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This vegan banana cake is moist, tender, light, fluffy, and loaded with mashed banana, complete with decadent vegan frosting! Plus, it’s 100% egg-free & dairy-free, not that you’d be able to tell!

completed Easy Vegan Banana Cake against a white surface
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Light, Fluffy, Moist Vegan Banana Cake with Frosting

If you love humble banana bread but want it leveled up to the perfect birthday and special occasion cake? Then this vegan banana cake recipe is for you! It has the same comforting, wholesome flavor (made with a whopping 5 bananas!) but a lighter, fluffier texture.

Pair that with the optional thick lashings of creamy, decadent vegan frosting to make a crowd-pleasing centerpiece. Best of all, you only need 10 inexpensive pantry ingredients and a few minutes of simple prep before the batter is ready to bake into an impressive thick round cake, layer cake, or sheet cake.

There are also several ways to adapt this recipe for vegan banana cake to your dietary and flavor preference – including making it gluten-free and/or low-sugar or ‘leveling it up’ with vegan chocolate chips, walnuts, cinnamon, and more.

Got even more bananas to use up? Check out our recipes for blueberry banana muffins, oil-free banana muffins, Banana zucchini cookies, or healthy banana popsicles!

Jump to:

The Ingredients and Substitutions

ingredients for Easy Vegan Banana Cake measured out on a white surface
  • Banana: Use soft, overripe bananas with plenty of brown spots on the peel for the best texture and natural sweetness.

To soften bananas quickly, pop them in the oven at 300F/148C for 15-20 minutes or until the peel has completely blackened, and the inside is soft.

  • Vegan buttermilk: Combine plant-based milk (we’ve found that soy milk works best) and vinegar (like apple cider vinegar or white vinegar).
  • Oil: A neutral oil, like vegetable oil, helps to create a moist vegan cake and tender crumb.
  • Vanilla extract: A small amount of natural vanilla extract enhances the warm, aromatic flavor for the best vegan banana cake.  
  • Flour: You could use all-purpose flour, cake flour, spelt flour, or a combination of whole wheat and AP flour (though it will likely be denser). For a gluten-free, vegan banana cake, use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend like Bob’s Red Mill/ King Arthur’s.  
  • Sugar: If using granulated white sugar, using organic will ensure it’s vegan. However, you could also use a 50/50 combination of white and brown sugar or a less refined option, like raw cane sugar, coconut sugar, or date sugar (the flavor and color will vary). If preferred, you can slightly reduce the amount of sugar, too.

We haven’t tried replacing all the sugar with a sweetener (like erythritol or xylitol), though it may work but might be slightly less moist.

  • Salt: Just a little salt helps to enhance the overall flavor of vegan banana cakes.
  • Leavening agents: You’ll need baking powder and baking soda to provide this egg-free banana cake with fluffy lift and texture.  
  • Vegan buttercream: (Optional) You can use store-bought or homemade vegan vanilla buttercream OR vegan cream cheese frosting. Vegan caramel, peanut butter, lemon, or chocolate frosting would also complement this easy vegan banana cake.

What Else Could I Add To Vegan Banana Cake?

Just like banana bread, this vegan banana cake recipe is a delicious blank canvas for all your favorite mix-ins and flavor boosters, like:

  • Spices: Add 2-3 teaspoons of ground cinnamon and, optionally, a pinch of nutmeg. Pumpkin pie spice will also complement the banana well.
  • Nuts or seeds: Add ¼-½ cup of finely chopped nuts like walnuts, pecans, almonds, pistachios, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds, etc.
  • Vegan chocolate: Add ¼-½ cup of your favorite dark, milk, or white chocolate chips or chunks.
  • Dried fruit: E.g., raisins, cherries, or cranberries for little bursts of sweetness.
  • Fruit: Add 1- 1 ½ cups of blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, pineapple, etc.
  • Shredded coconut: Add a few tablespoons of unsweetened shredded coconut for subtle flavor and extra texture.
  • Peanut butter banana cake: Replace some (or all) of the oil with creamy peanut butter and top with peanut butter frosting.

If you make a layered banana cake, optionally spread a layer of vegan caramel, chocolate spread, or fruit jam beneath the frosting.

How to Make Vegan Banana Cake?

  • 1) First, preheat the oven to 350F/175C and lightly grease an 8-inch round cake pan (with vegan butter or oil – a spring-form pan is easiest). Set it aside.
  • 2) Then, in a small bowl, combine the vegan milk and vinegar, mix well, and set aside for 5 minutes. In a separate small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork until smooth.
  • 3) Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, and baking powder). Mix well.
  • 4) Then add in the prepared vegan buttermilk, vanilla, oil, and mashed banana and mix until fully incorporated. Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.

