If you love banana bread, this fun dairy-free, and gluten free black sesame banana bread is amazing! This moist Japanese sesame cake has slight crispiness from black sesame seeds! This delicious quick bread is also dairy-free.
If you love bananas, this Japanese banana bread recipe is going to be a special treat. I have been enjoying a batch of gluten free banana bars but I still have several very ripe bananas to use up.
My friend, Chef Nagano of Skool Restaurant in San Francisco, shared this gluten free and dairy-free banana bread recipe with me many years ago. When Chef Nagano mentioned her mother's banana bread recipe, I was intrigued. Her family isn't gluten free and I was curious how bread could work with only rice flour.
Moist and delicious, this gluten free banana loaf cake recipe is bursting with banana flavor. If you love bananas as much as I do, you will also want to try this moist Gluten Free Banana Bread with fresh cranberries recipe!
Brown rice flour is another key ingredient in my gluten free flour blend recipe. It has bran and adds a bit more texture to baked goods, and it is inexpensive. You can read more about my favorite blends if you don't want to mix individual flours.
Why This Recipe is Great:
- Gluten free food is expensive and many people need to stick to a budget while maintaining a gluten free diet. Brown rice flour is inexpensive and easy to find in stores. Many of my readers are saying they can't find gluten free flour blends in their stores, so using this recipe is a great way to still bake gluten free.
- This recipe uses only brown rice flour and has no need for Xanthan Gum or any other gum!
- I love this banana bread with sesame seeds recipe uses plain simple ingredients, yet it tastes like it was baked in a professional bakery. This banana loaf bread is that good!
This is the brand of black sesame seeds I like to use in this recipe. They are fun to use in my gf banana bread recipe and in so many other ways including honey sesame candy.
Baking with Black Sesame Seeds
This banana bread has a surprise Japanese flavor twist from black sesame seeds. Black sesame seeds are incredibly nutritious and add a slight crunch to this homemade bread.
- In Japan, black sesame seeds are added to salads, sushi, and baked goods. I really like the nutty flavor they add to this banana bread recipe, and I hope you do as well.
- They are high in protein, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium.
- Black sesame seeds are not hulled, so they not only have more flavor, but they are also higher in fiber than white sesame seeds.
You can find these ground black sesame seeds at many grocery stores in the spice section or via Amazon above. If you have a Japanese market, they will also carry them. (We are lucky to have Mitsuwa a local grocery store chain nearby.)
Just made this (without sesame seeds) and it’s soooo good! "Cassie E.
How to Ripen Bananas:
The star of this recipe is super-ripe bananas. If your bananas are not quite ripe, you can try some of these hacks:
- Heat the bananas in the oven at 300º F for about 15 minutes.
- Place the bananas in a brown paper bag and close the bag. Check it in 24-48 hours
- Sometimes you can ask in the produce department for over-ripe bananas. They often have some in the back!
(And if you really love bananas, check out my Gluten Free Banana Donuts recipe and my Gluten Free Matcha Green Tea Banana Bread recipe. They are some of the most popular recipes on my blog!)
🔑 Sandi says: DO NOT substitute sweet white rice flour in this recipe or it will turn out very gummy in the middle. This recipe is made with brown rice flour only.
I recently bought this cast iron bread loaf pan, and it has made my bread bake much more evenly than my old metal pan. This cast iron pan is easy to clean.
Recipe Step-By-Step Directions:
Step 1: Add all of the dry ingredients, including the brown rice flour to a large
Step 2: In a smaller bowl, smush the banana with a fork and then add the wet ingredients and whisk to blend.
Note, this bread is not super sweet. If you want your bread to be sweet, add an extra ¼ cup of brown sugar to the dry ingredients.
Step 3: Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well. **NOTE: This batter is going to be runnier than you are used to and that is normal!
Step 4: Pour your batter into a prepared greased bread loaf tin and bake at 350º F for 40-45 minutes. ¾ the way through baking, you may need to put a piece of tin foil over the baking bread.
When the bread is done, remove it from the oven and allow it to cool on a cooling rack. Don't slice it until it is fully cooled!
