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Vegan Banana Cake + Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream
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5 from 5 votes

Vegan Banana Cake + Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream

Hands down, this Vegan Banana Cake + Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream is the best you'll ever have! Not only is it completely moist + fluffy, but it’s rich in flavor and comes loaded with banana + nut flavors + warm spices, that when paired with this airy vegan browned butter-cinnamon infused buttercream, it's absolutely irresistible. A dessert that your entire family will love. Gluten-free option available.
Course Dessert
Keyword baked, banana, banana bread, brown butter, cake, cinnamon, classic, dairy-free, dessert, easy, fall recipe, fluffy, healthy, holidays, indulge, plant-based, recipe, southern, spices, sweet, traditional, walnuts
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8 servings
Author Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea

Ingredients

Vegan Banana Cake:

  • 1 cup organic all purpose flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • 1/2 cup Super fine cake flour (I use Bob's Red Mill; See Notes!)
  • 1 1/2 tsps baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (I use McCormick)
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/8 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 cup organic pure cane sugar (I use Wholesome Sweets)
  • 1 cup Almond milk (I use Califia Farms; You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • 1 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil  (See Notes!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 Medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, ground (See Notes!)

Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream:

  • 1/4 cup vegan butter spread + 4 Tbsps! (I use Earth's Balance)
  • 1/4 cup organic vegetable shortening (I use Spectrum)
  • 3-4 cups organic powered sugar, sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 Tbsp Almond milk (I use Califia Farms; You can use your fave plant-based milk)
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (I use McCormick)

Other:

  • chopped walnuts
  • caramelized bananas (See Notes!)

Instructions

  • Begin by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease (with vegan butter) AND line with parchment paper the following cake pans: THREE 6-inch round cake pans or TWO 8-inch cake pans.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the Almond milk and Apple Cider Vinegar. Set aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flours, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, all spice, and sea salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a whisk), add the Milk-ACV mixture along with the mashed bananas, oil and vanilla. Mix for a minute or two before turning off the mixer and changing the attachment to a paddle.
  • On low speed, add in the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and continue to mix until well incorporated and batter is smooth, about 3-4 minutes. Fold in ground walnuts.
  • Pour batter evenly into prepared pans, spreading everything around for a perfect roundness.
  • Bake for 30-35 minutes, until the center of the cakes come out clean using a toothpick.
  • Once done, remove cakes from the oven and let cool completely. **NOTE: I often let my cakes cool for 30 minutes or until them are very cool when touched and then place them in the refrigerator to cool completely for another hour or so; this makes icing easier.**

Cinnamon Browned Butter Buttercream:

  • In the meantime, using a saucepan on medium-high heat, melt 4 Tbsps of the butter, stirring occasionally and letting it cook for 3-4 minutes, until dark bits begin to form and the entire butter becomes fragrant and darker.
  • Once done, remove from heat and let cool for a few minutes before refrigerating it so that it is MOSTLY cooled, about 10 minutes.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer (attached with a paddle), beat the browned butter, remaining butter, vanilla and shortening on high speed until well combined, about 1 minute. Turning the mixer on low, add 1/2 the powered sugar and cinnamon (which should be whisked together in a bowl), and 1 Tbsp of Almond milk, mixing them together until well combined. Add the remaining powered sugar mixture and mix until well combined. **NOTE: If the buttercream is too thick, add additional milk (1 Tsp at a time); if it’s too thin, add additional powered sugar (1 Tbsp at a time). Wallah!

Assembly:

  • Using a large knife (or cake slicer), slice a thin layer of cake off the tops of each cake to create a flat surface.
  • Place first cake layer on your cake stand and evenly cover the top with buttercream. Now, top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with buttercream. **NOTE: Repeat another step if using 3-layers.**
  • Once fully layered, add remaining buttercream atop cake and spread it over the tops and sides of cake, evenly and thinly. **NOTE: Adding a thin layer of buttercream around cake and chilling it for 30 minutes to 1 hour before adding remaining buttercream does the trick for an easier frosting of cake; this called a ‘crumb coat’; to add a thicker layer of buttercream on cake, simply make the buttercream recipe TWICE and apply full buttercream to the tops and sides.**
  • Once fully frosted, chill the cake for 5 minutes to ensure that buttercream sets. Top with caramelized bananas, if desired. Slice and enjoy!
  • Bon Appetit!

Notes

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.
STORAGE: Keep cake tightly wrapped using plastic wrap and refrigerated for about 1 week.
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. 
CUPCAKES: This recipe yields about 30 cupcakes. Simply bake for 18-20 minutes instead, until centers come out clean.
OIL: Instead of vegetable oil, you can also use 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.