Banana bread is great – for breakfast, as a dessert, or just to tide you over until your next meal. I really wanted a banana bread that wasn’t chock full of sugar, but had more of a subtle sweetness. With fall in full swing, I decided to incorporate some fall flavors. And out of that grew this gluten free maple pecan banana bread.
I used this recipe as a base, as I like it when I want something sweeter. However for this version I used only maple syrup and the bananas as sweetener. The pecans add a nice crunch, especially in the topping.
I discovered that the pecans are best if you use a food processor, or in my case, a mini food processor, to chop them up. You can do it by hand, but it takes longer and you don’t get as uniform of pieces. Plus, I’m lazy and like appliances to do the work for me.
The trick to this banana bread is waiting until it’s pretty well cooked before adding the topping, otherwise the very middle stays a little gooey. It still tastes good, just doesn’t hold a typical banana bread texture. But you do want to cook it long enough to let the pecans get nice and toasted.
Pin this Gluten Free Maple Pecan Banana Bread for later!
Looking for more fall desserts? Check out my Baked Apples with Ginger, Dates, and Pecans!
Recipe for Gluten Free Maple Pecan Banana Bread
Gluten Free Maple Pecan Banana Bread
For the bread:
- 3 medium bananas (1.5 cups mashed)
- 1/3 cup maple syrup
- 1/2 cup (1 stick of butter,) softened
- 2 cups gluten free flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 for 1 blend)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 2 tsp maple extract
- 2 tbsp coconut milk (cow’s milk will also work)
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
For the topping:
- 1 cup finely chopped pecans
- 2 tbsp maple syrup
- Parchment paper
- Scissors (to cut parchment paper)
- A loaf pan
- A food processor (or cutting board with large knife - to chop pecans)
- A masher (or fork)
- A set of measuring cups
- A stand mixer or large bowl with a hand mixer
- A spatula
- A large bowl
- A set of measuring spoons
- Toothpicks (to check bread for doneness)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper large enough to cover the inside of the loaf pan and place it inside the pan. Set aside.
- Mash the bananas in a container with a fork or masher. Set aside.
- Place 1/3 cup of maple syrup and the softened butter in bowl and stir with a hand mixer, or use a stand mixer, until well combined, scraping the sides with a spatula as necessary.
- In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- Stir the bananas, eggs, maple extract, and coconut milk into the maple syrup & butter mixture until well combined.
- Pour half of the flour mixture into the banana mixture, stirring until just combined. Add the second half and do the same.
- Pour the 1/2 cup of chopped pecans into the mixture and stir until just combined and there are no pockets of dry flour in the mixture.
- Pour the bread mixture into the loaf pan with the parchment paper in it. Level it out across the pan with the spatula.
- Place the loaf pan into the oven and set the timer for 30 minutes.
- While the bread is cooking, chop the remaining 1 cup of pecans finely (or you can use a food processor).
- Place the chopped pecans in a bowl and add the 2 tbsp remaining maple syrup.
- Combine with a spoon or spatula until all pecan pieces are covered with maple syrup.
- Once the bread cooks for the first 30 minutes, take it out of the oven and spread the pecan & maple syrup mixture onto the top with a spoon or spatula, making sure the bread is evenly covered.
- Place the loaf pan back in the oven and cook for another 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean.
- Once cooked, take the bread out of the loaf pan and let cool at least 10 minutes before serving.
*Don't use more than 1.5 cups of mashed bananas. If you use more, the bread will turn out gummy. It will still taste good, but the texture will be off.