Bake up your favorite flavor of banana bread with this easily adaptable Gluten Free Basic Banana Bread: Three Ways recipe. Make up your own mix-in variation or choose from Berry Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Cup, and Samoa.
I don’t do well with choices. I would much rather have only one option to choose from or have somebody else tell me what to do. That’s actually why I claim to be right most of the time…because when a wrong choice is made, I have somebody else to blame it on. Smart thinking, eh?
Although, does that technically mean that I’m wrong, too, by letting someone else choose for me??? Hmmm, I’ll have to think about that one. But I’d really just rather stick with my first theory. It gives me a better track record.
Speaking of being overwhelmed with choices, I walked into the gardening section of Lowe’s for the first time in my life earlier this week. In my entire adulthood, I’ve never felt the need to buy any pretty plants to fancy up the outside of my home. I’d much rather spend money on the inside and, besides, our yards have always looked decent anyway.
Most of the houses we have owned or rented either had extremely low yard maintenance requirements or lawn care included in the HOA dues. We have become accustomed to being extremely lazy when it comes to yard work.
However, now that we have moved into a new home that we are fairly confident we will live in for at least the next decade, I feel slightly more inclined to make the outside of my home look more inviting. Plus, we’re on the hunt for some friends. We want our neighbors to like us, and who doesn’t like a neighbor who keeps up with their curb appeal???
And with that thought in mind, I spontaneously walked into Lowe’s with absolutely no clue what I was doing. Who knew you could choose so many plants?! How do you keep them all alive? How much sun do they need? When do I water them? Do I have to replace them? Will they regrow every year? I DON’T KNOW!!!
Even after hunting down an employee and asking all these questions I was basically left with the advice: Pick what you like and I’m sure it will work.
And so I did. The girls and I picked the cutest little mini cacti along with a few larger cacti to be the centerpiece of the pot. I also bought my very first planting shovel and watering can. My momma would be proud!
That night we had a Family Fun Night and planted our colorful little cactus garden in my bright turquoise pot and set it right outside our front door. Our porch has never been happier.
Not only did we take initiative in planting our first cactus garden, but the girls and I actually returned to Lowe’s and bought ANOTHER plant to set on the other side of our front door. What?! I’m pushing my planting luck here. Once again, I had no idea what I was doing. All I knew is that I wanted a “full looking bush”. Yes, that is the exact description that I gave to the Lowe’s employee, which just so happened to be the same lady I was working with the last time. Once again I basically got the answer, “Just pick what you like. I’m sure it will do fine.”
Uhhh…yeah. We’ll see about that.
But I’ll have you know that my “full looking bush” is now flowering and has yet to shrivel up and die. I have no idea what type of plant it is, but I don’t even care. It’s alive.
So choices may not be my strong suit, but I’ll tell you one thing, I sure do know how to choose flavor combos for my banana bread. And with this recipe for Gluten Free Basic Banana Bread: Three Ways, you can either throw in your own creation of mix-ins into the batter, or follow my recipe for Berry Cheesecake, Peanut Butter Cup, or Samoa (chocolate, caramel, coconut) banana bread. They’re each to die for!
I shared these three flavors of banana bread for a girls’ night out activity through my church congregation. The women loved the different flavors and didn’t realize it was possible to be so versatile with just one basic recipe. I don’t know that a favorite flavor was ever officially agreed upon. The votes were almost evenly divided between all three flavors. However, the berry cheesecake may have had a few more votes. I’m guessing because it was the most unique flavor of the three.
The berry cheesecake has a mixture of vanilla cheesecake and warm berry compote swirled together to create a sweet and tangy treat. It’s almost like putting homemade berry jam on top of your freshly baked banana bread. It’s a must try for sure!
I’m almost positive that this berry bread topped with vanilla bean ice cream would trump all other summer desserts. Move over berry cobbler because there is another sheriff in town.
Next up is the peanut butter cup banana bread. It tastes just how you would expect. It’s my banana bread version of a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup…without any of the actual candy mixed in. This flavor has spoonfuls of peanut butter cheesecake swirled throughout the batter, along with a few handfuls of milk chocolate chips.
This flavor won over Braelyn’s heart. Since she is a peanut butter cup fanatic, she couldn’t keep her hands off of this loaf. Seriously, every time I make banana bread now she requests this version. She would probably eat all four mini loaves in one sitting if I let her. Don’t worry, I won’t.
And lastly is my all time favorite: Samoa. I’m not a coconut fan until it’s toasted, and then I become an addict. This banana bread has a combo of Heath toffee bits and mini chocolate chips mixed throughout the batter with toasted coconut and extra chocolate chips and Heath bits on top. It’s basically my banana bread version of everyone’s favorite Girl Scout cookie.
