Classic gluten free banana bread baked in a 9×9 pan for portable, lunchbox friendly, or easy breakfast – gluten free banana bars.
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This recipe for gluten free banana bread bars is my exact gluten free banana bread recipe with one very small change. The only difference is that I baked the bread in a 9×9 pan instead of a loaf pan.
Baking the bread in a square pan produces a fluffy, moist banana bread bar that’s super portable and great for snacking.
The best part is that baking in a shallow pan means the bread bakes in half the time as it would in a loaf pan. Instead of taking about 55 minutes to bake all the way through, the banana bread bars are done in just under 30 minutes.
And if you’ve baked a lot of gluten free quick breads, you’ll know that you can’t slice into one when it’s still warm because it’ll crumble. With the bars, you can cut them and enjoy them while they’re still warm.
These banana bread bars are so moist and fluffy, it’s almost like eating cake. I’ve seen a lot of bar recipes that call for frosting or icing but for the sake of keeping this breakfast food, I decided to keep these plain.
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If you really want an icing to make frosted banana bread bars, there are plenty of cream cheese or vanilla icing recipes in The Gluten-Free Quick Breads Cookbook to choose from!
Key Ingredients for Gluten Free Banana Bars
- Ripe Bananas – You want your bananas to be super ripe with the peels almost all brown/black. The riper they are, the sweeter they’ll be, and they’ll add more moisture and flavor to your bread.
- Gluten Free Flour Blend – I use my nightshade-free gluten free flour blend in this recipe. It doesn’t contain xanthan gum, so I add ¾ teaspoon when mixing the dry ingredients. If you use a 1:1 flour that contains xanthan gum, omit the amount called for in the recipe.
- Milk – You can use regular milk in this recipe, or you can use an unsweetened dairy free milk instead. Personally, I almost always bake my quick breads with unsweetened coconut milk beverage because half my household is lactose intolerant and dairy free milks work really well in gluten free quick breads.
- Feel free to use your favorite dairy free milk, just be sure to use one that isn’t flavored (chocolate, vanilla, etc). If the milk you use has added sugar, you can reduce the amount of sugar in this recipe by ¼ cup but that’s completely optional. I’ve also tried this recipe with Walnut Milk and it was very good!
Can I add mix ins?
Yes! Feel free to add up to 1 cup of mix ins – chocolate chips, nuts, or dried fruit would all be great in this recipe.
Can I made Dairy Free Banana Bars?
Absolutely! See above in the in “Key Ingredients” section where it says “Milk”. I went over my favorite dairy free subs there.
Equipment Needed to Make Banana Bread Bars
How to Make Banana Bars
Step 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9×9 inch square pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper.
Step 2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar.
Step 3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, brown sugar, oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
Step 4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Cooking time will vary depending on your oven – mine took 29 minutes.
Step 5. Cool the bread in the pan on a cooling rack. Cut into 16 pieces and serve slightly warm or room temperature.
Tips for making the best Banana Bars
- Make sure your banana are ripe. The riper the better. If your bananas aren’t ripe, the bars won’t have as much flavor and moisture. I like to buy banana from the mark down section in the produce department because they’re “too brown”. Too brown means perfect for baking!
- Don’t use extra banana. Adding extra bananas to a gluten free recipe can get tricky. Gluten free flour absorbs liquid when baking but adding extra banana will add more liquid than the flour can handle. It’ll prevent the bars from baking all the way through in the center and can also make the middle collapse. Please only use 1 cup for this recipe, it’s about 2 medium bananas.
How to Store Banana Bars
Wrap the banana bars tightly in plastic wrap or store slices in an air-tight container at room temperature. It will stay fresh up to 3 days.
This bread also freezes well. To freeze, slice into individual pieces and freeze in a freezer bag.
Other Gluten Free Banana Baking Recipes To Try:
- Pumpkin Banana Bread
- French Toast made with Banana Bread
- Banana Oat Muffins
- Double Chocolate Banana Bread
- Banana Nut Muffins
- Cranberry Banana Bread
- Banana Split Muffins (vegan)
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- 2 Cups all-purpose gluten free flour (see notes)
- 3/4 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend contains it)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 Cup granulated sugar
- 1 Cup mashed banana
- 1/2 Cup light brown sugar
- 1/3 Cup avocado oil (or canola oil)
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 2/3 Cup milk (dairy free or regular milk), room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9x9 inch square pan with non-stick spray and line with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and granulated sugar.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the mashed banana, brown sugar, oil, eggs, milk, and vanilla extract. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir to combine.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. Cooking time will vary depending on your oven - mine took 29 minutes.
- Cool the bread in the pan on a cooling rack. Cut into 16 pieces and serve slightly warm or room temperature.
- To store, wrap tightly in foil or store slices in an air-tight container. It will stay fresh up to 3 days. This bread also freezes well. To freeze, slice into individual pieces and freeze in a freezer bag.
I use my Nightshade-FreeGluten Free Flour Blend in these banana bars. If your flour blend contains xanthan gum, omit the amount called for in the recipe.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 171
Nutrition Facts are estimated and aren't always accurate. Please consult a doctor or nutritionist if you have special dietary needs.
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