This vegan banana custard cake is perfect for birthday parties, get-togethers, barbeques, and any occasion you want to feed many people.
It starts with a chocolate cake base, followed by sliced banana, then layered with a smooth, creamy custard and whipped cream. It’s finished off with shaved chocolate.
The layers may sound and look intimidating, but trust me when I say that it’s straightforward to make and can be enjoyed over several days.
I promise you, this will be a crowd-pleaser!
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The backstory of this chocolate banana cake
The idea for this cake came after I started reminiscing about the types of cakes my mum used to make when I was young. Layered cakes were something she used to put together often and at the last minute when unexpected guests were just around the corner or for my family to enjoy.
I love fruit layers in a cake. It adds another dimension to the dessert, creates balance, and adds freshness. If you also love this idea, you can try a few of my other desserts that use fresh fruit. Here’s a quick list:
- Vegan Vanilla Cake with Coconut Cream and Berries
- Vegan Trifle Cups with Berries
- Raw Vegan Zesty Lemon Slice
If you’d like to add fruit to your baked dessert, I have an extensive range of fruit-based sweets you can browse.
Let’s break down the layers in this vegan cake
The chocolate cake layer is a simpler version of my classic chocolate cake recipe. Since there are a few layers here, I wanted to make it as approachable as possible. You only need a handful of pantry staple ingredients, and you’re ready to go!
You can use this cake as a base for many other desserts.
For this recipe, you’ll need 2-3 bananas. It just depends on their size. I like to use ripe bananas that are lightly spotted but not completely brown. You want them to hold their shape in the cake but not be so firm that you can’t cut through easily with a spoon or fork. Riper bananas are also sweeter.
The custard layer is essentially my simple custard recipe with an increased amount of cornstarch. I add more cornstarch to this custard to ensure that once it sets, it is firm enough to slice and keep its shape. Please make sure you use cornstarch; it’s a super fine white powder that makes a squeaking noise when rubbed between your fingers. Any other corn product won’t work.
You may have noticed a pattern of re-purposed recipes within this one. Well, the cream is no different. With minor tweaks, I’ve utilised my whipped coconut cream recipe. I swapped out the maple syrup for icing sugar for two reasons. To make the overall cake sweeter and to add structure to the cream. If you have access to vegan whipping cream, you can swap it out, but remember that it may not set as well as this one.
Adding shaved chocolate to the top ties in the chocolate flavour with the chocolate base and finishes it off nicely. You can swap it out for hot chocolate powder or plain cacao powder and dust it over the top. This is a great alternative if you’d like to make the cake less sweet. I used a chocolate block I bought from my local bulk store (a standard chocolate bar will also be fine) and a shaver to achieve the look. If you want, you can grate it over instead.
A few variations and tweaks you can easily make
I love this cake the way it is. However, if you’d like to try it with some tweaks, you can try the following:
- Swap the bananas for strawberries, mangoes, pears (the softer varieties), kiwi fruit, raspberries, or morello cherries (drain them well first).
- Swap the chocolate cake for my vanilla cake as the base (make sure you halve the recipe).
- Want more chocolate? Turn the vanilla custard into chocolate custard by adding about ¼ cup of chopped chocolate to the pot when you’re cooking it. You need enough heat to melt it and incorporate it in. About 2 minutes before it’s finished.
- As I mentioned earlier, you can swap the coconut cream for a vegan whipped cream instead. Just keep in mind that it may not set as well as the coconut one when chilled.
Unlike traditional round cakes, this one is easy to layer inside the baking dish and helps with slicing.
The cake also doesn’t look large but can comfortably serve 16 people. You can make the slices more generous if you like and add different decorations to the top if you’d like to use it as a birthday or celebration cake.
So, give this chocolate banana custard cake a try next time you want to create a crowd-pleasing vegan sheet cake that looks fancy but is easy to make.
I have shared this cake with my neighbours, who all love it! It will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Other dessert recipes you’ll love:
- Vegan Semolina Cake with Lemon Syrup (Basbousa)
- Chocolate Orange Cake (Vegan & Gluten-Free)
- Vegan Persian Love Cake (Almond, Orange, Cardamom & Rose Cake)
- Easy Vegan Carrot Cake
- No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Vegan Black Forest Trifle
If you try this recipe, let me know! I would love for you to leave a comment and rating below. If you want to go that extra mile, tag us on Instagram, or share your photo of the recipe on Pinterest. Or Pin It for later!Print