You just can't get any more New Orleans dessert indulgent than my gluten free Bananas Foster bread pudding cake. The melt in your mouth bread pudding base bakes to perfection in the oven for just over 1 hour. Once it cools, you drizzle (or ladle) the rich yet ridiculously easy sauce over the top of it to tie the whole gluten free dessert together into creamy, yum-delicious perfection. Yep and oh sooo good yay...
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Mom and Dad Love Led Me to Develop This Gluten Free Bananas Foster Bread Pudding Cake
A few years ago, my parents celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. And honestly, they didn't really want any of us in the family to make a big deal of it at all. Nope. So, I developed this gluten free Bananas Foster bread pudding for their anniversary, as my gift to them. They loved and raved about it, and I've held on the recipe pretty tight since then.
Ten years prior, my brother Chris and I threw them a big 50th anniversary party complete with extended family and dozens of friends. We rented a hall, and we hired the best Cajun/Creole caterer in the area. We bought a gorgeous anniversary cake for my folks from the best bakery in town. And we decorated the venue with soft, satiny fabrics and pink twinkling lights...
We also hired a crazy-talented Cajun band, because my parents love, love, love to dance. And dance they did!! And so did everyone else. Yep. Every song that the band played was even better than the last. Some hugged spouses close to the slower tunes, and some got up to straight shake their stuff during the more south Louisiana-spirited dance songs. The party was a big hit, y'all, and people spoke fondly of it for years. And, it felt really good to be able to do something for them that we all could remember for the rest of our lives.
Well, just last weekend, we had a mini family reunion. My nieces and nephews were there, and their spouses and children. Two of my brothers weren't there, because they both passed away many years ago.
But, my late brother Chris's oldest son, Johnny, was there. And, y'all, he looks just like him. He dresses just like him. He laughs and jokes just like him. He even walks just like him!! It was a blessing to see him, almost like having my brother back for stolen moments in time. But, I also love who Johnny is as his own person. He's a devoted dad and a hard worker who does well for himself, and is overly generous to others quite often.
And his young daughter looks just like her dad and granddad. She's the prettiest little thing you'll ever see, who just happens to look like the female version of my late brother. Yep.
Chris's other son was also there, his namesake child. My nephew Chris has now grown into his own good looks. And well, he looks a lot like my brother did in his younger days, but their similar features are even more amplified in my nephew. Weird but awesome weird. Yep. So, looking back and forth at both of my nephews was like falling into a time warp of sorts that was simultaneously heart-wrenching yet oh sooo soulfully fulfilling...
My other late brother, Brian, has two beautiful daughters that are also grown up now. Kaylee looks a lot like her mom, but I can still see Brian in her pretty face. Amanda looks just like him, a female beauty queen version of her dad. Amanda also has two daughters. Throughout the party, I saw glimpses of my brother in both of them. A head turn and hold in my younger, headstrong niece was a classic Brian back glance. And my older, quite grown-up-for-age niece used several micro facial expressions that I'd seen many times before in the grandfather she's never met.
These were just regular life moments for both of them. But, for me, those moments were gifts from the Lord that help me remember that my eyes once got to look straight into Brian's blue eyes. And that my arms once hugged him tight-tight. And that even though he's long gone, he'll never, ever die deep within the special place that only he could hold inside of my heart. Yep.
As soon as I left the party, I started to think about the gluten free Bananas Foster bread pudding recipe I created for my parents 60th anniversary. I knew that I needed something family familiar. Something that would chase the day's 'I really miss my brothers' blues away. I also knew this that I wanted to make it more like a bread pudding cake this time. It just seemed fitting after seeing my nieces and nephews all under one roof, and seeing my brothers live on through them. So, this recipe is my way of remembering what we lost, but also of celebrating what we still have...
Gluten Free Bananas Foster Bread Pudding Cake is Soul-Satisfying Comfort Food
I've never tasted a Bananas Foster recipe that I did not like, y'all. But, this gluten free Bananas Foster bread pudding cake takes the old New Orleans recipe to a memorable level that I really needed in my life today.
The bread pudding cake is light and airy, with just enough banana flavor to make you go 'mmmm' during each bite. And the sauce, ya'll...rich and deep and so flavor layered that you'll probably want dip your finger into it a time or two...
A couple of slices of my bread pudding cake helped to wash the small but very present aches of missing my lost brothers away. Eating it also reminded me of how lucky I am to have the super-loving and ultra-generous parents that I was given upon my birth. And, that I have a tribe of nieces and nephews to love who have my brothers living on in them, too. Yep. Share this gluten free Bananas Foster bread pudding cake with those who hold permanent residence in your own heart. And see y'all on the yum side...
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Gluten Free Bananas Foster Bread Pudding Cake
- For the Bananas Foster Bread Pudding Cake
- 1 loaf Schaer gluten free white bread
- 3 cups unsweetened vanilla cashew milk
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4 mashed overripe bananas
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- For the Sauce
- 1 stick salted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- ½ cup milk
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon rum extract
- ½ cup toasted pecans optional
- ½ cup confectioner's sugar optional
- 1 sliced banana optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Lightly grease a 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.
- Heat the cashew milk until warm.
- Cut the loaf of Schaer white bread into 1-inch cubes.
- Submerge the gluten free bread chunks into the cashew milk in a large bowl. Stir in the ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon.
- Beat the eggs in an extra large mixing bowl. Add the mashed bananas, melted butter, vanilla extract, other ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and salt to the bowl. Stir until combined. Add the cashew-milk soaked bread cubes to the bowl.
- Stir gently until well-combined.
- Pour into the greased Springform pan.
- Bake for about 70 minutes, or until the bread pudding cake does not shake within the pan when you move it.
- Remove from oven.
- Let cool for at least 1 hour, but preferably 2 hours.
- Run a butter knife between the edge of the bread pudding cake and the Springform pan at least two time. Release the lever to unlock the pan.
- Use a long thin metal spatula to loosen the cake from the pan. Or you can just leave the bottom on and place it on a large plate.
- Sift the confectioner's sugar over the cake, if desired. Set aside.
- Melt the butter in a small pot. Stir the brown sugar until it melts into the butter. Add the remaining sauce ingredients to the pot, stirring until well-combined. Cook over medium low for 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat.
- Cut the cake into slices. Top with toasted pecans, banana slices, then drizzle with sauce.