FESTIVE BANANA BREAD WITH CRANBERRIES, ORANGE & PECANS (gluten/dairy/refined sugar/guilt-free!)

Craving a guilt-free, festive sweet treat? Overripe bananas begging to be used? This could be just the ticket!

Still a tad nervy about gluten-free baking, but having a packet of Doves Farm white self-raising flour blend that I needed to get through and an event coming up with a gluten intolerant guest to cater for, I came up with this. This recipe doesn’t fall too short of ticking all my boxes; delicious, easy, lots of organic ingredients, can be made in advance/frozen/defrosted, is refined sugar/gluten/dairy-free…
It does, however, contain eggs.

And I don’t know if any home bakers out there can relate to this, but vegan baking I can do, gluten-free baking I am working on, refined sugar-free baking I am getting the hang of, but the combination of egg/dairy/gluten/refined sugar-free is something I have yet to nail. I have probably baked only one recipe (these cookies), that ticks all those boxes.

In any case, for now this delicious banana bread recipe comes pretty close!



Makes: 10-12 slices


100 g organic dried cranberries
75 ml freshly squeezed organic orange juice
175 g Doves Farm white self-raising flour blend (or similar)
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
125 g unsalted vegan butter, melted (I used Carlshamn milk-free)
150 g birch sugar (xylitol)
2 large organic eggs
3 very ripe organic bananas, mashed
70 g roughly chopped organic pecans
1/4 tsp finely grated organic orange zest
1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Put the cranberries and orange juice in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Remove from the heat, cover and leave until the berries have absorbed most of the juice (30-60 minutes), then drain.
  3. Preheat the oven to 170ºC.
  4. In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar and beat until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then add the mashed bananas. Stir in the pecans, drained cranberries, orange zest and vanilla extract.
  5. Add half the flour, stir well. Add the baking soda, salt and the rest of the flour. Mix well.
  6. Pour/scrape mix into a loaf tin (26 cm x 12 cm x 7 cm or 1.3 litres in capacity) and bake in the middle of the oven for around 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
  7. Leave in the tin on a rack to cool, turn out, then slice to serve.


*Significantly modified and adapted from this lovely recipe by the beautiful Nigella.


19 thoughts on “FESTIVE BANANA BREAD WITH CRANBERRIES, ORANGE & PECANS (gluten/dairy/refined sugar/guilt-free!)

  1. Oh, YES, I can relate. My 25 year old daughter has been vegetarian since she was 10. Then she had to eat low carb for health reasons. Now she has to eat gluten-free for health reasons! I have a blog with regular baked goods which she now can’t eat and am trying to learn how to bake gluten-free so she doesn’t feel left out! Luckily I have years of experience with almond flour but the gluten-free flour mixes….I am at a loss! The texture of your banana bread looks like you have a winner!

    • Thank you! I actually didn’t manage to get the best shots (due to darkness falling at 2:30pm here now!), but the real life presentation of this bread is quite lovely, I think 🙂 x

  2. This looks super yummy 🙂 And I agree: it’s difficult to try to avoid gluten, sugar, eggs and dairy, but it looks like you’re doing wonderfully! Also, I love your photography!
    Tarja x

    • Thanks so much, Tarja! People like you who succeed at the tricky task of eliminating “the naughties” yet still keeping the baking chemistry working are an inspiration 🙂 x

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