By Wendy Stoltz / Last Modified On April 18, 2023
Looking for a cake that's both comforting and exciting? Look no further than this Gluten-Free Banana Cake recipe! With its perfect balance of ripe bananas and a touch of spice, this cake is like a cross between cozy banana bread and a celebratory vanilla cake. Whether baking for a special occasion or just wanting a sweet treat to enjoy with your afternoon tea, this cake will satisfy your cravings.
Gluten-free baking can be intimidating, but these banana-based recipes make it easy with step-by-step directions. This classic gluten-free banana bread recipe is perfect for using up overripe bananas, and this easy gluten-free chocolate banana bread takes it up a notch with a rich chocolate flavor. The gluten-free banana cupcakes with Nutella frosting are a decadent treat that only requires 10 ingredients, and the gluten-free banana muffins make a great breakfast or snack option. For a fun twist, try the gluten-free banana pudding, which will be the star of the gluten-free desserts table.
No Time to Bake?
Nothing Bundt Cakes is a bakery chain that offers a variety of delicious gluten-free bundt cakes. One of their most popular flavors is the Chocolate Chip Cookie, which features moist chocolate cake mixed with semi-sweet chocolate chips for a rich and decadent treat. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or just looking to satisfy your sweet tooth, Nothing Bundt Cakes is sure to impress with its mouth-watering selection of gluten-free products.
Gluten-Free Banana Cake Recipe
If you're anything like me, you might know the mental drama that happens when you've accidentally let a whole bunch of bananas get too ripe. At my house, it's usually a story of the kids asking me to buy bananas, but then they don't actually eat them, so I'm left with bananas that need to be used up and quickly! I hate food wastage!
This recipe is a crowd-pleaser that is sure to satisfy any cravings. Plus, it's easy to make and can be enjoyed for breakfast, dessert, or any time in between.
Whether you enjoy it fresh out of the oven or store it for later, this gluten-free banana cake is a great addition to any dessert table.
Why You’re Going to Love This Gluten-Free Banana Cake
Crowd pleaser - The combination of natural banana flavor and cinnamon creates a comforting and familiar flavor, while the moist and fluffy texture of the cake makes an irresistible gluten-free dessert.
Easy to make - This GF banana cake is easy to make and can be enjoyed for breakfast, dessert, or any time in between.
No food wastage - Turn those ripe bananas into the best banana cake. Not only will you be reducing food waste, but you'll also be treating yourself to a tasty dessert that's perfect for any occasion.
Ingredients in Gluten-Free Banana Cake
Gluten-Free Flour Blend- I used Bob's Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour. You can use your favorite baking blend in this recipe.
Xanthan Gum - You only need to add this if your flour blend doesn't have it included.
Baking Soda - This helps us get a tender crumb and rise from the cake.
Baking Powder - Baking soda and baking powder work together to accomplish the same task - leavening the cake.
Salt - I always include salt in my baking recipes. It elevates all of the other sweet flavors.
Cinnamon - This warm spice goes so well with bananas.
Butter - Leave your butter out so it can get to room temperature. We want it soft so we can mix it in thoroughly.
Sugar - We use granulated and brown sugar in this banana cake recipe. Both for sweetness. Using brown sugar adds a deeper flavor and more moisture to the batter.
Eggs - This is a cake! Eggs bind the ingredients together and aid in leavening as well.
Mashed Bananas - You'll need about 3 ripe bananas to get the amount we need for this cake. Don't use ripe bananas.
Buttermilk - This tangy milk adds flavor to the cake and helps with its soft, tender texture.
Cream Cheese - We will make a delicious whipped cream cheese frosting for our icing. Cream cheese and butter are the base of it.
Powdered Sugar - Superfine or powdered sugar is best for frosting.
Vanilla - Always use a pure vanilla extract for baking rather than an imitation. We'll use vanilla in both the cake and the frosting.
Equipment Needed for This Gluten-Free Banana Cake
9-inch round cake pan - This is used for baking the cake.
Parchment paper - This helps prevent the cake from sticking to the pan.
Large mixing bowl - This is where you mix the dry and wet ingredients.
Whisk - This is used to mix the dry ingredients together and to whisk the wet ingredients.
Electric mixer - This is used to cream the butter and sugar together for the perfect banana cake with cream and to mix the cake batter.
Spatula - A spatula scrapes the bowl's sides and folds in the mashed bananas.
Cooling rack - A cooling rack is great to use while waiting for the cake to cool.
