A recipe for the most fluffy, moist, and delicious vegan banana cake. It's full of flavour and has a hint of spice you'll love.
Make this dairy-free, eggless banana cake with frosting or without, it's up to you! It's quick and easy to prepare, it can be customized, and it can be made gluten-free. Keep reading for all the details.
This vegan banana cake recipe is very versatile. You can make and decorate it for a birthday or another big celebration, turn it into a layer cake, or keep it simple and just enjoy it as a snacking cake.
It's scrumptious and has the perfect texture (soft, fluffy, moist!). It's sure to become a favourite for you like it has in for me. On top of all that, it's so quick and easy to make.
Before we go through everything, if you're like me and always have a few bananas lying around that have passed their prime, or if you freeze your bananas for when you're ready to make something that calls for bananas, here are some more recipes for you:
Ingredients You'll Need
For a cake as delicious as this one, you'd think that you need a long list of ingredients, but you don't!
I've listed them in the next section along with information about substitutions.
Ingredient and Substitution Notes
Flour – Just for you, I tested two versions of this cake until they were perfect, a vegan version and a vegan-gluten-free version.
For vegan gluten-free banana cake: Use Bob's Red Mill All-Purpose Gluten-free Flour Blend in the RED bag.
For vegan banana cake: Use all-purpose white flour.
I haven't tried this recipe with any flour other than these two. If you use something else, your outcome may not be the same as mine.
NOTE: When you're baking, getting an accurate flour measurement is key for the best results, no matter the type you're using. Check out my article on how to measure flour correctly before you get started!
Puréed Bananas – Use spotty bananas that are soft and very ripe and use a food processor, a blender, or a stick blender to purée them until there are no chunks left. If you don't have a blender, mash the bananas very well with a fork until it's smooth and has no chunks left.
Sugar – You can use either brown sugar or coconut sugar, just make sure it's vegan (organic sugar is always vegan). Keep in mind that each type requires a different amount, so take note of the different measurements in the recipe. I haven't tested with liquid sweeteners like pure maple syrup or agave syrup, and I haven't experimented with any artificial sweeteners.
Oil - This recipe is made without butter, instead, you'll need a neutral-flavoured vegetable oil, such as safflower or sunflower oil. Coconut oil is also an option, but if you use it, make sure your other ingredients are at room temperature to prevent it from solidifying when you add it to the mix.
I haven't tried using vegan butter in this recipe, and I haven't attempted an oil-free version. The mix of oil and bananas is what gives the cake its soft and moist texture.
Flax Eggs – This recipe is made without eggs, so flax eggs are used instead. Chia eggs will also work if you don't have flax.
Spices – Cinnamon and ground nutmeg are used to contribute a hint of spice flavour, don't skip these ingredients, they are important to the flavour of the cake.
Baking Powder and Baking Soda - Make sure these ingredients are both fresh and active, they’re essential for the cake to rise properly and to have a fluffy texture.
Vanilla and Salt - Both enhance the flavour of the cake, don't leave them out.
If you're making the vegan gluten-free version of this cake, please read all of my vegan gluten-free baking tips before starting!
The recipe as written is wonderful but you can make some variations if you'd like:
- Include chocolate chips - Make it a vegan banana chocolate chip cake by folding in ½ cup of mini vegan chocolate chips before baking (see the green box below this section for a tip about chocolate chips!).
- Include Nuts - Walnuts and banana cake are the perfect pair, so you can fold ½ cup of toasted walnuts into the batter to make it a vegan banana walnut cake or you can also use toasted pecan pieces.
- Include dried fruit - Fold in ½ cup of raisins or currants.
- Use a different frosting - If you prefer to not use dairy-free cream cheese frosting, you can use one of the following instead:
- No frosting - Make it a simple vegan banana snack cake by not frosting it or you can dust a little powdered sugar on top of the cake just before serving. Don't do this too far in advance or it will melt into the cake.
- Top with nuts, spice, or sprinkles - Sprinkle toasted walnuts, pecan pieces, cinnamon, or sprinkles on top of the frosting. If using nuts or sprinkles, add them immediately after frosting the cake so they stick.
