Paleo Banana Snack Cake

This cake is my new go-to recipe for satisfying my family’s sweet tooth.

best-banana-cake

It’s naturally sweetened with only banana, but tastes decadent enough to be served as a birthday cake. (In fact, I think I will be serving it at my son’s next birthday party with some sort of chocolate frosting.) It’s quick and easy to make, too– all you need is one bowl and about 10 minutes of prep time.

I love how fluffy this cake turns out, without the use of flour or starch. In fact, the ingredient list on this cake is quite brief! The most important element is the ripe bananas– they need to have LOTS of brown spots on the skin to ensure that they are sweet and ripe. The more ripe your bananas, the sweeter your cake will be.

I have a feeling this recipe would work well with applesauce instead of bananas, though I think the result will be slightly less sweet, and you could also make it with any other nut or seed butter you like. I’ve tried it with both peanut butter (my husband’s favorite) and almond butter (my favorite), and both versions were delicious! I hope you enjoy it just as much.

Easy Banana Snack Cake
Makes one 9-inch by 13-inch pan

Adapted from this recipe

Ingredients:

3 large bananas, mashed (about 1 3/4 cup mashed)
1 cup nut or seed butter
3 large eggs
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt*
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3/4 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)

Butter or coconut oil, for greasing the pan

*Omit the salt if using nut butter that is already salted.

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F and generously grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with butter or coconut oil.

In a large bowl, use a fork to mash the bananas as smoothly as possible, though it’s okay if there are still a few clumps. Add in the nut butter, eggs, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon and stir well, creating a runny cake-like batter. Fold in the dark chocolate chips, if using.

paleo-banana-cake-mix

Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and use a spatula to spread it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350F until the top is golden and the center is firm, about 30 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan completely before cutting and serving.

This cake is moist, so for best shelf life store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (I think you could probably store it at room temperature for 2-3 days, but I prefer to keep things in the fridge to be on the safe side!)

chocolate-cake

In the hopes to serve this cake at my son’s birthday party this year, I also tried an experimental boiled frosting using the chocolate aspect of my No-Bake Cookie recipe. It wasn’t the perfect boiled frosting that I remember from my childhood, but it was definitely a step in that direction. Luckily, I still have plenty of time to experiment over the next several months to get it just right.

4.9 from 31 reviews
Paleo Banana Snack Cake
Author: 
Serves: 20 slices
 
A quick and easy grain-free cake that's naturally sweetened with only banana!
Ingredients
  • 3 large bananas, mashed (about 1¾ cup mashed)
  • 1 cup nut or seed butter
  • 3 large eggs
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt*
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
  • Butter or coconut oil, for greasing the pan
  • *Omit the salt if using nut butter that is already salted.
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350F and generously grease a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish with butter or coconut oil.
  2. In a large bowl, use a fork to mash the bananas as smoothly as possible, though it's okay if there are still a few clumps. Add in the nut butter, eggs, baking soda, salt, vanilla, and cinnamon and stir well, creating a runny cake-like batter. Fold in the dark chocolate chips, if using.
  3. Pour the batter into the greased baking dish and use a spatula to spread it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Bake at 350F until the top is golden and the center is firm, about 30 minutes. Allow the cake to cool in the pan completely before cutting and serving.
  4. This cake is moist, so for best shelf life store it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. (I think you could probably store it at room temperature for 2-3 days, but I prefer to keep things in the fridge to be on the safe side!)
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 1 slice Calories: 102 Fat: 7 Carbohydrates: 7 Sugar: 3 Protein: 4

Notes:

As I mentioned above, I think you could use any nut or seed butter you like in this recipe with great results. I don’t think flax or chia eggs will work as a substitute in this particular recipe, but if you find something that does work, please let us know in the comments below!

Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite cake flavor? 

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Meet Megan Gilmore

Hi, I’m Megan. A former fast food junkie turned certified nutritionist consultant, trying to make healthy living as easy as possible. I believe in eating delicious whole foods on a regular basis to help naturally support the body’s detox organs— no juice fasting required. (Unless you want to!) If you make one of my healthy recipes, tag @detoxinista on Instagram or Facebook so I can see!

74 thoughts on “Paleo Banana Snack Cake

    1. Laura ~ Raise Your Garden

      Pretty excited over here about this cake too, finally!!!! lost a few pounds but I’m starting to crave something sweet again. This is it! It’s getting to that point where I’m starting to feel deprived and I don’t want to feel this way! Thanks for another awesome recipe. And my sister can eat it and she has so many dietary restrictions.

