Almond Flour Banana Cake (Gluten Free, Paleo Friendly)
Almond Flour Banana Cake – This easy gluten-free banana cake with chocolate ganache is the perfect way to use up overripe bananas! (Healthy, paleo friendly, and absolutely amazing!)
My kids go through phases with bananas. They’re either ALL ABOUT THEM and eat through a giant bunch in just a few days, or they’re SUPER NOT into them, and the entire bunch gets spotty. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground.
I have no idea why it works this way, but I *do* know that I never seem to guess which phase they’re in correctly (ha!)
Thankfully, when I get it wrong and we end up with too many ripe bananas on hand, I’m ready for them! I have lots of ways to use spotty bananas, from banana muffins to blender pancakes, banana ice cream to chai banana smoothies and more.
And for the last few years, I’ve had this gorgeous almond flour banana cake in my ripe banana recipe arsenal. You’ll probably want to add it to yours, too.
With a light fluffy texture, no added oil, and a delicious chocolate ganache on top, this gluten-free banana cake has been a BIG time favorite at our house and many of yours, too. It’s been a favorite for smash cakes, afternoon teas, rainy days, and all kinds of celebrations big and small.
I love that it can be mixed up in a food processor or blender, requires minimal dishes, and comes together in a flash. (Plus, did I mention the chocolate ganache? Because THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE.)
Here’s all you need to make our almond flour banana cake…
Here’s What You Need For Our Gluten-Free Banana Cake:
Ripe Bananas. Spotty, ripe bananas are the base of this gluten-free banana cake. Not only do they help create our moist, tender texture, they add natural sweetness to the recipe, which means we can add less sweetener to the cake later. Woot!
Eggs. Eggs help bind this mixture together and give a little puff to the cake.
Pure Maple Syrup. Our almond flour banana cake doesn’t need a lot of extra sweetening, so you’ll just need 3 tablespoons(!!!) of pure maple syrup. Easy-peasy.
Vanilla (+Almond Extract, If You Want). To round out the sweet flavors, I like to add a splash of vanilla and a little tiny bit of almond extract. If you’re not an almond extract fan, feel free to skip it. (I know it’s not everyone’s cup of tea!)
Almond Flour + Arrowroot. For the dry ingredients, I use a combination of almond flour and arrowroot. The almond flour keeps this moist and delicious, while the arrowroot adds just enough starch to keep it from being too heavy and dense. Such a great combination!
Baking Powder + Baking Soda + Salt. Then, you’ll round out the dry ingredients with some baking powder, baking soda, and salt to help the cake rise and balance the flavors.
Chocolate Chips + Your Favorite Milk. Lastly, for our ganache, you’ll melt together some chocolate chips and whatever milk your family drinks and enjoys. We’re dairy-free, so we usually use almond milk. Use what you like!
What Makes This Gluten-Free Banana Cake Recipe So Amazing:
First, it’s secretly pretty healthy! I didn’t set out to make a “healthy” banana cake, just a banana cake that used almond flour. I experimented a bit and found that this combination was just right for me. Turns out that the cake itself doesn’t have any added oil, and there is only 3 Tbsp of pure maple syrup in the cake. Plus, almond flour is pretty nutrient dense (it’s literally just ground almonds) and definitely has more going for it nutritionally than white flour or gluten free baking flour. The ganache will add some sugar and a tiny bit of oil, but the cake itself? Pretty healthy!
Second, it only needs one “bowl and one saucepan! I love a recipe that doesn’t use 10,000 extra dishes and this totally fits the bill. Why? Well, the almond flour banana cake is made in my blender or food processor which makes it a one-“bowl” cake. (If you don’t have one, you can use a stand mixer or hand mixer for the job, just know that the smoother you’re able to blend your bananas, the better the texture of this cake.) Then, the ganache is made in a single saucepan or microwave safe bowl. There’s not a lot of switching between bowls, adding a sifter, or any fancy tools needed.
Lastly: CHOCOLATE GANACHE. There are few things I love more in life than a good chocolate ganache, and since chocolate and bananas are already best friends, it’s one of my favorite ways to finish my gluten-free banana cake! It’s pretty, it’s super chocolatey, and it’s *really* easy to make. Again, no fancy skills required! You’ll simply melt some chocolate chips with a little milk to loosen it up, pour it all over the cake, let it set, and you’re done!
MIX IT UP! Try One Of These Tasty Variations On Our Almond Flour Banana Cake:
Add Chocolate Chips. Skip the ganache on top and add 3/4-1 cup chocolate chips to the batter, reserving about 1/4 cup of the chocolate chips for sprinkling on top right before baking.
Add Nuts. If you love nuts with bananas, try mixing in chopped walnuts or pecans into your gluten-free banana cake. It can be delicious!
Swap The Ganache For Frosting. If you’re in the mood for frosting or are making this as cupcakes, you can certainly skip our ganache and add frosting to your banana cake. Try one of these:
- Cream Cheese Frosting
- Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting (using vegan cream cheese)
- Vegan + Dairy-Free Cashew Cream Cheese Frosting
- Vegan Chocolate Frosting. This chocolatey frosting is a dream come true!
