Oat Banana Bread (gluten-free)

Let’s talk about coping for a minute.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake // The Pancake Princess

Not grief coping—more like coping as a defense mechanism. As in: what do you do when you’re waiting for something but you don’t want to think about it in the meantime? I’m going through one of those “picture a white elephant now don’t think about it” things. Mehh. Can’t. Stop. Thinking.

There’s something that I’m waiting to hear back on. And I’ve been driving poor Erik crazy over the past few weeks because it’s every day has just been a volatile roller coaster of feelings and opinions. I’m a joy to date, I know.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake // The Pancake Princess

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake // The Pancake Princess
Banana Chocolate Chip Cake // The Pancake Princess

This morning over eggs, Erik said, “Okay I’m just being funny but it seems like as soon as you get something, you don’t want it anymore. And as soon as you think you can’t have it, you really want it.”

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake // The Pancake Princess

And I said, I KNOW. Welcome to my brain. And then I made myself late for work by telling him why it’s a defense mechanism because if I really want something, I can’t think about how much I want it because defeat would be crushing and depressing. So I have to think about all the reasons why I don’t want it instead while trying to bury all feelings of positivity. Which makes me look like a really negative person. Even though sometimes I feel like an optimist?

When I was explaining this, Erik just looked at me like I was speaking Swahili and we are the same astrology sign!! This maybe means I am an alien.

How do you cope when waiting for something that you kind of not really sort of really want?

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake // The Pancake Princess

In other news, I’M REALLY EXCITED ABOUT THIS BANANA BREAD. See that full-risen, gorgeous crumb? That is made almost COMPLETELY out of oat flour. Back in the day when I first started modifying/developing healthy recipes, all of the low-sugar, gluten-free/vegan recipes I attempted always turned out gummy and flat.

But this banana bread. THIS CAKE. It’s pretty darn wholesome and miracle of miracles, it puffed up all proud and bronzed in the oven and came out with a smooth, golden crust and extremely moist and sweet interior! Swoon.

Here’s how I developed the recipe and why I think this recipe succeeded (I know there are some extra “special” ingredients in here, but I think they’re worth picking up. I’ll explain why I think they’re essential):

  • Oat flour: While I love adding a bit of oat flour to wheat flour-based baked goods because it adds tenderness, using 100% oat flour and nothing else has always produced gummy, mostly tasteless results for me. I decided to try basing the bulk of my recipe on oat flour with a few added ingredients to combat gumminess, flatness, and tastelessness.
  • Almond flour: I added almond flour to for its fat, moisture and structure to combat the gummy 100% oat flour effect. Since almond flour adds a substantial amount of fat, I figured I could cut down on the oil in the wet ingredients (which I did—to just 1 tablespoon!). Almond meal would also work since fine texture is not critical here.
    You can make almond meal by grinding up whole almonds in your food processor.
  • Cornstarch: I always think twice about using cornstarch since it’s a pretty processed nutritional wasteland, but I have a box that I need to use up and I knew cornstarch would help add structure to the cake. So I added it. Arrowroot powder or sweet rice flour may also work, but I haven’t tried them.
  • Leavening: I used baking powder AND baking soda for maximum lift power—again, I did NOT want a gummy cake. Baking powder can basically act on its own in any recipe, but baking soda needs an acid (vinegar, buttermilk, cocoa powder, etc.) to react with in order to work. So I added yogurt to my wet ingredients to provide that acid, but a vegan substitute of non-dairy milk + a splash of apple cider vinegar should also do the trick.
  • Eggs: I adore eggless baking for its convenience and limiting of animal products, but I had a feeling that without the binding structure of the egg, the cake would not rise as high and the structure would be compromised. I might try adding flax to the dry ingredients and subbing out the egg next time, but I’m a little wary of that method since it’s flopped for me in the past (see: flatness.)
  • Sweetener: honey is sweeter than sugar, so I added ¼ cup and hoped that in conjunction with the bananas and chocolate chips, it would be enough to sweeten the cake. I thought this was the perfect amount!

Note: Since I don’t have a loaf pan at the moment, I baked it in my 6″ cake pan which was not the best idea since it took FOR-EVER for the middle to cook through. I’ve listed suggested baking times below for a standard loaf pan (this is basically banana bread after all) or an 8×8″ pan, although I haven’t tested them so, as always, check early and often on your precious cake, whatever pan you use.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake // The Pancake Princess

Oat Banana Bread (gluten-free)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

This healthy banana chocolate chip cake uses all oat flour and no sugar--it's truly a cake that you can feel good snacking on!


