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Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

This light and fluffy vegan banana cake with sweet maple buttercream frosting is a stunning layer cake for fall birthdays and holidays.

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

This Vegan Banana Cake with Maple Buttercream is moist and fluffy, rich in nutty, sweet banana flavor and is topped with an airy vegan maple buttercream.

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

I love anything made with banana flavors. In particular, my Classic Southern Banana Pudding is my go-to family dessert. Either that, or the ultra-decadent Peanut Butter Banana Pudding.

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. 

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

Why You’ll Love This Banana Cake

It’s super fluffy and moist.

Bold banana + nut flavor + spices (cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and allspice).

Warm and comforting in every bite.

Melt in your mouth goodness!

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

How to Make Vegan Banana Cake

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. 

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

Ingredients

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. 
  • Vanilla
  • 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. 

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

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!
  • Vanilla
  • Cinnamon
  • Almond milk. Any vegan milk will work. 

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

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. 

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

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. 

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

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. 

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

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. 

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

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 Smoothie recipe 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!

 

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

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

Vegan Banana Cake + Maple Buttercream

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 45 mins
Serves: 8 servings
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Ingredients

BANANA CAKE:

  • 3 cups Cake flour
  • 3 Ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Almond milk (You can use your fave plant-based milk!)
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup vegan butter, melted (See Notes!)

MAPLE BUTTERCREAM:

  • 4-5 cups organic powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1 cup vegan butter, softened at room temp.
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1-2 Tbsps Almond milk

TOPPING:

  • Caramelized bananas (See Notes!)
  • Toasted chopped walnuts

Instructions

TO MAKE BANANA CAKE:

  • 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 Tbsp 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 Tbsp at a time if too thick) or powdered sugar (for more thickness).

ASSEMBLY:

  • 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!
  • Bon Appetit!

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. 
  • LAYERS: For THREE 6-inch layer cake, just DOUBLE the ingredient measurements; for THREE 8-inch layer cake or TWO 9-inch layer cake, just TRIPLE the ingredient measurements.
  • 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 3/4 cup or so if needed; To use other GF flours such as coconut, almond, etc. just be sure to add 1 tsp 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 1/2 tsp 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.

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  1. If you don’t have shortening, is there a substitute?

    I would love to make this but that’s the only ingredient missing!

    • Hi Alison,

      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. 🙂

    • 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?

  2. 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??

  3. 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! 🙂

  4. This cake looks and sounds divine. The combination of flavors and the caramelized banana on top just all sound so wonderful.