      Reply
    2. JIWA

      Actually, the nut butter is far more expensive than flour would be. p-nut would be the least expensive, but the rest are not. I like using oat flour in place of wheat. Coconut is nice, but also quite expensive. I buy organic and grind them myself.

      Reply
  1. Kristen

    First let me say I love your recipes! I use them all the time with huge success with my family. I’m going to try this cake with the glaze you used on your chocolate donuts. It won’t be the same as boiled frosting, but I think it will go nicely.

    Reply
  2. Lauren

    I made this today–and it’s AWESOME..

    Megan: How did you get 20 slices? Did you cut the pieces in half?

    Big hit over here–it won’t last long! Thanks for sharing–so excited to get my cookbook:)

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      I cut it into 5 rows lengthwise, and then 4 rows along the shorter side, making 20 pieces– though this cake is healthy enough to serve larger slices, if you prefer! We’ve been gobbling it up over here. 🙂

      Reply
      1. Lauren

        OOPS–I FULLY used a bread loaf pan–OMG–fully read the pan wrong–it worked out–just had to cook longer!! LOL…Now I know how you got 20 pieces….

        Reply
  3. Jaleen

    When I read this recipe this morning I was excited…I had 4 very ripe small bananas. I made it for my husband and when he came home from work he ate half the pan in about 15 minutes! At first he was wondering what was in it because he was expecting more dense banana bread texture. He asked if it was paleo and then kept eating. We really like them and will continue to make them. Thank you!

    Reply
  4. Brenda

    Wow. That’s great. I used tahini for nut butter and it came out excellent. Your next challenge?
    I am also looking for recipes using amaranth.

    Reply
  5. Emily

    I just made this as I happened to have three very ripe bananas on my counter. It is delicious!! I love that it’s flour free with no added sugar. Thanks Megan!!

    Reply
  6. Emma

    I have just made this, not sure I will get to find out how long it can be stored for before going off! My house smells fantastic and my tummy is shouting out for more!

    Reply
  7. Becky

    Thank you for another amazing recipe! My 4-yr old daughter helped me make this today, and after eating it, she said she wants this for her birthday cake! Win win! And my house smells absolutely divine hours later. I anticipate your perfected frosting recipe later! 😉

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      I’ve included the perfect chocolate “buttercream” recipe in my cookbook– I can’t wait to try it on this!

      Reply
  8. Hope

    Delicious! I made it in a 8×8 pan and it turned out great, although I did lower the heat to 325 and baked a little longer. Also placed a sheet of tin foil over the top half way through baking to keep it from browning too much while the inside was still cooking. Megan–just curious if you tried increasing the banana and decreasing the nut butter ratio? I think I’ll give it a try and see how it turns out….maybe sprinkle in some coconut flour….

    Reply
  9. Shannon

    This was so good! I had to cook a bit longer…but it was well worth the wait! My bananas were still plenty yellow and the cake is plenty sweet. I love that the sugars are so low, although, I didn’t realize the serving size was 1/20th of the cake. Very easy to make too, which I love!

    Reply
  10. Shanna

    Oh my! I just made this and my husband and I are enjoying it now. It is not going to last long after my boys taste it. I made my own almond butter for the 1st time. Great recipe, thank you for sharing! Definitely a keeper.

    Reply
  11. Pauline

    I made this yesterday and it was a HUGE hit with all the kids in my house….all in thir 20’s! Thank you so much for your amazing recipes, Megan!

    Reply
  12. Sharon

    Megan, can’t wait to try it but what can I substitute the eggs with? Since I can’t have eggs anymore what do you think of applesauce? Maybe cut back on the banana?? It looks so good!

    Reply
  13. Ada

    I just took my Paleo Banana Snack Cake out of the oven. I used 3/4 C. Whole Cranberries in place of the chocolate chips and it is FANTASTIC!!! Thanks so much for sharing this recipe. 🙂 I tried to give this recipe 5 stars but was unable to click on the 5th star for some reason. Thanks again!

    Reply
  14. Cynthia

    These were seriously delicious! We had to sub sun butter for nut butters as my oldest has nut allergies, which turned these green from the chlorophyll, so my husband and I called them Zombie Banana Cakes…and the boys ate them up! Thank you so much for another great healthier option for our house. I even shared this on my FB page with my followers tonight 🙂

    Reply
  15. Cristiana

    Absolutely delicious!!!
    Just like I like it, simple taste, not too sweet. The chocolate chips where perfect in it.

