Ok, for most people who know me and those that have read my blog for awhile, know I'm not a fan of bananas. I think the smell, taste, texture and everything about them is pretty gross. As I've gotten older, I've learned to like pretty much anything...except bananas.
Well, when I saw Christina mention on her blog Small Kitchen Chronicles that she, too, detested bananas but was posting a banana-flavored cake, I was intrigued. I thought, well if she loves and raves about this cake but doesn't like bananas, I ought to give it a shot. Especially seeing as the other component was molasses...which we both love. Be sure to follow her blog full of beautiful photos and mouth-watering recipes...especially her Red Wine Cupcakes!!
Well, I have to say that this cake is divine. I made some changes to the original recipe to make it vegan and oil-free, but the banana and molasses flavors were still front and center. After my success with making the cake vegan and oil-free, I decided to basically write a whole new recipe as a gluten-free version as well, inspired by and hoping for the same banana molasses flavor and delicacy. I wanted to offer all versions for my readers. 🙂 So, today I present to you 3 versions of a banana molasses cake. Pick whichever one you like and I'm sure you will enjoy it, no matter what!
My vegan version: I used pecan butter and apple juice instead of butter and milk. I also only used 1 banana instead of two, because I knew 2 would be overkill for my gag reflex of bananas! The pecan butter lends a very creamy, sweet and buttery taste when baked, without screaming pecan. The apple juice also lends some sweet flavor and counteracts the heaviness of the pecan butter.
Result?.....It turned out incredibly light, tender, moist and with the perfect touch of banana and molasses. I was pleased, as my several changes worked on my first attempt! It was also confirmation that two bananas would have been too much for my sensitive tastebuds, as one was just perfect. But........my next version............
My vegan and gluten-free version: THIS one was my favorite...shockingly, you wouldn't think so. However, this new version I made was so delicious and was BETTER than just my vegan version with whole wheat flour. I used almond flour, oats ground into a flour, maple syrup and a touch of cinnamon. Using so much almond flour and oats gave it such moisture and a perfect texture, it needed no oil. It also held together better because of the oats. Grinding them up though into a flour, you would never know there are oats in it...it is not oaty. I couldn't stop eating it.
Side by side comparison. The left one is my vegan version using wheat flour and pecan butter, which is why it is darker. The right is the gluten-free version using almond flour and oat flour.....which was my FAV! I made a slightly larger recipe for the gluten-free, so it would be a taller cake.
Accented by the most amazing cream topping ever. It is SO light, creamy and subtly sweet...as to not compete with the banana molasses flavors.
I am sharing my own 2 versions with you today.
Banana Molasses Cake adapted from Small Kitchen Chronicles. The original full recipe using all-purpose flour and oil can be found here.
2nd version. This is my vegan, oil-free version. Print recipe
- 1 cup whole wheat pastry flour (126 grams)
- 1/4 cup blanched almond flour (26 grams)
- 1/3 cup evaporated cane juice sugar, (xylitol will work too for a sugar-free option)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 cup unsweetened apple juice
- 2 tablespoons unsulphured molasses
- 1/2 cup pecan butter
- 1 medium banana
- 1 flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons room temperature water)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Note: This doesn't make a high cake, it is about 1 1/2 inches tall. They are perfect sized mini cake squares.
Directions: (Vegan version)
- Prepare the pecan butter first. Line a sheet pan with 1 1/2 cups whole pecans and spread out. Bake for 12 minutes at 300 degrees. Puree in a food processor until very smooth and creamy, scraping the sides as necessary. It should be smoother than almond butter. Specific directions and photos are here. Make sure to measure out just 1/2 cup, in case you made extra.
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees and lightly grease and flour a 8x8 inch square pan. I used Pillsbury baking spray, (it contains flour) it works brilliantly.
- In a small cup, add the flaxseed with the water and whisk quickly with a fork for 30 seconds. Set aside for 5 minutes while preparing the other ingredients. It should become gel-like.
- In a medium bowl, add the first 7 ingredients (all the dry ingredients) and whisk very well.
- In a blender or food processor, add the remaining wet ingredients and the prepared flax egg. Pulse/blend for a minute or so until smooth and no lumps remain. This is an important step as it incorporates air and what gives a beautiful texture to the cake. Pour the batter into the dry ingredients into thirds and gently fold in with a rubber spatula. As soon as it comes together, stop mixing and pour into the prepared pan.
- Bake for 20-22 minutes or until a toothpick comes out completely clean when inserted into the center. Mine was perfect at 22 minutes.
- Place pan immediately on a cooling rack for 15-20 minutes only. Gently turn over cake onto the wire rack and it should slide right out. Cool completely before frosting and slicing. Slice with a very sharp knife gently into 16 squares. Keep cake stored in the fridge.
Below is my favorite version and the one I'd recommend. It has the best texture and flavor and is the easiest one to make as well. I really hope you love this Vegan Banana Molasses Cake With Molasses Cream Frosting. It is both gluten-free and oil-free, yet you'd never know it because it tastes so incredible! Be sure to leave me feedback below in the comments after you make it!
This cream is a must and a delicious companion to a wonderful cake.
I can't thank Christina enough for sharing such a wonderful recipe. It truly inspired me to get creative and have a ton of fun in the kitchen with this one! There may just be hope for me yet with bananas....as long as they are in a cake or baked good! 🙂
Oh, and thank you to everybody who voted for me, I won Best dessert for my Chocolate Hazelnut Raspberry Bars! Yippee!