Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

May 6, 2023
Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea
This dairy-free and Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake is loaded with warm flavors and a nice crunch from the chopped chocolate!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

This Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake is the ULTIMATE cake for any occasion or season. Not only is it completely moist + fluffy, but it’s based with an airy banana chocolate chip cake that comes topped with a silky chocolate glaze, which creates a rich and decadent flavor profile! This cake is a must for anyone that has a sweet tooth. Seriously good on all counts!

Fork stabbing into two stacked slices of Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake.

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It's the season for baking and as we know, banana breads are the easy, delicious sweet treats to make for the entire family. And while chocolate chip banana bread is a major thing, this Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake is truly a strong contender! Seriously, if you're a lover of both bananas and chocolate, then this combo is a classic that never gets old.

Granted, I always love a good ole' classic Healthy Banana Bread and this banana cake recipe reminds me of this delicious indulge. Of course, if you're into easy 1-layer cakes, then you need to try this Apple Cinnamon Olive Oil Cake, Iced Lemon Loaf Pound Cake, or Perfect One-Bowl Lemon Birthday Sheet Cake.

It's truly a time of all things banana and whether you have a ton of bananas leftover from grocery shopping, cakes are usually a challenge, but if you don't mind a 1-layer cake---then this one's for you!

This banana cake is an easy whip together in a mixing bowl with a handful of staple ingredients like baking powder, baking soda, very ripe bananas, flour, spices, and wet ingredients---all set into a standard round cake pan and wallah.

This recipe is definitely a great family activity and much like my son, your kids (or loved ones) can assist with the stirring together of the cake as well as the combining of the topping ingredients. It's just a simple, easy dessert recipe that works for everyone.

Ingredients for Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake including bananas, chocolate, and sugar.

Ingredients for Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

Here's what you need to make this chocolate banana cake batter and topping:

  • Bananas. You’ll want to use really ripe bananas for the densest, sweetest flavor. Don't worry if your bananas have spots on them. The more spots = more sweetness!
  • All-purpose flour. I like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur’s organic flour, which is certified vegan. For a fluffier cake, you can substitute with cake flour.
  • Baking powder and baking soda for leavening. Both ingredients are important in conjunction with the acidity of the cake and it's rising.
  • Cane sugar. I use organic sugar. Feel free to substitute with organic brown sugar. You can also use maple syrup----just reduce the milk slightly to avoid too much liquid.
  • Cinnamon + Nutmeg. For that classic spice flavor pairing with bananas, you'll need these spices.
  • Coconut oil. Choose a nice high-quality oil because you will be able to taste it in the cake! I also love using olive oil, melted vegan butter, or vegetable oil.
  • Vanilla extract for a bit of warmth and enhanced flavor profile.
  • Buttermilk. This helps the cake become moist and with the perfect texture. You'll need almond milk + apple cider vinegar to create your dairy-free "buttermilk".
  • Chocolate. I love using vegan chocolate bars and chopping them into pieces, however, feel free to use chocolate chips for greater ease.

Chocolate Glaze

The glaze on this cake is a silky, light chocolate dairy-free glaze. Even without any dairy, it's incredibly rich and decadent. For a velvety, airy feel, you can always top this banana cake with a chocolate buttercream for a nice switch up too! Here's what you need:

  • Powdered sugar. If you use granulated sugar, your glaze will have a gritty texture, so I highly recommend organic powdered sugar.
  • Cocoa powder. Cacao powder also works!
  • Almond milk. Any dairy-free milk works. Just make sure that it's unsweetened.
Jump to:

Why is my Banana Cake Not Moist?

When it comes to a cake's moistness, the ratio of dry ingredients to wet ingredients matters. This is why it's super important to add a high-quality neutral oil (or butter) to your cakes for the perfect moistness. Just remember, that too much milk and not enough flour creates the opposite problem----meaning that your cake will become too wet and may not bake through best or take much longer.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake batter in a round pan.

How to Make Banana Cake

The components to this plant-based cake recipe are the cake layer, and the easy chocolate glaze topping. The 1-layer cake can easily be whipped together in just one bowl. Then you can make the simple chocolate glaze once the cake has baked + cooled, serve, and Wallah!

Why Does Banana Cake Need Baking Soda?

Basically, because this banana cake has more acidic components to it like buttermilk, bananas, sugar, etc.----the baking soda is needed to act as a neutralizer and create a nice texture and taste.

Can Bananas be too Ripe for this Cake?

Not at all! Actually, much like banana bread, very ripe bananas that are pretty black make for the best flavor in this cake. The darker the bananas are the sweeter they'll be for this easy cake.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake in a wooden bowl.