    Reply
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  17. Lisa

    Made with almond butter and in the vitamiz since I had just made almond butter and didn’t want to dirty a bowl. Have a really really bad over and it came out great!!! Used choc chips and is super delicious!! Will definitely make again 🙂 Thanks for an awesome recipe.

    Reply
  18. SanDiegoClassy

    Is there any way to convert this into a cupcake recipe? And how can we ensure there is a strong banana flavor?

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      Make sure your bananas are very ripe with LOTS of black spots for a strong banana flavor. I think these would work as cupcakes; just bake them at 350 for a shorter period of time (probably 15-20 minutes?)

      Reply
  19. JANET HAYES

    CAN I SERVE THIS TO SOMEONE WHO IS DIABETIC? I WAS THINKING OF SPLITTING THIS INTO 2 CAKE PANS AND MAKING A LATER CAKE FOR A BIRTHDAY. WHAT WOULD YOU RECMOMMEND FOR “ICING”?

    Reply
  20. Isabel

    I made this cake over the weekend and it lasted less than one day, the whole family loved it! it was delicious, very tasty and fresh, so perfect snack for summer (or so they said). Only, it didn’t really grew while baking it, so it was pretty moist or dense and on the thin size. Any suggestions for this?
    Still, very nice and healthy recipe.

    Reply
  21. Tina

    Loved the flavor!! However the cake turned out to be slightly ‘rubbery’.
    Any idea why would that be?

    Will definitely make it again 🙂

    Reply
  22. Ethany

    I made this into cupcakes for my son’s first birthday with coconut whipped cream on top. He loved it…and I loved that I wasn’t giving him a bunch of processed sugar.

    Reply
  23. Reina

    I just want to known if my cakes came out right… I used a 6 mini loaf pan and baked for 30 mins, I basically kept adding 10 mins til the tops turned brown. The inside is very moist like you said however there is no strong flavors in mine. I used 4 small/medium bananas but measured them after the smash. 3 were dark but the 4th was average yellow, could that be the reason for my flavor loss? I also didn’t use salt bc my peanut butter had it. Mine is on the sponge side and I almost feel the cooked egg texture in there. Sorry for the long question, I’m new to this style of baking but have been hooked since the grain free brownies. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated 🙂

    Reply
  24. Elena

    I just made this recipe, and it was definitely the best Paleo Banana bread recipe I’ve ever made!!! I even added an extra banana and it turned out great. My chocolate chips sank to the bottom, however it was really moist and delicious. I doubled the quantities to make 2 loaves and one has already been devoured. This is going to be my go to recipe to make for my family for others!! I can’t wait to share!

    Reply
  25. Gina

    This cake is awesome as is! I’ve also made it with almond butter, but switched it up by adding ~2t of pumpkin pie spice. Try it! It’s makes a great spice cake.

    Reply
  26. Maxx

    Amazingly moist! I’m on my second batch in a week. I added a little sweetened almond milk on top and its like a banana nut bread tres leches. Great, healthy recipe! Thanks, Maxx

    Reply
  27. amanda

    Megan, my family loves this recipe. I want to try to make it as mini cupcakes for my daughters 2nd birthday party. Do you have any suggestions for time or temperature adjustments? I will do some testing beforehand, but was hoping to get an idea from an expert on where to start. :0)

    Reply
  28. MS

    I stumbled upon this recipe while searching for a paleo banana bread that didn’t use coconut or almond flour. I just took it out of the oven and I love it! I will definitely be making it again.

    Reply
  29. Gina

    I just made this recipe with Pumpkin Seed Butter and it turned out AMAZING. I can’t thank you enough!! BIG hit with the kids and husband! Chocolate Chips sank to the bottom, but it didn’t matter one bit! It tasted delicious, making it again tomorrow! Thank you!

    Reply
  30. Michael

    Awesome recipe! Very delicious my family loved it. It’s so easy to make, I used Cashew butter and it was so Yummy.

    Reply
  31. Shelley

    Has anyone ever tried this recipe using chia eggs instead of eggs? Can’t have eggs and it’s so hard to find a nice fluffy recipe without eggs:(

    Reply
  32. Michelle

    I made this a couple of days ago and I did use flax egg mostly because I didn’t read the notes before I made it but it did turn out great I will say the longer it sits the better it tastes.

    Reply
  33. Paula Knox

    I made this using recipe using tahini. Turned out great and super moist. I melted dark chocolate chips with a little almond milk for a simple, easy frosting. So good! Everyone loved these.

