If you're a banana lover then this easy vegan banana cake will blow your mind! The texture is in between vegan banana bread and vanilla cake, light, fluffy and sweet!
The banana and cinnamon flavors are absolutely divine paired with this easy vegan frosting (which can be whipped up in under 5 minutes). But you could also top it with non-dairy cream cheese frosting.
🔪 What To Expect From This Recipe
- Moist, fluffy, and tender. Thanks to a combination of ripe bananas, non-dairy yogurt, and homemade buttermilk, the texture of this banana tray cake is perfection.
- Easy to make. Straight-forward and simple to put together with pantry staple ingredients. You don't need to be a skilled cake decorated either. Similar to this chai sheet cake, the frosting is best just slapped on with a spoon or spatula, no need to make it perfect!
- Great for reducing food waste. I often have spotty bananas lying on the kitchen counter. This, along with banana muffins, is one of my favorite ways to use them up and prevent them from going to waste.
📝 Ingredients Needed
Here's everything you need to make this easy vegan banana cake recipe from scratch:
Notes about the ingredients
- Spotty bananas. Slightly overripe bananas made the best banana cake. Underripe bananas are too starchy and lack the sweetest, and flavor needed for this cake.
- Vegan buttermilk adds rise to the cake, giving it a beautiful fluffy crumb.
- Vegan yogurt. I love adding the to vegan cake recipes such as apple cake, and vanilla cupcakes. It acts as an egg replacer in vegan baking, I prefer using it to applesauce a lot of the time as it avoids adding additional sweetness.
- Soft brown sugar and granulated or cane sugar. A combination of sugars works best, as brown sugar adds moisture and a caramelized flavor whilst white sugar provides structure.
- Ground cinnamon adds a little warming spice to the cake. You can skip it if you aren't a fan, or even sprinkle extra on top of the frosting if you love it!
🥣 How To Make Vegan Banana Cake
Find the full list of ingredients, quantities, and instructions in the recipe card at the end of this post.
This recipe won't take longer than 10 minutes to prepare, and you can also check out this Instagram Reel showing how it's made.
Making the cake batter:
(1) Mash the bananas using a fork and set them aside.
(2) Cream together the vegan butter, granulated and brown sugar until light and fluffy.
(3) Whisk in the vegan yogurt and vanilla, followed by the mashed banana.
(4) Alternate between mixing in the vegan buttermilk and dry ingredients (plain flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and sea salt) in 2 increments until just combined.
How to assemble and bake the banana cake:
(5) Pour the cake batter into a prepared rectangular pan, and smooth out the top with an offset spatula.
(6) Bake until golden brown, this will be between 35-40 minutes, depending on your oven.
(7) Prepare half a batch of vegan frosting and use a spatula or large spoon to swirl it on top of the cooled cake.
(8) Garnish the cake with fresh banana slices or dried banana coins, just before serving.
👩🍳 Recipe Tips
- Quickly ripen bananas. Don't have time to wait for your bananas to ripen and turn spotty? Simply preheat your oven to 175°C (347°F) and bake them on a lined baking sheet for 15 minutes. Allow the bananas to cool to room temperature before removing the skins.
- Don't under-cream the ingredients. Beat the sugar and butter until fluffy and the sugar granules dissolve into the butter, this should take about 4-5 minutes.
- Don't over-mix the dry ingredients into the batter. Instead, mix the wet and dry ingredients until just combined. Otherwise, you could overwork the gluten and end up with a dense, gummy consistency.
Absolutely, you can divide the batter into 2x 6", 7", or 8" pans lined with parchment paper.
Note that thinner cakes will take a little less time to bake, so check them at 25-30 minutes.
This banana cake is best served at room temperature to ensure it keeps its fluffy consistency.
If you don't plan on eating it on the day it's baked, seal it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Then remove the cake from the fridge about 1-2 hours before serving to bring it back to room temperature.
Yes, you can freeze it either frosted or unfrosted. For unfrosted cakes, carefully wrap them in parchment paper and freeze. Frosted cakes may be better off in an airtight container to avoid squashing the buttercream.
To defrost, leave the cake in the refrigerator overnight before serving.
🍌 More Banana Recipes
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-star ★★★★★ rating in the recipe card below and consider leaving a comment as well, thanks!
- 160 ml (⅔ cup) soy milk
- 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
- 280 g (9.8 oz) ripe bananas, approx 2 large or 3 medium
- 250 g (2 cups) plain flour
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 100 g (3.5 oz) vegan butter, room temperature *see notes
- 100 g (½ cup) granulated sugar, *see notes
- 70 g (⅓ cup) soft brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 50 g (1.8 oz) vegan Greek-style yogurt, or soy/coconut yogurt
- ½ batch easy vegan frosting (to lightly frost), or full batch to generously frost
- 1 banana sliced lengthways, or dried banana coins
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- Preheat your oven to 175°C (347°F). Lightly grease a 7x9" rectangular pan with some oil or vegan butter and a sheet of parchment paper.
- Prepare the ingredients: To make the vegan "buttermilk" add the soy milk and apple cider vinegar to a medium bowl or jug, stir and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Add the bananas to a bowl and mash with a fork until smooth and set aside. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and set aside.
- Make the cake batter: Add the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar to a stand mixer or large mixing bowl and cream them together with an electric mixer for 4-5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in yogurt and vanilla and mix again to combine.Whisk in the mashed banana in 2 increments, until just mixed in. Don't worry if the batter appears to be slightly split.Add the buttermilk and dry ingredients in 2 increments. Whisk to combine between each one, but be careful not to overmix the batter.
- Assemble and bake: Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth out the top of it with a spatula (expect the batter to be pretty thick). Bake for 35-40 minutes until the top of the cake is golden brown. Check the cake is done by piercing it with a toothpick or a knife, the knife should come out clean.Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 15-20 minutes. Then carefully remove the tin, and transfer it to a wire rack to cool completely for another 10-15 minutes.
- Storage: This cake is best served at room temperature to ensure it keeps its fluffy consistency. If you don't plan on eating it on the day it's baked, seal it in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days. Then remove the cake from the fridge about 1-2 hours before serving to bring it back to room temperature.
- Using a kitchen scale and measuring in grams will always give you the best results.
- Vegan butter: Take this out of the fridge to sit at room temperature for 30 mins to 1 hour. Make sure you use vegan block butter NOT spreadable butter from a tub. I use flora plant butter which is nut-free, coconut-free, and gluten-free.
- Some white sugar in the US is not vegan, if in doubt use organic sugar.
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