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Kabocha Squash Banana Bread (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Kabocha Squash Banana Bread (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Nisha Vora
A vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free banana bread that’s perfect for the fall! With baked kabocha squash and pumpkin spices, it’s cozy and warminging, but also made with wholesome ingredients like almond flour and sweetened with just bananas and coconut sugar. Plus, an easy tip to (almost) instantly ripen bananas!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 25 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 50 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 15 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine Baking
Servings 8 to 10

Ingredients
  

  • 1 1/4 cups (170g) all-purpose gluten-free flour (I used this brand)*
  • 1 cup (112g) almond flour**
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • Heaping 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated or ground nutmeg***
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp cloves (optional but recommended)
  • 4 small or 3 medium very ripe bananas (340-360g)****
  • 1 cup kabocha squash puree (240g) (instructions to make puree can be found in step 1)
  • 1/3 cup almond milk or other plant-based milk*****
  • 1/4 cup avocado oil******
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar or brown sugar (use coconut sugar to keep refined sugar-free)
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cinnamon Walnut Streusel (optional but recommended)

  • Cinnamon Walnut Streusel
  • cup chopped walnuts
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar or coconut sugar (use coconut sugar to keep the recipe refined sugar-free)
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • A pinch of sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons solid coconut oil (use refined oil to avoid coconutty taste)

Instructions
 

  • Make the kabocha squash puree. Preheat the oven 400°F/205°C. Cut a kabocha squash in half and lightly brush with a neutral oil. Place on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, flesh side down, and bake for 45 minutes until very tender. Once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a food processor, discarding the skin, and blend until completely pureed. Position a fine mesh sieve over a bowl and pour the squash into the sieve. This removes the excess liquid and ensures your puree isn’t too watery. Then measure out 240 grams, or about 1 cup, of the puree. You can also make the kabocha squash puree in advance.
  • Reduce the oven temperature 350ºF and grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan well or line it with parchment paper to prevent sticking. Position a rack in the middle of your oven.
  • Make the Cinnamon Walnut Streusel (if using): Mix all of the ingredients except the coconut oil in a small bowl. Then add in the solid coconut oil and mix together with your fingers until it resemble coarse crumbs.
  • In a medium bowl, sift together the gluten-free flour, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves (if using). Stir well to incorporate.
  • In a large bowl, mash the bananas. It’s fine if there are some lumps left. Then add the kabocha squash puree, almond milk, avocado oil, coconut sugar, and vanilla. Whisk until well combined.
  • Gently add the dry ingredients into the wet, and mix until the batter is just combined and no streaks of dry ingredients remain. About 15-20 light strokes by hand should do the job. Overmixing can in a tougher or denser texture and irregular “tunnels” or air holes in the loaf.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Sprinkle the Cinnamon Walnut Streusel (if using) evenly on top of the banana bread batter.
  • Bake the banana bread for 35 minutes. Then loosely tent the loaf with a piece of aluminum foil to ensure even cooking and prevent premature browning. Cook for another 20-30 more minutes (for a total of 55 to 65 minutes), or until a toothpick comes out of the center and top clean. I recommend checking at 50 minutes just to be sure, since all ovens are a bit different. If the bread is too moist when you check it, bake for another 5 minutes.
    1. NOTE: If your loaf pan is an 8×4-inch pan (instead of the standard 9×5-inch pan), your loaf will be even thicker due to the smaller pan size, so you might need to bake the loaf a bit longer, even up to 70 minutes.
  • Transfer the banana bread to a wire rack and cool before slicing. To store, wrap the loaf in plastic wrap and leave on the counter for 1-2 days, or in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Video

Notes

*I recommend weighing your flour on a digital scale for precise results in baking, especially when you are baking specialty recipes, such as this gluten-free banana bread.
**I recommend also weighing the almond flour.
***If you use freshly grated nutmeg, like I did in the video, you really only need about 1/4 teaspoon, as it’s more potent than pre-ground nutmeg.
****I recommend weighing the bananas as well because everyone gauges banana sizes differently. Plus, I’ve noticed that bananas register as different weights depending on how ripe they are.
*****I don’t recommend using a milk that is very thick, otherwise the batter might be too thick.
******If you don’t have avocado oil, you can use olive oil or a neutral oil like sunflower seed oil or grapeseed oil.
Keyword banana bread, gluten-free, kabocha squash, refined sugar free, soy-free
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