This soft and fluffy one bowl vegan banana cake is frosted with a lush and creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting! Easy, moist, rich, and irresistible!

Get ready for the ultimate vegan banana cake recipe. This banana layer cake is so indulgent and decadently delicious without weighing you down. It’s full of fresh banana and cinnamon, and baked to be perfectly moist and tender.

My entire family (none of whom are vegan!) absolutely loved this cake. Like my vegan banana snack cake with peanut butter frosting, vegan banana pudding tiramisu, and my banana bread cinnamon rolls, this is one of those banana bread-like desserts that’s nostalgic yet new.

And like my blueberry lemon cake, fluffy strawberry cake, lavender blackberry cake, and almond raspberry cake, this vegan banana cake is made in just one bowl and with the simplest ingredients (and absolutely needs to be in my next cookbook).

Then we frost our moist and fluffy banana cake layers with the most lush and creamy dairy free chocolate cream cheese frosting- like cream cheese frosting and chocolate buttercream decided to come together as one.

You’ll just fall in love with this banana cake. It’s simple to make and absolutely delicious!

What’s the difference between banana bread and banana cake?

If you’ve been a Banana Diaries reader for a while, then you know how much I love our vegan banana bread that we shared. It’s so tender and moist. Just the best comfort food.

But is banana bread different from banana cake? YES it actually is! So I can totally justify having another banana recipe on the blog 😉 Banana cake is actually, believe it or not, lighter and fluffier than banana bread, which tends to be denser.

frosted vegan banana cake

With banana cake, we’re creaming the vegan butter with the sugar, creating a light and fluffy texture, like cookies. With banana bread, we simply melt the butter, which will yield to a denser texture.

Either way, I just know you’re going to love this banana cake!

Banana Cake Ingredients

For this amazingly moist banana cake recipe, you’ll need:

  • Flour: I added a tbsp of arrowroot starch to my flour mixture to help achieve a more cake flour texture.
  • Granulated sugar & brown sugar: we’re using both regular sugar and brown sugar here. The brown sugar helps to add a richer flavor and more moisture tot he cake.
  • Dairy free yogurt: this, along with the mashed banana, acts as an egg replacement in classic banana cake recipes. Not only will the yogurt help the cake rise, thanks to the acidity reacting with the baking soda, but it will also keep this cake extra moist without being dense. Aka heavenly!!
  • Vegan butter: I like to use Miyoko’s vegan butter or Violife.
  • Dairy free yogurt: to make this vegan banana cake the absolute best banana cake you’ve ever had period (my brother, who absolutely loves banana cake, said this recipe is his favorite!), definitely do not omit this ingredient.
  • Vegan “buttermilk”: much like the yogurt, vegan buttermilk adds a wonderfully velvety texture to this banana cake with cream cheese frosting. This is an ingredient we make at home- it’s simply dairy free milk (like soy milk, almond milk, or oat milk) and apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
  • Banana: of course we need mashed banana for a banana cake! I’ve given the gram measurements down below in the recipe card for how much banana you need, but it’s roughly 3 medium bananas or 1 1/2 cups.
  • Leavening agents: it’s super important to make sure that your baking soda and baking powder are still good to go (i.e. not expired!).
slice of fluffy banana cake on a plate

Overview: How to make a banana layer cake with cream cheese frosting

Now that we’ve gone over the ingredients and the roles they play in baking this amazing banana layer cake, let’s get to baking this cake! Like always, the full written instructions and ingredient measurements are found down below in the recipe card. However, this is an overview of the recipe, along with some helpful tips that I couldn’t squeeze into the recipe card. I hope it helps!

Step 1: The Banana Cake Batter

This banana cake batter is actually so easy to make. You can use either a stand mixer or a large bowl and hand mixer. However, you really only need a whisk and a large bowl.

Step 2: The Dairy Free Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

This is quite arguable the best part of this vegan banana cake: the dairy free chocolate cream cheese frosting! This frosting is truly heavenly. I could eat it by itself!

Much like cream cheese frosting, you’ll make the frosting by creaming together the vegan butter and cream cheese. Then add in the powdered sugar and cocoa powder in increments, along with the vanilla extract.

Use a touch of dairy free milk as needed to create that creamy and lush texture.

Vegan Banana Cake FAQ’s & Final Tips

In this section, I wanted to go over some final tips to ensuring that your vegan banana cakes come out absolutely perfectly! We’ll also go over a few troubleshooting questions that are quite common when baking a banana cake and making vegan cream cheese frosting.