Expert Tips and Recipe FAQ:
My favorite way to know if something is done baking is the toothpick test. Just insert a toothpick into your bread. If the toothpick comes back clean, your bread is done baking. If there are crumbs or batter on the toothpick, it will need to be baked a little longer.
Do not use white rice flour! If you use white rice flour, this recipe will turn out very gummy and not very edible. Please use brown rice flour as indicated.
You can easily omit the sesame seeds.
You can add anything you like but please note, this batter is runnier than others and your heavier mix-ins may sink to the bottom. If you want to use chips, I suggest using mini chocolate chips because they are much lighter.
- If you can't eat sesame, feel free to omit the seeds or use poppy seeds.
- You can substitute flax seeds (whole) for the sesame seeds.
- Mini chocolate chips
- Shredded coconut
More Gluten Free Banana Recipes:
Chef Nagano’s Gluten Free Black Sesame Banana Bread
- 1 ripe banana mashed
- ⅓ cup olive oil or light oil
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
- 1 ¼ cups brown rice flour
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- ¾ cup milk or dairy free substitute (I used almond milk)
- ¼ cup black sesame seeds crushed is best
- Preheat oven to 325º F.
- Grease a bread loaf pan.
- Mix all of the wet ingredients in a small mixing bowl.
- Add the dry ingredients to a large bowl and whisk to blend.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix.
- Do not over mix.
- Pour into loaf pan.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes until done in the center.
- If you can't have sesame, omit the sesame seeds.
- This recipe calls for brown rice flour. Do NOT substitute with white rice flour or another flour or it can turn out gummy in the middle.
- Other dairy-free kinds of milk will work but I do not recommend canned coconut milk.
- To test for doneness, insert a toothpick into the center of the loaf. If the toothpick comes out clean, it is done baking. If you see batter or crumbs, the bread needs to bake longer.
- This banana bread will keep up to 4 days in an air-tight container, or up to 4 months in the freezer.
Please know that every gluten free flour blend has a different starch to grain ratio. If you use a blend I didn't test, you may need to adjust your moisture levels in your baked goods.
Nutritional information is an estimate provided to you as a courtesy. You should calculate the actual nutritional information with the products and brands you are using with your preferred nutritional calculator.
This post was originally written by me in 2014 and I wanted to update it and reshare it with you because this recipe is perfect if you have limited ingredients.
If you love the recipes you find on my blog, I would love for you to sign up for my newsletter (and get my free gluten free lemon dessert e-cookbook!)
(*This post was updated from an older February 2014 post.)
Just made this without sesame seeds and I’ve already eaten half the loaf straight out of the oven! It’s sooo good. Love having something yummy to do with all this brown rice flour! Great recipe
I am so glad to know the recipe holds up well without the sesame seeds too!
Banana loaf cake sounds really good right now. Its so perfect for Sunday brunch too.
It really is Rini. For me, I love it with coffee 🙂
I love all of your tips, hacks and substitutions AND the recipe of course! This banana bread looks so delicious!
That is so sweet of you to say, thank you so much 🙂
So much to love about this bread! Hoping to give it a try soon!
Thank you Suzy
Strength and Sunshine
All about the sesame! Always have black ones on hand too of course!
I seriously always thought black sesame seeds were just an interesting garnish. I had no idea about the nutritional benefits!
I didn't either :-). Thank you so much for stopping by 🙂
Can I substitute the rice flour for say almond meal or flaxseed meal?
Hi Naomi, Thanks for writing. I honestly don't know if this would work with almond meal. I have never tried that. Rice flour and almond meal are so very different in texture, and how they bake. I know almond meal is expensive so I am hesitant to tell you to experiment with this modification. Do you not like rice flour, or is rice something you need to avoid?
I never thought to put sesame seeds in banana bread. I love the idea! Thanks for sharing at Savoring Saturdays!
Thank you Raia. I had no idea how nutritious these sesame seeds were. Since we are gluten free, it is really important for me to get extra calcium and magnesium into my kids diet. I plan to use these black sesame seeds in more of my baking now. Have a great weekend!