- Brown Sugar Cream Cheese Frosting. It almost adds a caramel-y note to the cake!
TIPS & TRICKS FOR THE BEST GLUTEN-FREE BANANA CAKE:
AN IMPORTANT NOTE ABOUT ALMOND FLOUR. Almond flour varies a LOT in texture and consistency. Some brands have a much coarser grind than others. I recommend using a very finely ground blanched almond flour for this banana cake recipe, like Honeyville or Wellbee’s, etc.I get the best price for almond flour at Costco, where I can get 3 lbs. for around $10 vs 1 lb. for $8-10 at most grocery stores. Amazon is another great place to look. I do not recommend almond meal, which is coarsely ground and includes the almond skins for this recipe. It won’t rise as much and will have a gritty texture and mottled color.
CAN I USE SOMETHING BESIDES ALMOND FLOUR? Not for this cake recipe, I’m sorry! All the ingredients in our gluten-free banana cake were calculated and measured to accommodate almond flour. I’ve found that trying to sub in gluten-free all-purpose flour doesn’t give the same results here.
CAN I TURN THEM INTO CUPCAKES? This paleo banana cake recipe can also be made into gluten-free banana cupcakes. Just divide the batter into 12 muffin cups (I love this nonstick muffin pan that doesn’t even need liners), and bake for 17-20 minutes instead of the 30-35 minutes an 8×8 cake requires.
BE SURE TO SET YOUR TIMER! Almond flour turns a lovely golden color in the oven, but it can also burn if you’re not watching. Just be sure to set a timer, and you’ll be in great shape!
PALEO NOTES: For strictly paleo folks, you’ll need to use paleo-approved/grain-free baking powder. You can make your own out of baking soda, cream of tartar, and arrowroot. You may also appreciate using a more paleo-friendly chocolate option in your ganache like these which are naturally-sweetened, vegan, and gluten-free.
LOVE THIS ALMOND FLOUR BANANA CAKE? YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE…
- Almond Flour Lemon Cake (Gluten Free, Paleo)
- Healthy Chocolate Cake from Food Doodles – This is perfect for birthdays!
- Almond Flour Pumpkin Cake with Cinnamon Frosting (Gluten Free, Dairy-Free)
- Gluten Free Chocolate Zucchini Cake (Gluten Free, Paleo)
- Flourless Chocolate Cake (Gluten Free, Paleo)
- The BEST Gluten Free (& Paleo!) Brownies (Gluten Free, Paleo)
Almond Flour Banana Cake
- Total Time: About 50 minutes
- Yield: 1 (8×8″) cake – (12–16 pieces) 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
Almond Flour Banana Cake – This easy paleo banana cake with chocolate ganache is the perfect way to use up overripe bananas! Gluten free, paleo friendly and totally delicious.
FOR THE GLUTEN-FREE BANANA CAKE:
- 3 medium ripe bananas (or 2 large)
- 3 eggs
- 3 Tbsp. pure maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
- 2 1/2 cups blanched almond flour
- 1/2 cup arrowroot (can sub cornstarch)
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
FOR THE CHOCOLATE GANACHE:
- 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips
- 1/2 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
FOR THE BANANA CAKE:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8×8″ or 9×9″ baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a food processor or blender combine bananas, eggs, syrup, vanilla, and almond extract. Blend until smooth (you want the bananas very smooth for this cake).
- Scrape down the sides of the food processor and add the dry ingredients–almond flour, tapioca starch, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Pulse until just combined.
- Scrape down the sides of the food processor again, then pour the batter into your prepared baking dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with just a few moist crumbs.
- Let the cake cool completely before adding the chocolate ganache. (You can put it in the refrigerator to speed up this process, if desired.)
TO MAKE THE GANACHE:
- In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate chips and milk. Microwave the chocolate in 20-30 second increments, stopping to stir the chocolate thoroughly between increments, until the ganache is completely smooth. (This will likely only take you 2-3 increments. Don’t let it burn!)
- Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate and milk together over low heat in a saucepan on the stove.
- Pour the ganache over your cooled banana cake and use a spatula (an offset icing spatula works best) to spread the chocolate ganache evenly over the cake.
- Place the cake in the refrigerator to allow the ganache to set.
- Slice the cake into 12-16 slices and enjoy!
Turn them into cupcakes! This recipe can also be made into cupcakes. Just divide the batter into 12 muffin cups (I love this nonstick muffin pan that doesn’t even need liners), and bake for 17-20 minutes or so instead of the 30-35 minutes an 8×8 cake requires.
Paleo friends – For strictly paleo folks, you’ll need to use paleo-approved/grain-free baking powder. You can make your own out of baking soda, cream of tartar, and arrowroot.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: Cake
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: banana cake, almond flour, paleo banana cake, gluten free banana cake, almond flour banana cake, almond flour cake, chocolate ganache
Omg this is the best cake I have ever make.. so fluffy and moist.. delicious ❤️ thank you for sharing
Karla – THANK YOU for taking the time to leave this review! I’m so glad you loved it as much as we do. We made a batch over the weekend and gobbled it all up!