If you have any questions about making Gluten-Free Banana Cake, please leave a comment, and we will get back to you as soon as possible.
How to Make Gluten-Free Banana Cake
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum (if using), baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
- Add the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar to a mixing bowl. Cream for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
- Add the mashed banana and mix until combined.
- Alternate adding the flour mixture to the bowl with adding the buttermilk to the bowl. Start by adding ⅓ of the flour mixture. Stir until combined.
- Next add ⅓ of the buttermilk and stir until combine. Continue adding the flour and buttermilk, mixing well in between each addition.
- Pour the Batter into a prepared baking pan. Bake as directed in the recipe below, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out cleanly.
- Cool the GF banana cake completely before adding the frosting.
These numbered steps match the numbered photos above and are for illustration purposes. For the complete list of ingredients and instructions, please see the recipe below.
Tips for Making the Best Gluten-Free Banana Cake
Use ripe bananas - The riper the bananas, the sweeter and more flavorful your cake will be. Make sure to use bananas that are very ripe, with brown spots on the skin.
Measure ingredients carefully - Gluten-free baking is more sensitive to variations in ingredient measurements, so be sure to measure all ingredients carefully.
Bring ingredients to room temperature - All ingredients should be at room temperature before starting the recipe, especially the butter and eggs. This will ensure that the cake bakes evenly and has a smooth texture.
Don't overmix the batter - Overmixing can result in a tough cake, so mix until just combined. Also, make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl to ensure that all ingredients are evenly incorporated.
Use a toothpick to test for doneness - To check if the cake is done, insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is done. If there is batter on the toothpick, bake for a few more minutes and test again.
Let the cake cool completely before frosting - If the cake is still warm when you frost it, the frosting will melt and slide off. Make sure to let the cake cool completely before frosting it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do I Store Gluten-Free Banana Cake?
Store the cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. You can also store the cake in the fridge for up to a week.
Can I Freeze Gluten-Free Banana Cake?
To freeze the cake, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then in foil. Place it in an airtight container or freezer-safe bag and freeze for up to 3 months.
Can You Make This Gluten-Free Banana Cake Ahead of Time?
You can bake the cake ahead of time and store it in the fridge or freezer as mentioned above. Add the frosting of your choice once defrosted.
HOW DO YOU MAKE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING FOR GLUTEN-FREE BANANA CAKE?
To make this frosting, combine softened cream cheese and softened butter in a large bowl. Mix until smooth.
Then add the vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined. Add powdered sugar gradually, mixing until combined.
This frosting is amazing with this banana cake, and would work for Carrot Cake or any kind of muffins as well.
DOES BANANA CAKE NEED FROSTING?
I really enjoy this cake with the sweet cream cheese frosting added, but it's also very delicious without. You can choose whether to add the frosting or not.
HOW DO I KNOW IF BANANAS ARE RIPE ENOUGH?
Bananas that are ripe enough for baking are very soft. They will appear yellow with lots of brown spots. The photo towards the top of this post shows perfectly ripe bananas.
WHAT CAN I USE INSTEAD OF BUTTERMILK IN BANANA CAKE?
Depending on your goal, you have a couple of options for substituting the buttermilk. If you want to make this a dairy-free banana cake, use your favorite dairy-free milk instead of buttermilk.
If you just don't have buttermilk or can't find it in the store, pick up regular whole milk instead.
You can either use the whole milk as is or add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar to it to slightly curdle the milk. This way doesn't look pretty, but it has the same effect on baking as buttermilk.
HOW DO I KEEP MY GLUTEN-FREE BANANA CAKE FROM STICKING TO THE PAN?
Before baking, you want to prepare your baking pan. I like to use parchment paper to line the bottom and sides of the pan. This way I can just lift the whole cake right out when it's cooled.
Alternatively, you can use cooking spray to grease the pan. Check to ensure your cooking spray has no gluten ingredients, though!
What Can I Do If This Gluten-Free Banana Cake Is Not Moist?
Firstly try not to overbake the cake, as this is usually the main reason it is not moist. You can also fix the situation by adding an extra banana or two to the batter for more moisture, or you can substitute some of the sugar with honey or maple syrup to add some natural sweetness and moisture. Another option is to brush the cake with a simple syrup made of equal parts water and sugar after it comes out of the oven to add some extra moisture.
DOES BANANA CAKE TASTE LIKE BANANA BREAD?
This cake tastes similar to classic banana bread but with a slightly different texture, making it a cake. It's also a bit sweeter and super decadent with the addition of a cream cheese frosting.
