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


    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


    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.


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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  1. says

    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. Lin says

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

  3. says

    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!

    • Carolyn says

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

  4. Me says

    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!

    • 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.

  5. Gerri says

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Anne O says

    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 :-)

  9. says

    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?

      • Cindy says

        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.

  10. Deb says

    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.

  11. Vivian says

    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!) :)

  12. Stacy says

    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.

  13. Anna says

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

  14. says

    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.

  15. Jackie says

    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!

  16. says

    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.

  17. Dee says


    Sorry if this is a silly question but is banana essence the same as banana extract and will it work for this recipe?


  18. Laura F. says

    HELP! I just made this and I don’t know what I did wrong! It came out very moist but extremely bland with no banana flavor at all. Should I try doubling the banana extract?


    • Carolyn says

      Sounds to me like the banana extract isn’t strong enough. I don’t know what brand it is but yes, definitely up the amount!

  19. Emily says

    Okay, I was skeptical about this recipe, but can I just say “wow!!!” Delicious, and it even looks like banana bread because of the chia seeds.

    I love your website. We don’t have diabetes, but my daughter was born with neurofibromatosis which causes a host of problems. We were trying to eliminate her focus issues by going gluten free, and while it didn’t solve that problem, her acid reflux is nearly gone. I love that she can enjoy treats made with almond and coconut flours and not miss the gluten-filled ones. Thank you for all of your hard work!

  20. Holli says

    Carolyn, this recipe sounds great. After years I have found that liquid splenda works the best for my taste and diet needs. Do you think it would work to use unsweetened coconut to substitute for the swerve in your recipes? For example, using the coconut in place of the swerve in this recipe and using drops of the liquid splenda? I just don’t know what else I could use to replace the swerve besides the granular splenda and I’d rather not. Thanks for your advice. Your recipes are so awesome!

    • Carolyn says

      I wouldn’t replace it cup for cup, I’d maybe just do a few more tbsp of either almond flour or coconut and then sweeten to your liking with the liquid sucralose. For the frosting, the cream cheese gives it structure so you should be fine there.

  21. Diane says

    Made this yesterday, and it was a total winner!! Taste, texture, everything. Instead of Swerve in the frosting I used some Torani sugar free salted caramel syrup and a few drops of liquid sucralose. Can’t thank you enough – I really missed banana bread!!!

  22. Debra says

    Just made this today. Love it. So good, I feel guilty for eating it…NOT! Would love to add some walnuts or pecans next time!

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