Banana Chocolate Cake (Oil-free, WFPB, Vegan)

My Banana Muffins are consistently one of the most popular recipes on my blog.  Bananas make an excellent sweetener in baked goods, and also make them moist. Here’s another recipe just right for using up overripe bananas! It requires only 9 common ingredients.

My husband is currently on paternity leave, with the birth of our new baby in late February. On our first day home from the hospital, he read a book to our toddler daughter about a dinosaur who makes a chocolate cake and makes a big mess. After reading the book, he rocked stay-at-home-dad mode and got up and baked a chocolate cake with our two-year-old. Of course, she loved it, and almost made as big of a mess as that dinosaur.

They made a banana chocolate cake that was delicious, but had 2/3 cup of coconut sugar and not much banana. I’ve tested and tweaked this recipe a few times to make bananas the main sweetener. In addition to the bananas, you can use your sweetener of choice (dry or wet). All the fiber from the bananas and whole-grain flour slightly compensates for the sugar, better than your typical white-flour high-sugar cake. I like to blend the bananas in a food processor so the sweetness is well-distributed with no banana chunks. A good mash job with a fork works fine, too.

You can make it in a 9-inch square pan, or bake a dozen chocolate cupcakes. I have these silicone muffin pans (affiliate link) that are amazing, and the cupcakes pop right out without using any oil to grease them.

This cake is just right for a fun, simple, delicious baking project! Moist, chocolatey and perfectly sweet.

4.91 from 10 votes
Banana Chocolate Cake (WFPB, Oil-free, Vegan)
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
25 mins

Full of fiber and primarily sweetened with bananas, this fun whole-food plant-based cake is much healthier than most, chocolatey and delicious!

Course: Dessert
Keyword: banana, chocolate cake, low-fat, oil-free, vegan, wfpb
Servings: 9 pieces
Calories: 180 kcal
Author: Faithful Plateful
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (3-4 overripe bananas)
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup, sugar, or date paste
  • 1/2 cup water or plant milk
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup whole wheat, spelt, or oat flour
  • 1/4 cup almond flour (or almond butter or peanut butter--any type of fat works)
  • 1/2 cup dairy-free chocolate chips
  1. Preheat oven to 350. Line an 8-inch cake pan with parchment paper. For cupcakes, use a silicone muffin tin or grease a regular muffin tin.

  2. Mash bananas very well with a fork or put them in a food processor so they are very smooth.

  3. Add water and sweetener to mashed bananas. If using nut butter, mix this in, too.

  4. In a bowl, mix dry ingredients well.

  5. Stir banana mixture in, then stir in half of the chocolate chips.

  6. Pour into prepared pan, then sprinkle remaining chocolate chips on top.

  7. Bake cake for 25-30 minutes, until the center is firm. Bake cupcakes for 20 minutes. Let cool completely before eating.

Recipe Notes

For lower fat, you can skip the almond flour or nut butter. It will have a denser texture but is still yummy. 

For lower sugar skip the chocolate chips and use chopped walnuts instead. 

For gluten-free, I think all-purpose GF flour would work well, but I haven't tried it. Let me know if you do. GF oat flour works well. 

Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie. 

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  1. I had been craving a sweet treat, so when I saw this recipe, I jumped on it. It was yummy! I will definitely make again. I did add a teaspoon of vanilla, and next time I may add a little cinnamon just to deepen the sweetness and give it that extra oomph of flavor.

    1. Thanks so much for the comment! Vanilla and cinnamon are a great idea. I never remember to buy vanilla so I can’t ever test recipes with it!

  2. I made this with my kids a couple days ago and we all loved it! It was so tasty and easy to make. I will definitely make it again. I also loved knowing we were eating a tasty treat while not lowering our immune function by flooding it with processed sugar.

  3. I was craving chocolate and decided to try this with gluten free flour and powdered peanut butter. It worked great and was so delicious! Thanks for a healthy, chocolate recipe!

  4. Do you think this could work without the almond flour/butter or peanut butter to make a fat-free version? If not, do you think it could be subbed with apple sauce or something else?

    1. Hi Amelia, Yes! I’ve omitted the almond flour/butter, trying to make a fat-free cake. It was a little more dense, less fluffy, but still a yummy chocolate treat.

      1. Oof--just went back and saw the small print--apologies. One more question: do you think carob powder would work in place of cocoa?? says:

        Oof–just went back and saw the small print where you mentioned that–missed it the first time around, apologies. One more question: do you think carob powder would work in place of cocoa?

  5. I love these! I make the GF version with oat flour and they are delicious. I have to cook them a little longer than 20 minutes, but they are a perfect low fat dessert!

  6. Hello and thanks for this recipe. Can you give some advice please about using date paste, as I’m new to this kind of baking. I bought some pure date paste from Asian store which is very solid. Would I need to thin it with water to a consistency of maple syrup to use in this recipe, or can I use it as is? Or is the recipe meant to say date syrup??
    Thank you.

    1. I would thin your date paste a bit if it’s solid. I usually make my own by blending dates with water until it’s a thick but loose paste like jam. No need to make yours as thin as maple syrup, but a little water might help it stir in better.

  7. What a delicious dessert! I wanted to make a sweet whole food plant based treat (without oil and added table sugar), and this fit the bill! I used cashew butter for my fat (I’m obsessed with cashew butter since my first time having it yesterday 😂), 1 tsp vanilla, and no chocolate chips. I only had 2 bananas on deck and blended all the ingredients in my Vitamix. I spooned the batter into silicone cupcake trays (filled 24), and baked for 10 minutes. Once cooled I topped it with a dark chocolate ganache (homemade cashew milk, maple syrup, cocoa paste). Put three in a bowl and treated myself!

  8. Delicious! I used 5 medjool dates and blended them with the banana and plant milk before adding to the dry ingredients. I also used vegan dark choc chips. I made 9 cupcakes. I’ve been heating up 1 a night and serving with coconut yoghurt and fruit. It feels like such a decadent dessert, I love it! Thank you 🙂

  9. We gave this a try last night! Really tasty! We make “Chunky Monkey Shakes” pretty often and since it shares such similar ingredients, we decided to nickname this “Chunky Monkey Cake”.

  10. A WFPB recipe with under 10 ingredients and without expensive unusual ingredients Yeah! That’s a change! Thank you will definitely give it a go !!

  11. I’ve made this twice. Once using peanut butter and the other time using almond flour. Both times I add a 1/2 tsp of baking powder and vanilla extract. It comes out perfect either way. 25 minutes in a 9 inch round cake pan. SO good!

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