This Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Cake is amazingly moist, fragrant and fruity and covered in a rich “cream cheese” frosting. It tastes like an indulgent version of banana bread, is perfectly sweet, subtly spiced, and filled with juicy raisins (or chocolate chips)! It’s also refined sugar free and comes together in one bowl.
How to make the cake
Scroll down to the bottom of the post for the full recipe.
- Mash the bananas in a wide-bottomed bowl using a fork.
- Mix together all the ingredients in a glass mixing bowl – use a measuring jug to measure out the plant-based milk.
- Transfer the mixture to a 18cm / 7 inch springform baking tin.
Tip: Line the tin with greased baking paper to make it easier to remove the banana bread afterwards.
- Bake in the oven for around 30 minutes, until an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Leave the cake to cool down on a cooling rack before applying the frosting.
How to make the vegan “cream cheese” frosting
- Keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight (or for at least 12 hours) for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom.
- Make sure you use full-fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to whip it up.
- Open the tin upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid.
- Save the watery liquid you pour off for adding to soups or smoothies.
- Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl along with the other ingredients (maple syrup, lemon juice and vanilla extract).
- Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip until light and fluffy.
- Make sure the cake has cooled completely before applying the frosting, otherwise the frosting will melt!
For more tips and an alternative cashew-based recipe, check out my vegan cream cheese frosting post!
How to decorate
I decided to decorate this Banana Cake with sliced bananas, but you can use anything you like! I wouldn’t recommend topping it with sliced bananas if you want the cake to keep for longer than a day, though, as sliced bananas easily turn brown.
Other ingredients you can use to decorate it:
- Chocolate chips or chocolate shavings.
- Chopped walnuts.
- Fresh berries.
- Coconut flakes.
- Vegan caramel sauce!
How long does this Banana Cake keep for?
Although this cake does taste best when fresh, it does keep well covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
Substitutions you can make
- You can use any type of oil: coconut oil, olive oil or vegetable oil.
- You can use any type of plant-based milk: almond milk, rice milk, soy milk, cashew milk, oat milk etc.
- You can use any type of liquid sweetener: maple syrup, agave syrup, brown rice syrup etc.
- You can replace the ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour) with ground walnuts.
- For a nut-free version: replace the ground almonds (almond meal/almond flour) with ground sunflower seeds.
- You can use plain flour, wholemeal (whole wheat) flour or spelt flour instead of the gluten-free flour if you’re not gluten-free.
- You can omit the raisins.
- You can replace the raisins with other dried fruit like chopped dates or chopped dried mango, pineapple or papaya.
- You can replace the raisins with blueberries or raspberries.
- You can replace the raisins with chocolate chips.
- you can add a handful of chopped walnuts or some desiccated coconut.
More vegan banana recipes
- Blueberry Banana Bread
- Blueberry Banana Muffins
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Banana Walnut Bread
- Chocolate Banana Bread
- Banana Oatmeal
- Gluten-Free Vegan Peanut Butter Banana Bread
If you try out this recipe or anything else from my blog, I’d really love to hear any feedback! Please give it a rating, leave a comment, or tag a photo @rhiansrecipes #rhiansrecipes on Instagram! Thank you.
Watch how to make this recipe
Gluten-Free Vegan Banana Cake
For the cake:
- 3 medium-sized ripe bananas
- 60 g (¼ cup) coconut oil (or sub olive or vegetable oil)
- 4 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar * (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100 g (⅔ cup) raisins **
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) ground almonds (almond meal) ***
- 150 g (1 ¼ cup) gluten-free flour blend (or sub plain flour if not gluten-free)
- 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder (ensure gluten-free if necessary)
- ¼ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- 120 ml (½ cup) unsweetened almond milk (or any other plant-based milk)
For the frosting:
- 400 g (14 oz) tin of full-fat coconut milk ****
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup (or sub any other sweetener)
To decorate (optional):
- Banana , sliced
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit).
- Peel the bananas and place in a wide-bottomed bowl, then use a fork to mash until you get a smooth paste.
- Place the coconut oil in a separate large bowl and melt over a saucepan of boiling water or in the microwave (skip this step if using any other oil).
- Once melted, add the maple syrup to the same bowl along with the vinegar, cinnamon, vanilla, raisins and ground almonds.
- Sift in the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
- Add the mashed bananas, and mix well, adding the milk a small amount at a time until you get a loose batter. You may not need to use it all depending on how liquidy your bananas are – you may also need to add a little more milk if your bananas are dry.
- Transfer mixture into a greased baking tin lined with baking paper (I used an 18cm/7inch springform baking tin).
- Bake in oven for around 30 minutes until risen and golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
- Once out the oven, leave to cool on a wire rack before applying the frosting.
For the frosting:
- You’ll need to keep your tin of coconut milk in the fridge overnight for the rich creamy bit to separate from the watery bit at the bottom. Make sure it is full fat coconut milk, otherwise this separation won’t happen and you won’t be able to make this cream!
- Open the tin upside down – the coconut cream will be at the bottom and you can just pour off the watery liquid (save this for adding to soups or smoothies).
- Place the thick, creamy part into a bowl.
- Add the lemon juice and maple syrup.
- Use an electric whisk (or a manual one and a lot of elbow grease) to whip up the coconut cream until light and fluffy.
- Carefully spread the frosting over the top of the cake.
- Top with the sliced bananas, if desired.
- Best when fresh but keeps covered in the fridge for up to a few days.
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