Gluten-free Tropical Banana Nut bread

I will never forget when I had my first baby in March of 1993. I live outside of Philadelphia, and that year there was a massive blizzard in the middle of March that paralyzed the entire northeastern region. You may have heard of it: The Blizzard of ’93. Of course, it was during this blizzard that the baby decided to make an entrance into the world! After a harrowing ambulance ride to the nearest hospital, the rest of the delivery went as planned, and I was blessed with a healthy 8 lb. 13 oz. baby boy, that I named Austin. I was initially going to name him Storm, but thankfully my family talked me out of that!

When I got home from the hospital, my mom came for a visit with my sisters to see baby Austin. She brought lunch, and she brought the most amazing banana nut bread that she had gotten from her church’s bake sale. Now, I had always been a huge fan of banana nut bread growing up, and my go-to recipe had always been the one in the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. Now don’t get me wrong, that recipe makes an incredibly good loaf of traditional banana nut bread. But this banana bread my mom brought took things to a different level. This banana nut bread didn’t just have bananas and nuts. It had chocolate chips. It had coconut. It was almost dessert-like. And from that moment on, I began to add chocolate chips and coconut to my banana bread.

My mom and my sister, with baby Austin on the day they brought THE BEST BANANA BREAD EVER!

Fast forward several years (ok, a lot of years because my son is now 27!), and my husband and I have both developed a gluten sensitivity. (I’ll write more about that in a different post). We are not able to eat the beloved banana nut bread anymore. This was a big deal because I used to make that bread twice a month. I knew I needed to come up with a gluten-free version of that banana nut bread. And here it is.

This Gluten-free Tropical Banana Nut Bread is moist. Delicious. Very Banana-ey. (Is that a word?). The trick is to use very, very ripe bananas because bananas get sweeter and more liquified as they ripen. Another trick is to use 4-5 bananas. This takes the banana flavor and moistness to an entirely different level. I use gluten-free flour in this recipe; specifically, Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 Gluten-free flour, which is available in most grocery stores, and I get the big bag from Wegman’s. This recipe also uses butter, but if you need it to be vegan or dairy-free, you could substitute a non-dairy butter spread. I hope your family likes this recipe as much as my family does!

Gluten-free Tropical Banana Nut Bread

Be Well with Liza
Tropical Banana Nut Bread is a new twist on a classic favorite! Tropical Banana Nut Bread has shredded coconut to give it a tropical flair along with chocolate chips and ground walnuts to give it a rich flavor. This recipe is gluten-free and dairy-free and is simple to make. It's perfect with a pat of grass-fed butter and a cup of coffee.
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Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Course Breakfast, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 10 slices
Calories 307 kcal


  • Mixer (Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer)
  • Whisk
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Standard Size Loaf Pan (8 ½ X 4 ½ X 2 ½), greased
  • Measuring Cups and Spoons
  • Rubber Scraper
  • Oven heated to 350°


Dry Ingredients

  • 2 cups Gluten Free Flour I like Bob's Red Mill 1:1 Gluten Free Flour.
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • ¼ tsp Salt

Wet Ingredients

  • ½ cup Unsalted Butter Softened
  • ½ cup Granulated Cane Sugar I use organic cane sugar so it is not bleached
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1-2 tbsp Almond Milk Or non-dairy milk of your choice
  • 4-5 Very Ripe Bananas (4 large or 5 small)
  • cup Walnuts, ground or finely chopped I use my coffee grinder for this step
  • cup Shredded Coconut
  • ½ cup Chocolate Chips


  • Pre-heat oven to 350°. Gather all your ingredients. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt to a small bowl and whisk well to combine. Set bowl aside.
    Ingredients for Tropical Banana Bread
  • In a stand mixer or with hand mixer in a separate bowl, beat softened butter until creamy.
  • Add sugar to bowl with butter and beat for 1-2 minutes until incorporated into the butter.
  • Add eggs and beat until mixed well into the butter/sugar mixture.
  • Add vanilla and almond milk and beat until incorporated.
  • Add the VERY ripe bananas one at a time and beat until the bananas are broken into very small pieces.
  • Add dry ingredients that were combined and set aside in the first step and mix well with mixer.
  • By hand, mix in coconut, ground walnuts, and chocolate chips and mix until fully combined.
  • Pour/scrape batter into a greased standard size loaf pan.
  • Bake for 50 – 60 minutes in a 350° oven. Oven times may vary so start checking at 50 minutes. My bread is done at 55 minutes. The bread should be golden to light brown on top.
  • Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes on cooling rack and then turn out of pan to allow to cool 20 – 30 minutes more before cutting.
  • This bread is excellent warm or toasted in a toaster oven with a pat of grass fed butter. Yum!
    Slice of tropical banana bread with butter


I use Bob’s Red Mill One to One Baking flour because it substitutes exactly 1:1 for regular flour for recipes like this one.  If you use a different brand of gluten-free flour, make sure that the flour has xanthan gum added, or you will need to add it.  Your flour packaging should give guidelines for adding xanthan gum specific to your brand. 
If you are not gluten-free, you could substitute regular all-purpose flour.  
If you are allergic to nuts, you can eliminate the ground walnuts and the almond milk and use another non-dairy milk instead.  
If you aren’t dairy-free, you could use regular milk instead of almond milk.
I use ground walnuts because my family does not like the texture of the nuts in the bread, but I like the nutty flavor the walnuts give it, along with the protein and omega -3’s, so I sneak them in by grinding the walnuts up.  You can chop the nuts if you prefer, and you can also toast them to enhance the nutty flavor in a 400-degree oven for about 10 minutes.  
I hope you enjoy this tropical banana bread as much as my family and I do! 


Serving: 1sliceSodium: 234mgCalcium: 56mgVitamin C: 5mgVitamin A: 369IUSugar: 20gFiber: 4gPotassium: 251mgCholesterol: 57mgCalories: 307kcalSaturated Fat: 7gFat: 15gProtein: 5gCarbohydrates: 43gIron: 1mg
Keyword banana bread, bread, quick breads, snack breads
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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