This healthy Banana Snack Cake is a delicious way to use up any overripe bananas you have on hand. It has an unbelievably fluffy texture, without using any flour or oil!
Why You’ll Love It
It’s fruit-sweetened. There’s no added honey or sweeteners required for this banana cake, since the mashed banana provides natural sweetness on their own. (Just make sure you’re using ripe bananas, with lots of black spots on the skin.)
It’s easy to customize. If you don’t have peanut butter on hand, you can use almond butter, cashew butter, or any other nut or seed butter you like. You can also add any mix-ins you like, such as fresh raspberries, blueberries, or some chocolate chips. (The chocolate chips turn this into my kids’ favorite healthy dessert!)
It’s gluten-free. Since this recipe doesn’t call for any flour, it’s naturally gluten-free. It’s also paleo friendly, if you swap the peanut butter for almond butter.
It’s easy to make. All you need is 1 bowl and about 10 minutes of effort to stir this cake together. Since it bakes all in one large dish, it’s quicker than making muffins!
It’s perfect for meal prep. Once you slice this banana cake, you can store the slices in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. It makes a quick snack or breakfast on the go!
Ingredients You’ll Need
The combination of mashed banana, peanut butter, and eggs give this cake its structure, without using flour. The fluffy texture is like magic!
This recipe originally called for baking soda, but over the years I’ve found that baking powder makes the cake rise slightly better. I’ve included notes in the recipe below, if you prefer one over the other.
Feel free to add in any other mix-ins you’d like for extra texture, such as pecans or walnuts, which would pair nicely with the banana flavor. You can also add in dried or fresh fruit!
How to Make Banana Snack Cake
1. Mash the bananas.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. In a large mixing bowl, add the peeled bananas and mash them will with a fork. They don’t have to become perfectly smooth, but the better you mash them, the more consistent the batter will be later.
2. Mix the batter.
To the large bowl, add in the eggs, peanut butter, vanilla extract, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir well, until the batter looks relatively smooth. (It’s okay if there are still some visible chunks of banana.)
Fold in a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, if you like, or a handful of chopped nuts or dried fruit.
Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking pan with oil (use spray oil if you prefer). Pour the batter into the prepared pan, then use a spatula to smooth the top, and sprinkle a few extra chocolate chips on top.
Bake until the center feels firm to the touch, about 30 minutes at 350ºF. You can also test the center with a toothpick, to make sure it comes out clean.
Let the banana snack cake cool completely in the pan, then it’s ready to slice. Slice it into 12 to 15 slices, and serve it slightly warm or at room temperature. It is reminiscent of banana bread, only it bakes faster!
Leftover cake slices can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. This cake is quite moist, but it will dry out if you leave it uncovered at room temperature for too long.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, feel free to experiment with other fruit or veggie purees! You can try applesauce for an apple spice flavor, or use pumpkin puree and pumpkin pie spice for more of a Fall recipe.
This flourless cake releases from the pan easily if you grease it well, but there will be a thin film that sticks to the pan. You can line the pan with parchment paper for easier clean-up, if you prefer, but it’s not 100% necessary with this recipe.
Flourless baking is very tricky when it comes to egg substitutes, so I don’t recommend using flax eggs instead of real eggs. Try my Vegan Banana Bread recipe if you want a gluten-free & vegan option.
If you are looking for a fruit-sweetened birthday cake, this is a great low-sugar option. You can frost it with Date-Sweetened Chocolate Buttercream, Vegan Ganache, Vegan Cream Cheese Frosting, or Coconut Whipped Cream, if you want an easy smash cake idea. You could even use date caramel as a filling!
Yes, if you don’t have the 9-by-13-inch pan, you can use two 8-inch cake pans, instead. In that case, the cakes might bake a little faster, in just 25 minutes or so.
Banana Snack Cake
- 3 large bananas , mashed (about 1 3/4 cup mashed)
- 1 cup peanut butter or almond butter
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup chocolate chips (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF and grease a 9-by-13-inch pan with oil or cooking spray. In a large bowl, mash the peeled bananas with a fork until they look relatively smooth.
- Add in the nut butter, eggs, vanilla, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt and stir well, creating a slightly lumpy, cake-like batter. Fold in a 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, if using. (Reserve the rest for the top)
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and use a spatula to spread it evenly across the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on top, then bake at 350ºF for 30 minutes, or until the center of the cake feels firm to the touch.
- Let the banana cake cool completely in the pan, then slice it into 12 to 15 slices, depending on how large you'd like them to be. The slices can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week.
If you try this banana snack cake recipe, please leave a comment and star rating below letting me know how you like it.
