I’ve been making vegan banana bread since before vegan was cool. I am that old.
But a vegan birthday cake? This was my challenge for my daughter on her 4th birthday this year. A cake she can and will actually eat. All the typical parve cakes are gross and usually call for eggs anyway. So I decided to start with 2 things I know she likes. Banana bread and cupcakes. The next hurdle was an icing that didn’t have the texture of grainy margarine. My cake loving child has handed back parve birthday cakes because she didnt like them. Chocolate is a big hit naturally, so I found a date based, fat free version that I have continued to perfect.
In this version I made an iced banana bread loaf. The banana bread this time does not have dates which although delicious suck a bit of moisture from the bread and I wanted that soft texture since this is a birthday cake. I also used white flour (shocking I know) and white sugar (gasp) but hey it’s a birthday cake! And really sugar is sugar and well the dates provide plenty of fibre. And with 6 bananas I think the health balance is achieved here. Whole wheat in this recipe gives a denser texture, I really wanted a moist airy (as airy as banana bread gets) cake, which is precisely what I got here. Normally I make it with half and half and this blend is perfect for a simple bread.
The icing turned out wonderful with the addition of a healthy fat in the form of creamy avocado. It is now officially my go-to chocolate icing. Since this cake is for my mom’s birthday and she loves both chocolate and avocado, I am hoping the marriage of these two here satisfy her sweet tooth! Happy Birthday Mom!!!!!
Vegan Banana Birthday Cake
2 cups of dates
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup cocoa
1/2 ripe avocado
2 tsp vanilla
1/8 tsp iodized sea salt
6 very ripe bananas (large ones)
1/2 cup sugar (both white and brown work fine here.)
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour (whole wheat or white or half and half)
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon (or to taste)
1/2 cup chopped dates, raisins, or nuts (optional)
Preheat oven to 350
Put dates and boiling water in blender. Cover and let sit while you prepare cake (at least 15min)
Blend until smooth, add avocado vanilla and salt and blend until mixed. Add cocoa and pulse scrapping down sides periodically.
Chill in fridge 3 hrs min (generally the time it takes to bake and cool cake!) before icing.
Store leftovers in fridge if you have any.
Mash bananas until smooth. (chunks tend to settle) Add vanilla and sugar mixing well.
In another bowl mix all dry ingredients well and then add to the banana mixture mixing until fully moistened, it makes a sticky thick batter.
Fold in the dried fruit if using (see tip) and pour into greased or lined pan.
For a loaf cake: 1 hr
Any sized baking dish: 45-50min
Regular sized muffins: 45-50min
Mini muffins: 35-40 min
If you are using dates or raisins I suggest soaking them first and add a bit of applesauce or water to the mix as these items suck moisture from the cake when baking.
Mini muffin tins are great for making toddler and young child sized muffins. Filled all the way this batter makes a little more than 24 mini muffins.
Nutrition nugget: Each serving (serves 12) with the icing has a full serving of fruit!