Vegan Bananas Foster Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Banana cake is all too often a disappointment. Dry as a brick, austere as a bran muffin, many people think it’s perfectly alright to use any old banana bread recipe, slap some frosting on top, and call it dessert. Bananas can do so much better, given the freedom to embrace their sweeter side! Taking a page from the show stopping grand finale that is bananas foster, these tender layers are soaked in rum before assembly and topped with a subtly salted caramel frosting that pulls the whole dessert together. In the typical showy fashion of the original, the garnish could be made with the addition of some rum and set ablaze to let the alcohol cook off. Knowing my personal ineptitude with fire, though, I think it is safer to recommend a simple sauté. The end results are still extraordinary, even without the stove top conflagration.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10 to 12 servings
Banana Cake
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup unsweetened dairy-free milk beverage
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup dairy-free buttery spread or sticks
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 5 ripe, medium-sized bananas
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 6 tablespoons dark rum
Salted Caramel Frosting
  • 1 cup dairy-free buttery sticks
  • 3½ cups confectioner's sugar
  • ⅓ cup dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1½ teaspoons water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sautéed Bananas
  • 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1 tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 firm, large banana, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
  1. Preheat your oven to 350ºF (175ºC) and lightly grease and flour two 8-inch round cake pans.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt, and set aside. In a separate small bowl, combine the non-dairy milk and vinegar, also moving this to the side for now.
  3. In your stand mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Mash the bananas well and mix them in, along with the vanilla. Add the flour mixture, alternating with the milk in two or three additions, into your mixer. Ensure that everything is fully combined before equally dividing the batter between your two prepared pans.
  4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of each layer comes out clean. Remove from the oven, and while they are still warm, poke the cake tops numerous times with your testing toothpick. Pour 3 tablespoons of rum over each layer. Let the cake layers cool completely before turning them out of the pans to assemble.
  5. For the frosting, cream the butter well and incorporate the confectioner's sugar slowly. Microwave the brown sugar, salt, and water together for 30 to 60 seconds, just until the sugar dissolves and begins to bubble a bit. Let the brown sugar stand for a few minutes to cool off, then pour it into the butter mixture. With the mixer on high, beat the frosting vigorously until all the ingredients are fully incorporated, light, and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla and frost the cake as desired.
  6. For the final banana garnish, combine the brown sugar and rum in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Cook until the sugar dissolves. Add the banana slices and stir to coat all the pieces well. Sauté for about 2 minutes, until the sugar bubbles and darkens into a golden caramel, stirring gently every so often. Remove the bananas from the skillet and transfer them to a silicone baking mat. Separate each slice so that they do not stick together. Let them cool completely before applying them artistically to adorn the cake.
This recipe is originally from My Sweet Vegan, by Hannah Kaminsky, but is now in her second edition, Sweet Vegan Treats.
Recipe by Go Dairy Free at