I’m always on a quest for healthy alternatives to my favorite tasty treats, but sadly I’m generally disappointed with the outcome because it just tastes healthy. I love healthy foods, but I don’t want my cookies to taste like bark or my pie to taste like almond cardboard. Blah, no thank you. I grew up eating full fat full sugar deliciousness and know what desserts should taste like (thanks, mom!).
So if you’re like me and do not want to sacrifice the taste of yummy desserts but want a healthy alternative, you will love this Healthy Banana Cake. I concocted this recipe after looking at several recipes for a healthy birthday smash cake for my daughter’s first birthday.
After several modifications, I have this cake and frosting perfected. This Healthy Banana Cake is great for kids and anyone avoiding processed sugar, and you can also leave it unfrosted for the most scrumptious banana loaf. You can astound your family and friends by finishing your banana cake with a simple yet impressive rosette frosting technique.
Healthy Banana Cake (that doesn’t taste healthy)
For the cake/loaf
- 3 ripe bananas
- 1 1/2 C flour
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/3 C pure maple syrup
- 1 egg
- 1/3 C applesauce
- 16 ounces cream cheese (you may choose non-fat)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla
- Dash of salt
- 2 T pure honey
- 2-4 T milk
- Optional: coconut flour or corn starch to thicken if needed
- Optional: beet juice for color (I used 2 T for a light pink frosting)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Mix wet and dry ingredients separately; mash banana and add vanilla, syrup, egg, applesauce.
Stir in dry ingredients to banana mixture: flour, soda, salt.
Pour into your greased cake pan or loaf pan. I used two 4 inch Corningware dishes for a small cake.
Cook for 30 minutes. Test to see if the center is cooked by inserting a toothpick in the middle. If if comes out clean and the cake has a beautiful golden color, it is cooked.
The frosting is optional; you can enjoy your banana concoction as a loaf or plain cake, but if you’re feeling in the mood for something special, go for the frosting.
Beat room temperature cream cheese and add vanilla, salt, and honey. Slowly add milk a teaspoon or tablespoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency. If you need to thicken, add a tablespoon of corn starch (which will not change the flavor) or coconut flour.
Add food coloring if desired. I went for natural beet juice, which made a lovely pink hue and did not change the flavor whatsoever. I promise. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself.
Note: this will make enough frosting for the rosette frosting technique, which uses more frosting than traditionally frosting a cake. If you want to halve the recipe, you would have enough to frost the cake normally.
Smash cake assembly
I used two 4 inch dishes for my birthday smash cake, which is the perfect size for an individualized cake.
The cake will come out with a cute little rounded top. With a serrated knife, cut the mounded part off so you have a flat surface.
Here’s the best part: Eat the top and see how delicious it is!
Put the two cakes on top of each other and frost.
You’ll need a cake decorating/icing bag set for this.
Depending on the size of your desired flowers, choose the large or medium sized star tip and put it in your piping bag.
Put half a cup of frosting at a time in a piping bag and gently force the frosting down toward the tip. Air pockets will disrupt the flow of your frosting, though truly you cannot ruin this technique.
Choose a place to start; I chose the top of the cake on the edge. Squeeze the bag until you see the frosting coming through and begin. All you have to do is make circles in a spiral motion, starting in the middle, and working your way outward, 2-3 times.
You will just continue this process, making more swirls next to and around your flowers until the space is filled. For gaps between flowers, just fill it in with a dab of frosting. The star tip will make it pretty.
Tips: Like I said earlier, you cannot ruin this. If you don’t like something you’ve done, simply scrape it off and try again. Also, you’ll want to make sure your frosting is thick and not runny so the flowers keep their shape. **Tutu and eating with your hands is optional.**
So there you have it – a simple, delicious, healthier version of a banana loaf or cake. Try it for yourself and let me know how much you love it!