Raised from Scratch

growing up outside the box: alternatives to processed food and television

Banana-Coconut Cake with Agave Frosting March 6, 2013

Gluten-free banana coconut cake

Last week I turned 30, and had one of the best carrot cakes EVER to celebrate. Made out of almond flour with raisins and walnuts, topped with coconut agave frosting, containing no gluten, dairy or refined sugar, it was deliciously satisfying and just what I wanted. Total dream cake for someone who loathes a major sugar crash and the subsequent cravings for another high. I have Elena’s Pantry to thank for posting that recipe, and for inspiring this new Banana-Coconut Cake out of a necessity to use up excess frosting which I simply couldn’t let go to waste. So if you use her frosting recipe too, scale it down if you only intend to make one cake.

You’ll notice below that my measurements for this cake are in ounces and grams because I’m trying to use my scale more often, especially when creating gluten-free baked products. It can make a big difference in the finished product, and really it makes it easier for me to record amounts when I’m eye-balling ingredients. I’ve tried to include standard cup measurements as well, but do recommend using your scale if you own one. There’s so little sweetener in this cake because the frosting provides plenty, but even on its own the cake is delicious and healthy. My 3 year old and I like it best featured at one of our frequent tea parties.

I ate my birthday cake to the tune of “Older” by They Might Be Giants, which reminds you with upbeat repetition “You’re older than you’ve ever been…and now you’re even older…now you’re even older…now you’re even older.” After I frosted my Banana Cake this week and sliced some for my little Ella she started singing the tune again, replacing “older” with “sweeter”. Hopefully it’ll make your day sweeter too.

gluten-free banana coconut cake

 Banana-Coconut Cake

Free of gluten, dairy, refined sugar

2 oz coconut oil (1/4 cup)

2 ripe bananas

2 ½ oz honey (3 ¾ Tablespoons)

2 eggs, room temperature

1 t. almond extract

95 grams oat flour (scant 1 cup)

18 grams buckwheat flour (2 ½ Tablespoons)

33 grams almond flour (5 ½ Tablespoons)

42 grams unsweetened shredded coconut (about ½ cup)

1/8 t. sea salt

1 t. baking powder

1 ½ oz chopped dates

Preheat oven to 350° and grease two 6” cake pans with coconut oil. (Or substitute with one 9” cake layer and make a few muffins if you have excess batter)

Warm coconut oil in a small saucepan until smooth and clear. Move to mixing bowl, add ripe bananas and honey and mix (hand mixer is sufficient) for 1 minute. Add the eggs and extract, mixing well.

In small bowl whisk together all dry ingredients. Pour dry mix into the banana batter, mix well, then add chopped dates.

Pour into your two greased cake pans and bake 25 minutes or until skewer test is clean. Cool in pans 5 minutes, then place on cooling racks.

Frost after cooling completely (recipe link below) and store in refrigerator. *note that the frosting recipe will take about 2 hours to achieve the right consistency in the refrigerator, and a reminder that the Banana-Coconut Cake only requires less than half the original recipe

Agave Sweetened “Vegan Coconut Cream Frosting” Recipe from Elena’s Pantry

gf banana coconut cake

banana coconut cake


58 Responses to “Banana-Coconut Cake with Agave Frosting”

  1. Therese Says:

    Awesome, Anna; THANKS! Another “home run!”

  2. Emily M. Says:

    This looks SO amazing!

  3. Nancy K. Says:

    Do you think I could sub coconut flour and rice flour??

    • annalope Says:

      Yes I do, as long as the majority is coconut flour. I’m not a fan of rice flour personally because I feel like it gives gluten-free products a gritty, unappealing texture, but a little bit won’t be that noticeable. Coconut flour, on the other hand, is reliably sturdy and yields great results. I’d love to hear how it turns out for you if you decide to make it!

      • Cindy M. Says:

        If using Coconut Flour, what would you replace with the Coconut Flour and would it be equal parts (ex. 1 Scant Cup of Coconut Flour instead of the Oat Flour?) Would you also include the Buckwheat and Almond flours as well or make an adjustment on those also? And should anything be increased, like the amount of egg, if using Coconut flour or is there enough liquidy ingredients without increasing the egg. Thanks so much. I really want to make this so I look forward to your advice.

      • annalope Says:

        Hmm…good question, Cindy. Gluten free baking is so tricky, and I haven’t personally tried substituting coconut flour for the bulk of the dry ingredients yet. One major change usually necessitates several others. I will say that a combo of coconut flour and almond flour should work fine (I would omit the buckwheat if using a lot of coconut flour as the two combined might yield a dry cake). Oat flour is helpful for creating a lighter, fluffier texture, but if I read your comment correctly it looks like you’re intentionally avoiding the oat flour. If so, go with more almond flour…at least 1 full cup, use 1/2 cup of coconut flour, and yes, use an extra egg. If the batter still looks too wet before pouring into the pan add additional almond flour 1 Tablespoon at a time until it looks like a decent consistency. Actually, I just looked in my kitchen and saw that I have ripe bananas which need to be used post haste, so I’m going to try this tonight too, and I’ll update you later. If you get around to baking it first, please share your results also 🙂

      • annalope Says:

        I remade this cake tonight with only coconut flour and almond flour, and it turned out just fine, albeit very coconutty, which is just what happens with coconut flour 🙂 Use 1 cup almond flour, 1/2 cup coconut flour, and 3 eggs instead of 2. For myself, if using coconut flour, I would like a little less shredded coconut and would reduce that to only 1/4 cup. It’s still moist, delicious, and holds together well when sliced. Thanks for inspiring a remake, Cindy! I hope you enjoy it!