Questions and Reviews
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.
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!
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.
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 🙂
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 (:
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 ?
Awesome; thanks for sharing!
Can you use already frozen bananas? Will it mess with the recipe if I defrost some and use those in lieu of fresh.?
I’ve done that with other recipes and it worked great! Just make sure you use all the liquid when the bananas thaw (it looks gross!)
I made this today and the flavor is really great. I didn’t add salt because I used cashew butter that was salted and I wonder if this caused the cake to be flat. I’ll definitely try it again with the salt and see what happens. Might add some walnuts next time too.
Thank you so much, this recipe was so easy to make and tasted delicious. Used Gluten Free/Dairy Free Chocolate Chips and Almond Butter. Next time I will take advice of some posters and make into Muffins so they are easy to pack for lunch and then maybe I won’t eat as much in one serving!
Please keep easy recipes like this coming for us “baking challenged” readers!
Would love to try.can i use regular butter?pl reply.wanna try it.
I used generic coconut oil in this recipe. My cake turned green, St. Patrick’s day green. Could it have been the generic coconut oil?
Sunflower butter + baking soda turn green when baked together. I’ve never heard of that happening with coconut oil!
Our family loves this paleo “banana brownies” recipe. (We added 1c chopped up dark chocolate chips) Hard to believe this is grain free and no added sugar! This is a keeper recipe for us!
Could this be made with tahini or would the flavor just be too weird?
My 10 yr old Daughter just made this by herself. We used pumpkin seed butter, no chocolate chips….and yummmmmmmmm it’s our new favorite. Need to think of a good healthy icing for others to enjoy if they choose. My question would be, could this be made in a smaller pan so its thicker?
I made this cake this morning. I only had 2 very ripe bananas so added enough homemade applesauce to equal 1 3/4 cup. I used peanut butter. The cake turned out great but next time I will add more cinnamon to spice it up a bit.My friend came over for lunch and we ate dessert first. Yum
I loved the idea of this snack cake, but mine turned out damp and pretty flat once it had cooled. This is a common issue for me when making paleo-ish quick breads. I’m not sure what I do wrong but my breads often turn out damp. I followed the recipe exactly, used a pecan peanut butter, and even measured the bananas! I needed 4 bananas to meet the 1 3/4 cup requirement – 3 bananas was 1 cup exactly for me. Thanks for making so many good recipes though, I will try another to use up the last of my bananas!
Love this recipe! Just made it for a New Year’s eve potluck. I do think, however, that it’s a pretty thin layer of cake for a 13 x 9 pan. Next time I would double the recipe or put it in an 8 x 8 🙂
Thank you so much for all of recipes! They are amazing!
Another dessert winner Megan! This is the type of snack you want in your weight loss game plan. I used 85% dark chocolate and walnuts. And yes, flax eggs work perfectly in this recipe. I’m losing weight with recipes like this while eating some really yummy and healthy stuff.
This is the second time I make this and I really like the flavor and texture of the cake but it is frustrating that it always sticks to my baking pan. I am using a glass baking dish and I used coconut oil to grease it but it sticks. Next time I will try dusting with a little almond flour.
Yum! This looks fantastic!
Could I use bananas I have frozen?
Yes, I think so! Just thaw them and I’d use all the liquid that comes out of them, too.
Hi Megan! Do you think that adding walnuts will be a good idea? Thank you
Sure, I think it would add a nice crunch!
This is one of my favorites! Today I added unsweetened freeze dried strawberries, just to half the batter. It was so good! Added a little zing. Thank you for sharing and making all these good things!
Love this recipe and I used sunflower seed butter and just a note your baked goods will turn green when you mix sunflower and baking soda…looks silly tastes delicious 🙂
I just made this today. We have chickens and they lay small eggs so I used 4 eggs instead of 3. The cake is very easy and light and moist. A little on the “eggy” side, but I had no problem eating a lot of it. Just the right amount of sweetness. Added 1/2 cup Enjoy Life DF choc. chips in. Thanks for sharing!
I just made this in an 8×8 pan and cooked for @ 40 minutes. I tweaked the recipe a smidge because I only had 2 overripe bananas…. I added a drizzle of homemade maple syrup and pumpkin pie spice coconut milk and a tablespoon of coconut flour. I also subbed 3/4 cup dried cranberries for the chocolate chips since I didn’t have any.
I love this recipe! I have used peanut butter, as that’s not all that I had on hand. Also added 2tbsp chia seeds and 2tbsp ground flax for the extra boost. They’ve come out amazing each time!