What Substitutions / Replacements / Variations Can I Make T0 This Gluten-Free Banana Cake?
Dairy-Free - For a dairy-free version of this recipe, you can use plant-based milk, such as almond milk or soy milk, instead of regular milk to make the buttermilk. You can use dairy-free butter or coconut oil instead of butter for the frosting. You may need to reduce the amount.
Vegan - To make this gluten-free cake recipe vegan, you can use a flax or chia egg instead of the egg with dairy-free adjustments. I have not, however, tried it.
Egg-Free - You can use a flax or chia egg instead of the egg. As mentioned above, I have not, however, tried it.
Variations - Add in chopped nuts or chocolate chips. Try a chocolate frosting too!
Flour - I would stick to the suggested flour. Almond flour will not work for this recipe.
Gluten-Free Banana Cake
This Gluten-Free Banana Cake recipe is the perfect balance of ripe bananas with a touch of spice. It is like a cross between a banana bread and a vanilla cake.
For the banana cake:
- 2 ½ cups gluten free flour blend - I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum - if your flour blend does not already contain it
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ cup butter, room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup brown sugar, packed
- 2 large eggs
- ½ tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups mashed bananas (from 3 ripe bananas)
- ¾ cup buttermilk
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13-inch pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, xanthan gum (if using), baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon. Set aside.
- Add the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar to a mixing bowl. Cream for 2-3 minutes, until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla. Mix well.
- Add the mashed bananas and mix until combined.
- Add ⅓ of the flour mixture. Stir until combined.
- Add ⅓ of the buttermilk. Stir until combined. Continue alternating adding the flour and buttermilk, mixing well in between each addition.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake at 350F for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
- Cool completely before frosting.
- To make the frosting, combine the softened cream cheese and butter in a large bowl. Mix until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and salt and mix until combined. Gradually add the powdered sugar, mixing until combined. Spread the cream cheese frosting over the cooled banana cake.
- Slice and serve.
- Make sure to allow the cake to cool completely before adding the frosting, or the frosting will melt.
- Only add xanthan gum to this recipe if your gluten free flour blend doesn't include any.
- Use ripe bananas for the best flavor. They should have lots of brown spots on them and be very soft.
- To make sure you always have bananas ready to make this banana cake, you can freeze ripe bananas before they go bad. Just peel them and freeze in a single layer for an hour. Once frozen, place them in a freezer safe bag or container until ready to use. Let defrost for a few minutes before mashing.
- I like to line my dishes with parchment paper before baking, but you could also grease your pan instead with cooking spray. Check to be sure that your cooking spray is gluten free.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases. They never cost you extra.
Amazon Basics Nonstick Round Baking Cake Pan, 9 Inch, Set of 2
Reynolds Kitchens Parchment Paper Roll, 60 Square Feet
Pyrex Smart Essentials 3-Piece Prepware Mixing Bowl Set, 1-Qt, 1.5-Qt ,and 2.5-Qt Glass Mixing Bowls, Dishwasher, Microwave and Freezer Safe
OXO Good Grips 11-Inch Balloon Whisk
Hamilton Beach 6-Speed Electric Hand Mixer with Whisk, Traditional Beaters, Snap-On Storage Case, White
ChefAide 4 Pieces Silicone Spatula Set, Food Grade Rubber Spatula, Upgrade Strong Handle with Ergonomic Grip, Heat Resistant Up to 600°F for Nonstick Cookware, Cooking Baking Mixing
Checkered Chef Cooling Rack - Set of 2 Stainless Steel, Oven Safe Grid Wire Cookie Cooling Racks for Baking & Cooking - 8” x 11 ¾"
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 387Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 61mgSodium: 245mgCarbohydrates: 59gFiber: 1gSugar: 37gProtein: 5g
This nutrition info is based on the exact ingredients and brands that I used a the time. It may not be 100% accurate. Please check your ingredients nutrition labels.
This looks absolutely amazing! I love making banana bread, but I think my family would like this instead for a change 🙂
Absolutely delicious. My only problem is that I have to make everything dairy free also and the icing turned out runny. I used Violife Cream Cheese and Earth Balance butter sticks and it was runny, still good, but even refrigerated it was not thick at all.
Hi Heather. You may need to reduce the amount of liquid in the frosting since the vegan subs can have more moisture in them than the dairy items. Hope that helps!
Smells so good! Drizzled with a little melted peanut butter and mini chocolate chips, can’t wait to taste it!
Ooh sounds good. Enjoy!