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A slice of banana cake being removed from a baking dish with bananas in the background.

Gluten-Free Banana Cake

This gluten-free banana cake is the perfect treat for any occasion! Soft, fluffy and moist, this cake is perfectly complimented with a generous slathering of brown butter cream cheese frosting. And best of all, it's super easy to make at home - all you need is some ripe bananas and a few pantry staples!
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Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 618kcal
Author: Megan

Ingredients

For the banana cake:

  • 2 ½ cups gluten free flour blend (I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten Free Baking Flour (360g))
  • 1/2 teaspoon xanthan gum (if your flour blend does not already contain it)
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 ½ cups mashed bananas (from 3-4 ripe bananas (360g measured without the peel))
  • 1 cup sour cream (240g)
  • ½ cup vegetable oil (room temperature (100g))
  • 3/4 cups granulated sugar (150g - I got 170g - double check)
  • 3/4 cups brown sugar (150g)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract (12g)
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (for topping (optional) (75g))

For the brown butter cream cheese frosting:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (113g)
  • 8 oz cream cheese (softened (225g))
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (330g)

Instructions

For the banana cake:

  • Preheat the oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13-inch baking pan or line with parchment paper. Set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten-free flour, xanthan gum (if using), baking powder, baking soda, salt, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and ground ginger.
  • In a separate bowl, add the ripe bananas. Mash with a fork until thoroughly mashed and liquidy.
  • Add the sour cream, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, brown sugar, eggs and vanilla extract. Whisk until smooth.
  • Gradually add in the dry ingredients, mixing until no more streaks of flour remain.
  • Pour the banana cake batter into the prepared baking pan.
  • Bake at 350F for 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean with a few moist crumbs. Cool completely before frosting with frosting.
  • Frost with brown butter cream cheese frosting (recipe below) and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
  • Slice and serve.

For the brown butter cream cheese frosting:

  • Cut the butter into small pieces. This will help it melt quicker and more evenly.
  • Add the butter cubes to a saucepan over medium-low heat. Let the butter melt slowly. It will begin to foam as it does.
  • Use a spatula to stir the butter frequently to keep the milk solids from burning on the bottom of the pan.
  • The butter will slowly turn golden brown and take on a nutty aroma, which can take anywhere from 10-15 minutes on medium-low heat. Remove from the heat and pour into a heat-proof bowl, including the browned milk solids on the bottom of the saucepan. Allow to solidify before using in the brown butter cream cheese frosting.
  • Add the softened cream cheese and solidified browned butter to a large mixing bowl. Using an electric hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese and browned butter until smooth and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Then, add in the vanilla extract and salt. Mix until combined.
  • Gradually add in the powdered sugar, until smooth and silky.
  • Frost the cake once it has cooled or store in the refrigerator until ready to decorate the cake. If refrigerating, let come to room temperature for 20-30 minutes so it is easier to work with.

Notes

  • As always, if you are gluten-free, please double check that the ingredients that you are using are gluten-free by referring to the packaging. Ingredient formulas and manufacturing processes sometimes change. 
  • This recipe was tested with both Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Gluten-Free Baking Flour and King Arthur Baking Gluten-Free Measure for Measure Flour. Both of these flours already contain xanthan gum, so additional xanthan gum is not needed. If your blend does not contain xanthan gum, you will want to use the amount specified in the recipe. 
  • For the most accurate results, I recommend using the metric measurements provided in the recipe, especially for the gluten-free flour and bananas. 
  • If you choose to measure the gluten-free flour in cups, be sure to not use the measuring cup to scoop the floor. This will result in too much flour and a dense cake. Instead, spoon flour into your measuring cup and then level it off with a straight object, like a butter knife or spatula.
  • To store leftovers in the refrigerator, place the cake in an airtight container for up to 5 days. 
  • You can freeze the banana cake for up to 3 months. First, slice the cake into individual portions. Freeze them on a lined baking sheet for one hour until solid. Then, tightly wrap individual slices with plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe container or bag. 

Nutrition

Calories: 618kcal | Carbohydrates: 82g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 78mg | Sodium: 422mg | Potassium: 241mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 60g | Vitamin A: 663IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 109mg | Iron: 1mg
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