We’ve been a sugar-free family for a few years now. However, we still want to celebrate birthdays and other holidays. This sugar-free banana cake is the perfect solution. It is naturally fruit-sweetened and delicious.
Delicious Cake Flavors
Following the recipe below, without any changes to the flavoring, results in a cake that tastes a bit like banoffee pie. It has a strong flavor of banana with the caramel of dates and whipping cream.
However, sugar-free cakes are perfect for all sorts of occasions! Here are a few different ways to take this simple cake and turn it into your favorite celebration cake.
- Simple vanilla sheet cake: Looking for a basic vanilla cake? Add double the amount of vanilla extract and add the zest from one lemon.
- Strawberry cake: Certain types of parties call for a pretty pink cake. To make a strawberry cake, replace 1 of the bananas with 1 cup of chopped ripe strawberries. Puree the strawberries in the blender (it should come to around 1/3 to 1/2 cup), then stir them into the batter with the remaining bananas. This will result in a slightly runnier batter, so it may need to cook for an extra 10 minutes. Frost with a sugar-free strawberry cream cheese frosting.
- Chocolate cake: I love chocolate cake. To make a sugar-free chocolate cake replace 1/4 cup of flour with 1/4 cup of cocoa powder. Frost with chocolate avocado frosting.
- Banana bread: Make a sugar-free banana bread by adding 1 tsp of cinnamon along with 1/2 cup of chopped walnuts. Yum! It will take longer to bake in a loaf pan, so check the cake after 35 to 45 minutes.
- Banana muffins: To bake muffins or cupcakes, simple reduce the baking time to 20 to 25 minutes.
Sugar-free banana cake
Looking for a healthy birthday cake? This sugar-free banana cake is naturally fruit-sweetened. With the date frosting, it tastes like a banoffee pie. However, it can also be flavored with chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry. See the section above for more information.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 25-30 minutes
- Total Time: 2 minute
- Yield: 2 x 6 inch cake pans 1x
- Category: Desserts
- Cuisine: Gluten free
- Diet: Vegetarian
Banana Sweetened Cake
- 4 very ripe bananas (approx. 1 1/3 cups mashed)
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup of buttermilk (milk kefir or yogurt)
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 3/4 cup of flour (I use my gluten-free blend)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
Date Sweetened Caramel Frosting
- 8 large Medjool dates, pits removed
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 cup whipping cream
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl until relatively smooth.
- Mix in the melted butter, then the eggs, buttermilk, and vanilla.
- Add in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- Stir until everything is evenly mixed.
- Pour into two 6-inch round cake pans.
- If you are making a gluten-free cake, the texture will improve if the batter is allowed to rest for 30 minutes before baking. Otherwise, bake right away.
- Bake at 350 F for 25-35 min (until a toothpick comes out clean).
- Allow the cake to cool before frosting.
- Place the dates and the water in a blender. Be sure to remove the pits!
- Pulse until the dates have turned into a smooth paste.
- Once the dates are fully pureed, add the whipping cream and continue to blend until you have a nice thick, whipped frosting.
- The frosting needs to be kept cool. I recommend either frosting the cake right before serving or storing the frosted cake in the fridge.
- Instead of making a 6-inch layer cake, this batter will also make an 8-inch square or 18 cupcakes.
- Why not make a super healthy cake by serving it with a probiotic frosting?! To make the frosting probiotic use cultured whipping cream.
Keywords: sugar free, naturally sweetened, fruit sweetened, probiotic, banoffee cake, healthy cake, kid-friendly cake, holiday, birthday, celebration
I made the Chocolate recipe for my Birthday with some minor alterations: a tablespoon or so of honey, an extra tablespoon of cocoa powder, and I used a 9″ round pan. I also used whole wheat flour and the yogurt option. Paired with the avocado-chocolate frosting (link above), it was really good.
