This easy vegan banana cake is so moist and sweet, yet is sweetened naturally, oil free, and gluten free! Topped with a vegan peanut butter frosting, you’ll fall in love with this healthy banana cake recipe!
You’re about to fall head over heels for this easy and delicious healthy vegan banana cake frosted with a creamy vegan peanut butter frosting!
I mean, I’ll admit I did 😉 This healthy banana cake is the epitome of moist and sweet, and then with the peanut butter frosting?! Just out of this world.
I’m pretty sure I could eat the peanut butter frosting on its own by the spoonfuls it’s so good. You’ve been warned!
The best part is that this vegan banana cake is easy to make (we’re talking under 40 minutes tops), and is perfect for parties or just to satisfy that weekend baking need (I know we’ve all been there 😉 ).
What’s the difference between banana bread and banana cake?
I really think banana bread, in my experience, is much denser and definitely not as sweet. They’re very comparable, but banana cake I find tends to be lighter in texture, and of course, is topped with a delicious frosting.
Ultimately, I think it’s best you have both recipes in your life 😉
Healthy Banana Cake Recipe Ingredients:
What’s really cool about this banana cake is that you can swap in organic flour, use gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour, or make my gluten free flour combo and the cake will come out absolutely delicious.
For this banana cake, you’ll need:
- Flour (read on for my DIY GF baking flour): I always suggest using organic flour because organic wheat tends to have more nutrients than its conventional counterpart. However, if you’re gluten free, I suggest using your favorite 1-to-1 gluten free baking flour! I love Bob’s Red Mill, but if you have a personal favorite go for it! For a homemade gluten free flour, I use cassava and oat flour together.
- Dairy free milk: for this recipe, you’ll need to have your nut or dairy free milk at room temperature. This will help with preventing the gumminess of the cake!
- Apple Cider Vinegar: the apple cider vinegar is needed for creating a vegan “buttermilk” 😉 Just add a few teaspoons to your room temperature dairy free milk before beginning to bake so that your vegan buttermilk is ready in time for your healthy banana cake!
- Bananas: well, of course you need bananas! For this recipe, since there is no oil nor applesauce, the bananas basically replace both, yielding the most moist banana cake you’ll ever taste! Make sure your bananas are extra ripe for added sweetness- if you need to ripen yellow bananas, check out this trick here!
- Maple Syrup: my absolute favorite refined sugar free sweetener! Make sure your maple syrup is at room temperature before baking- we’ll go over why in a second!
- Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting: this is a lovely combination of peanut butter, vegan butter, coconut cream, and coconut sugar 🙂 Absolutely delightful!
How to make a healthy banana cake
There’s a reason why this is called an easy banana cake recipe! It’s so simple and quick to make that you’ll be making it every week, guaranteed (because who doesn’t love eating a banana sheet cake whenever?!).
To start, make sure that your bananas are mashed and that you’ve mixed your dairy free milk with the apple cider vinegar to create the buttermilk reaction.
Now we get to make the cake!
- Preheat your oven to 375F and grease a 7×11 baking dish with some coconut oil or olive oil.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt. Add in the mashed banana and mix it until it resembles a clumsy dough (not all of the flour will be absorbed!).
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the vegan “buttermilk” (a combination of the dairy free milk and apple cider vinegar), maple syrup, and vanilla extract.
- Next, pour in about 1/3 of the wet mixture into the dry-ish flour (well, now it has banana in it lol). Mix it until the liquid is absorbed and then add another 1/3 of the wet ingredients. Repeat with mixing and then add in the final 1/3 of the wet ingredients until it’s a soupy batter.
- Pour the batter into the baking dish and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
Then let the cake cool before you begin to make your vegan peanut butter frosting!
How to make vegan peanut butter frosting without powdered sugar
Once your banana sheet cake is ready to be frosted, whip out your hand mixer and mixing bowl!
Add in the vegan butter, peanut butter, coconut sugar, and just two tablespoons of coconut cream to start. Begin beating the ingredients together until you get a nice and fluffy vegan peanut butter frosting.
