Fluffy, moist, and above all, HEALTHY. Banana and Almond Cake is the perfect accompaniment to a relaxing cup of evening tea.
Why You Will Love This Recipe
Banana and almond cake constitutes a delicious and guilt-free pregnancy dessert. This luscious, fluffy loaf contains zero added sugar and relies entirely on the subtle sweetness of the bananas, applesauce, and almond flour. I absolutely love to enjoy a slice of this flavorful, nutty bread with a hot cup of decaf black tea, any time of day really!
The texture of this bread is springy with a chewy bite. The toasted, slivered almonds layered on top resulted a visually striking loaf but also add an appealing crunch with every mouthful.
Overall, this banana and almond cake is less dense than a traditional cake made with wheat flour specifically because this cake is composed with almond flour. Almond flour is an amazing alternative to traditional wheat flour because it is packed with many nutrients, including dietary protein and fiber. Plus, almond flour adds so much additional flavor to this dessert, flavor that a neutral wheat flour would not impart. Finally, we opt to use olive oil in place of butter, in order to avoid added saturated fats and cholesterol.
This banana almond cake freezes very well: simply pre-slice the bread, wrap each slice in waxed paper, and then slip them into a Ziploc bag and freeze. Whenever you (or the kids) need something sweet, simply retrieve a slice from the freezer and microwave for 30 seconds for a healthy, sweet treat!
Nutritious Ingredients in Banana and Almond Cake
Let’s take a closer look at the nutrient content of the main ingredients used in this recipe.
First of all, it is worth noting that almond flour has a low glycemic index ranking. This means that it will not spike a pregnant woman's blood sugar and is helpful in reducing risk factors associated with type 2 diabetes.
Secondly, some studies have shown that there may be an association between a maternal diet rich in almonds during the first trimester and improved neurodevelopment in the baby.
Third of all, almonds are a fantastic source of protein, calcium, and vitamin B2.
- Protein of course promotes growth of fetal tissues, including baby’s brain. Importantly, this nutrient also supports the pregnant woman’s increasing blood supply.
- Adequate calcium intake helps to build strong bones and teeth in baby. It also builds baby’s healthy heart, nerves, and muscles. As far as the maternal benefits, calcium helps mama from losing bone density as a consequence of baby using the calcium for her own bone growth.
- Vitamin B2, also known as riboflavin, supports good vision, and growth of baby's bones, muscles, and nerves.
Almond flour is readily available at most grocery stores and can also be purchased online.
Most of us know that bananas are a fantastic source of potassium. Importantly, potassium helps to regulate a pregnant woman’s blood pressure, helps prevent muscle cramps, and maintains correct water-salt balance. Bananas (like almonds) are also a great source of fiber. Fiber is crucial for aiding in good digestion, which helps the pregnant woman to maintain a healthy pregnancy weight. Bananas also contain ample vitamin C. When consumed during pregnancy, vitamin C helps baby's bones, gums, teeth and muscles to develop properly. This vitamin also helps mama to absorb iron more easily and keeps her immune system strong.
How to Make Banana and Almond Cake
First, Prepare the Batter
Preheat the oven to 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit). Line a baking pan with plain, unwaxed parchment paper. I think longer loaf pans like this one are very attractive.
Next, add the wet ingredients to a large mixing bowl: ripe bananas, eggs, applesauce, olive oil, and vanilla extract. This set of mixing bowls is affordable and versatile!
Mix it all together.
After the wet ingredients are thoroughly blended, add the dry ingredients: almond flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon. Mix the batter together well.
Next, spread the batter into the lined baking pan.
Top with slivered almonds.
Next, Bake in the Oven
Bake cake at 175 degrees Celsius (350 degrees Fahrenheit) for 40 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow the almond flour banana loaf to cool completely in the pan before removing. This allows the loaf to hold its structure and maintain firmness.
Serving Suggestions and Tips
Banana and almond cake is so delicious on its own, but is especially good accompanied with:
- Whipped cream
- Chamomile tea
- Decaffeinated coffee
- Vanilla frozen yogurt
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What is a substitute for almond flour? If you are trying to avoid almonds or have almond allergies, traditional wheat flour can be substituted in a 1:1 ratio. This banana bread recipe specifically leverages almond flour because it contains more protein and calcium. Almond flour also happens to be gluten free (check label to confirm).
Why is vanilla extract necessary? The vanilla extract is not absolutely necessary, but it does enhance the banana almond flavors. Alternatively, almond extract could also be used for extra almond flavor.
How do I store this almond banana cake? If you want to store this dessert for future use, I recommend pre-slicing the cake into one-inch slices, wrapping them in waxed paper, followed by foil, and then storing in the freezer within a Ziploc bag. These protective layers help the cake to retain its moisture for future eating.
What is the difference between almond flour and almond meal? We want almond flour in this recipe. Almond flour is finely ground almonds, similar to the consistency of traditional flour, and is ideal for making baking goods. Almond meal on the other hand, has a coarser ground almonds texture. For breading applications (breaded fish or croquettes), almond meal is a great choice.
Can I make this bread sweeter? I don’t recommend adding sweetener to the recipe because this banana almond cake is designed to be only slightly sweet. However, if you absolutely need more sweetness, feel free to add a light drizzle of honey or maple syrup to your slice before enjoying.
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Banana and Almond CakeAuthor:
- 2 1/2 cups almond flour
- 3 ripe bananas
- 3 eggs
- 1/2 cup applesauce
- 1/2 cup slivered almonds
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- First, preheat the oven to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F).
- Line a baking pan with plain, unwaxed parchment paper.
- Next, add all of the wet ingredients to a medium mixing bowl: bananas, eggs, vanilla extract, applesauce, and olive oil.
- Mix ingredients well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the same bowl: almond flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.
- Mix batter until all ingredients are well incorporated.
- Pour batter into the lined baking pan and spread, using a spatula, until level.
- Top with slivered almonds.
- Bake at 175 degrees C (350 degrees F) for 40 minutes or until inserted toothpick comes out clean.
- Allow loaf to cool completely in the baking pan before removing.