This is truly the ultimate vegan banana cake recipe that doesn’t even taste vegan nor dairy free! With a super moist and rich fluffy banana cake that’s slightly spiced with cinnamon and a delicious dairy free cream cheese frosting, this will be your favorite vegan cake recipe ever!

Amazing Vegan Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

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. My mom even said that if I said it was from a bakery she wouldn’t have questioned it (and she’s my toughest critic!).

With the creamiest dairy free cream cheese frosting, 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.

swirled 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 & coconut sugar: we’re using both regular sugar and coconut sugar here. The coconut sugar helps to add a slight caramel note to the banana cake.
  • Applesauce: this acts as an egg replacement in classic banana cake recipes. But don’t worry, the cake won’t taste apple-y once baked!
  • Vegan butter: the important note here is that your butter is room temperature. This means that the dairy free butter is soft and not melted. It should honestly still feel a bit cold too (room temperature butter is actually more around 67F rather than 72F). This will help the sugar easily dissolve into the butter when creaming the two together.
  • 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. 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 “buttermilk”: much like the yogurt, vegan buttermilk adds a wonderfully velvety texture to this banana cake with cream cheese frosting.
  • 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!).
vegan cinnamon banana cake

The key to a super moist banana cake:

Dairy free yogurt. This is truly the trick to making sure that this banana cake is extra moist! I used Forager Project unsweetened cashew yogurt here. However, you can also use a nut-free dairy free yogurt, such as coconut milk yogurt or oat milk yogurt. It shouldn’t be thick, like cream, but more drippy like regular yogurt.

Applesauce. Another reason why this vegan banana cake is so perfectly moist is thanks to the applesauce instead of flaxseed. Yes, that’s right, you cannot swap in a flaxseed “egg” in place of applesauce. This is because applesauce adds more moisture than flaxseed does, and yields a way better texture.

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. I’ve given directions for both down below in the recipe card.

You’ll start by whisking together the flour, cinnamon, and leavening agents. Then we’ll cream together the vegan butter and sugars, and add in the remaining wet ingredients, save for the vegan butter milk. Once the wet ingredients are mixed, you’ll add in the flour and the vegan buttermilk to the batter in increments. Then divide the batter amongst two 8″ cake pans and bake!

This cake takes a little longer to bake than other cakes. The reason being is that the banana is so moist! In my convection oven, I baked my cakes for about 40 minutes during the tests. However, your cakes might take longer to bake, depending on your oven.

Step 2: The Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting

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

Making a cream cheese frosting is actually not dissimilar to making a vegan buttercream. The only difference is that for half of the butter quantity, we’re swapping in dairy free cream cheese!

It’s important to note the vegan cream cheese you use is SO important. I used violife vegan cream cheese, which is nut free and soy free. It’s the best vegan cream cheese I’ve found on the market, and I believe they’re also available in Europe. I’ve heard some other brands are not that great when making a frosting. The taste of this cream cheese frosting is highly dependent on the quality and taste of the vegan cream cheese you use!

Ingredient Substitutions Recommendations:

Refined Sugar Free: if you’d like to make this vegan banana cake entirely refined sugar free, you can use coconut sugar entirely! Alternatively, you can also use brown sugar in place of coconut sugar.

Dairy free yogurt: while I don’t recommend swapping the yogurt, you can use any dairy free yogurt that’s slightly drippy. This is typically oat milk yogurt, coconut yogurt like from So Delicious (NOT a super thick coconut yogurt, like CoYo), almond milk yogurt, etc. For this recipe in particular, I used Forager Project cashew yogurt.

Gluten free: I have tested this cake with gluten free 1:1 baking flour (specifically the Bob’s Red Mill 1:1 gluten free baking flour in the blue bag!), and it works perfectly! You’ll use the same gram measurements.

Vegan Buttermilk: I really don’t suggest that you swap out the vegan butter milk, but since we’re making it from scratch, you can use any dairy free milk here. Additionally, if you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you can use white wine vinegar.

