Finding birthday cake recipes that are both delicious and healthy is a challenge—and when you add the often variable appetites of toddlers into the mix, it can almost seem impossible. But this banana bread birthday cake is one of our favorites to celebrate a special occasion (or just a random Thursday afternoon). It’s moist and incredibly flavorful, and it boasts a rich and creamy frosting. Your kids will love how yummy it tastes, and you will love that it’s actually filled with nutritious ingredients.
The base of the cake is ground rolled oats, which means that you can enjoy this even if someone in your house has an issue with gluten. (Just be sure to buy certified gluten-free oats!) The cake is also nut free, so you won’t have to worry about potential peanut issues if other kids are coming over to share a slice. And the cake actually tastes better chilled—and it holds up incredibly well after sitting in the fridge—so you can make the whole dessert up to a day ahead of time. (And if you happen to have any leftovers? Pop them into the fridge and enjoy them for breakfast the next day, just like my family loves to do!)
We like this cake because it tastes like banana bread, but it has the added benefit of frosting. You could add in some raisins, chopped walnuts, or even chocolate chips to make the batter extra special, though it’s pretty great in this simple form.
This banana cake would make a wonderful option for a first birthday party since it’s naturally sweetened and is easy for toddlers to eat—and because it’s so easy for adults to make without the need for any special appliances or ingredients. In fact, you probably already have the ingredients in your kitchen! Try serving it with cold milk for the kids and strong coffee for the parents for a birthday treat everyone will love.
Banana Bread Birthday Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Your kids will love how good this tastes, and you'll love the nutritious ingredients.
- rolled oats: 1 cup
- unsweetened shredded coconut: 1 cup
- baking powder: 1 teaspoon
- cinnamon: 1 teaspoon
- banana: 1½ cups, mashed very-ripe-with-black-spots (about 3 medium)
- eggs: 3, lightly beaten
- vanilla: 1 teaspoon
- butter: ¼ cup, melted and slightly cooled
- maple syrup: ¼ cup
- cream cheese: 1 8-ounce package, softened at room temperature
- butter: 2 tablespoons, softened at room temperature
- honey: 2 tablespoons
- vanilla: 1 teaspoon
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and grease two 8-inch cake pans well. Place the oats, coconut, baking powder, and cinnamon into the bowl of a food processor. Grind until the oats resemble a coarse powder, about 30 seconds.
Step 2: Mash the bananas very well in a medium bowl. Gently stir in the eggs, vanilla, butter, maple syrup, and the oat mixture until well combined. Divide the batter between the prepared cake pans, spreading gently with a spatula until even. Bake for 28–30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean and the edges are starting to brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely in pans on a wire rack.
Step 3: To make the frosting, beat the cream cheese, butter, honey,* and vanilla in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Step 4: Carefully remove one cake from the pan and place onto a serving plate, using a spatula to help as needed. Top with half of the frosting and spread to the edges. Carefully remove the second cake from the pan, using a spatula as needed, and place on top of the frosted cake. Top with the rest of the frosting, spreading evenly to the edges. Serve immediately, or place in the fridge and serve chilled.
To store: Cover with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for up to three days.
*You can also use maple syrup in the frosting if you prefer.