Add a healthy twist to a classic with this easy oat flour banana bread recipe, prepped in just 15 minutes with 10 simple ingredients. It’s every bit as moist and tender as the banana bread you know and love, but made with oat flour for a boost in nutritional value and a pleasantly nutty flavor. With brown butter and a hint of cinnamon added to the mix, it might be even better than the classic!
After making banana oat muffins week after week (they’re that good), I knew I needed to come up with a loaf pan recipe sooner rather than later. Don’t get me wrong - I love a muffin’s portability - but there’s something about cutting yourself a thick, hearty slice of warm banana bread that’s just so satisfying.
So with those healthy muffins as inspiration, what we have here today is gluten-free banana bread with oat flour and honey, plus brown butter to enhance the nutty flavor and a pinch of cinnamon for added warmth. It has that classic banana bread texture you know and love - soft and moist, with the perfect amount of chew - all while being a 100% oat flour bread!
Banana Bread Made with Oat Flour
If you have a go-to banana bread recipe that never fails, you might wonder - why switch it up? And what’s with the oat flour anyway? Or maybe even…
What is Oat Flour?
Oat flour is made from finely-ground oats. It makes healthier baked goods that are a bit heartier than all-purpose flour, with a slightly sweet and nutty flavor. And like rolled oats, it can absorb more moisture than traditional flour, which makes it work particularly well for banana bread!
You can easily make your own oat flour at home using old-fashioned oats. It’s also available in most grocery stores and can be a great, affordable alternative to wheat flour in tons of recipes, especially for gluten-free baking!
In this recipe, it serves multiple purposes: not only does it compliment the brown butter flavor, it also makes the banana bread naturally gluten-free and higher in fiber and protein. Besides, can you ever really have too many banana bread recipes?!
Let’s take look at the other ingredients you’ll need to make this easy recipe for oat banana bread.
A few important notes:
- Brown butter: I have a whole post on how to brown butter if this is your first time attempting it. It’s very easy, very quick, and makes nearly all baked goods better - including this bread. That said, you can also use regular melted butter, or sub melted coconut oil for a no butter banana bread. If using coconut oil or unsalted butter, add an extra ¼ teaspoon of salt to the dry ingredients.
- Honey: You should be able to substitute this with another liquid sweetener (pure maple syrup, agave syrup, etc.) if needed.
- Mashed bananas: I always recommend mashing bananas by hand. If they’re still a little chunky, that’s totally fine. You can use fresh or frozen and defrosted bananas.
- Half-n-half: Paired with the brown butter, this adds a little richness to our banana bread. You can also use whole milk, or oat milk for a dairy-free swap.
How to Make Oat Flour Banana Bread
Now we’re getting to the good part - let’s get baking! But don’t preheat your oven just yet - we’ll actually do that after the batter is made. This will give the oats time to absorb some of the liquid in the batter, ensuring our bread turns out moist but not gummy.
Start by whisking together the dry ingredients - oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt - in a large bowl.
Brown the butter in a medium frying pan on your stovetop. Once done, immediately transfer it to a clean bowl. Whisk in the honey. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients.
In the bowl you used to mix the butter and honey, whisk the 3 eggs thoroughly. Add to the dry ingredients.
Finally, use that same (now empty) bowl to whisk together the remaining wet ingredients: mashed banana, half-n-half, and vanilla extract. Add this to the dry ingredients and fold everything together with a spatula until evenly combined.
Grease a 9”x5” loaf (or two 8”x4” pans) with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan(s) and let it sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350ºF.
Bake the banana bread for about 1hr 20 minutes (or 40-50 minutes if using two smaller pans), until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few small moist crumbs. For a larger loaf, take a peek at it after 50 minutes. If it seems to be browning too quickly, you can cover the top loosely with foil to make sure it doesn’t burn.
After baking, set the loaf pan on a wire rack to cool for about 30 minutes. Then, carefully remove the bread from the pan and place it directly on the wire rack to cool completely before slicing.
Storing Banana Bread
Once cool, wrap your bread tightly in plastic wrap to store. You can keep it at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for about a week.
You can also freeze banana bread for up to 3 months. Place it inside of a freezer-safe bag first to give it extra protection. Defrost at room temperature.
Want to make sure this oat flour banana bread turns out perfectly? Here are a few extra pointers:
- Use very ripe bananas for the best results. The riper they are, the easier they’ll be to mash and - more importantly - the more sweet banana flavor they’ll add to your bread.
