Now, I'm going full bananas with a layer cake. This beautiful and super moist banana cake happens to be entirely vegan and even has a gluten-free option. It's the perfect allergy-friendly treat for a fall birthday or holiday dessert.
This is a straightforward cake recipe with wet ingredients, dry ingredients, and a cake pan.
You can make several layers for a towering design, or make a large sheet cake if you prefer.
Here's what you need to make the best vegan banana cake:
Cake flour. You can also use all-purpose flour if you don't have cake flour, but cake flour will give you a lighter texture.
Bananas. Make sure to use super ripe bananas for the sweetest flavor.
Cane sugar. Use organic sugar for vegan.
Baking powder and soda. To lighten your bread.
Spices. Use cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ginger for the warming fall flavor.
Almond milk. Any vegan milk will work!
Apple cider vinegar. To make plant-based buttermilk.
Vegan butter. I like to use Earth Balance Vegan Buttery Sticks.
Browned Butter Cinnamon Buttercream Frosting
The creamy, sweet and spiced buttercream frosting brings the moist banana cake to life. Here's what you need to make the frosting:
Powdered sugar. Make sure to use powdered sugar, not granulated sugar for a nice smooth and fluffy frosting.
Butter. Make sure your vegan butter is softened to room temperature for the lightest frosting.
Maple syrup. Make sure to use pure syrup, not imitation!
Almond milk. Any vegan milk will work.
Assembling the Banana Layer Cake
Once you have the cake and frosting ready, you can assemble this beautiful cake.
To do so, place a layer of cake on your serving plate or cake stand. Cover the cake with buttercream. Place the second cake on top, add another layer of frosting. Then finally, add the final cake and cover the entire thing in the remaining frosting.
Now you can decorate the cake however you like. Use a piping bag or an offset spatula to make any designs you like.
I like to top the cake with caramelized bananas for extra banana flavor.
Can I Make Banana Cupcakes?
Certainly! If you'd like to make cupcakes, simply follow the recipe as written. Instead of pouring the batter into cake pans, pour it into a cupcake tin with liners. Bake the cupcakes for 15 to 20 minutes, rotating the pans halfway through.
Storing the Cake
If you have leftovers, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or place them in an airtight container. Keep the cake in the fridge for up to five days. You can also freeze leftover cake for up to three months. Defrost the cake on the counter before serving.
More Banana Recipes
These Flourless Vegan Banana Oats Waffles are everything that one’s heart desires. Made right in a blender, these gluten-free waffles are naturally sweetened, fluffy, thick, airy, and full of flavor.
This Easy Peanut Butter Banana Oats Smoothierecipe is a delicious and simple way to enjoy a quick, easy breakfast while gaining awesome health benefits from the simple ingredients that marry so well together, creating a powerful kick of flavor.
This Vegan Chia Seed Maple Banana Bread is super moist, tasty, packed with healthy nutrients including superfoods like Chia Seeds, and 100% delicious!
MADE OUR RECIPE(S)?
If you make this Vegan Banana Cake + Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream recipe or any other recipe from us, be sure to tag us on Instagram at #Orchidsandsweettea so that we can share the love!
Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream
5 from 9 votes
This Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream is a stunning layer cake with warming fall flavors, sweet mashed banana and a light and airy dairy-free buttercream.
Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease (with butter) AND line with parchment paper the bottoms of TWO 8-inch cake pans or THREE 6-inch cake pans.
In a bowl, whisk together the milk and apple cider vinegar and set aside for 5-10 minutes until everything "activates".
In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and ginger until combined.
Add in the mashed bananas, milk-ACV mixture, melted butter, vanilla, and mix (using a hand-mixer) until just combined.
NOTE: If the batter looks extremely thick, add extra milk, 1 tablespoon at a time until it’s somewhat pourable but not runny or thin at all.
Divide the batter evenly into each of the cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a toothpick or butter knife comes out clean when tested in the centers.
Remove cakes from the oven and let them rest in the pan for 10 minutes or so before removing the cakes and placing them onto a cooling rack to fully cool. NOTE: Let them cool for at least 1-2 hours in a cool place.
