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A straight on view of a slice of banana cake topped with maple cream cheese frosting.
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Gluten-Free Banana Cake with Maple Frosting

This Banana Cake is so flavorful and moist, you'd never know it's gluten-free! This spiced banana cake comes together in one bowl and is topped with a silky maple cream cheese frosting. It's the ultimate fall comfort food, and it's easy enough to bake on a weekday - no special occasion necessary.
Course Dessert
Cuisine Dessert
Keyword Banana Cake, Maple Frosting, Fall Baking Recipes
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Cake Cooling 1 hour
Servings 9 to 12 slices
Author Stephanie Simmons

Ingredients

For the Banana Cake

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 1 cup + 2 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tbsp light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup water, room temperature
  • 3 medium overripe bananas, mashed 1 cup, 250 grams
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 and 1/2 cups gluten-free cup-for-cup all-purpose flour 320 grams
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt

For the Maple Frosting

  • 1/2 cup salted butter, softened at room temperature
  • 6 ounces cream cheese, softened at room temperature
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1-2 tbsp heavy cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon

Instructions

  • Brown the Butter:  If browning the butter for your frosting, do it ahead of time so it can chill in the fridge. In a nonstick pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Continue cooking the butter over medium low, stirring constantly. The butter will get foamy, then turn golden, then start to turn brown and develop a nutty/caramely aroma. Once it reaches a deep golden color, remove from the heat and pour into a heat-safe container. Let it chill in the fridge so that it can come back to the consistency of room temperature butter.
  • Prep: Preheat your oven to 350° F. Grease a 9x9 inch cake pan with shortening (use a paper towel and make sure to get into the corners). Then, dust the pan with flour, tapping it around to coat the entire pan, and tapping out the excess. This will ensure your cake pops out perfectly after baking!
  • Make the Cake Batter: In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter for 30 seconds with an electric mixer. Add the sugars and cream together with the butter on high speed for 1 minute. Add the mashed banana, water, eggs, and vanilla extract. Mix on medium speed until just combined. Add the dry ingredients and mix just until the last streaks of flour disappear. The batter will be slightly runny.
  • Bake: Pour batter into your prepared pan and bake for 46-52 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean or pull out moist crumbs. Let cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack, and invert again so it's right side up. Let cool completely before frosting.
  • Make the Frosting: Cream together brown butter and cream cheese in a medium mixing bowl on high speed with an electric mixer, for 2 minutes. Add the powdered sugar and vanilla, and mix until creamy. Add the maple syrup, heavy cream, salt, and cinnamon. Taste and adjust as desired. Frost the cooled cake with a spoon or offset spatula and create swoops and swirls.
  • Serve & Store: Top the cake with banana slices and chopped nuts (optional). Slice and enjoy! Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 4-5 days. Let come back to room temp a bit before enjoying as the frosting will be quite solid.

Notes

Gluten-free flour: You can find gluten-free 1:1 all-purpose flour in the baking aisle at the grocery store. I recommend sticking with gluten-free flour blends like Bob's Red Mill's or Trader Joe's, rather than trying something like almond meal or coconut flour in this recipe.