April is a month full of celebrations for us, so it only made sense that I shared my favorite cake recipe: This spiced banana cake with cream cheese frosting.
This recipe is inspired by Snixy Kitchen’s banana date cake, which I made for the first time last April. I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
Since today is my 24th birthday (where does the time go?!), I knew I had to make this cake again – with a few modifications to make it fruit-sweetened. I also made it for Shaun’s birthday (and Easter) on April 1st. Then I made it again last weekend to photograph and to adjust the recipe as needed. Finally, I’m making it one more time this weekend for myself. I mean, it’s my birthday after all and my favorite way to celebrate is with food! Also, my mom is coming for a visit with Lola (our family dog) this weekend , so I’ll get to share some cake with her. Maybe.
So as you can see, April was a good month for a cake recipe. It was also my brother’s birthday on April 8, so we have 3 birthdays in the course of 13 days, plus Easter that often ends up somewhere in there.
April is clearly one of my favorite months, especially with the weather getting a little warmer. My walks to work have been a little more enjoyable lately. The mornings are sunny and the birds are singing again. The smell of spring is in the air and it makes me happy. It felt like a long winter, but I think it’s finally over! I sure hope so anyways.
So, back to the spiced banana cake.
If there’s one sugar-free cake you have to try, this is the one. Also, it just so happens that this recipe is gluten-free!
I’m seriously debating to use this recipe as our wedding cake, just decorated a little differently. It’s that good.
The cake itself is sweetened with bananas and dates, which are processed in a food processor with oil, vanilla and water. This results as a delicious liquid sweetener. The dry ingredients are then added to the food processor to blend everything together. No need for an extra bowl! I add the eggs at the end and pulse them a few times into the batter. The flours I used in this recipe are brown rice flour, oat flour (or just oats, which will be processed anyways) and millet flour.
This is what your liquid sweetener will look like – As in your blended bananas, dates, water and vanilla.
I tried this cake with only rice flour and oats, which turned out fine, but a little gummier. So, if you don’t feel like buying millet flour for this recipe alone, feel free to use oat flour instead, but know that millet flour gives it the best texture. In other words, it may be worth trying millet flour. You can always buy a small quantity to try (I got mine at Bulk Barn).
Now, for the frosting. I used a similar recipe as the cream cheese frosting on my pumpkin cupcakes (hum, now I’m craving those). Cream cheese, dates, butter (or margarine) and vanilla are blended together in the same food processor or blender (that’s been cleaned). You may have to scrape the sides a few times and process for a while to break down the dates and end up with a smooth frosting. I add 1-2 tablespoons of milk to help blend everything nicely, but you may not have to, depending on your blender or food processor. A small (but strong) food processor or blender would work best in this case since it’s not a very big quantity of frosting. Whatever you have should work; just know that it may take some patience to get that smooth frosting. Also, if you want to make things easier, you can swap the dates for maple syrup. I just wanted to keep things fruit-sweetened as usual. It’ll be good either way!
If April is not filled with celebrations in your case, may I suggest you keep this recipe for Mother’s Day? Not that you need any special occasion to make this cake. It would be perfect for a night at home with friends or family too. Or any day that needs a little something extra.
Spiced Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1/2 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- 1/4 cup water
- 3 large overripe bananas
- 1/4 cup avocado oil (or other light tasting oil)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup brown rice flour
- 1/2 cup rolled or quick oats
- 1/3 cup millet flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon, ground
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg, ground
- Pinch clove
- 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
For the Frosting
- 1 (250g) package light cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/4 cup soft margarine or unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/3 cup Medjool dates, pitted
- 1-3 tablepsoons milk of choice (as needed)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Cake
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line the bottoms of 2 6-inch cake pans with parchment paper and oil the bottom and sides of the pans lightly.
- In a large food processor or high-speed blender, add your dates, water, bananas, oil and vanilla extract. Blend until smooth.
- Add all of your dry ingredients to the food processor or blender and blend everything together for about 30 seconds. Add the eggs and pulse a few times. The batter should be smooth.
- Transfer the batter equally to the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted to the middle comes out dry.
- When the cake is done, let it cool in the pan a few minutes, then transfer to a cooling rack and let cool completely.
For the Frosting
Meanwhile, prepare the frosting: In the same blender or food processor (that's been well cleaned), add all of the frosting ingredients. (See note). Blend until smooth. Patience, it may take a few minutes. You may need to stop and scrape the sides a few times. Let the frosting chill in the fridge until the cake has cooled.
- When the cake is completely cooled, you can add the frosting. I decided to go for a naked cake look, but feel free to decorate yours differently. For the naked cake, add about a 1/2 cup of frosting between the two layers and on top. Use the remaining frosting to cover the sides. Scrape most of it using an offset spatula (or the back of a butter knife if you're like me and don't have an offset spatula). Top with sliced bananas and berries if desired.
If you try this recipe, make sure to tag your photo #unsweetenedcaroline on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter! Don’t forget to also tag me @unsweetened.caroline on Instagram so I can see your creations!