TO MAKE MAPLE BUTTERCREAM:
Simply beat the butter in the bowl of an electric mixer (or using a hand-mixer) on medium-high speed, until smooth and pale. Add in the powdered sugar, cinnamon, maple syrup, vanilla, and milk, continuing to mix on medium-speed until you reach the desired consistency----smooth and fluffy. NOTE: Add more milk (1 tablespoon at a time if too thick) or powdered sugar (for more thickness).
Place the first cake layer on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with buttercream. Now, top with 2nd layer and add more buttercream atop that layer. Finally, top with final layer and top with remaining buttercream, spreading it over the tops and sides of cake, evenly and thinly.
Once fully frosted, add small little designs of the buttercream using a piping bag + tip or the cooled caramelized bananas (See Notes for Recipe). Chill for 5 minutes to ensure that buttercream sets.
When ready to serve, remove from the refrigerator. Slice and enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Keep cake leftovers stored for up to 4 days in the fridge. Keep it in an airtight container to keep the cake from drying out. You can also freeze the cake tightly wrapped in plastic wrap for up to 3 months. Before serving, defrost the cake on the counter.
FLOUR: If you don’t have cake flour, you can always just use all-purpose flour entirely instead.
GF OPTION: If you want to make this cake Gluten-Free, you can simply substitute flours with Bob's Red Mill's 1-to-1 Baking Flour. Just add an additional ¾ cup or so if needed; To use other GF flours such as coconut, almond, etc. just be sure to add 1 teaspoon of Xanthan gum.
OIL vs. BUTTER: Instead of vegan butter, you can also use Vegetable or Coconut oil, if preferred.
CARAMELIZED BANANAS: In a saucepan over medium-high heat, add 2 Tbsps of vegan butter and let melt. Add sliced bananas (2 medium bananas) and let cook until browned, about 2-3 minutes. Turn bananas over to opposite side and let cook and brown. Add in 2 Tbsps of maple syrup and ½ teaspoon of vanilla and gently stir in. Let bubble for 20-30 seconds before removing everything from heat. Let fully cool before topping on cake.
WALNUTS: In a food processor, add walnuts and process until fully broke down into tiny bits. If larger chunks are preferred, feel free to lightly pulse.
LOVE THIS RECIPE?
LET US KNOW!
If you don’t have shortening, is there a substitute?
I would love to make this but that’s the only ingredient missing!
No worries!! You can try using Vegan butter in the place of shortening. Instead of 1/4 cup, just use 1/2 cup of vegan butter at room temp. 🙂
This recipe looked so good and I was so exited to make it but it came out so gummy 🙁
I'm so sorry to hear that, Kim! What part of the cake did you have trouble with? Was it the cake texture itself or the buttercream?
Thanks, Shanika. I'm going to make this for my husband's birthday in March. But I might have to do a "test run" sooner, because, really, who can wait??
Hi. This looks gorgeous. Do you think I could make this gluten free with a 1-to-1 flour substitute like Bob's Red Mill? Thanks for featuring so many vegan recipes.
Hi Marsha! Thanks so much! Yes, you actually can! I would substitute the flour for the 1-to-1 Baking flour from Bob's Red Mill and maybe add an additional 3/4 cup or so flour if needed. It should be perfect! Be sure to let me know how it all turns out! 🙂
I love the decoration of the cake and rich buttercream. It would be the perfect cake for any celebration!
Yes, indeed! Thanks so much, Alina!
Making the cake right now. Love it from the first minute I started. I hope to get the same beauty and taste as yours 🙂
I do hope that you enjoy it, Irina! It's such a great flavor combo! 🙂
We loved the flavor of the brown butter frosting with the banana flavored cake! So good!
Yes, it's such a killer combo, Beth! Glad you loved it! 🙂
This cake looks and sounds divine. The combination of flavors and the caramelized banana on top just all sound so wonderful.
It's SO GOOD, Andrea! Thanks so much! 🙂
Loving the texture of this cake and the best part about it is that it's Vegan. That buttercream frosting looks delish
Thanks so much, Alisha! I'm definitely big on texture! It's SO GOOD!