My cake did not have the traditional flour texture and bounciness to touch; it was deliciously dense and resembled the consistency of banana bread (but less flour-like). My preference is still for lighter, less dense cakes. Also, you could taste the banana in the chocolate cake, but it by absolutely no means impaired the tastiness of it. Overall, I recommend this recipe! My family (moderate sugar lovers) really enjoyed this cake, and I was glad that it turned out well. If you are hesitating at making it, go for it. I doubt you’ll be disappointed. I want to save this recipe for later! Thank you for your post.
Thanks for sharing!
Just made this for my little boy using raspberries and he loved it! I’m not a baker at all but it turned out so well 🙂
Can I freeze any left overs or would you not recommend to do this?
Great! Feel free to freeze leftovers. It’s the same as freezing any baked good… freezer burn isn’t tasty, but if you eat it quickly enough it should be fine. Cheers!
We struggled a bit with cooking times and temperatures – we used one 8″ round tin, and at 350f the top was browning long before a toothpick would come out cleanly. Do you have any suggestions on times and temperatures?
Maybe reduce the temperature slightly? It will be banana-bread-like in color, so quite dark. Especially if you used whole grain flour.
Hi, what sort of cup do you use? Sorry, never measured ingredients in cups.
Hi Eve, My recipes have a button to convert the measurements to metric. (Press on the M). 1 cup is equal to about 240 g/mL. Cheers! Emillie
Thank you xx
I’d love to make this cake for my little one’s 1st birthday. Do you think it could be made the day prior? Would I store it in the fridge or at room temperature?
Congratulations on your little’s one’s 1st birthday! It is a moist cake, like banana bread. If you are using GF flour, I would store it in the fridge. All-purpose flour will remain softer if it’s kept out of the fridge. However, if you are going to frost it the day before, then definitely store it in the fridge. Enjoy!
Can I make this in a 13×9 pan?
You would need to double the recipe to make a 9×13 pan. Enjoy!
My birthday fell during Whole30 and I used the above recipe and just replaced it with compliant ingredients (ghee instead of butter, almond flour, and almond milk with some citrus juice). I made the cupcake version. It was pretty good in its own!! I got to have a birthday treat and stay within my diet. The next day I had another one and added some fresh strawberries and OMG!! The perfect treat for a celebration!
Wow! I haven’t tried it with just almond flour. That sounds delicious. Happy Belated Birthday!
Can this recipe be made without the eggs? Looking forward to trying this and the other flavours!
I haven’t tried an egg-free version, but I don’t see why not! Try using egg replacer or flax eggs instead. Let me know how it works!
Absolutely loved. Making again! Made for my daughter’s birthday as cupcakes. Taste great leftover if chilled in the fridge. Frosting is superb -light creamy and slightly sweet. Thank you for sharing! This was perfect.
Glad you liked it!
When you wrote that I can use an 8″ pan — did you mean one 8″ pan or two? (I should probably know this, but I’m brand-new to baking!) Thanks!
Sure! One 8-inch square pan roughly equals two 6-inch round pans. Enjoy!
The cakes came out surprisingly good! I doubled the recipe, using greek yoghurt and white rice flour and a gluten free baking flour mix in 3 8” pans.
It took me a long time to even find a recipe without added sugar or other sweetener!
Glad you enjoyed it!
Hi! What are your thoughts on making the cakes or cupcakes a few days ahead of time, freezing, then frosting the day of?
It should be fine, especially if you’re using GF flour (which does really well with freezing.) But even wheat should remain moist. Enjoy!
This was so good – really moist and surprisingly sweet considering there is no sugar at all. I used spelt flour and halved the recipe making just one 6 inch cake. I kept it simple and added some cinnamon and raisins. I am going to make a chocolate version next time! Thank you!
Glad you liked it!
Hi! I’d love to use this for my daughter’s first birthday smash cake. Will the recipe change if I use 3 4 inch pans?
How fun! I have used this recipe for muffins… and decreased the baking time to 20 minutes. So keep an eye on the baking time. Enjoy!
I am using this for my daughter’s first birthday smash cake this weekend, and using the strawberry version. When you mention 1 cup of strawberries, is this 1 cup of whole strawberries then pureed, or is it 1 cup of pureed strawberry? I feel like there is a significant difference so I wanted to ask if you’ve tried it before I did it myself. Thanks! 🙂
Good questions! It’s 1 cup chopped strawberries. Thanks for pointing this out… I’ll fix the recipe right now. Cheers!
