Vegan Banana Cake

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This vegan banana cake is perfectly moist, sweet, and lightly spiced. Easy to make and perfect whether you’re looking for a special dessert, or just need to use up some ripe bananas!

This vegan banana cake is one of those recipes that tuned out way better than I’d ever expected. I don’t know why, I mean, I LOVE my banana bread, banana muffins, and banana pancakes, so banana cake should be pretty good, right?

Well it was way better than good. This cake blew my mind! It had absolutely the perfect texture and amazing flavor.

It was also so easy! We’re talking about a one-bowl deal here. I also made it into a sheet cake for ease of preparation because I figured it might be a good spur of the moment dessert you kind of throw together on a whim, like when you’ve got a bunch of bananas that are threatening to go bad.

Have I sold you on how amazing this cake is? Great! Let’s talk about how it’s made!

Jump to:
  • Ingredients You’ll Need
  • How It’s Made
  • Leftovers & Storage
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • More Vegan Cake Recipes
  • Vegan Banana Cake

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • Non-dairy milk. Just about any variety that’s unsweetened and unflavored will work. Try soy milk, almond milk or cashew milk.
  • White vinegar. Apple cider vinegar works as a substitute.
  • Overripe bananas. Your bananas absolutely need to be overripe, or the cake will turn out dry, chewy, dense, and not sweet enough. You want LOTS of brown spots on the peel. I shoot for bananas that are brown on almost half of the peel.
  • Sugar. Use organic sugar to keep the recipe vegan.
  • Brown sugar. This needs to be organic too.
  • Vegan butter. You should be able to find this near the regular butter at the supermarket. Look for brands like Miyoko’s and Earth Balance.
  • Vanilla extract.
  • Flour. We’re using regular old all-purpose wheat flour. I’m not sure if the recipe will work with anything else.
  • Baking soda.
  • Cinnamon.
  • Salt.
  • Frosting. I like to top this cake with my vegan vanilla buttercream frosting. You could also use vegan chocolate frosting, or your favorite variety. The cake would also be delicious without frosting or with just a sprinkle of organic powdered sugar.
  • Chopped walnuts. These are optional or can be replaced with another variety of nut, such as pecans.

Tip: I like to keep a stash of peeled overripe bananas in the freezer for recipes like this. Simply thaw them out on the counter before mashing, and be sure to include all of the liquid that seeps out of the banana as it comes to temperature.

How It’s Made

The following is a detailed photo tutorial on how to make this dish. Scroll all the way down if you’d like to skip right to the recipe!

  • Start by stirring your milk and vinegar together in a small bowl or liquid measuring cup. This is your vegan buttermilk. It might curdle — this is fine!
  • In a large mixing bowl, blend together mashed banana, softened butter, the sugars, and vanilla extract until creamy. You can use a hand mixer or stand mixer for this.

Tip: Make sure your butter is at room temperature before getting started. Ideally you’ll want to take it out of the fridge a few hours in advance. Try this butter softening trick if you forget.

  • Stir in the milk mixture by hand. Don’t beat it in with the mixer or you’ll risk taking a vegan buttermilk shower.
  • Begin beating in the flour, a cup at a time. When you add the last cup, sprinkle the baking soda, salt, and cinnamon on top before beating it in. This trick works for lots of baked good recipes that would otherwise require multiple bowls!
  • Spread the batter into a prepared baking pan, then pop it into the oven and bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let your vegan banana cake cool completely, then frost, top it with chopped walnuts, slice and enjoy!

Leftovers & Storage

The best way to store vegan banana cake is to keep it in the original baking dish and cover it tightly with plastic wrap, or, if you’re freezing it, place it in a freezer bag.

The cake will keep for about 2 days at room temperature, about 5 days in the refrigerator, or up to 3 months in the freezer.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can this cake be made gluten-free?

I haven’t tested a gluten-free version of this recipe, so I can’t say for sure. I’d recommend substituting an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend if you’d like to give it a try.

Why is my banana cake so dense/dry?

Usually this is because your bananas aren’t ripe enough. Using bananas with lots of brown spots is essential, as they contain more sugar and less starch, which can dry out your batter.

Why didn’t my cake rise?

This is often due to old baking soda. Test yours by sprinkling a bit in a glass of vinegar. If it doesn’t fizz, it’s time to replace it.

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