    Reply
  34. Sandy C

    Made this last night…like 8:30pm and it’s not even lunch yet and close to half this cake is gone. Yum! Going to mention this and link to you on my new Paleo blog.

    Reply
  35. AngieNH

    I made this last night as I had 3 bananas that were fading quickly. I absolutely LOVE this recipe. Even my son, who hates everything Paleo, loved this as a treat. I will be trying this with other fruits added to it such as blueberries and thinly sliced apples. Thank you for a great recipe!

    Reply
  36. Lydia

    Hi Megan, just wanted to say that I have been making this regularly since you published this post, and we all love it, especially my 2 year old. I never add chocolate, and for anyone curious, it does come out a bit thin in the 9 x 13 pan, so I use an 8 x 12 (or deal with the thinness, no big deal.)

    Did you ever perfect that boiled frosting recipe? Because the picture of the frosted cake looks so scrumptious.

    Thanks!

    Reply
  37. Robyn

    Help! I attempted to make this today using all of the ingredients you have listed. I opened a brand new jar of sunflower seed butter. And I added 1/4 cup of enjoy life chocolate chips. All other ingredients were the same as you have listed above. The only thing I did differently was to grease the pan with spectrum shortening. I have done this before for other recipes with no problems. The cake is still baking, but it is literally green! Unsure what happened…….. Bummer to have wasted the ingredients. Do you have any ideas as to what happened or any future suggestions……in case I attempt to make it again. I bake a lot and have never had this problem. Unsure of how to add a photo or I would show you!! Really disappointed………

    Reply
    1. Robyn

      I figured it out. I have only used Sunflower seed butter in a few recipes and this had never happened before. Apparently it is a reaction between the sun butter and baking soda. We are going to eat it anyway! If you have anything else to add, please do…..thanks. Glad I have not wasted the ingredients!!!

      Reply
  38. Janine

    Has anyone ever tried adding shredded coconut flakes? If so, how much?

    I’ve made this so many times and LOVE it so much. Thank for the recipe.

    Reply
  39. Monique

    Just getting ready to pop these in the oven and I’m wondering, do these freeze well? I won’t be able to eat them all within 2 weeks as I’m really trying to watch my sugar…so maybe one piece every other day. I’m hoping they will…most stuff can be frozen for later…
    Thanks!

    Reply
    1. Megan Gilmore Post author

      I don’t have the best experience when using flax eggs with flourless recipes. The eggs give this recipe structure, so it will be very gooey without them. Flax and chia eggs usually work best when there is some sort of flour involved, as that can help contribute to the structure!

      Reply
  40. Jeessie

    I used tahini as the seed/nut butter and I used flax eggs instead of chicken eggs and it turned out GREAT! Having never tried the original (with regular eggs) I can’t make a texture comparison but I’m super happy with it this way and definitely recommend it to any vegan or egg allergy baker.

    Reply
  41. Sarah

    Just made these for my kiddos (and I may have snuck a bite in!) and they loved it. We are fairly newly paleo and they are having a hard time with a savory breakfast, but I didn’t want to start making our old foods again (or just replacing sugar with honey all the time.) Our bananas weren’t quite to the brown enough stage yet, but it still turned out great. Just sweet enough to make the kids happy. I’m surprised at how little sweetness it takes now that we have cut sugar from our diet!

    Reply
  42. Kath

    I made this today and it was amazing! I used cashew butter and 2 bananas since that was all I had. I did add 2 tablespoons maple syrup and 1/4 cup organic sugar because I didn’t think the batter (pre-egg) tasted sweet enough. My husband had 2 pieces and thought it was really good.

    Reply
  43. MajaWithaJ75

    Just as an FYI – I usually make this recipe into muffins for easy lunch packing, and flax eggs work really well, as well as using frozen Bananas. Do not drain the extra liquid from the Bananas when they thaw! I make these quite often and love them as a snack or sweet treat 🙂

    Reply
  44. Carolina

    This looks great! I’m waiting to put in my oven. I put walnuts in it and sprinkled some pumpkin spice over the top. Smells amazing! Can’t wait to taste it when it comes out (:

    Reply
  45. Claire

    I made it with Tahini and I was a bit worried it might have a bitter taste but it didn’t which is great as it was cheaper than nut butters and also sesame seeds are high in calcium which is great for those on a dairy free diet! Thanks, I will be making this again, super easy and super tasty 😊

    Reply

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