Kid’s recipe – gluten free banana cake with vanilla cashew frosting – grain free, dairy free, refined sugar free, clean and paleo friendly.
Making a gluten free banana cake or bread has long been something I’ve avoided after a string of failed attempts. It upset me to waste quality ingredients so I threw the idea into the too hard basket.
Until one bitterly cold Sunday in Winter when I was desperate for some comfort food, (and some overripe bananas were staring up at me from the bench), I knew it was time to have another crack at it.
This time saw a huge improvement although the temperature and cooking time was an issue. It was too dry and it had developed a brown, hard outer crust. Spurred on by this mini-success however, I waited for another batch of bananas to ripen and altered the temperature and cooking time, as well as the cooking tin and I was AMAAAAAZED at what happened. I had struck banana cake gold!
Soft, moist, delicious, comforting, filling and nourishing, it was what I dreamt a nutrient dense, gluten free banana cake should be.
Important gluten free baking tips
The important thing to remember when it comes to gluten free baking in general is this: Better results are obtained when you UNDER-COOK.
The instructions I have given you are a general guide based on my own oven – an old oven with no light so I had to make my decision based on letting the top brown to a certain extent (almond flour can be known to burn easily) and to insert a skewer into the cake. When it reached the point where the skewer was still a little “dirty” from the cake, I took it out of the oven. (As opposed to a regular cake being ready when the skewer comes out clean). Don’t let this turn you off though. With a bit of practise you will come to understand gluten free baking better.
If you find that the top is getting too dark and the skewer is coming out too dirty for your liking, just move the cake to the bottom shelf of the oven and/or reduce the oven temperature and then check it with a skewer at 5 minute intervals.
After I took my gluten free banana cake out, I let it rest, and once it had “settled”, it appeared denser. I was a little worried that it wasn’t cooked enough , however what resulted was a beautifully soft, moist, delicious cake. Don’t just take MY word for it! My taste testers were very pleased and even said I should open up a cafe (and I didn’t even pay them to say that!!)
This cake would be delicious on its own, however, if you prefer to frost it, you will need to make your frosting ahead of time as cashews are the main ingredient and you need to soften them before placing them in your food processor to ensure creaminess (and to avoid giving your blades a hard time). The good thing is the frosting will keep for a week in the fridge. I made my frosting on the weekend and when it came time to make the cake later that week, it was all ready to go.
Before we get into the important part – I have a baking paper tip to share with you. When trying to fit your baking paper into the tin, you may find it difficult trying to get it to fit the shape and keeping still. I like to place my paper under running water and crush the paper into a wet ball. Open the paper back up, shake off the excess water and you will find you can then mold the paper to fit any shaped tin.
The tin I used for this recipe is about 23 x 23 cm (outside measurement) or about 18 cm x 18 cm (inside measurement).
Here’s what to do
Why this is so good for you
Bananas help combat depression, build strong bones, strengthen the nervous system, protect against type 2 diabetes, lower blood pressure, strengthen your blood, help regulate bowel movement, provide relief from acid reflux and heartburn and help prevent kidney cancer.
Almonds alkalize the body (good for fighting inflammation), nourish the nervous system, provide good brain function, build strong bones and teeth, provide healthy fats which aids in weight loss, reduce risk of heart disease and help protect against diabetes.
Coconut sugar aids in digestive health and is low GI so it won’t spike your blood sugar levels and make you feel lethargic later on.
Cinnamon is anti-clotting, helps treat candida, helps reduce blood sugar levels, protects against heart disease, reduces risk of colon cancer, provides cold and flu relief, helps fight against bacterial and fungal infections and helps prevent Alzheimer’s Disease.
Eggs are high in protein (which helps you keep full) and most of the nutrients are found in the yolk. Eggs help prevent macular degeneration and prevent cataracts, blood clots, stroke, heart disease and breast cancer; promote the growth of healthy hair and nails; and aid in the brain development of a growing foetus.
Cashews help prevent cancer, help reduce the risk of heart attack, help prevent macular degeneration, help protect against migraine, soreness and fatigue, help develop bone and connective tissue, aid in producing skin and hair melanin, reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes and help reduce the risk of developing gallstones.
Have a wonderful day
Love, Tash x
* To measure out the almond flour properly. Make sure you fill measuring cup and then tap it on bench a couple of times which will make the contents settle. You can then fill with extra flour and then smooth off with a knife. As baking is a science you need to measure accurately. If you simply fill the measuring cup you may find the cake might end up too wet.
- 1 cup raw (or natural) cashews, soaked overnight
- 3 - 4 tablespoons honey or sweetener of choice (according to taste)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Pinch of fine Himalayan salt
- 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (I used 3 large bananas)
- 2 free range eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups blanched almond flour or meal (ground skinless almonds)
- 1/2 cup coconut sugar
- 2 teaspoons gluten free baking powder
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon fine Himalayan salt
- Soak cashews overnight (or for a few hours) in water until softened.
- Drain and rinse cashews. Throw all ingredients into a food processor and blitz until smooth and creamy. Adjust for sweetness according to taste. You may need to add a little bit of water to help it along. Maybe a splash or so.
- Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
- Mash your bananas well and measure out 1 1/2 cups worth.
- Place wet ingredients in a blender (or food processor) and blitz for 1 minute.
- Add the dry ingredients and blitz for another minute.
- Pour mixture into a baking paper lined regular square baking pan (baking paper will stop cake from burning as easily). Smooth the top down with the back of a spoon.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until top is browned and an inserted skewer comes out a little wet or dirty still.
- Remove tin and let it rest for 20 - 30 minutes. Take cake out of pan by lifting the baking paper out. Let cake cool completely before cutting or frosting.