The toffee and coconut on top bake into this perfectly crispy, caramely crust. It’s munchable and completely delicious!!!
So there you have it, three amazingly awesome recipes in one. Take your pick based on the ingredients you have on hand, or plan in advance what loaves you’re going to make to impress your friends and family. I guarantee you can’t go wrong with any variety.
Are you creative with your banana bread recipes or do you stick with the same flavors all the time?
- For the banana bread:
- 1 stick butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1¼ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¾ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon xanthan gum
- ½ cup milk or buttermilk
- ½ cup white rice flour*
- ½ cup brown rice flour*
- ⅓ cup coconut flour*
- ⅓ cup tapioca starch*
- ¼ cup cornstarch*
- 3 mashed ripened bananas (mash until soupy)
- SAMOA MIX-INS:
- ¼ cup toffee baking bits, plus more for sprinkling
- ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling
- ⅓ cup sweetened coconut flakes
- BERRY CHEESECAKE MIX-INS:
- 1½ cups frozen or fresh berries
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- ¼ cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- dash of cinnamon
- 6 oz. softened cream cheese (room temperature)
- 1 lightly beaten egg
- additional ¼ cup sugar
- dash of vanilla
- PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE MIX-INS:
- ½ cup chocolate chips, plus more for topping
- 4 oz. cream cheese
- ½ cup creamy peanut butter
- ⅓ cup sugar
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease 4 nonstick mini loaf pans and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla and mix until smooth. Add eggs and milk and mix until incorporated.
- In a small bowl, sift together white rice flour, brown rice flour, coconut flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch, salt, baking soda, cinnamon, and xanthan gum* if needed. Add dry blend to wet mixture and stir until combined. Add mashed bananas to batter and stir until combined.
- Flavor banana bread according to preference,**
- Distribute batter evenly between loaf pans (about ⅔ way full), and bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes or until tops spring back at touch of a finger and toothpick inserted into center comes out with very few moist crumbs.
- Remove bread from oven and set on cooling racks. Let cool 10-15 minutes. Run a sharp knife around edges to loosen. Gently flip bread out of pan and allow to continue cooling on wire racks.
- Store leftover banana bread in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days, in fridge for up to 1 week, or in freezer for up to 3 months. Serve banana bread at room temperature or warmed for 10 seconds in microwave.
1. BERRY CHEESECAKE:
Berry Compote (1 ½ cups frozen or fresh berries, ¼ cup water, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, ¼ cup sugar, 2 tablespoons cornstarch, dash of cinnamon).
Add all ingredients to a small saucepan and stir until cornstarch is dissolved. Heat over medium heat until boiling. Reduce heat to a simmer. Stir until thickened and berries have broken down, about 5-6 minutes, and remove from heat. Let cool.
Cheesecake Filling (6 oz. softened cream cheese, at room temperature, 1 lightly beaten egg, ¼ cup sugar, dash of vanilla). Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
To make banana bread, pour a thin layer of banana bread batter on bottom of pans. Alternately add ½ teaspoonful drops of berry compote and cream cheese over batter. Cover with another layer of banana bread batter. Add drops of compote and cream cheese again. Barely cover with another layer of batter. Add one more layer of compote and cheesecake drops. Drop a few teaspoonful drops of banana bread batter on top. Gently swirl loaf once or twice to marble. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 mins.
2. PEANUT BUTTER CHOCOLATE:
Peanut butter filling (6 oz. softened cream cheese, room temperature, 1 lightly beaten egg, ⅓ cup sugar, dash of vanilla, ¼ cup creamy peanut butter) Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling on top
To make banana bread, pour a thin layer of banana bread batter on bottom of pans. Sprinkle a layer of mini chocolate chips on top. Drop ½ teaspoonful drops of peanut butter filling randomly on top of chocolate. Cover with a layer of banana bread batter. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Add drops of peanut butter filling. Cover with another layer of banana bread batter. Add another layer of chocolate chips, one last layer of peanut butter filling drops and cover with banana bread batter. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 for 35-40 minutes.
3. SAMOA (toffee, chocolate, and coconut):
1/4 cup toffee baking bits, plus more for sprinkling
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips, plus more for sprinkling
1/3 cup sweetened coconut flakes
To make banana bread, mix ¼ cup toffee bits and ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips into banana bread batter. Stir to combine. Pour batter evenly between loaf pans. Top with a layer of coconut flakes. Sprinkle toffee bits and chocolate chips on top. Bake at 350 for 35-40 mins.