How Do You Keep Chocolate Chips from Sinking in a Cake?

Whether you choose to use chopped chocolate or chocolate chips for this banana cake, the important thing is to keep them from sinking to the bottom--right? Well, the best trick that I've tried is to lightly flour the chocolate chips (or chocolate) before folding them into the cake.

Can You Add Melted Chocolate to Cake Batter?

I definitely don't recommend adding melted chocolate for two reasons: one, adding melted chocolate to cake batter creates a more "fudgy" texture as opposed to light, airy, and fluffy. Secondly, because bananas already hold moisture, adding melted chocolate to this cake will totally transform the texture of this cake in not the best way.

Whisk in a bowl of chocolate.

What Does it Mean to Fold in Chocolate Chips?

To fold in chocolate chips or chocolate means to carefully combine to different textures together (chocolate + cake batter) into a single smooth texture without over-mixing the batter or breaking up the chocolate chips. This can usually be easily achieved with a spatula or wooden spoon as opposed to any electric mixers, etc. which would be too aggressive for the fold.

Which is Better for Cake: Butter or Oil?

Generally, most people guarantee that using an oil like vegetable oil adds the best more reliable moistness to cake. Therefore, for this recipe, I love using a neutral oil like coconut oil, olive oil, etc. However, because vegan butter is more oil-based, I tend to substitute with melted vegan butter as well.

Crushed chocolate and a knife on a wooden cutting board.

What You'll Love About this Chocolate Banana Cake

  • It’s super fluffy and moist.
  • Dynamite flavor combo (bananas + chocolate).
  • Decadent and comforting in every bite.
  • Melt in your mouth goodness!
  • Can be made as a traditional banana bread or cupcakes. Your choice!
  • Not too sweet, but perfectly sweet at the same time.
  • Absolutely delicious!

How to Know If Your Baking Powder + Baking Soda are Fresh

Baking is such a science, but more importantly because certain ingredients like your leaveners (aka baking powder + baking soda) are completely fresh so that your banana cake (and other baked goods) fully rise and bake through nicely.

Incase you weren't aware, there's an easy to double check both the baking powder and baking soda. Here's what you need:


-Add 1 teaspoon baking soda with ¼ cup vinegar or lemon juice in a bowl and if it's fresh, the mixture should "bubble/fizz". If no bubble/fizz is present, then your baking soda needs to be replaced.


-Add 1 teaspoon baking powder with ¼ cup Hot tap water in a bowl and if it's fresh, the mixture should "bubble/fizz". If no bubble/fizz is present, then your baking powder needs to be replaced.

Chocolate banana cake atop a brown wood cake stand with a chocolate drizzle and chopped chocolate.

Common Q + A's About this Cake

Can this Cake be made ahead or frozen for longer?

You can always bake this cake the night or day before and let it cool, tightly wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. When ready to serve, let cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, make your glaze and drizzle, add your favorite toppings, and serve each slice! To store frozen (frosted or unfrosted), simply tightly wrap and cover cake and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature.

Can I use Cake Flour instead of All-purpose?

Definitely! In all honesty, I tend to use Cake Flour by itself when I decide not to mix it in with All-Purpose Flour. Using Cake Flour alone makes your cake even more soft, fluffy, and moist! Of course, you can always use All-Purpose Flour solely if you don’t have Cake Flour.

How do you make homemade Cake Flour?

If you're in a pinch and you don't have any cake flour on hand and you only have all-purpose flour---no worries! You can still achieve that extra fluffiness that cake flour would by simply adding 1 teaspoon of arrowroot or starch to your flour before whisking. 

Should I let cake batter rest?

No. Because the air escapes pretty quickly after the cake batter is combined and ready to be poured in the pan, it's important not to have it sit there. The leaveners (baking powder + baking soda) will lose their effect and this will cause a shorter, more dense cake.

What makes my cake crumbly?

Whenever your cake turns out dense and too crumbly, it means that not enough liquid was added. Therefore, ensure that the right amount of moisture is added to your cake for the best texture.

How do you avoid over-mixing your cake batter?

Basically, you only need to mix your cake batter until "just combined"---meaning that everything is smooth and you no longer can see the individual ingredients added.

Why did my cake not come out of the cake pan clean?

This issue can occur for TWO reasons: the first being that you didn't allow the cake to cool enough before removing it. I always recommend letting it cool for at least 20-30 minutes before removing it and letting it cool completely on a cooling rack. Secondly, the issue could be that the pan wasn't greased well. I like to grease + add cake pan parchment paper to the bottom.

How to best get the middle of this cake to bake?

