Baking has always been my love language. When I was getting married, my mother forbade me from making my own wedding cake. Therefore, my fiancé, Nick, (now my husband) and I needed to think of a clever work-around…

Flashback to a year prior, when we were newly dating. In preparation for our second date, I had the strongest urge to bake him banana bread. I knew I really liked him, and also loved making banana bread.

I brought Nick a freshly baked loaf and he literally decided then and there we were destined to be together. Banana bread, it turned out, was his personal favorite snack made for him by his mother. It was basically his love language.

So then, it made sense that we decided to make all 350 guests at our wedding a heart-shaped loaf of banana bread. Don’t ask me how… we just did it. It was our first experience into the world of bulk baking — something that would come into play five years later when I began my journey with Sweet Laurel, starting a bakery out of our home kitchen.

Since, Sweet Laurel has grown drastically. Our team now cranks out cakes daily — shipped nationally direct to customers — and also produces treats for our flagship store in Pacific Palisades and select retailers throughout Southern California.

Here is a banana bread recipe that’s close to my heart, and just like my husband and I did over a loaf, I’m quite sure you’ll fall in love as well (at least with the bread)!


2 cups almond flour

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp pinch Himalayan pink salt

2 bananas (mashed)

2 tablespoons flax, freshly ground

3 tablespoons water

2-3 tablespoons maple syrup or honey

2 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)

1 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 cup chocolate chips


1 | Preheat oven to 350 and line the pan (s) with parchment paper, or cupcake pan with liners.

2 | In a small bowl, mix together the freshly ground flax and water. Allow to sit for about seven minutes.

3 | In another bowl, mix together the almond flour, baking soda and Himalayan pink salt. Set aside.

4 | Mix together the mashed bananas, flax mixture, coconut oil, maple syrup or honey and vanilla extract. Once combined, add in almond flour mixture and stir. Fold in chocolate chips and pour into desired pan.

5 | Bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.

*Yields one standard loaf or 7 muffins.

Laurel Gallucci is the baking master and co-founder of Sweet Laurel, LA’s grain-free, dairy-free, and refined sugar-free bakery. When she was diagnosed with an aggressive autoimmune disorder, Laurel turned to healing through food. After seeing a dramatic change in her health after removing grains, legumes, refined sugar, and dairy, she began to bake treats for friends and family using ingredients she could eat. Sweet Laurel’s offerings and recipes are a result of this. Today, customers can order Sweet Laurel’s cakes online, visit their brick-and-mortar location in Los Angeles, or bake from the Sweet Laurel Cookbook or blog.

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