Vegan Bananas Foster Cake with Caramel Frosting

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I frequently hear complaints from kids with summer birthdays. With school out of session, they feel forgotten, and many of their friends are on vacation when it’s time for their celebration. For those summer birthday woes, I have a solution. Dazzle the birthday boy or girl with this vegan bananas foster cake recipe, complete with caramel frosting. What better way to take their mind off of the shorter guest list than with a delicious mouthful of one of the best vegan cake recipes in history (in our humble opinion).

Vegan Bananas Foster Cake Recipe

Best of all, this entire recipe is egg-free, dairy-free, and nut-free … you can even make it soy-free if you choose! It was originally created for My Sweet Vegan: passionate about dessert, the popular full-color cookbook by Hannah Kaminsky. And now it’s in her second edition, Sweet Vegan Treats: 90 Recipes for Cookies, Brownies, Cakes, and Tarts. Hannah says this dessert is a real showstopper.

Banana cake is often a disappointing, dry mess as many people think it’s perfectly all right to use any old banana bread recipe, slap some frosting on top, and call it a cake. Step it up a notch with a sweet treat that is actually meant to be a dessert, and you will understand what a huge difference it makes.

Vegan Bananas Foster Cake Recipe

Special Diet Notes: Bananas Foster Cake

By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, nut-free, peanut-free, optionally soy-free, vegan, and vegetarian.

Vegan Bananas Foster Cake
 
Prep time
Cook time
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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.
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10 to 12 servings
Ingredients
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
Instructions
  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.
Notes
This recipe is originally from My Sweet Vegan, by Hannah Kaminsky, but is now in her second edition, Sweet Vegan Treats.

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

13 Comments

  1. E Schoenfelder on

    When you say vegan margarine, do I have to buy the sticks or can I use the Earth Balance that comes in the plastic box?

    • In general, the sticks are made for baking, so they will yield better results and a better taste (some of the buttery spreads have ingredients that don’t fare as well when baked). It is up to you if you want to try the buttery spread instead though!

  2. Hi! sorry why do you courdle the soy milk? Doese this make the texture of the cake better? Do you use just one of the two parts of the courdled soy milk or just the less liquid one? thanks a lot 😀

  3. Can this be done with out the rum? If so, suggestions? and no, I don’t have rum extract either… Ihave Crown Whiskey?

  4. Susan Shortill on

    This is easily the most amazing vegan recipe I have ever tasted. Is there a way to adapt it for cupcakes? I want to use it for my epic Oscar Party, this recipe is such a show stopper

    • So glad you like it Susan! I’m sure it would work quite well as cupcakes. Just fill the wells 2/3 to 3/4 full and I’m guessing they would take 18 to 24 minutes. I’ll ask Hannah to weigh in on this.

    • Great idea! Alisa’s suggestions are on the money, but they will probably take only 15 – 18 minutes to bake. Just keep an eye on them and check for doneness with the standard toothpick trick. Happy Baking!

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