Banana Cake

Tired of dry, crumbly, somewhat flavorless allergy-friendly desserts which really aren’t that worth eating? Stop right there and make my Banana Cake. It’s soft, moist without being gooey, rich, and sweet. Definitely a cake, not a bread. The tender crumb and mouth-feel of this cake is on-par with a traditional cake made with wheat – hard to recreate without typical baking ingredients since alternatives always behave differently!

The green banana flour and cassava flour form the base of the cake. The two flours mixed together gives a better texture and taste than either one would on their own. Palm shortening replaces butter and helps give an airy lift to the cake. Flax-eggs replace chicken eggs. And coconut milk plus a little lemon juice replaces buttermilk. Typically I shy away from using coconut milk in baked goods, since coconut can be such a dominating flavor. Here, however, it is well hidden, and what hint of coconut you may detect goes well with banana anyway.

I took a shortcut with frosting and used Simple Mills Vanilla Frosting, topped with a handful of chopped walnuts as garnish. Feel free to use your own homemade frosting recipe if you prefer. Or even leave it plain. To make this cake nut-free, you could easily omit the walnuts and instead garnish with a sprinkle of cinnamon, sliced bananas, crushed banana chips, or just leave it plain and call it good.

Follow the steps exactly as written. It does make a difference if you alternate adding dry ingredients and wet ingredients in multiple small additions rather than adding each all at once. Also, don’t bypass the step of popping the cake into the freezer as soon as it is removed from the oven. It helps the cake set and cool, making frosting the cake easier. Baking this cake is easy, and you’ll have the best results if you make sure to do these couple of steps. Your patience will be rewarded! Last important step: keep a knife handy. We can’t help but cut off a little piece each time we walk by – so yummy! Happy baking!

Banana Cake

Rich, moist, decadent and scrumptious frosted banana cake. Great make-ahead recipe for serving at a party or brunch, or enjoy it all yourself! (Gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nightshade-free, nut-free option, paleo option)
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time1 hr 15 mins
Freezing Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 35 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 slices

Ingredients

  • 2 ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 1-1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 cup green banana flour
  • 1 cup cassava flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup palm shortening
  • 2 Tbsp ground flaxseed
  • 5 Tbsp water
  • 1-1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 can Simple Mills Vanilla Frosting - OR frosting of your choice
  • 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit (no, this is not a typo). Thoroughly mash bananas and 1-1/2 tsp lemon juice in a bowl and set aside. In a small cup or bowl, mix the flaxseed and water. Allow to sit for several minutes until thickened. In a liquid measuring cup, combine coconut milk and 1 tsp lemon juice. Give it a quick stir, then let sit for several minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, cream palm shortening and sugar. Then add the "flax eggs" and vanilla, then combine. Mix green banana flour, cassava flour, salt, and baking soda in another bowl. Alternate flour mixture and coconut milk, adding 1/3 at a time, mixing into the palm shortening-sugar mixture. Stir in bananas. 
  • Pour cake batter into a 9x9 baking pan (my glass pan didn't need to be oiled/floured to avoid sticking). Bake at 275 degrees for 1hr and 15 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Then remove from oven and place into the freezer for 1 hour or until cool enough to frost.
  • Remove from freezer, frost with frosting. Top with chopped walnuts.

Notes

May make 1 day in advance. Leftovers store well in the refrigerator for a few days. Leftovers also freeze well.
Nut-free option: omit walnuts
Paleo option: sub suitable solid, granulated sugar, such as maple sugar (flavor/texture may change depending on which sugar used)

Craveable Chocolatey Banana Walnut Cupcakes

This weekend, we’re celebrating a very special little guy’s birthday with these delicious treats – chocolatey banana walnut cupcakes. They are craveable, light, cakey, full of rich flavor, and moist (ordinarily this word sends chills down my spine. I chose to use it here, because another accurate descriptor just wasn’t coming to mind)! Locking in moisture while still achieving a light texture, in baked goods which are not only gluten-free but also grain-free, poses a real challenge. The struggle is real people!  But look no further, I’ve done the recipe testing for you – these cupcakes have it all!

