Caramel Frosted Banana Bread

Look no further for the best low carb, gluten-free banana bread recipe. Ground chia seed, that nutritional powerhouse, gives this bread the perfect banana bread texture. 

Low Carb Banana Bread with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

The past few weeks have been wildly hectic for me so apologies in advance for the haphazard nature of this post. There may be a few of them like this in the coming weeks. This past weekend, I attended the BlogHer Food conference in Miami, along with some folks from Swerve Sweetener, and next weekend I am heading up to Burlington, Vermont to run with the Cabot Fit Team. In between, I am still cooking and baking and working to bring you 3 or 4 recipes per week. I have no idea how May got so jam-packed with activity, really. As always, I seem to say yes to too many things. They are all wonderful things, and great opportunities, so I am loathe to turn them down.

This recipe is one that took me a little while to perfect but it was definitely worth all the work. After all, banana bread is the quintessential comforting baked good. Who among us hasn’t eaten warm banana bread straight out of the oven and thought it pretty close to heaven on earth? And who among us hasn’t had a grandmother or caring friend make us banana bread as a sign of their deepest affection? And if you’re a mother, surely you’ve made batches of banana bread for your own kids to let them know how much you love them. Banana bread is a sign of love, I am quite certain of it.

The Best Low Carb Banana Bread Recipe   Low Carb Gluten-Free Frosted Banana Bread

But bananas. Oh those high carb, sugar-laden bananas. They aren’t exactly friendly to the carb-conscious crowd. So we fake it. Once again, I send up thanks to the creators of extracts and flavourings, because they allow us to get that banana taste without all of the natural sugars. Several readers have asked for a low carb faux banana bread recipe and a few months ago, I finally hit on the perfect solution. When I created my low carb Chia Seed Brownies, I noticed that the chia add a moist, slightly fibrous quality that was reminiscent of banana bread (so much so, that my littlest even asked if the brownies were made with bananas). It took me a bit to get the amounts right but when I did, it was spot on. The banana extract added all the flavour and the ground chia seed gave it just the right consistency.

As for the frosting, it really is the icing on the cake in this case. The bread is pretty great without it, especially warm with a smear of butter, but the caramel cream cheese frosting really does take it up a notch. You can dress it up or dress it down, your choice. Low Carb Grain-Free Banana Bread Recipe

Caramel Frosted Banana Bread

Yield: 16 servings

Ingredients

    Banana Bread:
  • 1/2 to 1 cup water
  • 1/2 cup ground chia seed (I grind mine in a coffee grinder and then measure out 1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups almond flour
  • 1/2 cup Swerve Sweetener
  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/3 cup unflavoured whey protein powder
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/4 cup melted butter
  • 1 tsp banana extract (imitation would also be fine)
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp stevia extract
  • Caramel Frosting:
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup powdered Swerve Sweetener
  • 6 tbsp whipping cream
  • 1 tsp caramel flavour OR vanilla extract

Instructions

    Banana Bread:
  1. Preheat oven to 325F and grease a loaf pan very well.
  2. In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup water and chia seed. Stir and let sit to gel. If it remains very thick, add more water (it should resemble mashed bananas in consistency).
  3. Meanwhile in a large bowl, whisk together almond flour, sweetener, coconut flour, whey protein powder, baking powder and salt.
  4. Stir in almond milk, eggs, melted butter, banana extract, vanilla, stevia and chia mixture until thoroughly combined.
  5. Spread mixture in prepared baking pan, smoothing the top.
  6. Bake 70 to 75 minutes or until golden brown and a tester inserted in the center comes out clean
  7. Let cool in pan 20 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Caramel Frosting:
  9. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and powdered sweetener until smooth.
  10. Beat in whipping cream and caramel or extract until well combined.
  11. Spread over cooled banana cake and let set about half an hour.

Notes

Serves 16. Each serving has 9 g of carbs and 5 g of fiber. Total NET CARBS = 4 g.

