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A rich, moist gluten free banana cake that keeps well and improves in flavour over time. It’s perfect for cake decorating, iced with your choice of buttercream or ganache (and fondant if you like!), or for eating by itself, by yourself, in bed with a fork. No judging! ❤
This easy gluten-free banana cake recipe makes a cake that is all the things we love about banana cake. It’s (cringe alert!) moist, buttery, fluffy but not too light, and of course, banana-y. Which isn’t a word, but too bad. It is what it is.
The texture of this banana cake also makes it a great gluten free cake recipe to use for lightly carved cakes. I wouldn’t make a full-on 3D cake with it, but it does work well for cakes that need a bit of shaping. For more information on carving gluten free cakes, check out my gluten free cakes for cake decorating post.
Right, that’s enough intro, let’s get into it.
The ingredients for the cake are pretty straightforward. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Gluten Free Flour – I use my favourite homemade gluten-free flour blend, which is a combination of tapioca flour, brown rice flour and potato starch, but you can use your own favourite store-bought all-purpose gluten free flour or homemade blend. If you use different gluten-free flours than I do, your results may not be exactly the same as mine, but it is a forgiving recipe so it should work well with most flour blends.
- Xanthan Gum – This helps bind the cake together in place of gluten. You can read more about it in the gluten free flour post linked to above. If you use a store-bought gf flour blend that contains a gum ingredient, you can omit the xanthan gum from the recipe.
- Baking Soda – I don’t think there’s anything I need to say about baking soda, right? It’s baking soda.
- Butter – I usually just use regular salted butter in this recipe. If you only have, or prefer to use, unsalted butter, then you can use unsalted butter + add a pinch of salt.
- Sugar – We’re using white sugar in this recipe. I like to use caster sugar in baking so that’s what I use in this cake, but because we’re using weight measurements, you can use the same weight of regular white granulated sugar instead. For an extra-moist cake and more flavour, you can replace half of the white sugar with brown sugar.
- Vanilla Extract – I love vanilla in everything sweet, but if you don’t have any on hand, then just leave it out. You can also use vanilla paste instead of extract.
- Eggs – Use large eggs for this recipe.
- Sour Cream – I think sour cream is a ✨magic✨ ingredient in gluten-free baking. It adds extra moisture and extra fat, which makes for an amazing cake texture. I haven’t tested the cake with low-fat sour cream, so I recommend using the full-fat version.
- Bananas – The star of the show! Just like with banana bread, this is the place to use your super dark, overripe bananas. The more ripe the banana, the better the flavour. Having said that, I also make this sometimes with less ripe bananas (see the ones I used for this cake in the images above and below), and the cake still works just fine. Leaving the cake overnight before eating it will help develop the banana flavour further. Don’t use underripe/green bananas, but bananas that are anywhere on the scale from yellow to black will work just fine here.
Optional – If you want, you can add some chocolate chips or chopped walnuts to the banana cake batter.
How to Make Gluten Free Banana cake
We’ll be measuring the mashed banana by weight, so the exact number of bananas may vary depending on their size and how ripe they are (the riper the banana, the smaller it gets). This is usually around 4 bananas for this recipe, but it’s a good idea to have an extra one on hand just in case, if you can.
My top tip for quickly mashing bananas – especially ones that are still a little on the firmer side – pop ’em in a deep bowl and use a potato masher. Easy.
Making the cake batter is pretty straightforward. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy, then add the eggs. You can do this in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, or use a large bowl and a handheld electric mixer.
Then the combined dry ingredients get added alternately with the mashed bananas.
And finally, we mix in the sour cream, and pour the banana cake batter into a cake pan lined with baking parchment paper.
It’s best to work as quickly as you can to get the cake batter into the cake pan and into the oven, as the sour cream will start to react with the baking soda immediately and we want to make the most of those air bubbles!
She’s not the prettiest-looking cake, but just wait ’til you taste it.
Icing and Decorating the Cake
I filled this cake with dark chocolate ganache and covered it with a combination of the dark ganache and some white chocolate ganache that I tinted yellow. Ganache is a great choice if you’re using the banana cake to make a tiered (or otherwise highly decorated) cake.
But you can fill and decorate your own gluten free banana cake with whatever icing you desire. Cream cheese frosting is a popular choice with banana cake. Caramel Swiss meringue buttercream would also be delightful.
