Follow this easy vegan banana cake recipe for a deliciously indulgent treat. This vegan cake is soft, fluffy, and packed full of banana flavor. Perfect for a weeknight treat or special occasion, it’s loaded with bananas and delicious spices. Try it now!
I have always loved banana cakes. There’s something about that moist cake with the tangy cream cheese frosting that gets me every time.
It’s one of those desserts that everyone talks about at a potluck. In fact, I love taking banana cake to potlucks. It’s why I had to make my family banana cake vegan. It also had to be easy because easy + delicious are my favorite ingredients.
You can find the full printable recipe, including ingredient quantities, below. But first, here are some explanations of ingredients and steps to help you make this recipe perfect every time.
- Lemon — We’ll use both the zest and the juice of the lemon.
- Oats — I used rolled oats for this recipe, but you can substitute instant oats.
- Chia — We’ll add some ground chia seeds to create a thicker texture. You can use whole chia seeds; I just prefer ground because it creates a smoother finished texture.
- Syrup — I used maple syrup, but you can substitute agave nectar.
- Milk — We’ll use almond milk for the best overnight oats! Substitute your favorite plant-based milk.
- Yogurt — I love adding some plant-based yogurt (plain, unsweetened) for an even more tangy flavor.
- Protein Powder — I add some vanilla protein powder for increased flavor and nutrients. If your protein powder is not sweetened, you may want to add an extra teaspoon or two of sweetener.
- Cornstarch — We’ll use cornstarch to thicken the lemon curd topping.
- Turmeric — A pinch of turmeric makes that lemon curd sunny yellow.
- All-purpose flour — You can substitute whole wheat pastry flour (this is different than whole wheat flour) or a quality gluten-free baking flour
- Baking soda + baking powder — Using these two together creates a high, lofty cake with a soft crumb
- Salt — A bit of salt adds depth of flavor. Use table salt or sea salt
- Spices — We’ll be using ground ginger and ground cinnamon
- Vegetable oil — You can substitute melted coconut oil for vegetable oil
- Granulated sugar — You can substitute coconut sugar for granulated sugar
- Bananas — you’ll need 3 ripe bananas
- Plant-based milk — Use your favorite vanilla or plain plant-based milk
- Vanilla extract — This is an optional ingredient, but I like adding a bit of vanilla extract
- Vinegar — I prefer apple cider vinegar, but white vinegar works, too.
Note: Add 1/4 to 1/3 cup of natural cocoa powder to create a vegan chocolate banana cake. This works well with chocolate frosting on top (see recipe below).
What Bananas are Best?
Look for bananas that are yellow with some or several brown spots. You don’t want bananas where the stem doesn’t break off easily, or it’s hard to peel. That’s an indication the bananas are too starchy.
If your bananas aren’t ripe enough, peel and slice them and place them in a microwave-safe bowl. Cook for up to 1 minute until the bananas are tender. Set them aside to cool to room temperature before mashing them.
How to Make Vegan Banana Cake
Wondering how to make a vegan banana cake? Well, I like to think of it as a vegan yellow cake recipe with spices and bananas thrown into the mix. It’s pretty simple to make, but the flavors and textures will help you understand why it’s my favorite cake.
So, let’s get started on this banana cake from scratch.
- Stir together dry ingredients from the flour to the ground cinnamon in a bowl.
- Combine wet ingredients from the vegetable oil to the vinegar in a food processor bowl. Pulse until smooth.
- Make the batter by stirring the banana mixture with the flour ingredients.
- Pour the batter into a prepared cake pan and bake it for 38 to 40 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely before frosting.
Why This Recipe is a Winner
- MOIST — Mashed bananas make a moist, rich cake that is perfectly flavored.
- SOFT — Vinegar interacts with the flour and the baking soda to add a soft, tender texture.