This turned out great! Your recipes have been such a lifesaver since going gluten and dairy free two years ago. I have made so many of your meals/desserts and they have all been better than the last. Thank you so much! You’re making a difference over here 🙂
Nicole – This comment completely made my day. THANK YOU for taking the time to leave a star review and spread some sunshine my way!
I was wandering if it’s possible to make this cake without eggs? Thanks.
Shamani – I haven’t tried it without eggs yet, but you can experiment with egg substitutes if you like! I’d love to know how it goes if you give it a try!
I tried it with a flax egg substitute (1T. ground flax, 3T. water) I had to add time baking and it was still dense and didn’t look like it had baked thoroughly.
Oh bummer! I’m so sorry.
If you can find it, the Bob’s Red Mill egg replacer is my go-to for baking. It always works *so much better* than flax or other DIY vegan eggs . Going to try this recipe w the Bob’s & I’m fairly confident it’ll work perfectly. 👍🏼
I thoroughly enjoyed this cake! It tastes like banana bread but better! I used the cornstarch substitute and no almond extract. I also love how everything is made in the blender so there’s not too many bowls and things that need washing. I’m also not very experienced and pretty young, so this recipe is definitely easy to follow for someone that’s mostly inexperienced. Thank you so much for this recipe!!
Evelyn – This review totally made my day!!! Thank you so much for sharing this with me 🙂
I made this cake exactly as directed including ganache icing and it was amazing! Thank you!
I’m SO GLAD you loved it Suzi! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review.
I have been making this now for a while and doesn’t disappoint – every time.
I’m SO glad you loved it Caroline!!! Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a review–it’s SO HELPFUL!
We loved the sponge!!! It’s moist and fluffy, but I substituted the maple syrup for runny honey. Then I actually cut the sponge in half and put Nutella in the middle to break it up a bit. Left a little sponge on the side so I can have a little square with morning coffee. Mmmmm. Thanks for the recipe, this will be my new party trick.
Christine – That sounds delicious! I’ll have to try it sometime. THANK YOU so much for leaving a review!
Is there any way I can leave out the arrowroot or cornstarch?
Aviva – Not without changing the texture. It’ll be more crumbly without the stretch that using a starch gives. At minimum, you’ll need to substitute something in or there won’t be enough flour to absorb the liquid in the recipe.
This is SO delicious and moist, and doesn’t taste obviously grain free. I only had 1 egg so I used it and 2 flax eggs. My starch was a mix of tapioca and corn starch. I also added 3 tablespoons of avocado oil. Topped with a peanut butter cream cheese frosting. Just perfection! Thanks for this delicious recipe!
Oh good! I’m so glad you enjoyed it. That peanut butter frosting sounds delicious!
So moist! I recently started baking with almond flour and definitely adding this recipe to my list, can’t wait to try more!
YAY!!! I’m so glad it was a win for you, Sherri! (And THANK YOU for taking the time to leave a review–I appreciate it SO MUCH!)
I was watching your video on youtube and it says arrowroot flour or tapioca starch. So we can replace arrowroot with tapioca starch?
Sam – in this recipe, you can use whichever you have on hand. Either will work! 🙂
I used tapioca flour and honey. The cake turned out really moist and full of banana flavor! I especially love how it doesn’t use butter or oil and only 3 tbs of honey. I can eat this without feeling guilty! And it tastes exactly what I want in a banana bread, thanks for sharing!!
I’m so glad it was a win for you!
Highly impressed with the results from your recipe! I’ve been baking GF & GFV for years and knowing this fluffy flavorful cake only uses the almond flour for fat, and 3 TBS(!!) of syrup & ripe bananas for sweetness, you have created a masterful recipe!! The addition of 1/2 C Enjoy Life mini chocolate chips took this phenomenal cake to an even higher level with no need for icing. Thank you so much for sharing your talents so I could make this incredible banana cake!
I’m so glad you loved it Colleen! It’s our favorite. 🙂
The ingredients say arrowroot but the directions say tapioca. Which one is it please? I have made it before and didn’t remember that Discrepancy, so I have no idea which I used. It was delicious though.
I just made this cake for a family dinner tonight and it was a huge hit! We served it with fresh whipped cream – yum! I did the chocolate ganache with Enjoy Life dark chocolate morsels and just halved the amount from the recipe. It came out fabulous!
I’m so happy to hear that Megan! YAY!
Quick question, any idea on a measurement for the bananas? When I have ripe bananas, I mash them up in bundles of 3 and freeze them for recipes. But honestly, I couldn’t tell you if it was 3 medium bananas or large bananas. I’m using this for my babies smash cake and can’t afford for it to go wrong 😬
Julie – Hey! Sorry for the confusion. 3 medium bananas is about 1 cup mashed. 🙂 Hope your baby’s birthday is amazing!