Hi – can I use oat milk instead of buttermilk? Thanks!
You’ll need to adjust for the acidity of buttermilk. Other than that, it should be fine!
How would you adjust for acidity, just add some lemon juice? TIA
Yes! 1 1/2 tsp of lemon juice (or vinegar, but lemon would taste better) will give you the right acidity. Enjoy!
I made the vanilla version with mango frosting for my baby’s first bday cake smash.. he definitely loved it.
Thanks so much for the recipe !
Is the flour self raising or plain? Thanks!
Please can you use Greek Yoghurt rather than butter milk?
Greek yogurt is quite thick. Regular yogurt is better, however, if you only have Greek yogurt then maybe add a bit of milk to add some liquid. Otherwise, the batter will be too thick. 🙂 Cupcakes should be done after 20 to 25 minutes. Enjoy!
Also, how long would you cook the recipe as cup cakes?
Hi I am planning to make this healthy cake for my son’s birthday… can I use colour in this frosting ?
Yes! The dates add a tan/brown color to the frosting, so it would probably work better with red color than blue or green. Enjoy!
The banana cake was good! My kids made it for my birthday this summer. The frosting had great flavor but came out more like a thin glaze – couldn’t get it to thicken up. it was just the right amount of sweet and flavor – just not as pretty to look at 🙂
Glad you enjoyed it! I recommend trying the frosting again. It really should thicken up as long as you use whipping cream. It won’t work with milk or light cream. Cheers!
How would I change the bake time to bake in a loaf pan? Thanks!
I think it should cook in 50 to 60 minutes. Enjoy!
I don’t know what kind of maybe artificially enhanced whipping cream is being used by the author, but the medjool dates’s natural acidity kept shrinking the 38% whipping cream into grains, ending up with a useless foam 3 times with 3 different brands of whipping creams I’ve tried. My suggestion: make layers, put the medjool water blend cream in between, and put simple whipped cream on top as frosting.
Otherwise decent recipe.
Interesting, I have never had an issue with curdling in my whipping cream. However, older whipping cream is more likely to curdle in coffee. So maybe your whipping cream is older?
I only ever used regular whipping cream (organic and non-organic, kefir cultured and fresh). Most often, I use this brand: http://www.avalondairy.com/products-all/ Glad the cake worked out for you!
I’ve made this 3 times and love it. It’s impossible to find recipes without sugar so thank you for this great recipe! How many cups of mashed banana should be used? I must not have had enough banana in my last cake because it was more dense and less moist than the previous cakes.
Glad you like the cake! What a good idea to offer measurement in cups. 4 mashed bananas is about 1 1/3 cups. 🙂 I’ll add it to the recipe now!
I’m planning on making this recipe for my godsons 1st birthday. I’m wondering if I want to use 2 9” cake tins, do I double or triple the recipe? Many thanks x
Hi Sofia, 9-inch cake pans are double in size from 6-inch cake pans. So you would need to double the recipe.
This cake is very banana bread-like in terms of moisture, so I’m concerned about the baking time and temperature adjustments. I’ve made this recipe in the 6-inch pan, a loaf pan, and as muffins, but I haven’t tested a larger cake pan. I’m concerned that the cake will have trouble cooking evenly right to the center. I recommend reducing the oven temperature to 325F and baking for longer. You can also protect the outside of the cake with baking strips. There are lots of sites on google showing DIY baking strips.
Oh thank you so much. I’m going to try 3 8” tins…
Hope the cake worked out!
Hi, I need to make the a few days in advance ss a birthday cake . Do you think it would keep ok?
Fresh is always best when it comes to baked goods. However, this cake will last better than most baked goods because of the bananas. If possible, I recommend wrapping each layer individually. Then frosting it right before serving. That should help keep it moist. Enjoy!
Hi, thanks for the recipe, planning to make this for my friend’s son’s smash cake later this month. Just wondering what are the size of the eggs you use?
