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Super moist and fluffy, this banana walnut cake is ridiculously easy to make! Enjoy it as an everyday breakfast or snack or for special occasions.

A close up shot of sliced cake.
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Healthy Banana Cake with Walnuts

You can absolutely make a perfectly moist, sweet, melt-in-your-mouth cake without refined sugars and a ton of butter.

And you will love how easy this delicious banana cake is to make. There is no need for creaming the butter, layering, or using fancy equipment.

Plus, a handful of ingredients are all you need – the star ingredients being whole grains, protein-rich yogurt, ripe bananas, and a little bit of maple syrup.

This simple snack cake was inspired by my ever popular first birthday cake recipe. I love the addition of walnuts as it adds a lovely texture and a dose of healthy fats. I believe you will, too!

If you’d like to add additional fruit, here’s banana blueberry cake! And if you are looking for an egg free option, make this eggless carrot walnut cake.

Ingredients

All the ingredients laid out on a white background.

I am highlighting just the ones that need further explanation. The complete list is in the recipe card below.

  • Over-ripe bananas – The browner, the better! They mash easier and result in a sweeter cake with mega banana flavor.
  • White whole wheat flour – it’s the same nutritionally as whole wheat flour but is lighter in texture and a little sweeter in flavor. You can use all purpose flour.
  • Yogurt – will make the cake moist while boosting protein and healthy fat.
  • Maple syrup – can also use honey or date syrup or leave out completely. Be sure to read the “tips for success” section
  • Salt- just a pinch of salt helps bring out the flavor of all the ingredients and enhance the sweetness.
  • Walnuts – be sure to finely chop or ground if planning to enjoy with your baby. I like to use a coffee grinder for this.
  • Cream cheese frosting – optional but highly recommended! This is the healthiest and easiest cream cheese frosting you will ever make!

Step-by-Step Instructions

A four image collage showing how to make the cake step b step.
A two image collage of before and after baking.
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and line a 8 inch square pan. Mash bananas in a large bowl using the back of a fork or a potato masher. Try to get it as smooth as possible but small lumps are fine. Measure out 1 cup. Freeze any leftover mashed banana.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  3. To the bowl with bananas, add all the wet ingredients and mix together until well combined.
  4. Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Fold in the walnuts.
  5. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean.
An overhead shot of frosted cake on a wire rack.

Spread cream cheese frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving to help the frosting to set and make cutting easier.

An overhead shot of sliced cake.

Tips for Success (A MUST Read)

  • For best results, take all the cold ingredients (like eggs, yogurt, and maple syrup) out of the refrigerator at least 15 minutes prior to baking.
  • Be sure to measure out the mashed bananas so you have exactly 1 cup. Too much banana can make the cake overly moist and soggy.
  • Use a spoon to scoop the flour into the measuring cup rather than scooping the flour out of the container or bag with your measuring cup. Using the latter method, you could end up with a lot more than what you need.
  • I’ve provided a range for the maple syrup amount so you can decide how sweet you want the cake to be. You can also substitute with date syrup, a wonderful alternative to added sugars.
  • Do NOT over-mix the batter after combining the dry and wet ingredients. Mix lightly with a spatula until just combined. Otherwise, you will end up with a dense cake.
  • Cool completely before frosting. Then refrigerate for 30 minutes to help the frosting set, giving you a cleaner slice.
  • Make ahead of time if you can. You will notice the cake tastes sweeter and the banana flavor is more pronounced over time.

Substitutions and add-ins

Sliced and forked overhead shot of the cake.
  • Dairy-free? Use any non-dairy yogurt of choice
  • Egg-free? Use egg replacer or add 1/4 cup of milk to the wet ingredients. You should also try these eggless banana muffins!
  • Feel free to fold in fresh fruits (like blueberries, raspberries, and apples), unsweetened coconut flakes, chocolate chips, or other nuts.

Make Ahead Suggestions

Prepare the cake, cool completely, cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator.

When ready to enjoy, bring to room temperature, frost (or not).

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best way to store banana walnut cake?

Transfer to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. To freeze individual slices (don’t frost), I recommend flash freezing. It’s exactly the same as freezing muffins.

Are these cakes suitable for babies?

Absolutely! The only ingredient I would leave out is the maple syrup since the recommendation is to avoid added sugars until 2 years of age. It is plenty sweet for babies and toddlers thanks to the natural sweetness from the overripe bananas.

Since this cake is quite tall, you can slice into strips or bite-sized pieces, depending on their age.

Can I bake this banana cake using a different pan?