  4. k williams Says:

    Oat flour? Not safe for Celiacs!

    • annalope Says:

      Bob’s Red Mill makes a Gluten-free oat flour, and buying gluten-free oats to make your own flour using a food processor is an option as well. I’ve read that there’s a lot being done to make sure certified gf oats are not contaminated and that most people with celiac disease can tolerate them, but I’m no expert and would certainly never try to mislead anyone.

  5. Atlantinha Says:

    Could this be done with flax or chia eggs with good result?

    • annalope Says:

      Unfortunately, I can’t recommend using flax or chia eggs for this recipe because the batter is already incredibly moist with the use of bananas and honey. I haven’t tried replacing the eggs for this recipe, but have with other similar creations and the results tend to be lacking in structure.

  6. Cathy D Says:

    Oh man! I was soooo looking forward to making this cake, it looks devine! Then I saw your ingredients 😦 I eat a low carb diet and oat flour and buckwheat flour are no-nos. then I thought I could sub coconut flour with really great results (appropriate adjustments made, and then saw Agave nectar. Agave nectar is worse than high fructose corn syrup, many published scientific reports have confirmed. I’ll have to do a big re-working of this recipe to make it optimal for anyone eating keto/LCHF, or grain free. 😦 At least your pictures are delicious-looking!! I’ve just arrived at your site via Pinterest and the beautiful picture of your cake, so I’m looking forward to having a peek around. Thanks for your hard work and talent. Even if I can’t use this recipe, I’m sure there are others that will work fabulously!

    • annalope Says:

      Thanks for the comment and for making me aware of agave’s dangers. To be honest, I haven’t been posting my recipes here lately because I’ve been reworking my diet to be very close to grain-free, and have given up all sweeteners other than coconut sugar and raw honey. I would LOVE to see this recipe rewritten to be grain free — please let me know if you come up with one! I’m looking forward to posting my new recipes soon, and in the future I’ll probably have a lot more to suit your dietary choices. I really appreciate you visiting the site and leaving such a thoughtful comment.
      Wishing you a delicious holiday season!

  7. maddeelin Says:

    Made these today with some alterations to suit what I had in my pantry. I used whole-wheat flour instead of buckwheat flour, 2 tsp vanilla extract instead of 1 tsp almond extract, and substituted dates for semi-sweet chocolate chips and chopped walnuts. Made muffins instead of a cake and the house loves them. Thank-you for the recipe!

  8. Emily Says:

    My batter was very thick: certainly not able to “pour” it! Really hope the cake works out… It’s for my dairy-free friend’s bday tomorrow…:-/ looks delicious! Thanks!

  9. Wendy Says:

    Looks yummy! Could this be made in a 13×9 pan? If so, how long? Looking for something healthy to bring to work later this week. TIA

  10. LNguyen Says:

    Hi, this cake looks super yummy. Could you please post the brand of buckwheat flour? I am having a hard time getting gluten free buckwheat flour. Thanks,

  11. […] 6. Banana Coconut Cake with Agave frosting […]

  12. […] And A Celebration 4. Paleo Banana Cake with coconut cream icing 5. Paleo Zucchini Chocolate Cake 6. Banana Coconut Cake with Agave frosting 7. Chocolate Ice Cream Cake 8. Chocolate + Coconut Mud Cake 9. Coconut Flour Classic Vanilla Cake […]

  13. Pauline Norton Says:

    Could I use all purpose, s.r. Flour or wholemeal flour instead please. Or even a mix with coconut flour.

    • annalope Says:

      Yes, Pauline, all-purpose or a mix of AP and wholemeal should work out fine. I like coconut flour when used sparingly (no more than 1/4 cup per recipe), but it wouldn’t be my preferred flour for this recipe. Sometimes the combination of banana and coconut flour makes a cake feel too dense, so I would opt for the wholemeal and AP flours here. Happy baking and thanks for the comment!

  14. Karina Says:

    This was really yummy even after some major substitutions. I used rice flour instead of the oat, and more almond flour instead of the buckwheat. I think I got the coconut flakes wrong, as it looked more like powder once it was already in the bowl. I didn’t have any almond extract. Plus, I had the wrong pan size. Really forgiving recipe! It turned out amazing. Thanks!

  15. modeleats Says:

    I LOVE that you posted this and that it’s naturally gluten and dairy free. I never have the patience to make the stuff with arrowroot powder or other (?) in GF recipes. Natural is the way to go.
    This looks so yummy! My hubs will love it. Thanks. Ps totally agree with you about the scale.

