Gluten-Free Banana Crumb Cake

Lovely for snacking. Gluten-Free Banana Crumb Cake.

A certain someone in our household has a sweet tooth. And- best of all- he not only likes to eat cake, he likes to bake it, too (apparently baking can be a form of meditation for some folks, a calming, distracting respite from toiling away in one's head for hours, excavating the various thematic elements underpinning character motivation, conflict and story arcs. All those juicy, gnarly, invisible threads and knots we movie viewers take for granted when we settle in with our gluten-free popcorn to watch a screenplay come to life.

Something I've learned, living with a screenwriter (aside from the fact that baking is therapy)?

Don't judge the script by the movie.

Because chances are the script was good.

Chances are the script was tight and wry and sharp. And moving. And funny. Chances are the script made you leak a well-earned tear. Or two.

Then came the notes.

From the director. From the actor. From the producer. And the producer's girlfriend. Her dentist.

So the script gets whittled. And weakened. And tweaked. Scenes are added to make a character more likeable (How 'bout we give him a dog- or a koi pond?). Then locales get switched (apparently producers believe New Mexican Pueblo humor translates without a glitch to Australia's Gold-Coast). The language once precise gets watered down with unimaginative phrases you've heard before (not every actor can improvise like Robert De Niro I am sorry to tell you).

Sometimes the collaborative magic of filmmaking works.

And sometimes it doesn't.

And baking ensues.


We always have cake in the freezer.

Gluten-Free Banana Crumb Cake
Light and laced with cinnamon, a banana cake perfect with coffee.
Gluten-Free Banana Crumb Cake
Cinnamon streusel topped banana snacking cake.

Gluten-Free Banana Crumb Cake

Recipe posted August 2012 by Karina Allrich.

This gently sweet coffee cake recipe has a soft crumb topping laced with cinnamon. For big banana flavor, use soft ripe bananas.


1 cup almond or hazelnut flour
1/2 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup tapioca starch
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/4 cups organic light brown sugar
3 large free-range organic eggs, beaten
1/3 cup organic coconut oil, melted
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tablespoon bourbon vanilla extract

Crumb topping:

1/4 cup organic light brown sugar
2 tablespoons chopped nuts (may omit)
2 tablespoons rice or almond flour
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon


Preheat oven to 350ºF. Prepare a 10x12-inch baking pan by lining it with parchment.

Add the almond meal, gluten-free flours and starch, baking powder, baking soda, sea salt, xanthan gum, cinnamon, nutmeg and brown sugar to a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

Add the eggs, coconut oil, mashed bananas and vanilla. Beat for two minutes until the batter is smooth.

Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan.

Make your crumb topping. Sprinkle it over the cake batter. Pat down gently.

Bake in the center of the oven for 33 to 35 minutes until done. Check the center for doneness with a wooden pick. The cake should appear slightly golden brown at the edge, firm to a light touch. 

Note: If for some reason (you may have a smaller, or hotter, oven) the crumb topping begins to brown too much, loosely tent the top with foil.

Cool the cake on a wire rack.

Wrap, bag, and freeze leftover slices for easy on-the-go treats.

Makes 18 square pieces.

Recipe Source:

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Gluten-Free Banana Crumb Cake
Gluten-Free Goddess Banana Crumb Cake

Cake makes everything better.

Note-- I'm now using less brown rice and brown rice flour, and eating fewer rice cakes, etc. Here's why- there is elevated arsenic in rice.



Chompchomp said...

You are so right. Cake really does make everything better!

Anonymous said...

That looks simply delicious! Can I substitute the coconut oil with maybe vegetable oil? Thanks again for sharing this recipe. Pip

Kalyn Denny said...

I can only imagine how frustrating the film industry must be for most anyone who works on the creative part of it. Glad there is cake in the freezer to make the day a little better! And this sounds delicious.

Mr. News said...

Delightful recipe... and screenwriting commentary!

Jaime W said...

Making this TONIGHT!!

Jaime W said...

Karina, what kind of almond flour do you use for this!! Looks so yummy!

Tiffany said...

Love your website! Any substitutions for egg and brown sugar (the less sugar, the better in my case).

Amy Sherman said...

A tender cake and a crumbly topping? That is advanced gluten free baking! Nice job.

zebaby said...

I can't believe I actually have all (well most) of these ingredients at hand! Can't wait to try it. I am also interested in learning about what can be subbed for coconut oil and in what amounts. Thanks! said...

I love banana bread, and this sounds quite tasty (as a cake). I often find banana cakes to seem wet- so it is nice to see your photos- they look light and crumbly.

GFGidget said...

So things are as bad as all that, huh? ;)Oh well... at least the cake looks fab! Personally, I always believe the director is to blame!

Kirsten Howell said...

This cake looks so tasty!! I'm definitely going to try it out!

Anonymous said...

I just made this tonight!!! It ROCKS!!!! My family couldn't get enough:)

Monica said...

I just made this cake and it is incredible!!! Better than any non-gluten/allergen-free crumb or coffee cake we have had. Thank you!!!!

My son can't have nuts, so I increased the sorghum flour to 1 cup and used 1/2 cup coconut flour instead of almond flour and it was amazing. Your substitution help section was very helpful in figuring out what subs to make. Thanks again!!! said...

my goodness, Karina! That looks AMAZING!!! yum!

Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner said...

Oh gosh. Your cakes are the BEST! :)

ilana m said...

I just made this, it was moist and delicious. Thanks!!

Amy @ Food Crush said...

I love the look and sound of this one. If only I had bought the coconut oil that I saw at the shops today! I might try it with butter instead.

Cali Steph said...

Over the last 6 months I've had abdominal problems, cause still undetermined. G.I. doctor put me on a strick diet. No dairy, no wheat or bran, no to several fruits and veggies. My grandson recently had a birthday, so I made a gluten free chocolate cake mix, it tasted good the first two days.... Now it tastes spoilled. So I've thrown it out. I can seem to find out how I'm to store baked goods. Does everything have to be frozen after baking? I know this comment isn't about your bread. I just didn't know who else to ask. Except for family and close friends, everyone else think I've joined the gluten free fab. Which I haven't, my body has forced me. This is all new to me and I'm a bit lost. Thank you for any help.

Angela said...

I don't normally respond to anything, but I felt this was too good not to respond to. Thank you so much!! My two youngest sons & I have been gluten & dairy free since February & we have experimented with many deserts. This by far out does anything else we've made so far. We'll be taking it to our School picnic tonight and there are not too many things I've made that I feel I can take & share. I look forward to trying many more of your recipes! Thank you so much!!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful recipe!!! Very much looking forward to making t for lunch snacks in my kids pails :-) Quick question: My oldest has a nut allergy, what could I substitute for almond/hazelnut flour?

Thanks again!!!

Vicki said...

My first attempt at a gluten and dairy free cake, had to go and purchase some fairly expensive items compared to what I am used to. But very happy with the results and glad I went and bought what was recommended. Amazed at how tasty this is, many thanks!

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