I unsized eggs from a farmer… but probably large? Enjoy!
Just whipped this up for my little ones first birthday. Easy to follow recipe. Looks great… have to wait till tomorrow for the taste test but the batter tasted good
Thanks for a great sugar free recipe!
Great! Have a happy first birthday party!
Hello, thanks for providing a healthy, sugar-free dessert! Do I sift the flour before measuring it? Is the amount of flour the same if I am using whole wheat flour? And should I use “pastry flour” or “all-purpose” flour? Thank you!
The flour is measured unsifted. And it’s fine to use all-purpose, pastry, or whole wheat. This is because the cake is more muffin-like than sponge cake. There’s so much banana that it dominates the texture. Enjoy!
I needed to make the cake before I got your answer, so I used whole wheat pastry flour and I sifted it. I added walnuts, because I love the texture of walnuts in banana bread. Warning: the walnuts make it tricky to cut the cake without pulling the pieces apart. But so worth the effort!
We thought the diminutive 6” cake would be too small for the six adults we expected to have for our birthday party, so I doubled the recipe, and baked half the batter in a Bundt cake pan, and then baked the other half in the same Bundt pan, to make two layers that I hoped would cook all the way through better in a Bundt pan than in any of the other pans I had. I used 8 large bananas and forgot to measure the amount of mashed bananas to go into the recipe, so I think it was probably a little too much banana. But it all worked out fine. The cake was very dense, like banana bread. The understated sweetness and banana flavor, which at first seemed underwhelming, turned out to be addictively delicious. To me, this cake stands alone as a dessert and doesn’t even need icing.
The 16 dates in a cup of water for the frosting turned into a thick paste in the blender that would not move, so that I was afraid there would still be chunks of unprocessed date in it. I added 1 T. of water, to negligible effect, so I just added in the cream and hoped for the best. It came out fine.
I was afraid the young people wouldn’t find the cake exciting enough, but most of them pronounced it delicious. Several people commented on how nice it was to have a frosting that was not too sweet.
Because the cake was so dense, in the end it was clear that the 6” cake would have been perfect for the six adults. There was a ton left over. Same with the frosting: I had 2 ½ cups left over. So I guess, even if you double the cake batter, you don’t have to double the frosting. I wonder if the cake and the frosting could successfully be frozen for later? This was the first cake I frosted, and it came out well. I wish there were a button for us to upload pix of our creations, so readers could get more visual input on what they can expect from this recipe. This is going to be a go-to dessert recipe for me.
Thanks for sharing this! Nice to know how it worked out when you doubled the recipe. Cheers, Emillie
I made the basic banana cake as a birthday cake. There were 5 diabetics sitting around the table! The verdict? Absolutely delicious! That response was from both the diabetics and non-diabetics alike. I added one extra banana to it and put it into a 7 inch cake tin. I cooked it for about 40 minutes. I simply decorated and filled it with fresh whipped cream.
I’ve tried a lot of diabetic friendly cakes over the years. This (and a bread pudding that I’ve made) was by far the best one I’ve tried. I look forward to trying the other flavour variations in the future.
I didn’t realize the cake would be diabetic-friendly. Thanks for sharing!
This is one of the main reasons why I want to try this recipe for this weekend! I’m in charge of bringing dessert for my family’s Easter dinner, and I wanted to make sure those that were older and needed to watch their blood sugar levels, or those living with diabetes, would be able to enjoy just as much as the rest of us. I found this recipe buy googling “diabetic-friendly recipes” and am so excited to make it! I love me a good banana bread, but I feel this is going to take it to the next level!
I’ll have to update after I make it! 🙂
Great! Enjoy your family dinner!
The cake came out great. I followed the recipe exactly. My lower rating is because of the frosting. I followed the recipe and blended for nearly 10 min. At that point I still had a very liquidly mixture with some solids. I actually had to strain the frosting then dump the solids into my stand mixer. Just a few moments in the mixer without the 1/2 cup of liquid and tada, frosting! The only problem was it completely lost the date flavor. I’ve heard good things about date frosting, but this just didn’t seem like it worked for me.