I love this recipe and it looks delicious. I think experimenting with a chocolate frosting is even better! I’ll try to make my on little concoction of this as well
I’m confused. The recipe is printed twice and the photo shows a cake and then bars with a chocolate frosting on top. Which one is is, because the chocolate topping is not in either recipe.
Sorry for the confusion. I like to post step-by-step photos with my recipes so you can see the process, and then the recipe card is below that so you can print it for convenience. I mentioned in the paragraph below the photo of the pieces with the frosting that I was experimenting with a chocolate frosting to potentially use this for my son’s birthday cake. The frosting is not part of the recipe, just a suggestion/possibility if people want to use this as more than a “snack cake” when birthdays roll around.
thank you for your quick response! Now i understand and I guess i missed that part in the description. This recipe is very good. I will be making it again
Easy and very tasty. I was getting tired of my usual paleo banana espresso chocolate chip muffins. And I posted a question which was responded to very quickly. Thank you!
Hi! Would this work okay in a round 9inch cake pan? Thank you for all of those amazing recipes!!!
Oh my gosh, this is so easy and delicious, 5 stars for me!
Hey there, I was wondering if it would still work if I substituted baking soda for baking powder? Thanks so much!
Yes, you’ll just need to use more, I think. I would google what the correct ratio is!
Has anyone tried shredded carrots in this recipe?
I made this recipe and loved it and thought a carrot cake type version would be nice.
I used pumpkin, my bananas weren’t ripe and I added some pumpkin pie spice. I probably should have cooked a tad longer than 30 minutes but it was still soo good!
Hi , this comment of mine is not necessarily connected to the recipe above but anyways, I will still.ask this question. In baking muffins or banana cake, will it still work if I do steam the batter instead of using an oven to cook it?
I’ve never tried steaming this particular recipe, so I’m not sure how that would work. I have cooked a similar cake in my Instant Pot using steam pressure, and it was a little more wet than using the oven. But still edible!
I have tried with 2/3 cup of almond butter and 1/3 tehini. And added 1/4 cup of silan (date syrup). It works like this as well.
I have now made the Healthy birthday cake AND your banana cake. Right now in the oven I have one that I have put apple pieces into. Next, I will try cacao powder to make a chocolate cake! I am so glad I found your website. These are the only cakes I will make from now on!
Made it, love it! Love the chocolate chips. Would like to try adding chopped nuts and seeds. I subbed in one chia egg and would like to know if you’ve tried all chia eggs?
I halved the recipe (used one large egg) and cooked these in an 8×8 dish for 20 minutes since it’s just the two of us. They turned out so moist and delicious!! I’m enjoying a piece now with some tea! 🙂
They are yummy
amazing , i put half cup of nut butter. is is perfect i made it several time. thank for share.
Wow! Its an healthy cake.. Seen this kind of recipe for the first time. Will try it out as all the raw material required is easily available at home.
Used this recipe for my son’s birthday cake it was a huge hit! Used blanched almond butter was so good. Making it again for his party.
I followed the recipe as stated but added orange zest as my girl was gg to have an orange. Wonderful recipe. Thank you!
Thanks so much for another delicious recipe!!! I love that it’s only sweetened with bananas! Super yummy!!!
I made this and it was amazing !!! However.. my bread turned blue… is that normal?? Or did I poison myself and my boyfriend lol
Did you use sunflower seed butter? It has chemical reaction with baking soda that can turn baked goods blue or green. But I’ve heard that it’s totally safe; just weird to look at!
Can i reduce the banana from 3 to 2 and the nut butter to half for low sugar and low fat? how many eggs should i add then? Can you please help?
i reduced the bananas to 1.5 and nut butter to half cup. Used 2 eggs and now my cake is really ‘eggy tasting’ and too soft 🙁
Thanks for sharing what you tried! I had tried a LOT of combinations when working on this recipe a few years ago, so this was definitely the best texture of my experiments, but maybe if you want to play with adding a tablespoon or so of coconut flour it could help with structure?
thank you for the response. Can you help me understand which exact ingredient give it the cakey/ fluffy texture?
what does the banana do to the cake and what does the nut butter act as?
I reduced the egg to 1.5 from 2 but it still tastes eggy. I increased the cooking time to 30 mins so it seems cooked but super soft and eggy !:D
The banana and nut butter serve multiple purposes– acting as fat, flour, and binder in this recipe. It’s a delicate balance when working with flourless baking, so any experiments will not necessarily be as cake-like or fluffy as my version here, but I’d love to hear about what you try!
I have a bunch of shredded coconut to use. How much should I add to this instead of choc chips? Thanks!