Call me basic if you like, but my all-time favourite way to eat banana cake is how my mum used to make it when I was a kid – just with a simple chocolate icing made with icing sugar, cocoa, a little bit of butter and some hot water to make it spreadable.
You can also serve it warm with a sprinkle of powdered sugar and a scoop of ice-cream.
So to actually decorate this cake, I made some dark chocolate ganache and some white chocolate ganache that I tinted yellow. I filled the cake with the dark chocolate ganache, then spread more of that around the bottom of the cake, and used the yellow ganache to cover the rest of the side and the top of the cake.
To finish it off, I pressed some chocolate sprinkles around the bottom of the cake and topped it with a couple of cute little mini cake toppers from Design at 409.
How to Store the Cake
Just like banana bread, banana cake tastes its best 1-2 days after baking. This makes this an excellent make-in-advance cake, and it’s great for decorating using a 3 day timeline. By the time you eat the cake, it will be at peak banana flavour intensity.
To store the un-iced cake, let it cool then wrap it in plastic wrap and place it in an airtight container. In cooler weather, it will be fine at room temperature. If you live somewhere very hot or humid and/or want to store it for longer, it may be best to pop it into the fridge or see below for tips on freezing the cake.
The iced cake should be stored in an airtight container unless it is covered with fondant, in which case it should be kept in a clean cardboard box or cake box until it’s served, then any leftovers can be stored in a container.
Can You Freeze Gluten Free Banana Cake?
You sure can. In fact, it will generally make the banana cake even moister, and if you want to carve the cake it will also make that a bit easier too.
Once the cake has cooled, wrap it well in plastic wrap (you can either wrap the whole cake, or cut the cake into layers and wrap each layer separately). Place into an airtight container or resealable plastic bag, and pop into the freezer. It should keep well for at least 2-3 months.
To defrost, remove it from the freezer and leave it fully wrapped until it has defrosted.
As always, if you’re new to gluten free cake making, or you’ve been asked to make a gf cake, then please have a look through the checklist below and see my Gluten Free Cakes For Decorating post for more information on safe baking, a ton of gluten free baking tips and more delicious recipes.
Gluten Free Banana Cake
- 300 g gluten free flour blend
- 1 ¼ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon xanthan gum**
- 480g-500g mashed banana approx. 4 large bananas
- 150 g butter at room temperature
- 330 g caster sugar or granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract or vanilla paste
- 3 large eggs at room temperature
- 150 g sour cream
- Heat oven to 170°C.
- Line the sides of a 7" round cake pan with a tall collar of baking paper and line the base with a circle of baking paper too.
- Sift the gluten free flour, baking soda and xanthan gum into a medium bowl, and whisk to combine well. Set aside.
- Mash the bananas well, and weigh out 480g – 500g. Set aside.
- Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla extract using a stand mixer or handheld electric mixer until light and fluffy.
- Whisk together the eggs in a small bowl or jug, then add them gradually to the butter mixture, mixing to combine between each addition.
- Add in roughly half of the dry ingredients and half of the mashed banana, and mix on low speed to combine. Add the other half of the dry ingredients and mashed banana, and mix again on low speed.
- Mix in the sour cream until just combined, scrape down the sides of the bowl and give it one last stir by hand to make sure it’s all combined.
- Working quickly, pour the batter into the prepared cake pan, and smooth the top.
- Bake for 1hr, 15 – 1hr, 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. If you're not sure, see this post for tips on checking if a cake is done.
- Let the cake cool for at least 30 minutes before carefully removing it from the pan and transferring it to a wire rack to finish cooling.
- Banana cake improves in flavour after a couple of days. To store the cake, wrap it in plastic wrap and place it into an airtight container.If you want to freeze the cake, pop the airtight container into the freezer and freeze for 2-3 months. Allow it to defrost while still wrapped and in the container, to keep the moisture in.
- Fill and decorate the banana cake as desired.
Decorating the CakeTo decorate the gluten free banana cake in this post, I used 850g of dark chocolate ganache (630g dark chocolate + 220g cream) and 650g of white chocolate ganache (520g white chocolate + 130g cream). I tinted the white chocolate ganache yellow using Colour Mill ‘lemon’ oil-based colouring. A cream cheese frosting or a buttercream like salted caramel meringue buttercream would also be amazing with this cake. Whichever icing you choose, make sure you check that all the ingredients are gluten free!
Nutritional Disclaimer: Any nutritional info provided is a computer generated estimate and is intended as a guide only.