After a lot of requests for egg-free and vegan cake recipes, I present my banana walnut/almond cake. The cake base is butter-free, egg-free and pretty healthy as it’s made with mainly wholewheat flour. It’s very soft and moist for an egg-free cake. This cake can be made into a banana loaf as well by simply baking it in a loaf tin.
This cake can be had as it is but I must add that it tastes great with this nutella buttercream or salted caramel. But it’s totally optional! I have also mentioned about other frosting options along with the recipe for nutella buttercream 🙂
The most common questions that I get are, “why cornstarch?” and “What is the purpose of vinegar?”. Cornstarch is used for structure and binding whereas the vinegar being acidic, reacts with the baking soda to release carbon- dioxide which helps in rising and helps to yield a softer and spongier cake.
Ingredients: (Yields 8 large pieces or 16 small pieces)
For the sponge–
- Mashed banana- 1 cup or 300g or 10.60 oz
(I use 2 long large over-ripe bananas. Make sure to use ripe or over ripe big bananas only for best results)
- Granulated sugar- 3/4 cup or 170 g
- Vanilla extract- 1 teaspoon
- Sunflower oil- ½ cup or 118 ml
- Wholewheat flour- 1 cup or 130 g
- Plain/ All-purpose flour- ½ cup or 62 g
- Cornflour/ Cornstarch- ½ tablespoon
- Salt- a small pinch
- Baking powder- 1 teaspoon
- Milk- 2 tablespoons (Vegans can use soy milk/ almond milk)
- Baking soda/ Soda bicarbonate- ½ teaspoon
- Vinegar- 1 tablespoon
- Chopped walnuts or chopped almonds- ½ cup
Preheat oven to 180°C/ 350 F. Grease a 20 cm cake tin with butter/ cooking spray/ vegan butter and line the base with a disc of parchment paper. Add the mashed bananas to a bowl. Make sure it is mashed nicely and there are no lumps. To it, add the sunflower oil. Add the sugar, vanilla extract and whisk it until the sugar is dissolved and well combined. Sift the wholewheat flour, plain flour, baking powder, cornflour and salt into another dry bowl. I prefer to sift it 2-3 times because it makes the cake more light and aerates it.
Add the sifted flour little by little and fold the mixture gently. No whipping or vigorous mixing is allowed. Pour the milk and fold gently. (I forgot to take the picture of the milk being poured) Add chopped nuts and again fold the mixture. In a bowl, mix the vinegar and baking soda/ soda bicarbonate. Once it foams, mix it and fold it into the cake batter. The batter will be thick so do not be alarmed. Pour it into the greased cake tin and evenly spread it. Give the tin a gentle tap to release the air bubbles, if any.
Bake in the oven for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 160°C and bake for a further 12-15 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Note– A single crack/ small tiny cracks on the top of this cake are quite common. And if your cake is becoming very dark, cover the top with a aluminium foil and return to the oven. The baking time and temperature may vary with different ovens. Let the cake cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes. Carefully remove from the tin and flip it onto a wire rack. Peel off the parchment paper and allow the cake to cool down completely.
For loaf cake–
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 9 inch loaf tin with parchment paper making sure parchment paper is hanging from the sides of the tin. This will make removing very easy. Follow the above method for making the batter and bake in the oven at 180°C for 25 minutes. After which, reduce the temperature to 170°C, cover the top with a foil and bake for further 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool the cake in the tin for half an hour and then just lift the sides of the parchment paper to remove the loaf and cool completely on a wire rack. Use a sharp knife to slice the loaf cake and serve at tea time.
1) Salted Caramel sauce drizzled over the cake
2) Melted Milk Chocolate poured over the cake
3) Whipped cream flavoured with a little cinnamon powder
4) Nutella Buttercream (Optional: With a chocolate web design)
- Unsalted soft butter- 140 grams (Vegans can use margerine or a half and half mixture of margerine and shortening)
- Icing sugar- 280 grams
- Nutella- 3 to 4 generous tablespoons (Vegans use 2 tablespoons cocoa powder or you can also use pure melted dark chocolate, with no milk solids instead)
- Salt- a pinch
1) I have used lesser amount of sugar as I don’t like my buttercream too sweet so it is not super super stiff for russian nozzles but yet stiff enough to pipe borders, rossettes and swirls. If you want a stiffer buttercream for piping flowers, use more sugar and also use half and half mixture of butter and shortening.
2) Make sure the butter is not too soft or melting. When you press the butter lightly with your finger it should cause an indentation but should offer a tiny amount of resistance. If an indentation is caused with a slightest press and your finger goes in quickly the butter is too soft and it can cause a droopy buttercream.
Cream the butter until soft. Add the icing sugar little by little and beat using an electric beater until the mixture becomes stiff, fluffy and holds peaks. This process will take about 2-3 minutes.
To this, add the delicious nutella, a pinch of salt and beat it until well combined. Scraping down the sides of the bowl with a spatula, beat again for a few seconds. Remove the frosting from the beating attachments, cover the bowl with cling film and let it sit in the fridge for 10-15 minutes. Fold the mixture once every 5 minutes and return back to fridge. Take it out of the fridge and let it come to room temperature.