Whenever I'm baking a cake that has added moisture like the use of bananas, etc. I like to prick small holes into the middle of the cake using a toothpick or cake tester midway through the baking to help the heat further penetrate.

Can I turn this cake into cupcakes?

Absolutely! This recipe yields about 30 cupcakes which will be more cakey and fluffy. Simply bake for 18-20 minutes instead, until centers come out clean. Just use my recipe for chocolate buttercream to frost!

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake topped with chocolate drizzled and chopped chocolate.

How to Ripen Bananas for this Banana Cake

Have you ever had bananas that weren't fully ripe, but you were dying to make a banana bread? Well, I totally understand. I've definitely been there. Luckily, I've come across a few hacks to help you ripen your bananas if you're in a pinch and here's what you can do:

  • Keep the banana bunches together to avoid the ripening process from stalling. 
  • Store your bananas in a warm place like near a heater or atop your refrigerator. This helps them to ripen faster.
  • Using a paper bag, add your bananas inside and fold it over to close it. The gases from inside the bag once shut tight will ripen the bananas within 24-36 hours.

If you're looking to ripe your bananas more quickly for baking purposes then you can do one of the following:

  • Oven Method: Preheat the oven at 300 degrees Fahrenheit and place bananas (with peels on) unto a baking sheet and let them bake for 15-20 minutes or until skins are black. The bananas at this point should be soft and sweet.
  • Microwave Method: Poke holes into the peel bananas (all around) and microwave for 30 seconds at a time until the bananas are soft enough. 

The Best Toppings for Your Banana Cake

If you'd like to spruce things up with this chocolate banana cake, then that's super easy! You can add any of the following ingredients to the top of your cake for a nice bite:

Chocolate chips or chopped chocolate

Nuts or seeds (chia seeds, pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc.)

Peanut butter, drizzled

Cocoa or Cacao

Coconut whipped cream

Fresh berries

Dairy-free ice cream

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake on a raised wooden platter.

How to Make Vegan Banana Cake with Cake Mix

Whether you choose to make the batter of this banana cake from scratch or with cake mix, you won't be disappointed. Simply implement a few teaks and you'll enjoy this cake as if you made it entirely without a mix! If using your favorite box of dairy-free vanilla cake mix, simply turn it into this SUPER MOIST Chocolate Banana Cake by purchasing a box and:

  • Instead of using vegetable oil, substitute with the coconut oil or other subs as listed in this recipe.
  • Add a little baking powder and baking soda to the mix (perhaps 1-teaspoon of baking powder + ½ teaspoon baking soda or so per box).
  • Use organic cane sugar instead of standard white sugar.
  • Add the mashed bananas per usual.
  • Replace the water with the dairy-free 'buttermilk'. You might need to reduce the milk to a closer amount like in this recipe and slowly add until desired consistency is met.
  • Be sure to add the cinnamon + nutmeg as this recipe states.
  • Fold in chocolate chips or chopped chocolate as the recipe states.
  • Make the chocolate glaze + top the cake per usual after it cools along with your favorite toppings, if desired.
Two slices of banana cake stacked atop each other on a white plate on a brown table and with a fork.

How to Store Leftover Cake

Keep leftover cake tightly wrapped using plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 5 days. To store frozen (frosted or unfrosted), simply tightly wrap and cover cake and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature.

Other Delicious Banana-infused Recipes to Try!

If you're into banana flavor, then these are perfect and guaranteed to be a crowd-pleaser:

Classic Southern Banana Pudding

Vegan Chia Seed Maple Banana Bread

Vegan Banana Cake with Maple Buttercream

Healthy Banana Bread Pancakes


If you tried this Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake or any other recipe on my website, please please leave a 🌟 star rating and let me know how you go in the 📝 comments below. I love hearing from you.

Fork stabbing into two stacked slices of Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake.

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

May 6, 2023
5 from 6 votes
This dairy-free and vegan Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Cake is loaded with warm flavors and a nice crunch from the chopped chocolate!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Serves: 8 servings



  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups organic all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 2 tsps baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • ¾ cup Almond milk , unsweetened (You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • 1 tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ cup coconut oil, melted (You can also sub with melted vegan butter, olive oil, etc.)
  • 1 (4 oz.) vegan chocolate bar, roughly chopped (You can also sub with 1-1 ½ cups of chocolate chips)


  • 2 cups organic powdered sugar, sifter
  • 3 Tbsps cocoa powder
  • 3-4 Tbsps Almond milk, unsweetened (You can use your fave plant-based milk)


  • Chopped vegan chocolate
  • Coconut whipped cream
  • Dairy-free ice cream



  • In a bowl or measuring cup, add together your favorite plant-based milk (I use unsweetened Almond milk) and the apple cider vinegar, stirring and allowing it to sit for 5-10 minutes until it thickens.