- FLAVORFUL — Adding sweet and tangy vegan cream cheese frosting makes this the best cake ever
Vegan Banana Cake Frosting
Thanks to the ripe bananas, this recipe for vegan banana cake is sweet enough to serve on its own or with a sprinkling of powdered sugar on top.
However, there’s nothing like creamy frosting. Here are some great options:
There are three frostings I want to highlight:
- Making a vegan banana cake with lemon frosting is a favorite flavor combination!
- Of course, banana cake with chocolate frosting is always a hit!
- My favorite go-to topping is this tangy vegan cream cheese frosting.
Vegan Banana Cake 2 Bananas
This recipe calls for 3 bananas, but if you only have 2, there’s no need to rush to the store. Here’s what I do when I’m in a pinch:
- Follow the recipe, but use two bananas instead of three.
- Add 1/3 to 1/2 cups of unsweetened applesauce (or use any of these applesauce replacements).
- Proceed with the recipe card to finish the batter and bake the cake.
It’s easy to bake with substitutes when you have a plan to follow. You’ll still get plenty of banana flavor and a super moist cake!
Banana Cake Baking Options
- Banana cake bread — bake it in a loaf pan and cook it for 40 to 50 minutes.
- Banana cake cupcakes — distribute the cake batter into muffin pan compartments (either use cupcake papers or spray the pan compartments with vegetable cooking spray) and bake for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Make banana cake sheet cake — Pour the batter into a greased 9×13 inch pan and bake for around 40 minutes.
- Vegan Banana Layer Cake — Pour the batter into two prepared round cake pans and bake for 38 to 32 minutes. Let the cakes cool and frost. You can make this into a cream cake by adding whipped dairy-free ermine frosting between the layers. It would taste like those banana cream snack cakes!
- Vegan Banana Bundt Cake — Generously grease and flour a bundt pan and pour the batter into the pan. Bake for around 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out mostly clean.
- Add some chopped walnuts on top for decoration and flavor. There’s nothing as tasty as a banana walnut cake!
- Add a teaspoon of lemon zest to make a lemon banana cake.
- To measure flour, sift the flour in its container. Then spoon flour into a measuring cup and use a knife to level it off.
- Add a few sprinkles and candles and serve this as a vegan banana birthday cake.
New to Vegan Baking?
The idea of making cookies, cakes, or muffins without eggs or dairy can seem like a hill too tall to climb. But with the simple tips in my Guide to Vegan Baking, you’ll be baking like a vegan pro in no time!
Easy Vegan Banana Desserts
If you love this vegan banana cake recipe as much as we do, you will want to try even more banana recipes. For example, these frozen banana treats are a go-to favorite around here. Here are even more banana desserts to enjoy:
I think this is the best vegan banana cake recipe. Enjoy!
Easy Vegan Banana Cake
- 3 cups all-purpose flour (see note)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ⅔ cup vegetable oil
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 3 large bananas ripe, peeled & sliced
- 1 cup plant-based milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- vegan cream cheese frosting
- Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Spray a 9×13 cake pan with cooking spray.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices.
- In a food processor, add the oil, sugar, bananas, plant-based milk, vanilla, and apple cider vinegar and pulse until smooth.
- Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture. Stir until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and bake for 38 to 40 minutes. The top should be golden brown. Use a tester inserted in the center to come out clean to confirm it's done.
- Set aside the cake to cool.
- You can serve this cake without frosting or with a light dusting of powdered sugar. Or you can serve it with vegan cream cheese frosting. Be sure to allow the cake to cool completely before adding any frosting.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, top it with powdered sugar drizzles or your frosting of choice.
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FlourI sometimes use whole wheat pastry flour for this recipe. You can do the whole 3 cups as whole wheat pastry flour for a more dense cake, or mix it half and half (half all-purpose flour, half whole wheat pastry flour).
2 BananasIf you only have two bananas, substitute 1/3 cup of applesauce for the third banana.
The nutrition information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator and should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
This post was originally published in 2011 and was updated to include new photos, new text, and an updated recipe in 2020.