In our home, we call this cake the Elvis Cake, for obvious reasons. And it really is all that.
The rock ‘n’ roll legend’s love for food was well-known, and the infamous peanut butter and banana sandwich he adored, dubbed the “Elvis,” is the stuff of food excess lore. But there’s nothing unhealthy about this cake. In fact, it is probably as healthy as cake can get, because it’s made with all whole wheat and naturally sweetened with coconut sugar or turbinado sugar.
Besides you already know that bananas, packed with potassium, magnesium, fiber and many more nutrients, are really good for you. And who doesn’t have overripe bananas sitting in their kitchen during these dog days? Put them to good use.
The cake has a very moist, airy crumb and every bite bursts with startling banana flavor. I made just enough peanut butter frosting to get a nice, satisfying layer between the two tiers and on top, but if you are the sort who likes gobs and gobs of frosting on their cake, double the recipe. Do keep in mind that peanut butter– although healthy– is high in fat.
The first time I made this cake eight years back and shared it with you, I struggled with a personal food quirk — a big one. I absolutely love peanut butter and can eat it out of the jar by the spoonful (I do.). But I hate it vigorously and vehemently when it’s combined with anything sweet. I cannot stand peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches, I don’t dare go near a peanut butter cup, and if you’re my friend you would know better than to buy me peanut-butter candy
But in this recipe, the peanut butter is absolutely amazing. So much so that this is one of the cakes I bake the most, and it is also a cake many of you have written to tell me how much you love. In fact, one of the reasons I wanted to bring it back to the front of the blog, and update with new photos and text, is because a couple of people recently wrote to say they couldn’t find the recipe anymore and wanted to know where it was. Although I don’t usually take old recipes down, some can get lost amidst all of the nearly 1,000 posts that are now on the blog.
On to the cake, then. I hope you love it as much as we do, and if you make it, be sure to come back and tell me about it.
Ingredients for the Vegan Banana Cake and the Peanut Butter Frosting:
- Whole wheat pastry flour. You can sub half unbleached all purpose and half whole wheat flour if you prefer.
- Bananas. These should be as ripe as possible. Sweeter is better.
- Peanut butter. Use smooth preferably, I think this makes the nicest frosting.
- Vegetable oil
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Sugar. I use either coconut sugar or turbinado. Any other kind is fine, but unrefined sugars like these are better for you than white sugar.
- Powdered sugar or confectioners’ sugar
- Nondairy milk (I use almond)
- Vegan Butter
- Pure Vanilla Extract
Looking for more vegan cake recipes?
Vegan Banana Cake With Peanut Butter Frosting
Whole-wheat | Soy-free
Vegan Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
For the cake (makes two tiers):
- 3 cups whole-wheat pastry flour (all-purpose flour is a good substitute-- it makes for an even more tender cake. Or you can use half whole wheat and half all purpose)
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 1/4 cup applesauce
- 4 large bananas (very ripe, mashed)
- 3/4 cup nondairy milk
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
Make the vegan banana cake:
- Mix the nondairy milk with the apple cider vinegar and set aside for a minute.
- Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
- Beat together the oil and sugar with a handheld mixer or in a stand mixer or with a whisk for about two minutes.
- Add the nondairy milk and beat until just mixed.
- Add the mashed bananas and applesauce and beat in. Make sure there are no big lumps.
- Add the flour to the sugar-banana mixture in two batches, mixing well after each addition until the mixture is smooth. Don't overdo it.
- Line the bottom of two 9-inch cake pans with parchment or wax paper. Oil and flour the pans.
- Divide the batter equally between the two pans and bake 25-30 minutes in a 350-degree oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of each cake comes out clean.
- Place on a rack to cool, about 10 minutes. Unmold, peel off the parchment paper, and leave on the rack to cool thoroughly before frosting.
Make the vegan peanut butter frosting:
- Have the peanut butter and vegan butter at room temperature. Place them in a bowl and mix with a handheld or stand mixer or whisk until everything's combined and smooth.
- Add the sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating in well after each addition. Confectioner's sugar can lump up sometimes, in that case pass the sugar through a sieve. If the frosting feels stiff, add in some nondairy milk, a tablespoon at a time, beating after each addition, until you have a smooth, frosting-like consistency
Assemble the cake:
- Place one cake on a cake stand or flat dish. Put about 1/3rd of the frosting (recipe follows) in the center of the cake and using a spatula spread it evenly across the surface.
- Carefully place the second cake on top of the first one. Put the remaining icing in the center of the cake and evenly frost the top and sides.
- Garnish with chopped, roasted peanuts.