Vegan butter: I do NOT suggest using coconut oil for this recipe. However, some nut-free options include Flora Plant Butter, Miyoko’s Oat Butter, and Earth Balance.

sliced vegan banana cake

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.
slice of eggless banana cake

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!

Help! My frosting is melting! Can I fix this?

Frosting cakes can be tricky, especially during the hotter months. My best tip is to make sure you don’t start bringing the vegan butter and cream cheese to room temperature until you’ve just put your cakes into the oven. This helps ensure that they don’t soften too quickly.

Another tip is please please please make sure that there is absolutely no warmth in your cakes before frosting. Any warmth in the cakes, and you’ll start to melt the frosting between the layers and the cake will flop.

That being said, if your frosting had already started to melt, don’t fret. You can still save it. It will be quite messy, but essentially if you’ve started to assemble the cake, you’ll take apart the cake and scoop the frosting back into the bowl. Place the bowl and the cakes into the fridge for 20-30 minutes. Once the frosting feels slightly more stiff, you can try again!

When frosting, it’s helpful to create a crumb coat and chill the cake in between. This helps set the middle layers so that when you’re frosting the outside, your cake isn’t melting!

sliced banana layer cake

I hope you absolutely love this vegan banana cake as much as I do! 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!

More amazing vegan cake recipes:

Best Vegan Vanilla Cake

Amazing Vegan Chocolate Cake

Easy Vegan Coconut Cake

Vegan Lemon Cake

Vegan Blueberry Coconut Cake

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

Amazing Vegan Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
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Amazing Vegan Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Super Moist Vegan Banana Cake (Banana Layer Cake)

  • Author: thebananadiaries
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 35
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 18 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This is truly the ultimate vegan banana cake recipe that doesn’t even taste vegan nor dairy free! With a super moist and rich fluffy banana cake that’s slightly spiced with cinnamon and a delicious dairy free cream cheese frosting, this will be your favorite vegan cake recipe ever!


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 1/4 cups (300 grams) unsweetened dairy free milk, room temperature
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 2/3 cups (460 grams) all purpose flour or gluten-free 1:1 baking flour
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp arrowroot starch or cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup (200 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (30 grams) coconut sugar or brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups (310 grams or roughly 3 medium) super ripe banana, mashed
  • 1/2 cup (125 grams) unsweetened applesauce, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (45 grams) dairy free yogurt, room temperature
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract

Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 cup (226 grams) vegan butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 grams) vegan cream cheese, room temperature
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 23 tbsp dairy free milk

Instructions

  1. 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. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, arrowroot starch, and sea salt. Set aside.
  4. Make the batter: In a stand mixer with paddle attachment or a large bowl with hand mixer, cream together the vegan butter, granulated sugar, and coconut sugar until fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides as needed. Then add in the banana, applesauce, dairy free yogurt, and vanilla extract. Mix again on medium speed until combined, scraping down the sides and at the bottom of the bowl as needed. Add in about half of the dry mixture, along with half of the vegan buttermilk, and mix on medium speed until just combined. Add in the remaining dry mixture and vegan buttermilk, and mix on medium speed until there are just no more dry streaks. Make sure to scrape the bottom of the bowl as well as the sides.
  5. Divide the batter between the three cake pans evenly, and bake for 40 minutes in 8″ cake pans, or until the toothpick comes out clean.
  6. 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.

Vegan Cream Cheese frosting:

  1. 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.
  2. Add in 1 cup of powdered sugar at a time, continuing the beat the mixture until it’s a thick buttercream.
  3. Add in vanilla and 2-4 tablespoons of coconut/almond milk and continue to beat until desired texture.
  4. Frost cake and enjoy! 

Notes

Gluten free: to make this banana cake gluten free, use gluten free 1:1 baking flour, such as Bob’s Red Mill in the blue bag.

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 37 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.

Cake flour: you can swap in cake flour here in place of the all purpose. Just omit the sea salt.

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!

Keywords: vegan banana cake, banana layer cake, vegan banana cake recipe, eggless banana cake