But be careful not to overmix; otherwise, you may end up with a dense, unrisen, and/or gummy no-egg banana cake.

  • 5) Next, optionally, thinly slice one large banana lengthwise and place the slices in a fan-like ‘spread’ pattern over the top of the batter (refer to images for reference).
  • 6) Cover the cake tin with foil and bake for 50-60 minutes, removing the foil after 30 minutes, until it’s golden on top and a knife or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs, but no wet batter).
  • 7) Remove the cake from the oven and leave it to cool for at least 30 minutes before removing it from the pan to finish cooling on a wire cooling rack.
completed Easy Vegan Banana Cake on a white surface without icing
  • 8) Finally, (if you plan to use it) frost the cake once it is cool. You can do so by frosting the top. OR, to maintain the banana pattern on top, slice the cake in half using a serrated knife or cake-cutting tool and frost between the layers. Enjoy!
completed Easy Vegan Banana Cake against a white surface

FAQs

Can I use frozen bananas?

Yes, but thaw the bananas first and drain any excess liquid. Read here for how to freeze bananas.

Can I reduce the amount of oil in the easy vegan banana cake recipe?

While it is possible to reduce the amount of oil, it will affect the overall moisture and tenderness of the vegan cake crumb. Our preferred option is to replace up to 50% of the oil with unsweetened applesauce or vegan Greek yogurt.

Can I use this recipe for a banana traybake?

To make a banana sheet cake/ banana slab cake, pour the batter into a 9×13-inch pan instead and reduce the baking time accordingly until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Top Recipe Tips and Notes

  • Measure the flour correctly: Spoon it into the measuring cup and level it with a knife rather than scooping it directly from the flour bag. Too much flour leads to denser bakes.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter: Overworking the gluten in the flour can lead to a dense, dry, vegan banana bread. A few small lumps in the batter are fine.  
  • Experiment with addins: With so many options, have fun experimenting to find your favorite combinations.
  • The liquid amount may vary: Depending on the flour you use, you may need to adjust the liquid amount so the batter isn’t too thick.
  • To avoid a dry vegan banana cake: It’s important not to use too much flour, overmix the batter, or overbake the cake. Replacing some or all of the oil can also affect moisture levels.
completed Easy Vegan Banana Cake against a white surface

Storage Instructions

Once baked, store the moist vegan banana cake loosely covered on the countertop for 2-3 days or in the refrigerator for 5-7 days. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving.

It’s also freezer-friendly for up to 3 months, frosted or unfrosted, and whole or sliced with parchment paper between the slices.

Then, leave it to thaw in the refrigerator overnight, bring it back to room temperature, and enjoy.

More Vegan Banana Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Easy Vegan Banana Cake against a white surface

Easy Vegan Banana Cake

5 from 35 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 1 cake
This vegan banana cake is moist, tender, light, fluffy, and loaded with mashed banana, complete with decadent frosting! Plus, it’s 100% egg-free & dairy-free, not that you’d be able to tell!

Ingredients 

  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 cups of plant-based milk (soy works best for the vegan buttermilk)
  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • ½ cup of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons of baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • 2 cups of mashed ripe bananas (~5 small bananas), mashed + 1 banana for topping
  • cup of oil
  • Homemade or storebought vegan buttercream, optional

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom of a deep 8 inch round cake pan with oil and set aside.
  • In a small bowl, add the apple cider and plant-based milk. Mix well and set aside for 5 minutes until it becomes vegan buttermilk.
  • In a large bowl, add the flour, sugar, salt, baking soda, baking powder, and mix well. Add the vegan buttermilk, vanilla, banana, and oil. Mix until fully incorporated.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan.
  • Thinly slice one peeled banana lengthwise (see photo for reference), and gently place them on top of the batter.
  • Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Carefully remove the foil and bake for another 20 to 30 minutes or until a knife or toothpick comes out just clean and the top is golden.
  • When ready, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool for 30 minutes on a cooling rack. Carefully remove it from the pan and place it back on a cooling rack.
  • Optionally frost with vegan buttercream.

Notes

Make it easier by using a springform pan. 
  • Measure the flour correctly: Spoon it into the measuring cup and level it with a knife rather than scooping it directly from the flour bag. Too much flour leads to denser bakes.
  • Don’t over-mix the batter: Overworking the gluten in the flour can lead to a dense, dry, vegan banana bread. A few small lumps in the batter are fine.  
  • Experiment with addins: With so many options, have fun experimenting to find your favorite combinations.

Nutrition

Calories: 3401kcalCarbohydrates: 459gProtein: 45gFat: 156gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 24gMonounsaturated Fat: 106gSodium: 6025mgPotassium: 1498mgFiber: 19gSugar: 139gVitamin A: 192IUVitamin C: 26mgCalcium: 1145mgIron: 19mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Method: Oven
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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