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
I LOVED IT!
I wanted to try a healthier version than my tried and trusted Edmonds Cookbook banana cake. I found this online.
I used potato starch instead of arrowroot because that’s what I had. I’ll try arrowroot next time. I also put 1 cup of dark chocolate chips and 1 cup of chopped walnuts in it. I cooked it in a convection oven at 325F. It’s beautifully moist and tasty. I will be baking this again!
I’m so glad you loved it!! It’s one of my all-time favorite recipes. 🙂
Amazing cake! I just baked this for the first time. I used tapioca starch in place of arrowroot starch. It is moist, flavorful, aromatic and delicious. My guests LOVED it. Kudos 👏
I’m so glad it was a win for you! We LOVE it at our house, too!
I made this for my son’s first birthday a year ago and it was a hit. I’m going to make it again for his 2nd birthday. The cake was sooo smooth and fluffy, the guests loved it and the taste thankfully made up for my terrible cake decorating skills.