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Chickpea Flour Banana Cake (Vegan, Grain-Free)

Homey and healthy vegan chickpea flour banana cake that is grain-free and gluten-free! It is ready, start to finish, in 30 minutes.

a square of vegan chickpea flour banana cake on a floral china plate

Banana Cake Made with Chickpea Flour

Yes, you need another banana cake recipe, and lucky for you, I have got one that is well worth trying.

It’s neither fussy nor precious, but it does have a special ingredient that makes it unique: chickpea flour!

What is Chickpea Flour?

Chickpea flour (aka garbanzo bean flour, ceci flour, chana, besan and gram flour) is made from finely ground dried chickpeas. It is naturally gluten-free, grain-free, easy-to-use, inexpensive, and incredibly versatile for making both sweet and savory eats.

Chickpea flour has a subtle nutty flavor and packs a bonus punch of protein, too. It is gaining in popularity in North America, but it is anything but faddish. Finely ground chickpeas have been around for centuries and are used in myriad cuisines from the Middle East, Southeast Asia, Northern Africa and Southern Europe.

This banana cake is a great choice for giving chickpea flour a try. It is perfect for the lunch-packing season ahead since it can be made at the drop of a hat, is not-too-sweet and travels well.

Recipe Benefits

  • Vegan (egg-free, dairy-free)
  • Gluten-free
  • Grain-free
  • Quick and easy to prepare
  • Frugal (chickpea flour is inexpensive)

Vegan Chickpea Flour Banana Cake Ingredients

The exact amounts of each ingredient are indicated in the recipe card at the end of the post.

How to Make the Cake

Note that the complete directions are also in the recipe card below.

  • Preheat oven to 375°F (190C). Line a 9-inch (22.5 cm) square metal baking pan. lightly grease or coat with nonstick cooking spray
  • Combine the nondairy milk and lemon juice in a small bowl. Let stand 5 minutes to curdle.
  • In a large bowl, whisk the chickpea flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Make a well in center of flour mixture.
  • Add the sugar, banana, oil, and vanilla to the curdled milk mixture, whisking until well blended. Add banana mixture to the flour mixture in large bowl, stirring just until moist. Stir in walnuts, if using. Spread evenly into prepared pan, smoothing top.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan 10 minutes on wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.
overhead shot of chickpea flour banana cake ina silver baking pan, set atop a black wire cooling rack

Can I Leave out the Walnuts in the Recipe?

Yes, you can leave out the walnuts in the cake.

an overripe banana and toasted walnuts on a piece of slate

I can go either way with the addition of walnuts. I love their toasty flavor, but I think the cake is smashing without them, too. My husband holds fast that banana breads and cakes MUST have nuts to qualify for eating, but my sister and others believe the exact opposite.

Go with your own tastes, or by what’s on hand for the add-ins. You can also swap in chocolate chips, chopped dried fruits, or other types of nuts, or seeds, in place of the walnuts.

a square of chickpea flour banana cake on a floral porcelain dis

Can I Use A Different Flour, Less Sugar or Less Oil?

Leaving the walnuts out of this cake is one thing, but changing the primary ingredient (chickpea flour) and the ratios of sugar, oil and liquid is something else altogether. 

I do not recommend any other flour for this particular recipe; stick with chickpea flour. Further, use caution with substitutions and proportions here. Chickpea flour is not all-purpose flour, so changes in the amount of sugar,  oil, banana, etc. will likely require some experimentation before achieving the right balance.

Happy baking!

More Grain-Free & Vegan Chickpea Flour Cakes & Baked Goods to Try:

Yield: 12 pieces

Chickpea Flour Banana Cake (Vegan, Grain-Free)

a square of vegan chickpea flour banana cake on a floral china plate

Homey and healthy chickpea flour banana cake that is grain-free, gluten-free and vegan! Ready, start to finish in 30 minutes.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup (175 mL) nondairy milk
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 and 2/3 cups (200 g) chickpea flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup natural cane sugar (or granulated sweetener of choice)
  • 1 and 1/4 cups mashed very ripe banana (about 3 large)
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) melted coconut oil (or vegetable oil of choice)
  • 2 teaspoons (10 mL) vanilla extract
  • Optional: 1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F (190C). Line a 9-inch (22.5 cm) square metal baking pan. lightly grease or coat with nonstick cooking spray
  2. In a small bowl, combine the nondairy milk and lemon juice. Let stand 5 minutes to curdle.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the chickpea flour, baking powder, baking soda, and cinnamon. Make a well in center of flour mixture.
  4. In a small bowl, whisk the sugar, curdled nondairy milk, banana, oil, and vanilla until well blended. Add banana mixture to the flour mixture in large bowl, stirring just until moist. Stir in walnuts, if using. Spread evenly into prepared pan, smoothing top.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool cake in the pan 10 minutes on wire rack; remove from pan. Cool completely on wire rack.

Notes

Storage: Store the cooled cake in an airtight container at cool room temperature for 1 day,  in the refrigerator for up to 1 week, or the freezer for up to 3 months.

Nutrition Information

Yield

12

Serving Size

1 piece

Amount Per Serving Calories 122Total Fat 4.3gSaturated Fat 1.9gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 138mgCarbohydrates 23.9gFiber 3.1gSugar 14.6gProtein 3.7g

Did you make this recipe?

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Jennifer

Saturday 20th of August 2022

Loved it but counting calories. How many servings per recipe?

Aqeel Ur Rahmaan

Wednesday 13th of July 2022

I want to make this cake without adding sugar due to being a diabetic and without adding vanilla extract because vanilla extract is made through alcohol.

Camilla

Wednesday 13th of July 2022

Hi Aqeel, You could use a measure-for-mesaure sugar substitute for the sugar in the recipe. You can leave out the vanilla without a problem. You could add a small amount of other spices, such as cardamom or nutmeg, or a bit pf finely grated lemon or lime zest for added flavor in lieu of the vanilla :)

kylie

Thursday 5th of May 2022

also what could i add instead of baking powder and soda?

Camilla

Sunday 8th of May 2022

Hi Kylie, This one is much trickier. If this was a traditional cake, you could use eggs for the leavening/rising (e.g., by beating them to incorporate air). But in just about all vegan cakes, you need some sort of chemical leavened (baking powder and /or baking soda combined with an acidic ingredient) to make the cake rise. Other vegan egg substitutes (e.g., flax eggs, chia eggs and psyllium) work more as binders, but do not make baked goods rise.

The only alternative is to try whipped aquafaba (chickpea liquid; it can work as a substitute for egg whites). I do not have a recipe for it here, but you can google it and find some excellent resources. Cheers!

kylie

Thursday 5th of May 2022

Hi does this need to have the lemon juice added? My friend is doing an elimination diet and can't have lemons!

Camilla

Sunday 8th of May 2022

Hi Kylie, Can she have vinegar or cream of tartar? Both are acidic and will work in the same way as the lemon juice.

Laurie Hoffman

Friday 18th of March 2022

Just made this a 2nd time but with puréed sweet potatoes in lieu of bananas. Also added blueberries and apples. I could live off this bread.

Camilla

Thursday 9th of June 2022

Ooh, that sounds so delicious Laurie!!! So glad you are enjoying the recipe so much 😊

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