  16. Leah Says:

    Hi! I made this cake and it came out a bit too dense. Yours looks much fluffier. I couldn’t find unsweetened shredded coconut, so I used sweetened instead and therefore reduced amount of honey to 2 oz. Also, I was wondering if eggs or bananas weren’t large enough or may be I overmixed the batter (I used my stand mixer)? Any suggestions on how to make it moister?

    • annalope Says:

      Hi Leah, Thanks for trying the recipe and giving me your feedback! Did you use a scale to measure the flours? This makes a big difference in the density of the cake (especially gluten-free cakes). Also using the sweetened coconut will make a difference because it tends to have other ingredients besides sugar, such as water and preservatives, which will change the end product. If you’re able to find the unsweetened coconut at some point in the future I really recommend giving it a try. If you make it again and think your bananas look smaller than average, definitely add a little more, which would add moisture. I doubt over-mixing is the problem. Good luck!

  17. looks awesome! can we substitute all the diff types of flour here with all purpose/plain flour? looking for non-dairy desserts but ok with gluten! thanks!

    • annalope Says:

      I haven’t tried using wheat/all-purpose flour for this recipe, but typically it’s perfectly fine to do that. Recipes are much trickier when taking out all the gluten 😉 I’d go for it. Hope you enjoy it!

  18. This looks like an awesome recipe. I’ve pinned it to try.

  19. Tiffany Says:

    This looks amazing and I so want to try it, but was wondering if the almond flour could be substituted? My daughter is allergic to almonds. TIA

    • annalope Says:

      I just found out that my daughter is allergic to almonds too! Since I’ve been suspecting almonds were the cause of her hives and skin problems for some months now, I’ve been swapping ground walnuts for many recipes with fantastic success. I haven’t tried this particular recipe with ground walnuts, but I think it would work out fine…and personally I like the banana&walnut flavor combination even better than banana&almond. Please let me know if you get to try it 🙂

    • Sara Says:

      My daughter is sensitive to almonds — it causes behavioral problems in her — so I made this with hazelnut flour/meal. It turned out great!

  20. Sarah Says:

    Excited to try this recipe! Since bananas vary in sizes could you tell me how much banana in cups or grams? Also, I only have extra large eggs….do u think that will matter? Thanks in advance!

    • annalope Says:

      Hi Sarah, I’m out camping this week so I can’t give you a precise measurement for the bananas, but it’s nothing to worry about. If you feel like all your bananas are unusually small, add half of another. Likewise, extra large eggs shouldn’t have a huge impact in this recipe, though it will change the texture a little. Good luck, hope you enjoy it 🙂

  21. Sarah Says:

    Hello! Thanks for your reply. It’s actually the opposite as I usually buy medium to large size bananas (the biggest I can find) but maybe I’ll pick up some smaller ones and for the eggs I can get some large instead. I’m making it for my little cousin’s first birthday so I really want it to turn out well for me. I’m going to use a chocolate avovado “frosting”. Should be yummy! Thanks again and have fun camping!

  22. Donna Hardin Says:

    Excited to try! Your frosting looked browner than Elana’s…did you use honey or agave?

  23. Yum!!! I’m making this right now with a few substitutions and it is turning out amazing! Thank you!

  24. […] Find the recipe at raisedfromscratch.com […]

  25. […] Find the recipe at raisedfromscratch.com […]

  26. […] out our DIY Recipes Pinterest Board for some of our favorite recipes (I’m planning on making this Banana Coconut Cake – two of my favorite things!)! You can also check out our guest blog post […]

  27. Carley Says:

    Thank you for a super yummy cake. I have put a link to your recipe along with my thermomix conversion up on my blog & facebook page. http://alittlebitofhomemadeheaven.blogspot.com.au/2015/05/sugar-free-banana-coconut-date-cake.html

  28. Margaret Says:

    Hi there!
    I’m wanting to make this in a round cake tin – would 24cm work well? Or would you suggest smaller?

    • annalope Says:

      Hi Margaret, You can use two 24cm cake tins for this and just bake smaller layers (be sure to watch the baking time as thinner layers will cook faster). I think you’ll have too much batter for just one 24cm tin. As you can see in the pictures, using two 6 inch (15 cm) pans gave me pretty tall cake layers. Enjoy!

      • Margaret Says:

        Thank you for replying! I think I have two 20cm somewhere – might try them! Can’t wait to bake this!

  29. […] Banana-Coconut Cake with Agave Frosting […]

  30. Chelsy Says:

    I couldn’t wait to make this . Followed directions exactly . And I have 2 very thin cakes. Was I supposed to double it ?

    • annalope Says:

      What size pans did you use? I used small 6 inch cake pans for the cake featured in the pictures (and recommended this size in the recipe). If using 8 or 9 inch pans, yes double the recipe, fill pans about two-thirds of the way up, and if you have extra batter make a few cupcakes. I hope this helps! 🙂

  31. Donalie Says:

    I can’t find the link for the icing recipe. Also, I was told the cold pressed aguave is ok. If it was heat pressed it does turn into sugar. Thank you for sharing. Am doing the Grain Brain diet. Would so nice to have the odd treat.

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