Often allergy-friendly treats may have a more dense texture or may have other sensory indicators of being “different” in some way. Not this indulgent dessert! These craveable chocolatey banana walnut cupcakes have been given the ultimate stamp of approval. They have “passed” as a traditional baked good by unsuspecting taste-testers who eat a standard American diet without any dietary restrictions (and are sometimes suspicious of foods made differently) – I was even asked to bring these to a future event! Nothing short of miraculous really 🙂

The batter can be mixed by hand in a single bowl, which means no need to drag out the big mixer or spend extra time washing dishes. This recipe makes 12 standard sized cupcakes. Cooking time may be adjusted for other cupcake sizes or to make a cake – though I haven’t experimented with this yet, so I cannot make a recommendation.

Frost these for your next special occasion calling for a celebration or leave them plain for a tasty muffin which you can feel good about enjoying more often. Right now these are my favorite special occasion treat – so delicious! Make a batch for your next celebration!

Craveable Chocolately Banana Walnut Cupcakes

Perfect for a special celebration, these decadent chocolate banana walnut cupcakes are topped with a generous swirl of rich chocolate frosting. Your guests will not suspect these are allergy-friendly! (gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free option, nightshade-free)
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 2 cups green banana flour
  • 1-½ cups mashed ripe banana
  • 2/3 cup sunflower seed butter
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup molasses
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 2 pinches salt
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free, soy-free chocolate chips I used Enjoy Life Dark Morsels
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
  • 2 jars dairy-free chocolate frosting (optional) I used Simple Mills Organic Chocolate Frosting

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350F.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients except for the optional walnuts, chocolate chips, and frosting. Stir to fully combine.
  • Add the chocolate chips and (optional) chopped walnuts. Fold in.
  • Transfer to muffin pan lined with muffin papers or lightly coated with coconut oil (makes 12 standard sized cupcakes).
  • Bake for approximately 20 minutes. Check with a toothpick to determine when done. Remove from oven when toothpick comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely before frosting.
  • Optional step: Use piping bag to frost cupcakes with chocolate frosting.

Notes

Keep leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. However, frosting consistency hardens considerably when cold, so remove from fridge to allow to soften before eating.

Creamy Pumpkin Custard with Spiced Apples

It’s officially pumpkin-everything season!

One of my favorite fall ingredients is pumpkin. I value it’s versatility in that it can be used in both savory and sweet dishes. One of my favorite recipes utilizing pumpkin is this pumpkin custard with spiced apples. The combination of pumpkin and apple is classic for this time of year. This custard is flavorful, festive, creamy and comforting. Yum. At my house, we eat it at any meal of the day, because well… it’s just one of those dishes. Each time I make this, I can’t wait to grab a spoon and dig in!

This recipe also earns versatility points. The sweetness of this recipe can be adjusted to your preference. So with just a single little tweak, you can enjoy this pumpkin custard as a side dish with sausage at breakfast or enjoy as dessert with a cup of tea. Whatever time of day you choose to indulge in this nutrient-dense, pumpkin custard with spiced apples, you can’t go wrong!

This recipe can easily be doubled in quantity, with minimal additional effort and time, if you’re hosting brunch or batch-cooking for a hungry family.

While I made my custard in a pie plate, I also recommend individual ramekins. Mini custard cups are too cute and work well if you’re contributing to a pot-luck or packing lunches.

If you’re short on time, you can omit the apple topping and reduce your hands-on preparation and cook time down to about 15 minutes. Though, the apple topping certainly adds a little “extra something,” the custard is plenty tasty on its own.

On to the recipe!

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Creamy Pumpkin Custard with Spiced Apples

Comforting, creamy pumpkin custard with warmly spiced apples. Adjust the sweetness to serve as breakfast, dessert, or anything in between. (AIP, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time5 mins
Resting Time3 hrs
Total Time15 mins
Course: Breakfast, Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 6 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 cans pureed pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup consider 1/4-3/4 cup depending on your taste buds
  • 1/4 cup lard or refined coconut oil
  • 1-1/4 Tbsp gelatin
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • 4 apples, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
  • Splash or two of spiced apple cider

Instructions

  • Combine pumpkin, maple syrup, lard or coconut oil, gelatin, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt in a pot on the stove. Turn heat on medium low and cook. Stir continuously for 5-8 minutes. The mixture should change in consistency, becoming more of a smooth liquid and the gelatin should dissolve fully.
  • Pour into custard cups or a pie plate.
  • Refrigerate for at least 3 hours to allow custard to set.
  • Cook apple slices in spiced cider in a pan on medium low heat until soft, but still retaining their shape. Arrange on fully set custard.
  • Refrigerate until ready to enjoy.

Notes

May make in advance.