A cross between a quick bread and a cake and full of chocolate chips – you are going to LOVE this refined sugar free Chocolate Chip Banana Snack Cake! It’s vegan and oil-free and so easy to make!
There are two main reasons I don’t often buy packaged cookies, cakes or pastries: 1) they aren’t good for us and 2) I will eat at least half of the package in one sitting.
Needless to say, I have a wicked sweet tooth and no self control. I have managed to pass this trait on to my children as well.
Instead of totally depriving ourselves of a little sweetness from time to time, I like to make us treats that are a bit healthier. Many cake and cookie recipes call for a full cup of sugar or more!
Not only does this Banana Snack Cake have less sugar, it is also dairy, egg and oil free.
Ingredients you need
Ingredient notes and substitutions
Flour ~ I like white whole wheat flour which is more mild in flavor and lighter in color than whole wheat flour, but with the exact same nutritional value.
All-purpose flour or spelt flour will also work. And, although I haven’t personally tried it, I would think a gluten free all-purpose flour meant to replace wheat flour at a 1:1 ratio would also work (our favorite is Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free 1:1 Baking Flour).
Flax ~ Flax helps bring stability to this eggless snack cake. Use flaxmeal, not whole flax seeds.
You can grind your own flax seeds in a small coffee grinder if you don’t have flaxmeal.
Sugar ~ I use organic coconut sugar in most of my baking. It’s lower on the glycemic index than other sugars and retains some vitamins and minerals that other sugars don’t have.
You can use an equal amount of brown sugar, if preferred.
Note: Not all sugar is vegan due to the way it is processed. Choose organic, which is always vegan, or look for a label that says vegan.
Bananas ~ Use bananas that are over ripe…the kind with several black spotty areas. They might not look great, but they are perfectly fine to eat and they are super sweet.
Mash the bananas really well, until they are almost a liquid.
The bananas contribute to the sweetness, so you can get away with less added sugar. With ½ cup of sugar in this recipe, it is plenty sweet. I think you could probably even reduce it even more if don’t have a big sweet tooth.
Milk ~ Choose an unsweetened plain variety of non-dairy milk. Almond, oat, or soy will all work.
Vinegar ~ Vinegar helps this banana snack cake rise. I use apple cider vinegar since I always have it on hand, but distilled white vinegar works just as well.
Chocolate chips ~ These are optional, but chocolate chips are always a good idea!
If you prefer, use your favorite frosting to spread across the top. Or simply dust it with some powdered sugar.
How to make the recipe
Smash the bananas well (1) in a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, vinegar, vanilla, and milk (2) and whisk until smooth (3).
In a separate bowl, add the dry ingredients (4) and whisk well to combine (5).
Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (6) and whisk just until combined (7).
Add the chocolate chips (8), if using, and stir to incorporate throughout (9).
Pour the batter into a parchment lined square baking dish (10).
Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean (11).
Store the cake in an air-tight container on the counter for up to 3 days. If you have leftovers after 3 days, transfer the container to the fridge where it will keep for another 3 to 4 days.
You can also freeze this banana snack cake. Wrap the whole cake or individual slices tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe container or plastic bag for up to 3 months. Note: Be sure the cake is completely cooled before wrapping in plastic wrap.
Pro tips for success
~ Use the spoon and level method to measure the flour. Gently fluff the flour in the package or container with a spoon, then lightly spoon the flour into the measuring cup until it is over the top of the rim. Do not pack it down! Scrape the back of a knife across the top of the measuring cup to level it off and get rid of the excess flour (do this over the top of the package or canister so you don’t make a mess).
~ Be sure to use flax meal, not whole flax seeds.
~ Use over ripe spotty bananas for best texture and flavor.
~ Chocolate chips are optional.
~ Do not over mix. Mix just until no white flour is visible. A few lumps are expected because of the mashed bananas.
~ Use parchment paper to line the baking dish to ensure easy removal of the baked cake.
~ Bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
~ Let the cake cool before slicing.
~ This banana snack cake recipe is vegan and oil free!
~ To make this recipe gluten free, use a gluten free flour blend meant to be used as a 1:1 replacement for wheat flour.
~ To make this recipe tree nut free, use organic brown sugar (instead of coconut sugar) and soy or oat milk.
Cake that can be eaten as a snack is my favorite kind of cake! Most “fancy” dessert cakes, like layer cakes, birthday cakes, holidays cakes, etc. don’t qualify because they are more complicated.
Snacking cakes, like this banana snack cake, are traditionally sheet cakes or single layer cakes with little or no frosting. They generally contain pantry staple ingredients and are easy to make.
It can, but not always. I prefer snacking cake without frosting because I like it to be a healthier than something I would eat for dessert. This banana snack cake sweet enough and delicious enough to be dessert, but healthy enough to be a snack, too!
If you prefer frosting on your snack cake, skip the chocolate chips and use your favorite frosting on the top, like my Vegan Peanut Butter Frosting. Or simply dust it with powdered sugar.
Yes, it’s perfectly ok to eat brown spotty bananas. In fact, that is exactly what you want to use for this Banana Snack Cake recipe because they are super sweet and mash easily.
However, if you see any mold on the banana or it smells sour, throw it away.
More vegan cake recipes
- Vegan Gingerbread Cake
- Vegan Carrot Cake
- Vanilla Corn Cake
- Coconut Citrus Mini Loaf Cakes
- Blueberry Breakfast Cake
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do! If you tried it, please use the rating system in the recipe card and leave a comment below with your feedback.
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Chocolate Chip Banana Snack Cake
- 1 ½ cups white whole wheat flour (all-purpose flour or spelt flour will also work)
- ¼ cup flaxmeal (finely ground flax seeds)
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 medium spotty ripe bananas smashed really well (about 1 cup)
- ½ cup organic coconut sugar
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup non dairy milk
- ½ cup non dairy chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8×8 baking dish with parchment paper. Allow the parchment paper to hang over two opposites sides of the dish to use as "handles" later when lifting out the cake. See photos, if necessary.
- Whisk flour, flaxmeal, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl.
- In a larger mixing bowl, whisk together the smashed bananas, coconut sugar, apple cider vinegar, vanilla, and non-dairy milk.
- Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet until combined. Don't over mix. Make sure there is no white flour visible, but a few lumps are fine and expected because of the bananas.
- Stir in the chocolate chips.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish.
- Bake 30 to 35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let cool in the pan for 10 to 15 minutes before lifting out and continuing to cool on a cooling rack.
- Cut into squares and enjoy.
Storage/Freezing Store the cake in an air-tight container on the counter for up to 3 days or in the fridge for up to a week. You can also freeze this cake. Cool the cake completely, then wrap the whole cake or individual slices tightly in plastic wrap and place in a freezer safe container or plastic bag for up to 3 months.