You can use an 8-inch round cake pan or a 9-inch square or round pan, although the cake won’t be as tall.

More Recipes with Over Ripe Bananas

5 from 19 votes

Healthy Banana Walnut Cake

Super moist and fluffy, this banana walnut cake is ridiculously easy to make! Enjoy it as an everyday breakfast or snack or for special occasions.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 23 minutes
Total Time: 33 minutes
Servings: 12 Slices
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Ingredients 

Dry

  • 1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (180g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Wet

  • 1 cup mashed very ripe banana (240g), about 3 medium bananas
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (120g)
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3-4 tablespoons pure maple syrup, see note
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fold in

  • 3/4 cup finely chopped or ground walnuts

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and line a 8 inch square pan with parchment paper for easy removal and clean up.
  • In a large bowl, combine all the dry ingredients.
  • In a medium bowl, mash bananas in a large bowl using the back of a fork or a potato masher. Try to get it as smooth as possible but small lumps are fine. Measure out 1 cup. To the same bowl, add all the wet ingredients and mix together until well combined.
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the flour mixture. Fold in the walnuts.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the inserted toothpick in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.
  • Optional: Spread cream cheese frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving to help the frosting to set and make cutting easier.

Notes

  • Be sure to measure out the mashed bananas so you have exactly 1 cup. Too much banana can make the cake overly moist and soggy.
  • I’ve provided a range for the maple syrup amount so you can decide how sweet you want the cake to be. You can also substitute with date syrup, a wonderful alternative to added sugars, or leave out completely.
  • Store leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 5 days.
  • Freeze unfrosted slices for up to 3 months

Nutrition

Calories: 185kcal | Carbohydrates: 20g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 10g | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 6g | Iron: 1mg
Like this recipe? Rate and comment below!

About Min

Thank you so much for stopping by! I am Min, a Registered Dietitian, a Christ follower, a wife, and a mom to our two miracle babies! Currently, I’m having a ton of fun feeding their tummies and sharing our baby led weaning journey! Follow me on Instagram if interested in seeing daily menu as well as tips and tricks.

5 from 19 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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Recipe Rating




23 Comments

  1. Hi. Can we substitute oats or regular whole wheat flour for the white whole wheat ? Pls suggest

    Thanks in advance

  2. Our 18mth old LOVES this one. I freeze it in little half slices and then whenever she wants one I just pop it in the microwave for 20 seconds and spread on a little butter instead of the frosting. She didn’t really vibe it at first but now it’s a favourite.

  3. 5 stars
    I love banana bread and have tried so many healthy banana bread recipes and they have all been let downs. I saw your recipe and happened to have all the ingredients on hand so I made it and was so happy I did! My kids helped make it with me too! This is the best recipe! It doesn’t even taste like a healthy version, just tastes like a delicious banana bread!

  4. 5 stars
    I am not much of a baker, but was very curious to try this recipe as it was easy and simple and believe it or not it was successful on the first go! I am now much more confident in baking. I definitely used cream cheese frosting on top and that topped it all. Thanks for the recipe MJ!

  5. This was absolutely delicious and easy to make! I’ve already make it 3 times with variations. Wanted to bulk up and keep some in the freezer, but didn’t last that long hahah. My kids loved it when I added carrots and pineapples inside – just added a bit more olive oil (which it the key ingredient I think – forgot to put it in the first time around and it turned out dry).
    Thank you, Min for sharing this recipe! It’s is now my go to cake recipe 🙂

    1. Ooh! I love the addition of pineapples especially! Yes definitely don’t skip the olive oil. Thanks for sharing!

  6. 5 stars
    They taste delicious!! I dont think i can go bake to my adult version banana cake recipe knowing this tastes the same but is so much healthier! Just wanted to if the banana cake needs reheating after its been in the freezer?

    1. I’m so glad you enjoyed this cake! I would thaw in the fridge and bring it to room temperature. I also enjoy it cold too!

  7. I made this recipe into mini muffins and my toddler (and I!) are loving them!! I kept the oven temp at 350 and I baked them for about 13 minutes. I got 36 mini muffins. I did add the maple syrup and it added just a tiny hint of sweetness which I think is perfect. I also wanted to keep them nut-free so that I could send them with my toddler to school, so I added raisins instead of the walnuts. I froze about 24 of the muffins and am putting the other 12 in the fridge to snack on this week. Thanks, MJ!

    1. Ooh I love that you shared this as so many people have been asking if they can turn this into muffins! Love the addition of raisins too! Thanks!

    1. The cake will be denser. I recommend using both all purpose flour and whole wheat flour if you don’t have white whole wheat