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!
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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.
Here's what you need to make this chocolate banana cake batter and topping:
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:
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
BAKING SODA HACK:
-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
If you're looking to ripe your bananas more quickly for baking purposes then you can do one of the following:
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
Dairy-free ice cream
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:
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.
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
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.
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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! 🙂
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! 🙂
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. 🙂
Hi, baking soda is noted in the instructions but not in the ingredients list, so not sure of amount unless I missed it there?
Hi Dawn! So sorry that I missed that! You should add 1/2 tsp of baking soda!
thank you for the prompt response
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!
I always love finding vegan free dessert recipes, Thank you for sharing!
WOAH! This one's got it all... flavor, texture, and it's easy om the eyes. Great tips!
Thanks so much, Alison! It's definitely delish for sure! 🙂
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! 🙂
Wow I need to try out this recipe ASAP! It looks so delicious and easy to make!