The frosting will be thick, fluffy, and spreadable, just like your typical peanut butter buttercream frosting! Now just frost your vegan banana cake, top with banana coins if desired, and enjoy!
Tips for making moist banana cake
Now, from time to time, you might have some issues with vegan baking. It happens! Like with my vegan vanilla cake, you’ll want a nice and light texture, but because this recipe is devoid of any eggs, you need to do some culinary magic (i.e. the tips I’m about to share 😉 ).
- What happens if your cake is gummy? This happens when your ingredients aren’t fully to room temperature. If your ingredients are still cold, it alters the gluten, yielding a gummy texture. Also, make sure you’re adding the banana in first, and then adding in the wet ingredients in order to avoid the gumminess!
- Why is my cake too dense? Similar to gumminess, a dense banana cake is no good! To prevent this, make sure that you’ve sifted the flour- this helps to capture some air rather than having clumps of flour that you have to beat apart.
- Help! My cake didn’t rise! This may actually be the quality of your leavening agents. Baking powder stops working after a while, so make sure that your baking powder isn’t sitting out open and is fresh (within the past month!).
- What if I want to swap in other ingredients? Please only follow the swaps that I suggest down below in the recipe card (where I also discuss how to use my DIY gluten free flour). Otherwise, I really can’t guarantee the results, and I don’t want you to be unhappy with your baking experience. Ingredients I’ve personally tested and can say work: you can use any dairy free milk, you can swap in swap in gluten free flour or regular flour or my DIY mix, and you can use any vinegar (but I prefer apple cider vinegar)!
- Can I make this nut free? Absolutely! That’s my last swap: swap in sunflower seed butter for the peanut butter and you have a wonderful nut free gluten free vegan banana cake recipe!
I hope these tips help! These are some of the most common errors when experimenting with vegan baking, and I really would love your healthy banana cake to come out the best it can be 🙂 So make sure to check out these tips before you begin!
I hope you love this easy banana cake recipe as much as I do! I seriously cannot get over how light it tastes, yet is so sweet and moist! My fork kept finding its way to another bite…and another bite…and then another bite haha!
It was quite hard to stop, but when something is that good, why on earth would you want to?!
Make this for a party, or for an anytime snack 😉 I mean, snack cake is called snack cake for a reason haha! And let me know how it turns out in the comments below 🙂
Happy baking and frosting!
More Healthy Vegan Desserts
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This easy vegan banana cake is so moist and sweet, yet is sweetened naturally, oil free, and gluten free! Topped with a vegan peanut butter frosting, you’ll fall in love with this healthy banana cake!
Vegan Banana Cake:
- 3 cups organic flour or gluten free 1-to-1 baking flour, sifted (see Notes for gum free DIY gluten free flour options)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 cup dairy free milk, room temperature
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup maple syrup, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large ripe bananas, mashed
Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting:
- 1/3 cup peanut butter, smooth
- 1/3 cup vegan butter, softened to room temperature
- 1/3 cup coconut sugar
- 2–3 tbsp coconut cream
- Preheat the oven to 375F and grease a 7×11 inch pan with coconut or olive oil.
- Add apple cider vinegar to the almond or coconut milk and let it sit while preparing the other ingredients.
- In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sea salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, beat together dairy free milk and vinegar mixture, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Set aside.
- Fold in mashed bananas to the whisked flour until it resembles a crumbly texture.
- Add in about 1/3 of the wet mixture into the crumbly flour and mix thoroughly. Add in another 1/3 and continue mixing. Finally, add in the final 1/3 of the wet mixture and mix until it’s a thick batter.
- Pour banana batter into the sheet cake pan and place into the oven.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
- Remove from the oven and let cool before completely frosting.
Peanut Butter Frosting:
- When ready to frost, beat together the butter, peanut butter, coconut cream, and coconut sugar until smooth.
- For a smoother texture, add in more coconut cream by the tablespoon.
- Frost your vegan banana cake and enjoy!
To make DIY Gluten Free Gum Free Flour: swap in 2 1/4 cups homemade oat flour with 3/4 cup cassava flour.
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