now 😉

    1. Thanks Genevieve! Oh my goodness my house smelled AMAZZZINGGG after baking this banana bread! My friend is getting a brand new apartment and I’m just gonna go there and bake this in her kitchen as a ‘housewarming present’.

  8. I hear you! One day ‘this food’ will save your life and the next you’ll die from all of the harmful carcinogens laying in wait for you. It’s enough to make you crazy. Amen to trusting yourself and sticking with the brown rice. I eat it everyday. This bread looks great and I love the flour blend you created.

  9. Ugh, coconut flour is ridiculous to bake with. It basically absorbs all the moisture and ruins everything. Obviously I am not a friend of coconut flour. Glad you found some more forgiving flours to work with and this banana bread looks absolutely beautiful, I love the photos!

  10. I just loved this post. I do a LOT of paleo baking which means I spend a ridic amount on the flours that cost my first born’s college fund. And it is SO difficult to master baking with coconut flour!!
    But, I totally love this banana bread! Anything with brown butter has my heart!

    1. I definitely commend you for doing so much paleo baking! It really is so hard to master paleo baking ESPECIALLY with coconut flour and you really nail it! Thanks Taylor!

  11. This looks fantastic, the dark rich color is everything. I’ve only ventured into baking with almond flour as it’s the only one that seems to hold up for me but I love that you mixed a few different type to get it just right.

    1. Yes I love that dark rich color which is caused by that awesome molasses! Almond flour is always a good 1-1 substitute but if you are looking to save a bit and find a flour mixture that is more durable than mixing is the way to go!

  12. What lovely pictures, Linda – I would love a slice with a cup of coffee on a cold winter morning! And I’m with you on brown rice – I can’t take anymore info on what to eat and what not to eat – it just changes all the time. Everything in moderation, I say.

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