  • 2 cups oat flour
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour (or meal)
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1.5 teaspoons baking powder (gluten-free if needed)
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • generous ¼ teaspoon table salt

  • ¾ cup mashed banana (2 medium/large bananas)
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (if you only have Greek yogurt, whisk 1/4 cup with 1/4 cup milk to thin it)
  • ¼ cup honey
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease a standard-sized loaf pan, 8x8" pan or 6" cake pan (I recommend a loaf pan).

Whisk together the oat flour, almond flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In a separate bowl or measuring cup, combine the wet ingredients.

Pour the wet mixture into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Fold in the chocolate chips. Scrape mixture into prepared pan and bake for one of the following times:

If using a loaf pan, bake at 350 for about 40-50 minutes (check it at 35 minutes).

If using an 8x8" pan, check it at 25 minutes and add 3-5 minutes more baking time until done.

If using the 6" cake pan, bake for 20 minutes at 350, then lower the temperature to 325 and bake for 15-18 more minutes.

Bread is done when the top springs back lightly under your finger. If inserting a tester (i.e. toothpick or fork), just watch to make sure there's no raw batter oozing off of it.


This can be made gluten-free if you make sure to use gluten-free oats and gluten-free baking powder.

Inspired by here.


Bananas are my fruit of choice for healthy baking since their high sugar content lets you reduce the added sweetener in your recipes. For more healthy banana/oat-filled recipes, try these:

Pumpkin banana breakfast cake: incredibly dense and delicious even with low sugar and fat!

pumpkin banana breakfast cake

Avocado banana bread: so. Moist. This takes the cake for softest banana bread ever.


Stovetop banana bread bites: I developed these for when it’s just too hot to use the oven, but these are good for a quick batch of delicious, nutrient-packed cookie bites any time of year!


Banana yogurt cookies: fluffy, slightly cakey and irresistible.

banana yogurt cookies

Oatmeal cookie scones

oatmeal cookie scones

Peanut butter & banana Dutch baby: a poofed, heavenly-light pancake with possibly my favorite flavor combination!

peanut butter banana dutch baby

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31 thoughts on “Oat Banana Bread (gluten-free)

  1. Pingback: Get your bake on. | 365 Days of Crystal

  2. Diane S.

    Dear Erika,
    A Google search landed me here tonight and I just made this yummy banana bread (I call it bread because I used a loaf pan). I had the browning bananas and wanted to make something healthy. Thought I had whole wheat flour and it turned out to be oat flour, thus this recipe. Didn’t have almond flour so I used flax seed. Had vanilla Greek yogurt, so I added some milk. Used vegetable oil because I only have evoo and couldn’t imagine adding to banana bread. Baked perfectly in 35 minutes and it is moist and delicious!! So excited to find your recipe! And after a whole year, I hope you got what you were waiting for! (And still wanted it!)

    1. erika Post author

      Diane–I’m so happy to hear this turned out well for you!! Thanks for leaving such an awesome, thorough comment with your feedback! :) You know, I dare you to try olive oil in a recipe sometime and see how you like it. I honestly have never noticed a negative difference after I stopped using vegetable oil a few years ago. And you’re so sweet–I didn’t get what I was waiting for, but I ended up going a different direction that I’m enjoying–so thank you! <3

  3. Pingback: 40 Gluten-Free Oat Flour Recipes

    1. erika Post author

      Hi Jeannette! Unfortunately, I haven’t heard from anyone saying they have. If you have tapiocha flour/starch or arrowroot powder, that will provide the same effect as cornstarch. I have a feeling it will work okay without the cornstarch or any substitutes, it’ll just be less fluffy and possibly less tender.

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  6. Two Red Bowls

    HAHAHA Erika, you cracked me up with this. This is so NOT alien. I’m the exact same way. And then I just verbalize all my internal rationalizations/defense mechanisms over and over while I’m waiting. Which can’t possibly be annoying in the least, right? :) Wishing you so much good luck with what you’re waiting for! But just know that if you don’t get it, it was TOTALLY crappy anyway. Like. You seriously dodged a bullet. And this comes from a reputable source given that I know absolutely nothing about what “it” is.

    And best things last, I LOVE the look of this cake! I feel like I can taste the texture of it just by looking at it. I love that you used oat flour and the banana-chocolate chip combo. Everybody’s been telling me to do that for ages but I haven’t gotten around to it yet. Thanks for posting this, and good luck again!!!