- If you're using homemade oat flour, make sure it’s pretty finely ground for a more authentically soft and fluffy banana bread texture. You can always sift it to get rid of any coarse bits.
- For a little extra somethin’, you can add chocolate chips or nuts (bonus points for toasted nuts). I would recommend baking as two 8”x4” loaves if you decide to do this.
- Baked goods are almost always best served at room temperature, and banana bread is particularly awesome when toasted.
What Can I Serve With This Banana Bread?
For the ultimate banana bread experience, it’s my opinion that you need two things: a topping and a caffeinated drink.
My go-to toppings for this banana oat bread are melted butter and whipped cream cheese. But you can also use peanut butter, Nutella (delicious), or any other nut butter. A drizzle of maple syrup or honey might even be called for!
Yes, please do! Here’s a tip: whenever you have a banana that’s gotten too ripe to eat, let it sit out for a few more days, and then put it in the freezer. Before you know it, you’ll have stashed enough bananas for a batch of banana bread.
For this recipe, the batter should be neither very thick nor thin - somewhere in the middle. Keep in mind that banana bread with oat flour can tolerate more moisture in the batter because of how effectively oats absorb liquid.
I would recommend making my banana oat flour muffins instead. It’s a very similar recipe, but specifically developed to be made in a muffin pan.
Oat flour gives this bread more nutritional value than banana bread made with bleached (white) flour, largely due to its higher fiber and protein content, and the many vitamins and minerals it contains. This bread is also gluten-free and refined sugar-free, with an option to make it dairy-free. With this in mind, I’d qualify it as a healthier and more wholesome option than traditional banana bread.
More Banana Baked Goods
One thing I love about baking with bananas is that it works for every season. So whether you’re reading this in the heat of summer or a chilly winter day, here are a few other quick breads and muffins to add to your baking list!
Oat Flour Banana Bread
Make this easy banana bread recipe with oat flour for a healthier twist on a classic treat. Honey adds the perfect amount of sweetness while keeping this bread refined sugar-free, and a combination of brown butter and cinnamon contribute warmth and depth.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hr 20 minutes
- Total Time: 1 hr 35 minutes
- Yield: one 9"x5" loaf 1x
- Category: quick bread
- Method: baking
- Cuisine: American
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 4 cups (381 grams) oat flour
- 2 ¼ teaspoons baking powder
- ⅝ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup (113 grams) salted butter, browned
- ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons (212 grams) honey
- 3 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups plus 1 ½ tablespoons (384 grams) mashed bananas
- ¼ cup (60 grams) half-n-half
- 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together oat flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Brown the butter on a stovetop over medium heat. Once done, immediately transfer to a clean bowl and whisk in the honey. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients.
- In the bowl used to mix the butter and honey, whisk the 3 eggs thoroughly. Add to the dry ingredients.
- Using the same (now empty) bowl, whisk together the remaining liquid ingredients: mashed banana, half-n-half, and vanilla extract. Add to the dry ingredients and fold everything together with a spatula until evenly combined.
- Grease a 9”x5” loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and let sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350ºF.
- Bake the banana bread for about 1 hr 20 minutes, until a toothpick or cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean, or with just a few moist crumbs. Check the bread after the first 50 minutes of baking. If it seems to be browning too quickly, cover the top loosely with foil for the remaining baking time.
- Cool loaf in pan over a wire rack for 30 minutes. Then, carefully remove the bread from the pan and place directly onto the cooling rack. Cool completely before slicing.
- Honey can be substituted with another liquid sweetener, such as agave or maple syrup.
- Brown butter can be substituted with melted butter or coconut oil. Use refined coconut oil for a more neutral flavor.
- Add an extra ¼ teaspoon of salt if using unsalted butter or coconut oil.
- Half-n-half can be substituted with whole milk or oat milk.
- For best results, use finely-ground oat flour.
For 8"x4" pans:
- This recipe can be made in two 8"x4"pans instead of a single 9"x5" pan. Reduce baking time to 40-50 minutes.
Storing and Freezing:
- Once cool, wrap banana bread tightly in plastic wrap. Store at room temperature for up to 3 days, or in the refrigerator for about a week. Bread can also be transferred to a freezer-safe plastic bag and frozen for up to 3 months. Defrost at room temperature.
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