Perfectly moist, light and fluffy vegan banana cake loaded with banana flavor and topped with lemon frosting. Can be made as a sheet cake or a layer cake.
So banana cake. It’s similar to banana bread, but not the same.
This vegan banana cake with lemon frosting and walnuts, let’s not forget the walnuts, is so delicious I am struggling to find the words to describe it right now.
But this was my first go at a vegan banana cake. And it came out incredibly well. Just a few small changes from a banana bread recipe to a banana cake recipe and you get light, fluffy cake rather than the slightly denser banana breads.
And this cake can be either a sheet cake or a layer cake!
Sheet Cake or Layer Cake?
I was inspired by Sally’s Baking Addiction (a non-vegan blog, but full of great baking tips) to go with a sheet pan version of the cake.
However, you can also make this as a 2-layer 8-inch cake. It’s wonderfully good either way. So I’ll also include instructions for that in the recipe card (and there are some photos further down below).
The importance of ripe bananas
It’s very important that you use ripe bananas when you make this. They must be spotty! Don’t go using green bananas or even yellow bananas that don’t have any spots yet.
You want the spotty bananas, this is perfectly ripe which means they are at the perfect sweetness for your dessert.
The great thing about this vegan banana cake is I was able to use relatively little oil. Just a quarter cup of coconut oil for the whole recipe. And it was deliciously, perfectly, moist. The moistness comes from those bananas, the coconut oil, some homemade vegan buttermilk and the addition of some applesauce to the recipe.
Other than using them on top for decoration, I didn’t use walnuts in the actual recipe. But this would be a good addition if you fancy it. Just chop up some walnuts (about 1 cup should be fine) and add it to the batter right at the end.
How to make this as a layer cake
You can easily adapt this recipe to making a layer cake. The recipe stays exactly the same, you just divide the batter between two 8-inch cake pans.
Make sure your cake pans are sprayed with non-stick spray and cut out circles of parchment paper to line the bottoms of the cake pans.
Bake for 30 minutes.
The amount of frosting in the recipe is designed for the sheet pan version of the cake, so as you can see it is enough for the top and middle of a layer cake, but it’s not enough for the sides.
If you want to be able to frost the whole cake including the sides, then use the lemon frosting recipe from our vegan lemon cake instead.
You will love this vegan banana cake, it is:
- Perfectly moist
- Light and fluffy
- Loaded with banana flavor
- Topped with lemon frosting
- Can be made as a sheet cake or a layer cake
Keep leftovers covered in the fridge where they will stay fresh for up to 5 days.
More vegan cakes!
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- Vegan Vanilla Cake
- Vegan Red Velvet Cake
- Classic Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Vegan Pound Cake
- The Best Vegan Chocolate Cake
I’d love to know what you think of this vegan banana cake. Any questions? Post them down below. We’d love you to also rate this recipe, it’s super helpful, thank you.
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Vegan Banana Cake
For the Vegan Banana Cake:
- 2 and ¾ cups All Purpose Flour (344g)
- 1 cup White Granulated Sugar (200g)
- ½ cup Light Brown Sugar (100g)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Baking Soda
- ½ tsp Salt
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- ⅔ cup Vegan Buttermilk (160ml) 1 Tbsp lemon juice + soy milk up to the ⅔ cup line
- 3 Large Ripe Bananas (360g) peeled weight*
- ¼ cup Coconut Oil (60ml)
- 1 Flax Egg 1 Tbsp Ground Flaxseed Meal with 3 Tbsp Hot Water
- 2 Tbsp Applesauce
- 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Vegan Lemon Frosting:
- 3 and ½ cups Powdered Sugar (420g)
- ⅓ cup Vegan Butter (75g)
- 3 Tbsp Lemon Juice freshly squeezed
- Crushed Walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray a 9x13 sheet pan with non-stick spray and set aside. For layer cake instructions see notes*.
- Sift the flour into a mixing bowl and add the white and brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and mix together.
- Prepare the vegan buttermilk by placing 1 Tbsp of freshly squeezed lemon juice into a measuring jug and then adding soy milk up to the ⅔ (160ml) line. Allow to sit for a minute to curdle.
- Add the bananas, vegan buttermilk and coconut oil to a blender jug and blend briefly until combined. Don't overblend or the bananas will start to oxidize.
- Pour the blended bananas, buttermilk and coconut oil over the dry ingredients and mix in.
- Prepare your flax egg by mixing 1 Tbsp flaxseed meal with 3 Tbsp Hot Water and allowing to sit for a minute to become gloopy.
- Add the flax egg, applesauce and vanilla extract and whisk with a hand whisk to remove any lumps.
- Pour the batter out into the sheet pan and spread out evenly.
- Place into the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Check it at 30 minutes it might be perfectly done, I have had differing results in different ovens.
- Place the whole sheet pan onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before frosting.
- Prepare your frosting by adding the powdered sugar, vegan butter and lemon juice to the bowl of an electric mixer and starting at slow speed, gradually increase speed until perfectly thick and smooth. If your frosting turns out too thick, add more lemon juice a drop at a time until you get the right consistency. If it turns out too thin, add more powdered sugar until it reaches the right thickness.
- Frost the cooled cake, and decorate with crushed walnuts.
- Bananas. If you have a food scale then it will be most accurate to weigh your bananas. If you don't have a food scale then this works out to around 1 and ½ cups (packed) of mashed banana.
- Make it as an 8-inch layer cake. To make this cake as a 2-layer 8-inch cake, the recipe stays exactly the same. Just pour it out into two 8-inch cake pans that have been sprayed with non-stick spray and lined with circles of parchment paper on the bottom. Bake for 30 minutes at 350°F. The frosting is enough to frost the top and middle but not quite enough to frost the sides. If you want enough to frost the whole layer cake including the sides, then you can use the lemon frosting recipe from our vegan lemon cake.