This Healthy Banana Cake with Yogurt Frosting is perfect for any occasion! It's healthier with almond flour, coconut sugar, and a naturally sweetened frosting. Plus it's wonderfully moist, fluffy, and tastes so decadent!
The Best Banana Cake
I know banana bread reached peak popularity during quarantine, but after the year we've had, I think it's time for banana cake to reign supreme.
This truly is the best banana cake I've ever had. It has just the right amount of sweetness and is rich with banana flavor. It's soft but still fluffy. Moist but not dense. Not to mention that tart and creamy Yogurt Frosting! It makes you keep coming back for another bite, and another bite, and another...
This easy and healthy Banana Cake is perfect for an upcoming birthday or holiday. But it's also great as a snack, a weeknight dessert, or even for breakfast!
What Makes This Cake Healthy?
The best part of this delicious cake - it's healthy! The Banana Cake itself is gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo. It's naturally sweetened with mashed bananas and coconut sugar. I've found a lot of paleo baked goods to be too mushy - like stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth mushy. But not this Banana Cake. It's light and fluffy even without gluten!
Instead of a traditional cream cheese frosting, we're making a Yogurt Frosting. I love Greek yogurt for its tang, but feel free to use any kind of yogurt. Even coconut yogurt will work if you want to keep it all dairy-free! Just add lemon juice for a pop of brightness and a little maple syrup to sweeten it. Can you believe you can have a frosted cake that's also good for you?
What's the Difference Between Banana Bread and Banana Cake?
Banana bread is usually more dense with additional add-ins like chocolate chips or walnuts for texture. It's also in the shape of a loaf.
Banana cake, on the other hand, is lighter and fluffier. It's usually frosted or iced as well.
But the distinction is, honestly, very fuzzy. Both use mashed bananas for flavor and sweetening. And in paleo baking, both use very similar ingredients. So the name doesn't matter - as long as you love it!
You probably have at least 90% of these ingredients already! If not, paleo baking ingredients are very popular nowadays and shouldn't be hard to find.
- Bananas: Use very, very spotty bananas for maximum sweetness.
- Eggs: Take your eggs out a couple hours before baking. Room temperature eggs mix more evenly into the batter.
- Coconut sugar: A healthier, unrefined sweetener.
- Vanilla extract
- Almond flour: My favorite grain-free flour. It helps keep the cake moist and soft.
- Arrowroot starch: Helps give more structure to the cake.
- Baking soda and powder: Use plenty to give the cake its rise and fluff!
- Cinnamon: An absolute essential!
For the Yogurt Frosting
- Yogurt: I prefer Greek yogurt but use any type you'd like.
- Maple syrup: A natural sweetener and thickener.
- Lemon juice (optional): If using Greek yogurt, you won't need additional lemon juice. Any other kind of yogurt will benefit from its tartness.
What If I Don't Have Spotty Bananas?
If your bananas aren't very spotty yet, you can put the unpeeled bananas in a 300°F oven for 15-20 minutes. The flavor and texture won't be exactly the same, but it's a passable quick fix.
How To Make Healthy Banana Cake
Just a few simple steps and you'll have a delicious banana cake ready for your next party! Not to mention, it'll make your house smell heavenly while it's baking.
- Preheat the oven. Grease the baking dish thoroughly. I also line with parchment paper for added security.
- Mix the wet ingredients. Mash the bananas, then add the eggs, coconut sugar, and vanilla extract.
- Mix the dry ingredients. Combine almond flour, arrowroot starch, leaveners, salt, and cinnamon. Add to the wet ingredients.
- Bake the cake. Pour the batter in the baking dish and bake for about an hour.
- Make the frosting. Strain the yogurt, then add the lemon juice and maple syrup.
- Frost the cake. Let the cake cool completely! Otherwise the frosting will seep into the cake. Frost liberally and top with additional cinnamon.
- Use room temperature eggs. This is important for all baking recipes! Room temperature ingredients mix more evenly into the batter, creating a better consistency.
- Use a stand or handheld mixer. They're the best for mashing the bananas and mixing together so you don't have a very lumpy cake batter.
- Strain the yogurt. This added step is very necessary! Sometimes yogurt can get watery, especially if it's been previously opened. We don't want that yogurt water to seep into the cake. Let the yogurt sit in the strainer for 10-15 minutes, then only use the top unstrained part for a really luscious frosting.
- Let the cake cool completely. Again, we don't want any yogurt water to seep into the cake. Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes (it shouldn't be warm to the touch) before frosting.
- Don't frost until you're ready to serve. Keep the yogurt frosting in the fridge until you're ready to serve. It's also best to not frost ahead of time, as the frosting can get watery.
If you have any leftover Healthy Banana Cake, store it in a single layer in an air-tight container in the fridge. It'll last for up to 5 days.
It'll be easier if the cake is already cut and pre-portioned so you can grab a square for breakfast or as a snack. The cake is very moist so it won't dry or get dense in the fridge.
Make It In Advance
This Healthy Banana Cake is very easy to make in advance! Follow the recipe card as instructed for the cake but don't make the frosting yet. Let the cake cool, then tightly cover in a layer of plastic wrap. If you're keeping the cake whole, wrap it in foil. If not, store the individual bars in an air-tight container. The Banana Cake will last in the fridge for 5 days.
You can also freeze the cake. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, then cover with a layer of foil. Store in a zipper-top bag, removing as much air as possible. Store in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the fridge.
The yogurt frosting can be made up to 3 days in advance. Simply store in an air-tight container in the fridge, and then frost when you're ready to serve.
Looking For More?
This Healthy Banana Cake is one of my absolute favorite desserts to make. If you're searching for more delicious dessert ideas, try these:
- Healthy Almond Cupcakes
- Banana Chocolate Chip Walnut Muffins
- Hot Cocoa Cookies
- Healthy Apple Chai Bars
- Healthier Dulce de Leche Thumbprint Cookies
Healthy Banana Cake
- 2-3 very spotty bananas
- 3 eggs room temperature
- ¼ cup coconut sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2½ cups almond flour
- ¼ cup arrowroot starch
- 1½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon salt
Greek Yogurt Frosting
- 1 cup yogurt I prefer Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon lemon juice optional if using Greek yogurt
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease or butter a large baking dish (I used a 7.5 x 10.5"), then line with parchment paper.
- Using a handheld or stand mixer with paddle attachment, mash the bananas until mostly smooth. Then add eggs, coconut sugar, and vanilla. Mix until homogenous.
- In a separate bowl, combine almond flour, arrowroot starch, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to evenly distribute, then add to wet ingredients. Mix until well-combined.
- Pour batter into baking dish. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean. Let cool for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
- While the cake is baking, let the yogurt sit in a strainer for 10-15 minutes. This will make sure the yogurt isn't too watery.
- Transfer the thick, strained yogurt to a bowl. Stir in maple syrup, lemon juice, and a pinch of salt. Place in fridge until ready to frost.
- Make sure the cake is completely cooled before frosting - it should not be warm to the touch. Place dollops of yogurt on top of the cake. Spread using an offset spatula or spoon. Sprinkle with more cinnamon, if desired.
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