Chocolate Banana Cake– Vegan, Gluten-Free, Grain-Free

vegan choco banana cake.jpg

I don’t normally serve cake for breakfast, but I came upon an intriguing recipe on Instagram a few days ago, and happened to have all the ingredients in my pantry (another reason to have a well-stocked pantry!), so I tried it out this morning.  With a few minor adjustments, I really liked this recipe from Food52, by Ella Quittner.  It’s basically an almond cake, so it’s suitable for those who are gluten-free or grain-free, and is also a vegan recipe.  It’s also just sweet-enough and very moist from the almond meal and bananas.  You definitely taste the banana in this recipe, but it’s mainly a fudgy, dense chocolate cake.  I added a tiny bit of apple cider vinegar for balance, and a good pinch of Maldon sea salt on top.  Next time, I might add cardamom or cinnamon to the batter as well.  The biggest change I made to the recipe below was that cooking time was far shorter than the recipe recommends, about 60 minutes for me.  Also make sure to let it cool, as recommended, because without the binding power of eggs, this cake will crumble if sliced hot from the oven.

Fudgy Vegan Banana Brownie Cake

Recipe from Ella Quittner, Food52

Makes: 1 9-inch cake
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 1 hrs 30 min *see note above

Ingredients

tablespoons coconut oil, melted, plus more for greasing the pan

cups almond flour

teaspoon baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/3cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder

3/4 cup almond butter, unsweetened (if oil is separated, stir to combine before using)

1/2 cup maple syrup, plus more for drizzling

1 3/4 cups roughly mashed bananas (about 4 bananas), divided, plus one whole banana

pinch flaky salt

 

Technique

  1. Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 9-inch springform pan with parchment paper, and grease the bottom and sides thoroughly with melted coconut oil.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together almond flour, baking powder, kosher salt, and cocoa powder.
  3. In a stand mixer or by hand with a whisk, thoroughly combine almond butter, coconut oil, maple syrup, and half the mashed bananas. Add about a quarter of the dry ingredients, and mix to integrate. Add the remaining dry ingredients about half at a time, mixing and then scraping down the sides with a spatula after each addition. Add the other half of the mashed bananas, and mix to combine.
  4. Scrape the batter into the greased pan. Slice the remaining banana into three strips lengthwise, and make a pattern on top of the batter. Gently drizzle the banana slices on top with maple syrup, and sprinkle them with a pinch of flaky salt each. Place into oven and bake until the cake is puffed up and the center looks set, about 1 hour 30 minutes.* Let rest for 45 minutes before serving.

*I recommend checking at about 60 minutes.  If the cake has pulled from the sides of the pan and a skewer comes out clean when inserted, it’s done.