December 8, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

Healthy Banana Cake Recipe – Chelsea’s Messy Apron

This Healthy Banana Cake Recipe is ultra moist, dense, and perfectly sweet! This cake is free of refined sugars, dairy, gluten, and flour — but trust me, you won’t be missing anything in this lush, delectable cake. Plus, we also include a recipe for an optional cream cheese frosting to top the cake with if you’d like!

Try some of our other nutritious cake recipes next like this Gluten-Free Carrot Cake, Applesauce Cake, or Pistachio Cake. Or try our Healthy Banana Cake with Yogurt!

Healthy Banana Cake

The BEST Healthy Banana Cake Recipe!

These sugar and butter-filled Banana Cupcakes are a huge favorite at my home. While our youngest simply licks the frosting off the top and tries to feed the banana base to our kitty, the rest of us can’t get enough of the soft and sweet banana cake combined with the cream cheese frosting. 

And just about every time there are overripe bananas on the counter we tend to make those cupcakes. So, I thought it was about time to channel all those flavors we love from the cupcakes into a more nutritious treat — one the kiddos could even eat for breakfast! And we all couldn’t be more thrilled with the results — this cake tastes so similar to the cupcakes, but is actually packed with great nutritious ingredients. In fact, check out these quick cake stats:

  • No flour. We use whole old-fashioned oats instead.
  • No refined sugar. Really, there is none! We’re sweetening this cake with banana and honey — a natural sweetener.
  • One full cup of mashed bananas. This nutrient-rich fruit is loaded with fiber, vitamins, and boasts many benefits.
  • Almonds. We thicken the cake with good-for-you fats and all those vitamins and minerals found in almonds.
  • Protein. Thanks to the almonds and eggs, this dessert is packed with protein.
  • Anti-inflammatory spice. Is there anything cinnamon can’t do?!
  • Coconut oil. It’s linked to increasing levels of good cholesterol while lowering levels of bad cholesterol among other potential benefits.

QUICK TIP

I’ve gotten quite a few requests to make this Banana Chocolate Chip Cake more nutritious for a baby’s first birthday smash cake. So, if you’re looking to make a healthy cake for a baby’s first birthday or for your kids to enjoy — this is the recipe to make! We made this cake for my nephew’s first birthday — kids and adults alike went crazy for it!

Process shots: add ingredients to a blender and process until smooth.

Let’s Chat Bananas

This moist Banana Cake recipe relies on overripe bananas. Here are a few tips: 

  • The riper the bananas, the sweeter the cake (and overall the more flavorful it is)! I wait until the banana skins are very spotty and speckled all over before using them in a recipe like this one.
  • If you don’t want to take the time to mash with a fork, use an electric hand mixer to mash bananas quickly.
  • If you don’t have overripe bananas, you can speed ripen them! Here’s how: Take some regular bananas, place them on a parchment paper-lined tray, and then bake them for 7-8 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven. When the skins turn a deep black color, you know they are ready (to make sure the whole skin is black; flip the bananas if needed). Let the bananas cool completely, discard any accumulated liquids, and they’re ready to be mashed for this Healthy Banana Cake.
  • When measuring overripe bananas, start by fully mashing them down and then spoon the mash into the measuring cup. Be sure to fill the measuring cup all the way to the top and level off for the perfect measurement. Too many bananas will result in an overly-moist-bordering-on-mushy cake.

Process shots: add baking agents and cinnamon; blend until smooth; add batter to the pan and bake.

Healthy Banana Cake Ingredients

Below are a few ingredient-specific notes:

  • Honey. It’s a natural sweetener, and when combined with the sweetness of the bananas, it perfectly sweetens the cake while adding the perfect amount of moisture. This Healthy Banana Cake has no sugar that is refined — honey and bananas are natural sweeteners. A natural sweetener is one that is found in nature and not processed.
  • Almonds. We love dry roasted and lightly salted almonds best — more flavor without any extra effort on your part. (Here’s what we use in this cake — they are delicious!)
  • Old-fashioned oats. Although it would make sense that any oats would work, since they’re getting blended anyways, it’s important to use old-fashioned to ensure you get the right measurement. Both quick and steel-cut oats are smaller, denser, and more compact so measurements would be off and the cake would end up too dry.
  • Coconut oil. I have found a good amount of variation in coconut oil brands; there is a stronger coconut flavor in some brands as opposed to others. I personally use LouAna® Coconut Oil and don’t find any recognizable or pronounced coconut flavor in this Healthy Banana Cake recipe.
  • Corn starch. This is an important ingredient since we aren’t using flour and need some additional support and thickness.

QUICK TIP

The ingredients in this Healthy Banana Cake are naturally gluten free, but make sure to check all your ingredient labels to be sure they weren’t processed in a facility with gluten.

Frost the cooled cake and top with optional chopped almonds.

How To Make Healthy Banana Cake

Yes, this cake is healthy, but it’s no harder to make than any other cake. In fact, I think it’s actually easier! No fancy mixers or even bowls or spoons are needed.

To make this easy Healthy Banana Cake all we use is a blender!