Sorry, the frosting didn’t work out for you. The 1/2 cup of water turns the dates into a thick paste. The whipping cream should be able to whip up all on its own. I have two ideas about what might have happened. Did you use whipping cream or a lower fat alternative? Did you Medjool dates or a smaller dried date? For example, Noor Deglet dates won’t blend as nicely into a smooth paste and don’t have as much flavor.
Made these into 12 large muffins for our kids and they absolutely loved them, and didn’t even realise they had no sugar. Although we used unsweetened yoghurt instead of buttermilk and used self raising flour plus baking soda and baking baking powder, also we had frozen bananas which they said muffins were crunchy on outside and gooey inside.
Great that they loved these, have iced ours with icing sugar and cocoa powder though…oh well it’s the joys of being an adult.
Will be making this again, as were so so easy with minimal ingredients might try as a larger cake next time.
Thanks for sharing! I don’t think you need the baking soda and powder with self-rising flour, so I’m glad they weren’t too salty. Chocolate icing is a delicious way to add a bit of sweetness. 🙂 Cheers, Emillie
Looking to make this for my sons first birthday! He’s birthday is on Christmas Day so I’m looking to make this I’m advance and freeze! I have 7 inch round tins, would I double the recipe for three of these tins? Thank you!
Doubling the recipe is a great option for three 7-inch tins. It likely will take a bit longer to bake, but it will be the right amount of batter for the pans. Freezing this cake is fine. I understand the complexity of a holiday birthday. My daughter has a nearly-Christmas birthday. It really makes the season extra busy. (I call this time of year the Mommy Olympics. Phew.) Enjoy!
This cake looks fantastic, but I have one difficulty. Bananas come in a range of sizes. When mashing them I find that three small ones can make a smaller amount than two large ones! The difference in moisture for the baked good can potentially make it either too tight a batter or result in a gushy collapsed mess. (I have experienced both scenarios. It would be helpful if you could give the intended volume of mashed bananas.
Since I also grind my own flours, I have also taken to measuring flour by weight, but that is not a problem for me to convert, as I have made up a chart of the weight equivalents of various types of flour.
I would love to make this cake so, could you please advise as to what volume of mashed bananas I need?
Hi Freyda, The recipe calls for 1 1/3 cups of mashed banana. 🙂 I hear you on the different sizes of bananas. It’s why I have included a volume measure for all of my banana-based recipes. Sorry, I don’t offer flour by weight in my recipes (except for traditional sourdough bread). It’s because I’m GF, and GF flours vary widely in the amount of moisture that they absorb. So I try to make my recipes robust to different types of flour. On the flip side, my husband is in charge of traditional (wheat) sourdough… and he’s an engineer and loves the precision of measuring by weight. 😉 Cheers! Emillie
hello! I was wondering if you think layering some pureed raspberry with chia seeds (raspberry jam in effect) between the layers would go with this recipe?
Also in relation to the frosting, would it work to just whip creme Fraiche with the dates?
I want to make this for my daughter’s birthday! looks amazing.
The raspberry filling sounds yummy! I’m not sure about crème fraiche. In Canada, it’s already thick, whereas whipping cream is runny. If your crème fraiche is thick, then you’ll want to make sure your dates are fully pureed with water so that you can stir them into the crème fraiche. That may require a bit more water to make a smooth puree. Enjoy!
thanks so much for the quick reply! One last thing, I can only find 20cm cake tins, how should I adjust the recipe for this? thanks again!
Hum… if you keep the recipe as is, it will probably be a slightly flat cake. You could double it and put it into three tins (or two tins and a lot of cupcakes). It will also take longer to cook, so expect it to cook for an extra 10 minutes (ish). Cheers!
I did a test run and the cake came out great and looked exactly like your pictures! I think I might try blending the dates with cream cheese next time, do you know roughly how many grams/cups I might need? thanks again!
I’m so glad you liked the recipe! If you want to replace the whipping cream with cream cheese, you should follow the same proportions and method. So puree the dates with water before mixing into the cream cheese. It will be a very rich and thick frosting!