Vegan, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free Smash Cake

Jai had his official birthday party over the weekend, celebrated with friends and family. In the tradition of providing a cake for him to smash through while everyone laughs as he gets messy (and leaving Ash to do the literal dirty work), I wanted to create something “healthy” and in keeping with our eating habits for him. I’ve been limiting his gluten intake, avoiding dairy because it upsets his stomach, and avoiding all sugarcane with a few, minor exceptions; so there was an interest in finding an easy cake that fits these guidelines.

I found a few recipes, but I eventually made a few modifications to create my own cake for the little one (and combining recipes). One of my favorite dessert flavor combos is banana and chocolate, so I might as well pass that love down. I linked the original recipes that inspired my cake, though you’ll find my modifications below.

This recipe is actually perfect with a cup of coffee in the morning for the adult baked goods lover. I couldn’t bring myself to toss the whole cake out, so I snagged a few unbroken pieces for myself.

The recipe below the break.

Banana Chocolate Smash Cake

Ingredients – Cake
2 Cups mashed, ripe bananas (approximately 4 bananas)
1/2 Cup unsweetened applesauce
3 Tablespoons melted coconut oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 Cup coconut flour
3/4 Cup ground oatmeal flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Ingredients – Frosting
1 Cup Cocoa powder (unsweetened)
3/4 Cup vegan margarine (softened)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 Cup maple syrup
1/4 Cup unsweetened coconut flakes

Directions – Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 300° F. Take some solid coconut oil; grease and dust your baking pans with extra coconut flour. I recommend 2 4″ round pans because you can make two layers.
  2. In a small bowl, combine bananas, applesauce, coconut oil, and vanilla. Stir until just mixed. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, sift coconut flour, oatmeal flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Fold in banana mixture and mix. You want it to be a thick batter. Add in more applesauce if it’s too thick and not sticking together.
  4. Divide the batter in half. With one half, press into the pan so it is flat (it will bake in whatever shape you leave it in, so smooth it out) and fills the whole pan. Repeat with the second half of your second pan.
  5. Pop in oven and bake for 1 hour. Check with a toothpick to see if it’s done (toothpick will come out clean and dry). If it needs more time, typically increments of 5 minutes work best.
  6. Once done baking, pull out and let it cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans and cool completely on a wire rack. Cakes will need to be at least room temperature for the frosting otherwise the frosting will run.

Directions – Frosting

  1. Prepare the frosting just before you plan to frost your cake. In a mixer (or small bowl if using a hand mixer), place cocoa, margarine, vanilla, and maple syrup. Beat on high until creamy and the margarine is completely incorporated.
  2. Frost cakes as normal. Use the unsweetened coconut flakes as accents on the top or sides of the cake.
  3. Store in refrigerator. If you don’t plan to use it right away or want to use it for another dessert, let it warm up to room temperature so it’s more spreadable. Otherwise, you may damage your baked goods because it’s too hard.


  • I made this the day of, but I actually found that once the cake was completely assembled and sat for a little bit, it was moister because the frosting had a chance to soak into the cake itself and make it sweeter. Consider making this the day before, storing in the fridge overnight, and then taking it out to warm to room temperature the day of your event.
  • For older kids, add in some almond crumbles for a faux-Almond Joy cake.
  • Fruit, particularly banana slices, would make for a nice decoration for little ones.
  • Half the bananas and add in a cup of pure pumpkin and replace the cinnamon with pumpkin pie spice to make a fall cake.

Comment below if you have other suggestions or to let me know how your vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free cake goes for your family. Enjoy!

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3 thoughts on “Vegan, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free Smash Cake

  1. Pingback: Checking In: Where’s the Beef? – MS//Mommy

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