If you're confused about which chocolate chip brands are vegan, read my article "Are Chocolate Chips Vegan" to find a large list of brands to look for.
How to Make It
(Note: I’ve outlined the step-by-step on how to make this recipe here, but find the full recipe, ingredients, and directions in the recipe card at the end of this post.)
Start by lining a square pan (8" x 8") with parchment paper.
1. Mix the dry ingredients in a small bowl, and set aside.
2. Mix the wet ingredients in a large bowl.
3. Add the flour mixture to the wet mixture.
4. Mix into a batter.
5. Add the banana cake batter to your prepared pan and spread it into an even layer. I like to use a small offset spatula to do this.
6. Bake. Once done, remove it from the oven, let it rest in the pan for a few minutes, then remove it and place it on a wire rack.
While the cake cools, prepare the vegan cream cheese frosting.
7. Once fully cooled, frost the cake.
8. Carefully slice into 9 squares and serve.
Storing and Freezing
If you use cream cheese frosting, the cake will need to be refrigerated. Store leftovers in an airtight container and place it in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to 5-6 days.
The vegan gluten-free version stays fresh for a little less time since it dries out quicker, so the faster the cake can be eaten, the better. It will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
If you are not frosting the cake, it does not need to be refrigerated. If you are using a different frosting other than cream cheese, it can be left out at room temperature for a day or two but after that, refrigerate it.
When the cake has fully cooled, don't slice it, and don't frost it, instead, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap, place it in an airtight container or freezer bag, and freeze it for up to two months.
When you're ready to serve, thaw it overnight in the refrigerator or at room temperature, then frost.
For more easy vegan desserts to add to your list, look through all of my vegan dessert recipes for ideas!
Tips for Success
I tested both versions of this recipe MANY times to ensure it was perfect before sharing it with you, please go through the following list for all of my tips:
- Measure and have all your ingredients ready to go before starting. This will make the process run smoothly, quickly, and easily.
- Measure your ingredients correctly. I highly recommend using a scale (this is the one I have) and my weight measurements when making this recipe. Please read my article about how to measure flour correctly. This tip also applies to all other ingredients, make sure to measure them accurately to get the best results.
- Use the same flour I use. If you are making the gluten-free vegan version, remember that vegan gluten-free baking can be tricky because different flours and blends produce different results. The particular gf flour I use to make this cake works perfectly, so to duplicate that perfection, please use Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Flour (in the RED bag!). If you don't need your banana cake to be gluten-free and you're making the vegan-only version, I have only tested with white all-purpose flour, so proceed with caution if you use a different type.
- Make sure your baking powder and baking soda are fresh. These are important ingredients that make the cake rise. If they are not fresh, the cake will have a dense and gummy texture.
- Don’t over-mix if you are using all-purpose flour, over-mixing will make the cake turn out heavy and tough.
- Make sure the cake has FULLY cooled before frosting. Frosting it while it's still warm will cause the frosting to melt and make a mess. To be safe, let the cake cool for 2 hours.
- Read this post from top to bottom before you start. I’ve included many tips and tricks to get things right. Also, read through the actual recipe before getting started.
- Follow the recipe exactly as it’s written for the very best results.
That depends on your preference. Cream cheese frosting is a popular choice, but chocolate, lemon, peanut butter or vanilla all work well with banana flavour so any of these can be used. Use the type you like best.
Yes, double the recipe and divide the batter between two 8-inch or 9-inch cake pans. Bake for 25-28 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of each cake comes out clean.
The bananas you use for baking should be very ripe or overripe and still have some yellow skin but also have many brown spots. Don't use bananas that are leaking, or have spots of mould. Bananas that are still green or are hard to peel are not ripe enough and will result in a dry cake that does not have the proper flavour and texture.
To freeze bananas for baking, you can put your whole overripe bananas in the freezer. When you're ready to use them, remove them from the freezer, place them on a plate, and let them thaw at room temperature. Once thawed, drain off any liquid that gathered on the plate, peel, and blend or mash for your recipe.
