Thursday, September 1, 2011

Vegan Banana Almond Cake

Banana almond cake has become tradition in my family in recent years.  It all started when I saw a recipe for banana almond cake and decided to make it for my Mom for her Birthday about 5 years ago. 

The cake was moist and filled with banana flavor, had marzipan in between the layers and gooey sweet cream cheese frosting topped off with toasted almonds.  It was heavenly and she requested it for quite a few years after that.  My Dad came to love it as well and requested that I make one for him on a few occasions such as his Birthday and a few work get togethers, and it quickly became a favorite.  It has evolved however since I started making it 5 years ago.  It used to be 2 layers, and the cake was filled with dairy since I used cream cheese and butter.  It contained eggs and lots of powdered sugar...not the healthiest by any means, but that was why it as reserved for special occasions. 

I have since revamped it, veganized it and cut back on the refined sugars because it is so good I think that it must be enjoyed more than just a couple times a year.  I had made one for my Dad's Birthday a few weeks ago, but had given him the whole cake as a gift so I decided last weekend that I needed to make one I could enjoy. It was every bit as delicious as every time I have made it in the past.  The best part is that because I am the baker I get to enjoy all the extra scraps of cake, marzipan and frosting that get trimmed off as I make it in order for it to look pretty. 

You would never guess that it is vegan.  The cake itself is intensely banana flavored and sweet with hints of vanilla and almond.  The marzipan is nutty and smooth a perfect accompaniment to the cake and the sweet gooey "cream cheese" frosting.  The crunchy almonds on the outside are a delicious contrast and complete the cake.  As I was enjoying a rather large piece of cake I couldn't help but think this cake should be made more often.  I have a feeling you would love this cake too if you chose to make it for yourself, so I have included the recipe! 

Vegan Banana Almond Cake
Makes 1 6 inch 4 layer cake

1 1/2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 cup maple sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup pureed ripe banana
1/4 cup coconut oil
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp lite coconut milk
2 Tbsp lemon juice

3 8 oz pkgs vegan cream cheese (such as Tofutti)
1/2 cup plus 2 Tbsp agave nectar
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp sea salt

8 oz vegan marzipan

1 cup flaked toasted almonds
dried banana chips for garnish

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and position rack in center of oven. Line two six-inch-diameter cake pans with 2-inch-high sides with parchment paper. Coat parchment paper and pan sides with nonstick spray. Whisk flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar in a large bowl to blend well. Whisk banana, oil, vanilla extract, almond extract, and coconut milk together in small bowl to blend well, then whisk into the flour mixture until well blended. Whisk in lemon juice and stir quickly. Transfer cake batter to prepared pan and bake cakes until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25-30 minutes. Cool cake completely in pan on rack, about 1 hour. Cut around sides of pan to loosen. Turn cake out onto platter; peel off parchment paper. Let cool completely, then place in the fridge to chill until very cold to make slicing easier. When chilled, slice cakes horizontally in half so that you have 4 layers.

To make frosting, beat cream cheese in a large bowl until very fluffy and smooth, Then beat in remaining ingredients until well blended.  Divide marzipan into 3 pieces and roll each out into a circle large enough to cover a cake layer. 

To assemble cake, place a layer of cake on a plate, and spoon a heaping 1/2 cup frosting over, almost to the sides, then top with one marzipan circle, and a cake layer and repeat. Top with another cake layer, another frosting layer, marzipan, then the top cake layer. Spread the frosting over the top and the sides of the cake, then press toasted almonds into the sides of the cake.  Place remaining frosting in a pastry bag, and pipe some of it decoratively on top of the cake and then top with dried bananas for decoration.  Chill the cake at least a few hours to set filling before serving.


  1. ahmazhing!.. that cake looks so perfect and cute and tose perfect layers and the healthy ingredients! yummmyy.. i think i will make a couple of cupcakes for myself of thi.. since hubbs is allergic to banana and i wont be able finish the whole thing!:)

    Richa @ Hobby And More Food Blog

  2. I have never thought of using marzipan and bananas in a cake, but it does sound delicious. The layering is stunning and I am glad you have turned it into a vegan cake and still were able to keep the delicious flavor. Great post.

  3. That cake looks amazing and sounds delicious. That layering takes skill and you did a wonderful job. Thanks for the recipe share and great tips.

  4. It's beautiful aaaaaand not terrible for me? LOVE this!!!!

  5. So professional looking, delicious!

  6. Amy this is a beautiful cake! The toasted almonds are a nice touch!

  7. I'm impressed with how straight your layers and cutting were!!! You must have a steady hand. :)

  8. Ok, this cake looks amazing!!!! The layers are perfect!

  9. my gosh Amy!! this is hands down the best looking cake i have ever seen..omg and inside it is just as beatiful (this cake is just like you) hehe <3

  10. Amy, this cake is quite impressive. Vegan or not - the texture, profile, and I'll bet flavor are all there! The almond and banana garnishes are quite aesthetic too. Bravo!

  11. You need to open a bakery!!! This is one gorgeous cake!!!

  12. perfect layers and I would love to pick the almond slices off one by one. Yummy!!!

  13. I just love ogling your blog. I have for about a year now and never said so. I'd never attempt any of those gorgeous cakes because I'd have to make them GF and then I'd have to sit down with a spoon and eat it all by myself. I did want to tell you what a wonderful job you do and what joy you bring to me and probably all those other stalkers out there. Great job!

  14. Amy, I want to "attempt" to make a cake for my daughters 4th birthday and I love LOVE your cakes. Do you have one you would recommend for a birthday?

  15. Just made your cake and am really looking forward to eating it and sharing the recipe (and your blog of course) with my vegan friend! Thanks!

  16. Just made this for the second time but this time tried it as cupcakes - and the marzipan was piped into the middle and baked with the cake. SO GOOD! Thanks for the recipe.