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!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Why this recipe is great:
Times have been hard and many need to stick to a budget while maintaining a gluten free diet. Many of my readers are saying they can't find gluten free flour blends in their stores. This recipe uses only brown rice flour and has no need for Xanthan Gum or any other gum!
I love this recipe uses plain simple ingredients, yet it tastes like it was baked in a professional bakery. This banana loaf bread is that good!
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.
- 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.
- Black sesame seeds are not hulled, so they not only have more flavor, but they are also higher in fiber than white sesame seeds.
- 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.
You can find these ground black sesame seeds at most grocery stores in the spice section. I found these at our local Japanese market.
(I also bought whole black sesame seeds to experiment with. They seem like an excellent way to sneak protein into my baking.)
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-in 24-48 hours
- Sometimes you can ask in the produce department for over-ripe bananas. They often have some in the back!
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.
Step 1: Add all of the dry ingredients, including the brown rice flour to a large bowl.
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 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 from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack. Slice and enjoy!
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 bake a little longer.
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 the 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 banana recipes to try:
If you love bread pudding, don't forget to check out this easy gluten free banana bread pudding recipe too!
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 cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla
- 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
- 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.
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.
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(*This post was updated from an older February 2014 post.)