Unfrosted: 171 Calories; 13g Fat (65.7% calories from fat); 7g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 48mg Cholesterol; 240mg Sodium.

Frosted: 215 Calories; 18g Fat (70.7% calories from fat); 8g Protein; 9g Carbohydrate; 5g Dietary Fiber; 64mg Cholesterol; 263mg Sodium.

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Comments

  1. I swear May is the new December. Deanna from Teaspoon of Spice Blog and I were just talking last week about how crazy busy May has all of a sudden become.

    This recipe is genius by the way. Can’t wait to try the chia concoction.

    Question — and we can discuss this in VT this weekend :) but how does your family do with Swerve? I love it and think it’s genius. I’m just hesitant with my family to see if they can taste the difference.

    • Carolyn says:

      My kids are great with it. My little one tends not to like it in frostings that don’t contain chocolate, for some reason, but the other two are fine with it in anything. And the little ones likes it in almost everything else.

  2. I can almost smell the goodness through the computer!

  3. I’m making this today! My hubby is insane for banana bread. BTW, we are also crazy about your delicious chia seed brownies!

  4. It doesn’t get much better than banana bread straight from the oven! Love this caramel frosting!

  5. This looks absolutely fantastic! That frosting is amazing!

  6. I would like to see your birth certificate, because I’m pretty sure you were built in some bio-technical lab where they make bionic superwomen.

    I love reading a recipe and realizing that I have every ingredient on hand. When that happens, I know it’s meant to be. It looks like I have some banana bread to bake!

    • Carolyn says:

      Okay, at first I thought this had to be spam, with the birth certificate comment. Thanks for the giggle, Jasmine!

  7. So great to finally meet you in person at BlogHer Food Carolyn!! Hope we get to see each other again soon – wish I could have stayed longer. Love this banana bread with chia seeds, almond flour and coconut flour.

  8. Why dos.t any recipe have the amount of sugar?

  9. Makes sense. Sorry about that.

    • Carolyn says:

      No worries. If you are looking to sub in sugar, you can put in about the same amount I use Swerve.

  10. So so killer! Love this one, my friend!

  11. Is the amount of water in the recipe correct? It made a really thick paste for me, not really a jell. It’s baking now- can’t wait to taste it! Thanks for sharing your creations :)

    • Carolyn says:

      I believe it is, although it’s possible I wrote it down wrong. It should have been the consistency of mashed bananas. Let me know if it doesn’t turn out properly…I will test it again. My kids won’t complain!

  12. Anne-Marie Cain says:

    This looks sooooooo yummy! What size loaf pan did you use? Can’t wait to give it a try! :)

  13. Charlotte says:

    I lot of your baking recipes call for whey protein. Is there a good substitute for it?

    • Carolyn says:

      Hemp protein or powdered egg white. It’s not about a dietary supplement, it’s about getting a dry protein to replace the gluten (which is a protein). It helps it rise and hold its shape.

  14. it looks great!

  15. Fantastic! Yes, the best banana bread recipe ever. Texture, flavor were perfect. I added 1 cup chopped walnuts & will use 1 cup water for the chia seeds next time. Mine was also like a paste with 1/2 cup water, but it still turned out utterly delicious. Thank you for returning the yummy aroma of banana bread baking to my kitchen.

  16. Cindy Maddux says:

    Made this basic cake yesterday (minus the frosting) and had to make a few changes to it because I didn’t have banana extract, unsweetened almond milk or unflavored whey protein. I had coconut extract, unsweetened coconut milk and vanilla flavored whey protein powder (Body By Vi) and so I used them, also omitted the vanilla extract.

    The cake is super moist and dense thanks to the ground chia seeds, which I did have to use close to the full cup of water to get the mashed banana consistency. I had some fresh strawberries that I had been marinating in a sugar substitute and it made a little syrup with the strawberries and I made some whipped cream all to put on top of a slice of cake. It was so delicious, very tropical.

    I just love your recipes and appreciate, very much, all of the work you put into perfecting them. And the stories you include with them are so entertaining.

