Gluten Free Banana Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream is a match made in heaven! It’s moist and light and you’ll never know it’s gluten free.
Once bananas get just slightly soft, with any brown spots at all, I won’t eat them. I just don’t like the texture at that point–mushy. So if I don’t throw them into a smoothie bowl, I’ll bake with them. And that’s exactly what I did with this cake and I’m so glad I did. The combination of bananas and cinnamon has always been a perfect pairing, so why not create a cake with it?
What You’ll Need to Make this Cake
This cake comes together in no time and uses ingredients you probably already have on hand in your kitchen, including those overripe bananas!
- Kim’s gluten free flour blend–a store bought blend may be substituted, but hasn’t been tested
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
- Buttermilk, preferably whole fat
- Vanilla extract
- Granulated sugar
- Mashed ripe bananas–about 3-4 bananas
- Powdered sugar
- Vanilla extract
Bake the Cake
Baking this gluten free banana cake isn’t much different than baking any other cake. Start by creaming the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, which takes about 3-4 minutes to fully cream so make sure you give it enough time. Add the eggs, one at a time, followed by the mashed banana, and continue beating until fully incorporated. Reduce the speed to low and alternate adding the dry ingredients with the wet and beat just until combined.
The batter for the cake is very thick and will need to be spread into the prepared cake pans. Bake the cake in three 8-inch cake pans (you can also use two 9-inch cake pans, but you’ll need to adjust the baking time slightly). When it springs back after a light touch (or a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean), remove the cakes and place on a wire rack to cool for 10 minutes. Carefully remove the cakes from the pans and allow to cool completely before frosting.
Make the Buttercream
This cinnamon buttercream is based on my favorite American buttercream recipe. It uses the same amount of butter to powdered sugar (in weight) so there is no need to add any liquid. Not to mention it’s way less sweet than many other American buttercreams. I always get lots of compliments on any buttercreams I make and this is why. People constantly say they don’t like frosting, but love mine. The less sugary sweet, the better.
With just four ingredients, you can imagine how quickly it comes together. Cream the butter just until light and fluffy. Add the powdered sugar and beat it for a good 3-4 minutes on a medium speed. It will transform into something that’s much lighter in both color and texture and you’ll see the difference.
Finally, add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and beat to combine fully. This buttercream is also used on my gluten free churro cupcakes, which are soooo good! If you have any leftover frosting, make a half batch of the cupcakes and you’ll be in heaven!
Frosting the Cake
I did a simple design on this cake using a frosting comb. It looks just like a little comb with teeth, only it’s for cakes and not hair. You can find them just about anywhere, even at a grocery store, or a craft store that sells cake decorating stuff. You can always order them online. I also left the top edges uneven for a rustic feel, which I really like.
A turntable (for cake decorating) makes it easier, but you don’t need one, especially if you’re just gonna frost the cake and not decorate it. But if you do decide to use a frosting comb, hold it at a 90-degree angle to the cake (resting on the turntable) and turn the table (not the comb). It usually takes a little practice, but it’s something that’s pretty easy and fun to do.
Next time you have overripe bananas lying around, make this cake and save the smoothie for another day. You’re sure to go bananas for it 😉
Gluten Free Banana Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream
For the banana cake:
- 3 cups (420 g) Kim's gluten free flour blend a store bought blend may work, but hasn't been tested
- 4 tbsp cornstarch
- 1¾ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1¼ cups (300 ml) buttermilk, whole fat
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- ½ cup plus 6 tbsp (200 g) butter, at room temperature
- 1½ cups (300 g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1½ cups (360g) mashed ripe bananas (about 3-4 bananas)
For the cinnamon buttercream:
- 3 cups (680 g) butter, at room temperature
- 6 cups (680 g) powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla
- 1½ tsp ground cinnamon
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line three 8-inch cake pans with parchment and spray with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- Combing the buttermilk and vanilla in a large measuring cup with a spout. Set aside.
- Cream the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium high speed until the mixture is smooth and creamy, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each and scraping the bowl afterwards.
- Add the mashed bananas and mix on low speed just until combined.
- Add the dry ingredients in three parts, alternating with the wet ingredients in two parts, beginning and ending with the dry. Keep the mixer at the lowest speed, and mix with each addition just until the ingredients are combined. When everything has been added, scrape the bowl and mix on medium-low until smooth, about 30 seconds.
- Fill each cake pan with ⅓ of the batter and smooth the tops with an offset spatula (it is a thicker batter). Bake for about 25-28 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to a rack to cool completely.
For the buttercream:
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Start with the mixer on low and then gradually increase the speed. The butter should be lighter in color. This should take about one minute. Scrape the bowl.
- Add the sugar slowly and mix on low until all the sugar is combined. When the sugar has been fully incorporated, add the vanilla and cinnamon and mix to combine. Increase the speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy. This should take at least 5 minutes. You will notice the change in texture and the color will also lighten. Scrape the bowl and beater and mix briefly (about 30 seconds) just to combine once again.
- Stack the cakes with about ¾ cup frosting in between. Frost the top and sides of the cake as desired. Cake will keep in a covered container at room temperature for 3-4 days.
11 thoughts on “Gluten Free Banana Cake with Cinnamon Buttercream”
I just made this cake and it is so light and fluffy. It is so hard to find good gluten free cake recipes. This is definitely a keeper. Thank you so much!
Thank you for including the measurements for the bananas. So many recipes just list “medium” or “large” fruit or veg. An actual amount is so much better for a reliable result.
Amen! I can’t stand that either so I try to do what I would want if I were following a recipe 😊
I made this cake for my birthday cake, was excited about frosting it. But it only came out as a small one layer cake. I’m very disappointed, my husband and I followed your recipe and didn’t change anything. Not sure what happened.
I’m not sure what you mean. Did you not put the batter into three 8-inch cake pans? There should be plenty of batter to fill those so I guess I’m confused about what went wrong.
I made this cake for my friend’s birthday and it was delicious! I’m a little confused about the frosting- 3 cups of butter seems excessive, and I haven’t ever made frosting without using milk or cream. For the frosting, I used 2 cups butter, 2 pounds of powdered sugar, 2 1/2 tsp vanilla, milk for the right consistency (didn’t measure) and about 2 tsp cinnamon and it was perfect!
I’m so glad you tried the cake and it came out great! I actually have had the same experience as you with always adding a little milk or cream to get the right consistency, so when I saw this recipe with the higher amount of butter and less powdered sugar and no milk or cream, I had to try it. It came out so perfect! I liked that it wasn’t overly sweet and I didn’t need to worry about adding too much liquid and just beat it at high for about 5 minutes and that gave it a great consistency. But if your method worked, that’s great and it certainly sounds like a good method and I wouldn’t change a thing if I were you 🙂 Thanks, and happy baking 🙂
Is this supposed to be a really thick batter?
Yep, it’s a pretty thick batter. Sorry I didn’t note that in the recipe.
Mine is the consistency of cookie dough. Is this correct?
It is pretty thick and dense, but I’m not sure I would compare it to cookie dough. Have you missed something or possibly under measured your buttermilk?