  • Measure and weigh out your ingredients before beginning. This will help streamline the process and ensure that you’re not missing anything! I also recommend using the gram measurements if you can. It will give you a much more accurate bake!
  • Preheat the oven and prepare your baking pans before you begin the batter. This is super important, as once the baking soda and powder react with the vinegar and yogurt, the rising starts. You’ll need to get those cakes into the oven ASAP, so that the batter goes straight into the oven once it’s finished.
  • Allow your cakes to FULLY COOL before frosting. Because banana cake is slightly more dense than my other vegan cakes, it takes a bit longer to cool down. I waited 40 minutes, and my kitchen was slightly cooler. You can also cover them loosely and place them in the fridge to help speed up the cooling process.
  • You can torte the cake if you’d like! You can slice the two cake layers in half to yield a four layer cake if you’d like! Just be sure that your cake is fully cool before doing this.

Can I make this vegan banana cake into cupcakes?

Absolutely! You’ll yield about 24 cupcake with the measurements provided below.

What about a banana sheet cake?

If you’d like to make this as a banana sheet cake, you can do that as well. You can use a large sheet pan for this recipe. Alternatively, we also do have a gluten free vegan banana snack cake with peanut butter frosting. It’s absolutely delicious if you’re interested!

How can I ripen bananas quickly?

If you don’t have super ripe bananas on hand (I get it, I get impatient too ha!), you can easily ripen your bananas quickly in the oven. Check out this great how-to for ripening bananas in your oven!

slice of vegan banana cake on a plate

You’re just going to LOVE this vegan banana cake! If you make it, please let me know how it went by leaving a comment below as well as a rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ This helps others find the recipe as well!

As always, I absolutely love to see your beautiful creations on Instagram and Pinterest, so be sure to tag me there!

Happy baking!

Want to save this recipe for later? Add it to your favorite recipe board on Pinterest!

One Bowl Vegan Banana Cake Recipe with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting pointers pin
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sliced vegan banana cake

One Bowl Vegan Banana Cake Recipe with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 1 review
  • Author: Britt Berlin
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 18 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This soft and fluffy one bowl vegan banana cake is frosted with a lush and creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting! Easy, moist, rich, and irresistible!


  • 1 cup (240 mL) vegan buttermilk, room temperature
  • 3 1/2 cups (440 g) all purpose flour or gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) brown sugar or coconut sugar
  • 1/2 cup (113 g) unsalted vegan butter, melted and cooled to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (260 g or roughly 3 medium) super ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/4 cup (56 g) dairy free yogurt or vegan sour cream, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1/2 cup (113 g) vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (226 g) vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 cups (480 g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) cocoa powder, sifted
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract


  1. Prep: Preheat the oven to 350 F. Grease two 8″ cake pans with cooking oil, and line them with parchment paper. Set aside. See note for different cake pan sizes.
  2. Prepare the vegan buttermilk. Combine the dairy free milk with the apple cider vinegar, and set aside to sit for 5-6 minutes. You can weigh and measure the remaining ingredients during this time, including mashing the banana. 
  3. Make the batter: In a large bowl with a whisk, whisk together the mashed banana, melted vegan butter, dairy free yogurt, sugar, brown sugar, and vanilla extract. Add in the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Pour in the vegan buttermilk as you whisk in the dry ingredients just until the flour mixture is integrated into the wet ingredients. 
  4. Bake: Divide the batter between the two cake pans evenly, and bake for 35 minutes in 8″ cake pans, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  5. Cool: Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool in their pans for 10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to cool completely. Once cooled completely (there is absolutely no warmth to the touch!), then you can prepare your vegan cream cheese frosting.
  6. Make the chocolate cream cheese frosting: When ready to frost the cakes, add vegan butter and vegan cream cheese to a large bowl or stand mixer and cream for 2-3 minutes. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, continuing the beat the mixture until it’s a thick buttercream. Then add in the cocoa powder, and mix together with the vanilla extract and 2-4 tablespoons of coconut/almond milk and continue to beat until desired texture.
  7. Assemble: Frost cake and enjoy! 


Gluten free: to make this banana cake gluten free, use gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as King Arthur Measure-for-Measure gluten free flour.

Cake pan sizes: you can make this cake as a three layer 6″ cake instead of two layer 8″ cake. For the bake time, it might vary to ~30 minutes. Keep an eye on the cakes as they near the end of the bake time.

Dairy free milk: you can use any dairy free milk here.

Salt: if your vegan butter is salted, you can omit the salt in the dry ingredients.

Please read the full post above the recipe card for all tips & tricks on how to properly bake this cake!