    Thanks for mentioning that you used your coffee grinder to grind the chia seeds. I had one in the very back of a cabinet that I had completely forgotten about so I dug it out and it worked perfectly. It’ll go back into the cabinet but up front rather way in the back. I’ll have to try it to make the powdered sweetener (from the granular form) for the frostings.

  17. Barb Sacco says:

    Carolyn, if I wanted to make this into muffins instead of a loaf, how much time and at what temp should I bake them? I’ll assume the standard fill of 3/4 on the muffin liners would do? Cupcakes are easier to do for fund raisers than sliced breads are. Thanks for all your wonderful, healthy recipes!

    • Carolyn says:

      Bake them at the same temp and I think they will take at least 25 minutes. But I would start checking them after 20 minutes and keep checking every few minutes after that.

  18. Carolyn, I followed all of your directions to a “T” EXCEPT for cooling it off before cutting- not a chance. Within 1 minute, I cut a fat slice, smeared on some of the icing, and almost suffered a heart attack. It was so delicious. Beyond anything anyone has described. Excellent and thank you for taking the time to perfect the recipe….it shows. I’m 3 months into low carb cooking & baking and you are a daily resource of mine. I’ve made 7 of your recipes, all are keepers. Many, many thanks for your work! Please don’t leave us or retire :-)

  19. I could not find ground chia seeds so I got chia seeds with flex in it. Can I use that and does it still need to be ground? Can I use the little grinder I have? Will the chia seeds with flex in it or should I just get the chia seeds?

    • Just me again. Will the chia seeds with flex change the taste?

      • Hi Cecelia,
        I think it is important to the texture of the cake to have the chia seeds ground up otherwise the little seeds have a tendency to pop when bitten on in a cake/muffin when they are not ground. And the ground chia seeds is what is supposed to mimic the mashed banana. And the flax will most likely change the flavor a bit. It has kind of an earth taste to it. But then again the Banana extract may mask the taste of the flax but the flax will make the cake a bit more grainy, like the texture of a bran muffin.

      • Carolyn says:

        You can grind them yourself…that’s what I do, in a coffee grinder. I think it will be okay.

  20. Carolyn, I’ve been craving bananas lately and was thrilled to see a recipe that would allow me to indulge! I wanted to make muffins, but will these (minus the frosting of course) be able to be kept in the freezer? Thank you for all of your wonderful recipes : )

    • Carolyn says:

      Yes, these would freeze well. I didn’t do it myself, but I am almost positive that they would.

  21. Wonderful recipe and I am so thankful for your work to create it! Thank you!! I have it in the oven and it smells great. (tasted great before I baked it so I am sure we will love it!) :)

  22. I made this yesterday and added 1 cup chopped walnuts. The texture of the bread is spot on! And the icing is just divine!! I am enjoying a piece right now for breakfast. I never thought eating banana bread would be a part of my low carb diet. Thank You Thank You Thank You!! You are a genius.

  23. This is baking right now! Can’t wait! Would you recommend storing in the fridge or on the counter?

  24. Can I use gluten free flour instead of almond flour. I have tried all the stores around here and no on carries it. I bought slivered almonds and someone said I have to be very careful because I could be making almond butter if I mix it too long.
    I have everything except the almond flour.

    • Carolyn says:

      I think the amounts of other things will change some, because gluten-free flour is drier than almond flour. Start by not putting in any almond milk and then see how your batter is. If it’s REALLY thick, add 1/4 cup, then maybe a tbsp or two more. It should be spreadable but not pourable, if that makes sense.

  25. I made this today and it was perfect…even my non low carb husband has eaten 2 pieces! I used 3/4 cup water for chia seeds and egg white protein instead of whey protein baked for 1 hour 15 minutes. I think it may even taste better cold…Thanks for such a great recipe!

  26. I was ready to make this the other day and my husband looked at the recipe and said he did not like banana bread so can I use something else like maybe lemon.

  27. What can I use instead of stevia extract. I don’t have snt of that and I don’t know where to buy it.

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