Soft ricotta banana bread, gluten free

Legend has it that Cleopatra, the last active ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt, had seven hundred donkeys milked every day so she could opulently fill her bathtub to soak her royal self in. The properties of this magic milk supposedly prevented wrinkles and assisted in preserving youth and beauty. If I were to choose a dairy product to ablute myself in, it would be a tub filled to the brim with fresh ricotta. Since our local butcher started selling this soft cheese in adorable little blue basins, I have gone on a bit of a ricotta bender (which is certainly easier on my liver than a wild drinking spree would be.)

This versatile creamy white cheese is mildly sweet and tangy and is used in both sweet and savoury cooking. It makes a beautiful breakfast when smeared on crunchy sourdough toast atop some fruity berry jam. I have dolloped it between roasted eggplant, zuchinni and red capsicum in a vegetable bake. It’s been beaten into a lime ricotta cake, stuffed into veggies and baked and makes a great filling for eggplant involtini. Huge spoonfuls have been stirred through pasta sauces just before serving as well as added to mushrooms and thyme to fill a gluten free savoury tart.

Bananas past their prime cannot be wasted and what better way to use them up than in a banana bread that also calls for ricotta? Yes sure, recipes for this ubiquitous bake are a dime a dozen but this is a wonderfully soft, tender and aromatic loaf. It is even better when topped with just a smidgen more of that fresh ricotta. Go big like Cleopatra or go home.


113 grams (1/2 cup butter), melted
3 ripe bananas
1 large egg
3/4 cup caster sugar
3/4 cup fresh ricotta (not skim ricotta)
1 tsp vanilla extract
270g gluten free plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

Preheat the oven to 170C and grease and line a loaf tin with baking paper.
Pour the melted butter into a large bowl, add the bananas and mash well into a pulp.
Add the egg and beat until smooth.
Add the sugar, ricotta and vanilla and mix well.
Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet until just incorporated.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the centre of the oven for 55-65 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. (You may need to cover the top of the loaf with foil towards the end of the bake to avoid overbrowning.)
Remove to a cooling rack and let cool for about 20 minutes before removing from the pan.
We ate the crusts of this deliciously soft and moist loaf whilst they were still warm. Just wonderful.

Cooking notes: I have been getting really good results with a gluten free flour blend from Bobs Red Mill called ‘Gluten Free 1 to 1 Baking Flour.’ It is found in some supermarkets and health food stores. I have no affiliation with this company and haven’t been paid in any way, shape or form for mentioning this brand. I just really like it and couldn’t keep it to myself, that would be selfish.

A slight adaptation of this recipe

35 thoughts on “Soft ricotta banana bread, gluten free

  1. This sounds delicious. Unlike Cleopatra, who I reckon spent much of her time smelling of sour milk… I’m salivating slightly at the idea of ricotta and lemon curd on my GF currant buns…. See what you’ve done? And I can’t even go out and buy some ricotta, it’s far too windy!

  2. I can be coaxed but not badgered, Lady Lisa. Will try this unusual version of banana cake, but I refuse to go home. 😏 PS, I don’t believe that asses milk will do anything more than make you sticky, then stinky if you don’t wash it off immediately. Otherwise we’d be at it today and the cosmetic business would be bust. ⭐️

    • Ha! Feel free to slather it with butter….far be it for me to get all bossy!! πŸ˜‚ (Some may say that’s my middle name..) Yes, if it was the marvellous fix it was purported to be you would imagine that we would be slathering ourselves with donkeys milk instead of slathering ricotta on our banana bread…(did you see what I did there?) πŸ˜‰

  3. Well, I am in the minority but I wouldn’t mind bathing in milk or even clotted cream LOL. (This from one who has fantasized about being massaged with Isigny butter while listening to CiarΓ‘n Hinds read from the phone book.) Then a nice Chardonnay shower to wash it all off, and I’d be ready for some of your luscious bread πŸ™‚

  4. I can only imagine how moist this bread is. Williams-Sonoma sells what sounds like a similar flour I’ve used called Cup 4 Cup. The formula was created by a French Chef whose name escapes me right now. But don’t use it trying to make gravy!

    • It’s just lovely Mimi, I do lot of gluten free flour blending myself but it’s really nice to have found a product that is so consistent. Yes, the Sonoma product sounds similar, did the gravy not thicken and go lumpy?

  5. I have quite a collection of GF banana cake recipes but this one is a thing of beauty. I have ripe ‘nanas just need some ricotta. I’ve been trying to think of a smart arsed comment about bathing in Yak’s milk but the brain’s a bit foggy after a big weekend…

  6. A post about soaking oneself in dairy… Not a bad way to start the week
    If I soaked myself in dairy I’d probably go unconscious but now if i had this banana cake, I’d be as happy as a lark πŸ˜†

  7. Your first paragraph has given me some mental pictures (as all good writing should). However, I find myself distracted by the prospect of that beautiful bread.
    Lovely stuff Lisa.

  8. We are banana baked product addicts in our house. Nice to add the ricotta. Makes one feel virtuous getting carbs and protein and dairy and sugar all together in one yummy package.

  9. This recipe is sensational! The best banana bread ever, nice and moist and it keeps… I used my own home made cheese and it worked perfectly. Ricotta is a wonderful ingredient in gluten free baking. Again thank you.

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