One of the most difficult transitions I had to make with my food sensitivities was re-learning how to bake. I baked a lot as a kid and have some great food traditions in my family, and it was hard enough to leave behind some of grandma’s amazing recipes. But little did I know that gluten-free and vegan baking would feel like chemistry class, with a whole new set of ingredients and formulas to experiment with…oftentimes ending failure and frustration.
Fortunately, I learned about Erin McKenna and BabyCakes NYC early on in my gfree baking endeavors. These cookbooks rescued me from my gluten-free chemistry woes and gave me an entirely different attitude towards gfree baked goods. They are always the first thing I recommend to friends who are looking for gluten-free and/or vegan cookbooks, so check them out!
Not only do the books lay out helpful tips about baking gluten-free foods, but the recipes are absolutely amazing. I could gush all day about them, but I will spare you of that in exchange for the details on my favorite BabyCakes recipe: the banana bread!
You can find the recipe for Erin’s fabulous banana bread on the BabyCakes website by clicking here. Erin gives some great advice in her post about the banana bread, and some of it is worth repeating:
-Make sure the oil you use is high quality! Coconut oil is a key ingredient in this recipe, in my humble opinion. Even though you can technically use any baking oil in the banana bread, the coconut adds an amazing flavor. I actually think that Whole Foods’ coconut oil, which tends to be the least expensive, gives the best taste!
-Only fill your loaf pan halfway high with batter. I learned this one the hard way. And by hard way I mean that I had an oversized pan of pudding-like banana bread when I first tried this recipe. It tasted pretty darn good, but wasn’t exactly the effect I was going for!
-Not all ovens are made alike, so you will have to monitor your banana bread after the instructed cooking time to figure out when it’s ready. My current oven took something like 45 minutes to bake the loaf of banana bread, even though the instructions call for much less time that that. When a knife inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, you’re good to go!
-You can add some fun extra ingredients to this recipe, such as blueberries and chocolate chips! I recommend Enjoy Life’s chocolate chips for an amazing chocolate-banana combo.
I just baked some of the banana bread last week, and managed to snap a few pics before eating it all up. I made some of the banana bread in muffin tins, which turned out better than I would have imagined, and made the rest in a bread pan per usual. Enjoy the photos, and let me know if you ever give this recipe a try!