    1. erika Post author

      You are the sweetest! Glad to know I’m not an alien (maybe Erik is the real alien…) and thanks for the good wishes! I’m sure you’re right…if I don’t end up getting it, I’ll surely find some way to justify it in my head 😉

      And ahh thank you! :)

  7. Mary Frances @ The Sweet {Tooth} Life

    Okay, I am so glad I found your blog! Now following so I don’t miss anymore of your posts … I really enjoy reading them! This recipe looks INCREDIBLE. All those flavors, and the fact that it is oat based … mmm yum. Pinning!
    As for coping, I’m extroverted, and it really helps to talk it out with someone I trust and who is willing to listen. Usually, once I talk it out, I can see it for what it is … and usually, its not worth getting in a huff over:) I don’t know if that’s what’s going on, but that’s all my thoughts:) Thanks for your comment on my blog, can’t wait to read more of yours!

    1. erika Post author

      Thanks so much for the kind words and your thoughts on coping! That sounds totally reasonable and I’ve kind of indirectly taken your advice and I am feeling so much more calm. I’m loving your blog as well! :)

  8. Kelly

    Hehe, I think that sounds like me and a lot of us sometimes too :) But no matter what happens, hope you get what you what you really want and it makes you very happy :)
    Love the sound of this cake with bananas with oat and almond flour – glad it didn’t turn out gummy too :) It looks wonderful and super moist! Have a great weekend!

  9. Tahnycooks

    I hope you get this new opportunity. OH WAIT! Maybe I don’t want you to, would that mean you would have to quit blogging?! I’m selfish…! This cake looks fabulous!

    1. erika Post author

      Awww Tahny that made me smile. Scarily, you could be right…I would probably have less time for blogging…but I probably wouldn’t stop! :) Thanks for the sweet comment! All you readers are seriously the best.

  10. Kaylie @ Skinny Muffin

    I want cake. I think suffering through 3 weeks of evil finals and projects and life earns me some cake, right? Also. Whatever you’re tripping about, I’m sure you’ll get it. And in the 0.000001% you don’t get it, something better will probably come along. It usually does. I mean, I thought I was going to be in Philadelphia right now and here I am, sitting in ol’ Greensboro, happy as a clam [minus the 3 weeks of ridiculous grad school work]. A year from now, we will laugh about this moment. Over cake.

    1. erika Post author

      Omg 3 weeks?!?! Poor child. Come here! Eat some cake!

      And thanks for the wise words. Deep breath in. Out. I just need to calm. Down. You’re right. If I don’t get it, it’s probably just not meant to happen. (BUT I STILL REALLY WANT IT! OR DO I? Ugh.)

      Also, that prospect of laughing about this over a cake a year from now sounds really appealing. Can we make this happen?

  11. Irina @ wandercrush

    Aaaaaaaaaaah I have a love-hate relationship with oat flour! It often turns out dense for me, but this looks so light and tender. There was a day where I almost swore off baking completely after another set of gummy muffins came out of the oven. Anyway, I’m thinking to give this a try! I never would’ve tried combining nut flour with oat flour and cornstarch, but it seems to have worked beautifully for you.

    1. erika Post author

      That’s exactly what happened to me! I hadn’t baked with oat flour in so long (except adding it in tiny bits to wheat-based recipes) until this. Please give this a try–I promise it’ll change your mind!! :)

  12. Ana Fernandez

    jajaja can’t stop laughing about how your brain acts! I do the exact same thing! We should create a club or something. I’ve got my fingers crossed for whatever thing you are waiting, I know everything will be all right. Btw this cake looks great!!

    1. erika Post author

      Yes let’s form a club! I seriously feel so neurotic, but it’s good to know there are other people out there who share my brain activity :) Thanks for your kind words Ana!!

  13. The Vegan 8

    The cake looks wonderful and DELISH! Yeah girl..basically every single recipe I bake with is almond flour and oat flour. I agree all oats can be nasty if there isn’t good other ingredients to combat it’s effects. I found the perfect ratio basically for my baking of a combo of oat flour, almond flour and tapioca. They turn out tender, fluffy and MOIST! Almond flour is my absolute favorite flour. I use a much higher ratio though and when I finally perfected my ratios, it eliminated my need for eggs and oil. I love that you use honey for sweetener and it’s a cake that one can feel good stuffing their face with! lol!

    1. erika Post author

      Yumm sounds delish! Also, I’m so sorry!!! I just realized I don’t think I ever got back to you on that newspaper pecan recipe contest. I did look through my newspapers when I got home and couldn’t find it :/ I think I must have recycled it accidentally. Anyway, I hope you somehow found another way to submit your amazing recipe!

      Also, thanks for commenting on this even though you hate bananas 😉


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