One of my favorite things about baking is how easy it can be to take a recipe I already love and tweak a few things to make it like a brand new recipe. I came up with a dairy-free banana cake recipe a few months ago for my husband’s birthday, so when my mom requested a banana chocolate cake for my dad’s birthday celebration, I knew I had a delicious, fluffy banana cake that would be perfect with chocolate frosting! I added a bit of cocoa to the cake batter – nothing too rich – to add a little extra chocolate and whipped up a simple american buttercream with a bit of cocoa and cinnamon. I hope you like this simple cake as much as we do! Happy baking!
Dairy-Free Banana Chocolate Cake with Vegan Chocolate Cinnamon Buttercream
Makes one 11×8.5″ sheet cake (for cupcakes, see below)
3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp all-purpose flour
3/4 cup + 3 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour*
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp fine sea salt
1 1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
3/4 cup coconut sugar
6 Tbsp unsweetened almond milk, room temp
6 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3 large eggs, room temp
heaping 1 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana
Sprinkles or crushed cacao nibs for topping
3/4 cup butter or vegan butter, softened**
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
2-3 tsp cinnamon, to taste
2-4 Tbsp almond milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1.) Preheat oven to 350℉. Line cake pan with parchment paper and spray with olive oil. Bring your eggs to room temp by placing them in a glass of warm water for ~10 minutes.
2.) In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut sugar, almond milk, coconut oil, and vanilla extract. Add the eggs and whisk until combined. Stir in the mashed banana; set aside.
3.) In a large bowl, sift the flours and cocoa powder. Add the baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon and whisk until well combined. Pour wet ingredients into dry and gently stir until no flour pockets remain. Pour batter into cake pan and bake at 350℉ for 25-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
4.) Allow cake to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before running a butter knife around the edges and removing to a cooling rack. I like to place the cooling rack over the top of the cake and then (holding the rack with the pan) flip the cake pan over. Your cake should come right out. If you don’t plan to remove your cake from the pan until serving, then just allow your cake to cool in the pan on top of a cooling rack.
5.) Once your cake is cool, prepare your buttercream. In a medium bowl, beat softened butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Add almond milk 1 Tbsp at a time until you’ve reached your desired consistency – thick/thin enough to spread. Frost your cake and top with sprinkles, crushed cacao nibs, or extra cinnamon. Slice and enjoy! If you used vegan butter, I recommend storing any leftovers in the refrigerator.
*If you don’t have this kind of flour on hand, you can use white whole wheat flour OR all-purpose flour
**If you’re using vegan butter, I highly recommend the Earth Balance Buttery Sticks (I used the soy free). I’ve found that you want the vegan butter to soften but not too much, so I don’t recommend letting it sit out for too long
For 12 Cupcakes
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp whole wheat pastry flour (or white whole wheat flour)*
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
1 Tbsp cinnamon
1/2 cup coconut sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, room temp
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temp
heaping 1 cup mashed ripe banana
Follow the mixing steps above, but let your batter sit for 20 minutes. Then fill your paper-lined cupcake pan 3/4 full and bake at 350℉ for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Cool, frost, and enjoy!