If I’m honest, I wasn’t sure banana bread cake was a thing. And I certainly don’t have anything to compare this version to. So instead of a comparison, I’ll just say this rendition of a healthy banana bread cake with sugar free cream cheese frosting is perfectly sweet, moist, and tender. If it’s nothing like a real banana bread cake, sorry not sorry.
Regardless of its title accuracy, this banana bread cake has an amazing nutritional breakdown. Without the frosting, one slice of cake has 109 calories, 7 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fat. Add the frosting and those macros only go to 124 calories, 9 grams of protein, 21 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fat.
Is that the definition of having your cake and eating it too or what?
Healthy Banana Bread Cake Ingredients
The batter for this healthy banana bread cake is straightforward enough. The ingredient list may look a bit longer than most of my recipes but have no fear, it’s as simple as adding everything to one big bowl and stirring.
As usual, I’ll briefly run through a few commonly asked about ingredients and talk modifications or substitutions.
Quick Oats and Graham Cracker Crumbs
Quick oats add a great texture to baked goods and add a bit more volume than oat flour (or similar flours). If you wanted to use whole grain oats, they’re likely to absorb more moisture. If you notice your batter is super thick after mixing with whole grain oats, you may want to add a bit more butter or Greek yogurt.
The graham cracker crumbs add both structure and flavor to this healthy banana bread cake. If you don’t have access to graham crackers or crumbs, you could try using crushed cereal like I use in my Cap’n Crunch Berries Protein Donuts or Reese’s Puffs Protein Poppers.
For any non-US readers, you can try digestive biscuits, gingersnaps, or other sweet cookies and crisps.
Bananas for Banana Bread Cake
It’s important you use overripe bananas for this banana bread cake. You can see an example of what the banana peels looked like in my batch in the photo below.
If your bananas are ripe but could stand a little longer, you can try using the microwave method for 30-second banana ripening I used in my pumpkin banana bread protein muffins recipe.
I originally used PEScience Select Whey and Casein protein powder for this banana bread cake, but I’ve added notes for a pure whey protein in the recipe card’s notes section below. You can use my affiliate discount code mason for 15% off on PEScience products.
In a recipe like this, protein powder is a bit easier to play around with. So, if you’d like to use a different protein powder, you should be fine to plug and play as long as you’re close in quantity. Pay attention to the weight of your protein powder’s scoop size.
Sugar Free Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients and Alternatives
You’ll only need two ingredients for the frosting—cream cheese and Swerve Confectioners, a powdered sugar substitute. Since the recipe calls for 3/4 cup of Swerve, it’s going to be difficult to substitute. So, I’ve included two alternative frosting ideas below.
But I have to say, Swerve is the bee’s knees and if you’ve never tried it, I’d encourage you to pick some up ASAP.
Here are two frosting substitute ideas:
- Like I mentioned in my protein carrot cake recipe, you could try mixing a bit of protein powder with corn or arrowroot starch and a bit of granulated sugar substitute. You could also try sugar free pudding mix.
- The cream cheese frosting from my pumpkin spice protein pancakes recipe uses protein powder and a granular sweetener (stevia in this case) to make a similar frosting to this recipe.
- The candied walnut streusel from my pumpkin banana bread protein muffins would be great with this banana bread cake. It calls for light butter and quick oats, so you’ll only need chopped walnuts and the optional brown sugar to make it.
How to Easily Get Your Banana Bread Cake out of the Pan
This step is totally optional. On my first run with this healthy banana bread cake, I baked it straight in the dish without any parchment paper without any issues. Adding parchment paper to create handles to lift the cake really speeds up the cooling process and saves you the trouble of handling a hot baking dish.
To add parchment paper to your baking dish, flip the baking dish upside down and cut a long strip of parchment paper just beyond the bottom’s edge.
Don’t worry about being perfect. You can see in the photo above I had a little bunching in the corners.
Be sure to press the parchment paper flat and add the banana bread cake batter to the center of the dish first so you don’t have any batter leak underneath the parchment paper.
And that’s it. Once baked, you can lift the cake right out of the baking dish to cool.
How to Store Your Healthy Banana Bread Cake
If you add the frosting, I’d refrigerate in an airtight container. The cake without frosting should keep fine covered at room temp for a few days. Similar to my Oreo Protein Cake, I think this cake gets even better after chilling.
All right, that’s all ya need to know. If you try this healthy banana bread cake, let me know what you think on Instagram @mason_woodruff.
Banana Bread Cake
- 1 C (80g) Quick Oats
- 1/2 C (56g) Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 3 scoops (93g) Vanilla Protein Powder*
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Ground Cinnamon (optional)
- 3 large (300g) Bananas, peeled
- 1/2 C (113g) Vanilla Fat Free Greek Yogurt
- 3/8 C (84g) Light Butter
- 2 large Eggs
- 1 1/2 Tbsp (32g) Honey
Sugar Free Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 oz Fat Free Cream Cheese, room temp or softened
- 3/4 C (108g) Swerve Confectioners
- Preheat an oven to 350F and spray an 8x8 glass dish with nonstick cooking spray. Or if you'd like an easy way to remove the cake after it's baked, cut a strip of parchment paper the width of the dish with "handles" on each side to lift the baked cake.
- Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.
- Peel the bananas and add to the dry ingredients. Use a masher, fork, whisk, or the edge of a rubber spatula to mash the bananas before gradually adding the Greek yogurt, butter, eggs, and honey. The batter should be thick but pourable, and it's fine to have some tiny chunks of banana remaining.
- Add the cake batter to the prepared baking dish, making sure to level the surface as much as possible.
- Bake the banana bread cake for 28-32 minutes or until a toothpick comes out of the center clean. Let the cake cool for 5-10 minutes in the baking dish before transferring to a cooling rack or countertop. (If you're not using parchment paper, you may need to wait a bit longer to handle the baking dish. That's fine.)
- Once the cake is cool to the touch, mix the cream cheese and confectioners sugar together in a large bowl. Frost the cake to its edges before serving in 16 2x2 squares.
*You can use my affiliate discount code mason to save 15% off PEScience products on pescience.com.
- Each serving has 3 Smart Points.
- Macros per slice without frosting: 109 calories, 7 grams of protein, 12 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fat (multiply by 16 for the entire cake without frosting)
- Cream Cheese Frosting Alternatives:
- Store unfrosted banana bread cake in an airtight container at room temp and refrigerate frosted cake.
- To modify this banana bread cake for my Bowmar Nutrition users, use 4 scoops (112g) protein powder, 1/3 C (74g) light butter, and 2 (200g) bananas. Keep everything else the same.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 slices Serving Size: 1 slice
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 124Total Fat: 4gCarbohydrates: 21gProtein: 9g