This easy-to-make gluten-free Banana Cake with cream cheese frosting is incredibly tasty with a moist but fluffy texture. You’ll also find a chocolate buttercream frosting option listed below for more variations. This recipe is naturally gluten-free thanks to the almond flour and there are dairy-free options listed below as well. It’s the perfect way to use up overripe bananas and everyone always loves this classic flavor combination.
Do you have some bananas turning black on the counter? No judging here because I currently have a whole bunch that needs some attention! Luckily this cake is just the thing. And since my last batch has already disappeared, I’m going to use up those bananas with another banana cake.
I often buy a bunch of bananas for snacking and to make green smoothies. But after a few days, they start to get a bit riper than I care for. And that’s when they’re absolutely perfect for making a banana cake.
You’ll love this banana cake for any special occasion because it’s classic flavors everyone loves. It’s especially good served as an afternoon coffee or tea with friends.
Ingredients & Substitutions
- Almond Flour – this is what makes this cake gluten-free and a healthier option. It also provides a good amount of moisture to the cake that allows for cutting back on the butter/oil. It’s sometimes called almond meal, but you want to make sure it’s a very fine texture so your cake isn’t gritty.
- Tapioca starch – this binds the almond flour together and gives the cake its structure. You can also use arrowroot or even cornstarch.
- Baking powder – is what provides the rise in this cake and makes it fluffy.
- Maple syrup – I added just a touch to make this taste sweet enough to be considered a true cake.
- Ripe bananas – they provide the bulk of the flavor and the sweetness in this cake. The ripeness of your bananas also affects the structure of the cake. I’ve found the fluffiest cakes come from bananas that have a good amount of brown spots with some yellow on the skin, (like the one pictured). You’ll find the best banana cake comes from very ripe bananas, no hint of green.
- Butter/ghee/avocado oil – I love using butter or ghee in my baking because of the flavor. But avocado oil works beautifully as a dairy-free option, (and it has a buttery flavor!). You can also use melted coconut oil as well.
- Eggs – provide structure and help this cake to be both moist and fluffy. Eggs are extra important because there’s no gluten in the flour for structure.
- Vanilla extract – adds subtle flavor and really rounds out the banana flavor.
How to make this recipe step by step
Step 1: Start by preheating the oven, then whisk together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Step 2: Blend the wet ingredients in a blender until mostly smooth.
You can also mash the banana by hand and then whisk the mashed bananas together with the rest of the wet ingredients.
Step 3: Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture.
Step 4: Stir the mixture together until all the flour has been combined with no lumps remaining. Then portion the batter into a prepared baking dish and bake until puffed in the middle and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs.
Step 5: Let the banana cake cool completely on a wire rack before frosting the top of the cake with the frosting of your choice.
Ways to serve this
- My cream cheese frosting is one of our favorites for this delicious banana cake and it’s listed below in the recipe card. You can also use dairy-free cream cheese if desired.
- Another favorite is my Chocolate Buttercream Frosting from my Almond flour Chocolate Cake. For a dairy-free and refined sugar-free option, try my Healthy Chocolate Frosting which has an avocado base and is sweetened with honey or maple syrup.
- This cake makes a decadent option for brunching. Try it with my Veggie Breakfast Casserole, Turkey Breakfast Sausage, and Winter Fruit Salad or fresh fruit.
- Make this a classic ‘snack cake’ by serving it without frosting as a snack with coffee or tea. Add some whipped cream or coconut whipped cream.
I recommend making my Paleo Pumpkin Bread which has a similar texture to this cake if you don’t like bananas or are allergic to them.
Unfortunately, they don’t substitute well for almond flour. Almond flour has a lot more moisture from its natural fat content than regular flour, so using regular flour would make a very dry cake. I recommend making my Gluten Free Banana Bread recipe instead which uses gluten-free flour. You could also bake that recipe in a muffin tin and frost it with the cream cheese frosting if desired.
- To store – once you add the cream cheese frosting to this banana cake it needs to be refrigerated soon. Place any leftovers into an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. The cake and frosting will get firmer and a bit drier over time in the fridge.
- Make ahead – you can make the cake ahead and freeze it. I recommend not freezing it for more than 1 week before defrosting overnight in the fridge. Then let it come up to room temperature before frosting it to serve.
- To freeze – you can freeze this cake with our without the frosting for up to one month, but it will get drier over time. Defrost overnight in the fridge.
Tips & Tricks
- If you have ripe bananas but you’re not ready to bake just yet, peel them and freeze them in an airtight container. Be sure to label the container with how many bananas are frozen so you know what you’re working with. I like to freeze mine in the exact proportions listed in the recipe to make things easy.
- You can make this cake earlier in the day and allow it to sit out at room temperature. Then make the cream cheese frosting and frost the cake when you’re ready to serve it.
- f you have a blender, blend together the wet ingredients. This saves you some time mashing up the bananas by hand!
- It’s a choose-your-own frosting adventure, and you can’t go wrong! The cream cheese frosting is so tasty, but the chocolate buttercream is incredibly good too. You can also use the vanilla buttercream frosting recipe from my Flag Cake.
I really hope you enjoy this easy gluten-free Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting! If you do get a chance to make this recipe, I’d love to hear from you in the comments.
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese - softened, or dairy free cream cheese
- 4 tbsp salted butter - softened, or dairy free butter
- 1.5 cups powdered sugar - sifted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tsp lemon juice - freshly squeezed
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and lightly butter/oil the bottom the pan, 9"x9" baking pan, or deep dish 8"x8".
- Whisk together the almond flour, tapioca starch, baking powder, and sea salt. In a blender, add the maple syrup, bananas, ghee/butter/or avocado oil, eggs, and vanilla. Blend on low speeds until smooth. Or you can mash the bananas by hand, then whisk in the other ingredients.
- Add the wet ingredients to the dry, and mix together to combine. Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan and bake until puffed in the center. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with moist crumbs, 35-40 minutes.
- Remove the cake from the oven and cool on a cooling rack until the cake has reached room temperature before frosting it.
- To make the cream cheese frosting, beat the softened cream cheese and butter together with the whip attachment of an electric mixer on high speed until smooth.
- Add the sifted powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon juice, and beat again on medium speed until combined and fluffy. You can also use an electric hand mixer.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Cut the cake into slices and serve. This cake keeps well at room temperature for up to 2 hours, then refrigerate.