If You Make This Recipe...
Please let me know! You can do that by leaving a star rating and a comment below. You can also share a picture on Instagram and tag me (I'm @delightfuladventures).
If You Like This Recipe...
You may also like these other delicious vegan cakes and vegan dessert recipes:
- Easy Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Apple Galette
- Vegan Gluten-Free Applesauce Cake
- Vegan Gluten-Free Chocolate Cupcakes
- Easy Vegan Crème Brûlée
- Vegan Pumpkin Bars
Vegan Banana Cake
- 2 tablespoons ground flax seeds
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1 ½ cups (210g) gluten free flour blend OR all-purpose white flour (if using all-purpose flour, use 1 ½ cups (188g), **please see important notes about flour below**
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- 1½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup (245g) puréed bananas (about 2 large or 3 small bananas)
- ½ cup (100g) brown sugar (or ⅔ cup (101g) coconut sugar, see note below)
- ¼ cup (60ml) oil (see note below)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 recipe vegan cream cheese frosting (see note below)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C).
- Line an 8" x 8" square baking pan with parchment paper and make an overhang on all sides so removing the cake will be easy, set aside.
- Prepare your flax eggs by whisking together ground flax seeds and water. Set aside to thicken.
- In a medium bowl, add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Whisk well to combine and set aside.
- In a large bowl, add the puréed bananas, sugar, oil, vanilla, and flax eggs. Mix well until everything has combined.
- Gradually add the dry mixture to the wet mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until a thick batter has formed. Don't over-mix.
- Using a rubber spatula, scrape the batter into the prepared baking pan, spread it evenly, and smooth out the top.
- Bake for 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Take care not to overbake.
- Remove from the oven and place the pan on a cooling rack. Let the pan sit for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes, using the parchment overhang, carefully remove the cake from the pan, and place it on a cooling rack. Cool completely before frosting.
- While the cake is cooling, prepare the cream cheese frosting.
- Once fully cooled, frost (make the layer as thick or thin as you'd like and save any leftover frosting for another recipe).
- Slice the cake into 9 squares.
- Please read all of the information and FAQ info above, as well as the notes below before making this recipe.
- The cup amount for both types of flour is the same but the weights are different because they have different properties and densities. If you are baking by weight, please take note of each weight and weigh your flour correctly.
- If you are making the vegan gluten-free version, it's important to know that different gluten-free flour blends use different ingredients and ratios, so results will always vary if you substitute. I have never used any other brand of flour to make this recipe (other than Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free All Purpose Baking Flour (Amazon link) in the red bag, NOT the blue bag), so please know that your results may not be the same as mine if you substitute with another gluten-free flour blend. This recipe will NOT work with coconut flour or any other single gluten-free flour.
- Coconut sugar can be used instead of brown sugar, however, each type calls for a different amount, so make sure to use the correct amount for the type you are using.
- Any type of neutral-flavoured oil can be used, such as safflower or sunflower. Melted coconut oil can also be used, but if you do use coconut oil, make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature so it doesn't harden when it's added to the recipe.
- I recommend dairy-free cream cheese frosting for this cake, but you can use whatever type you'd like. Find other vegan frosting recipes here. If you don't want to use frosting, that's okay, you can dust the tops of each slice with powdered sugar just before serving or you can leave the tops plain.
- Storing Leftovers: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 5-6 days, the gluten-free version will keep for 4 days. Serve cold or bring to room temperature. If you are not frosting the cake, it can be kept at room temperature.
- Freezing: Once fully cooled, don't frost or slice it, instead, wrap it tightly with plastic wrap so it's airtight, place it in an airtight container or freezer bag, and freeze it for up to two months. When you're ready to serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight or at room temperature, then frost.
- The nutrition info listed below is based on one of 9 servings made as the recipe is written using gluten-free flour, brown sugar, and no frosting. The cake made with all-purpose flour has a calorie count of 202 per serving. Info is only to be used as a rough guide. Click to learn how nutrition info is calculated on this website.