  • Begin by preheating the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease (w/ butter or spray) and line the bottom with parchment paper of a 9-inch round cake pan. NOTE: For greater ease, you can use a 8 to 9-inch springform pan as well so that you can remove it more easily once baked.
  • In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sea salt until combined. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, add together the mashed bananas, sugar and oil, mixing by using a hand-mixer on medium-high speed, until combined, about 1-2 minutes.
  • Add in the vanilla and the 'buttermilk', followed by the dry ingredients, mixing everything together until well combined and smooth, about 2-3 minutes. Fold in the chopped chocolate.
  • Pour/scoop batter into prepared pan, spreading everything around for a perfect evenness.
  • Bake for 55-60 minutes, or until the center of the cake comes out clean when tested with a toothpick or butter knife.
  • Once done, remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely (about 1-2 hours) before carefully lifting it from the pan and placing it onto a cooling rack to cool completely. NOTE: To best remove, I recommend gently turning your cake over and "shake" out of pan, flipping it back right side up once on cooling rack.


  • In a bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and milk, until smooth and it slowly runs off the whisk once lifted.
  • Once cake has cooled completely, drizzle chocolate glaze atop cake, slice, and serve with your favorite toppings.
  • Bon Appetit!

Tips & Tricks

  • STORAGE: Keep leftover cake tightly wrapped using plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 5 days. To store frozen (frosted or unfrosted), simply tightly wrap and cover cake and freeze for up to 2-3 months. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature.
  • CHOCOLATE CHIP BANANA CUPCAKES: This recipe yields about 30 cupcakes which will be more cakey and fluffy. Simply bake for 18-20 minutes instead, until centers come out clean.
  • FLOUR: You can always just use all-purpose or cake flour for this recipe.
  • MAKE AHEAD: You can always bake this cake the night or day before and let it cool, tightly wrap, and refrigerate until ready to use. When ready to serve, let cake sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour, make your glaze and drizzle, add your favorite toppings, and serve each slice!


Calories: 284kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 0.004mg | Sodium: 261mg | Potassium: 47mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 29g | Vitamin A: 2IU | Vitamin C: 0.04mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 2mg


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Signature of name, Shanika in black font on a white background.

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Love this Recipe?

  1. I am looking forward to making this with my niece. Just wondering, in the preamble you mention folding in peanut butter to the cake. At what point do you do this? And how much peanut butter would you recommend?

    • Hi Tobi! I'm so honored that you've chosen to try my recipe for your niece! The PB is actually only in the frosting and it's 2-3 Tbsps. You should be able to scroll all the way down to the recipe card so that you can see full instructions and measurements! Hope that you enjoy! 🙂

  2. My whole family LOVED this. It was easy enough to make that my 9-year-old daughter easily made it with me.
    We used the gluten free tips, using Bob's Red Mill one-to-one gf flour. We also only used half the sugar called for in the frosting and it was perfect for us. Thank you for such a delicious recipe!!!

    • Hi Ami! I'm so happy that you and your family enjoyed this recipe! It's definitely a great baking project for kids! Thanks so much for choosing to try my recipe! 🙂

  3. Came across this recipe and blog this morning via Mysweeteats and WOW! I’ve been missing out! Cake is in the oven right now but I don’t have shortening for the frosting. Can it be made without? A million thanks...I can’t wait to try more of your beautiful recipes!

    • Hi Mona! I'm so happy to have you join me on my food journey! I'm so excited to hear about how the cake turns out! You definitely can sub the shortening with vegan butter. Just use 1/2 cup vegan butter (at room temp.) instead of the 1/4 cup. 🙂

  4. Hi, baking soda is noted in the instructions but not in the ingredients list, so not sure of amount unless I missed it there?

  5. Wow, what an awesome treat. I love when I find delicious vegan dessert recipes! I keep telling everyone that vegan food is not any less tasty than non-vegan food, and this cake proves my point. Thanks for the great recipe!

    • RIGHT?! I'm so with ya, Kristin! It's all about being creative!! I hope that you get to try it!

  6. Absolutely delicious! This cake is so moist and fluffy it is perfect! I love the peanut butter whipped buttercream, it has wonderful flavor as well and ties the cake together! I can't wait to make this for an upcoming birthday.

    • Thanks so much, Luci! It's SO GOOD together! I hope that everyone enjoys this as much as I did! 🙂