We make the entire batter in the blender in different stages. Stop the blender and scrape down the sides frequently (or as needed) to ensure all the ingredients are blending and incorporating well. 

Once the batter is fully blended and smooth, transfer it to a baking pan and bake. While it’s baking, you can whip together the optional frosting and then frost the cake once it has completely cooled.

QUICK TIP

This recipe is quick and easy to make, but you do need a good, powerful blender (think Blendtec® or Vitamix®) to break down the almonds and oats into a smooth batter.

Image of a piece of Healthy Banana Cake.

Banana Cake Frosting Options

The optional cream cheese frosting recipe included does have refined sugars and dairy. If you aren’t on a specific diet, the cream cheese frosting is such a delicious pairing. But, if you are, leave it off or try a more nutritious frosting.

Alternatively, leave off the frosting and dust the top with a light sprinkling of powdered sugar or a slather of good roasted almond butter. (This almond butter frosting sounds tasty!)

If you opt to prepare the frosting for this cake, we love topping the frosting with a few coarsely chopped almonds (leftover from the cake). We also like to press one banana chip into each slice for a pretty finishing touch– and so guests know this is a banana cake. I personally love topping each piece of cake with Bare® baked banana chips. These banana chips are only one ingredient — bananas (no added oils or sweeteners). (Not sponsored).

Close-up view of Healthy Banana Cake.

Recipe Tips

  • Use a light-colored 8×8-inch pan and line it with parchment paper for easy cake removal. It may sound silly but the light-colored pan reflects heat differently than a dark one.
  • Doneness cues. You’ll know this cake is done baking when it’s no longer glossy looking on top, the edges are firm and lightly browned, and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs.
  • Use the overhang of parchment paper to remove all of the banana cake to a cutting board. Then use a sharp chef’s knife to make decisive cuts. Run the knife under warm water, dry it on a kitchen towel, and repeat for each cut.

More Healthy Banana Recipes:

Healthy Banana Cake

This Healthy Banana Cake is ultra moist, dense, and perfectly sweet! This cake is free of refined sugars, dairy, gluten, and flour — but trust me, you won’t be missing anything in this lush, delectable cake. Plus, we also include a recipe for an optional cream cheese frosting to top the cake with!

Healthy Banana Cake

This Healthy Banana Cake is ultra moist, dense, and perfectly sweet! This cake is free of refined sugars, dairy, gluten, and flour — but trust me, you won’t be missing anything in this lush, delectable cake. Plus, we also include a recipe for an optional cream cheese frosting to top the cake with!

Ingredients

Optional Cream Cheese Frosting

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Line an 8×8-inch baking pan with parchment paper and lightly grease with cooking spray. Set aside. Mash bananas: remove skin and add to a bowl. Mash with a fork until you get a smooth consistency. Spoon the mash into the measuring cup. Be sure to fill the measuring cup all the way to the top and level off for the perfect measurement.

  • CAKE: Add the almonds, oats, coconut oil (measure when melted), honey, and measured, mashed bananas to a large powerful blender (Blend-tec/Vitamix) and pulse until fairly smooth– 60 seconds. Add in the rest of the cake ingredients. Blend until smooth and creamy, about 60-120 seconds. Stop and scrape down edges as needed. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, using a spatula to scrape every bit into the pan.

  • BAKE: Smooth the top with the spatula and bake for 33-38 minutes or until cake is lightly browned at the edges and set in the middle (toothpick when inserted in the center should come out clean). 35 mins is perfect in my oven!

  • OPTIONAL FROSTING: Meanwhile, place softened cream cheese in a large bowl with room temperature butter. Using a hand mixer, beat the cream cheese with the butter until smooth. Add in vanilla, cinnamon, and salt and mix until smooth. Slowly add in the powdered sugar (beating in between additions) until smooth and creamy and to your desired consistency.

  • DECORATE: Frost the completely cooled cake with as much frosting as you’d like (the batch of frosting makes a lot; you can certainly use it all if you’d like, but if you want a less frosted cake, you will likely have about 1/4 up to 1/2 cup extra frosting — save and add to your favorite pancakes or waffles!). If desired, top the frosting with coarsely chopped almonds and top each slice with a banana chip (optional).

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Blender: You’ll need a good, powerful blender (think Blendtec® or Vitamix®) to break down the almonds without over-heating the machine.
Note 2: Oats: Although it would make sense that any oats would work since they’re getting blended anyways, it’s important to use old-fashioned to ensure you get the right measurement. Both quick and steel-cut oats are smaller, denser, and more compact so measurements would be off and the cake would end up too dry.
Note 3: Bananas: This is about 2-3 large bananas. The riper the bananas, the sweeter the cake (and overall more flavorful it is)! I wait until the banana skins are very spotty and speckled all over before using. 
Note 4: Corn starch: This is an important ingredient since we aren’t using flour and need some additional support and thickness.
Note 5: Calories: do not include the frosting, with frosting it is 221 calories per serving.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 67kcal | Carbohydrates: 16.2g | Protein: 0.8g | Sodium: 0.7mg | Fiber: 0.9g | Sugar: 10.4g

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.