Better-for-you banana and coconut cake

Everyone's favourite dessert just got a bit healthier. Source: Getty.

Banana cake doesn’t always have to be a guilty pleasure. This recipe uses lactose-free coconut milk and unrefined rapadura sugar to take the unhealthy edge off this delicious treat. Even though it makes a few replacements in the ingredient list, this recipe still churns out the same more-ish, dense dessert treat that everyone knows and loves. Of course the icing is equally as delicious as the cake itself with that perfect mixture of sweetness paired together with the tropical coconut flavours. Much like banana bread, you’re better off using over-ripe bananas to get the best sweetness level for the cake. Enjoy!


  • 2 x 400ml cans coconut milk (do not shake can)
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/3 cup unrefined rapadura sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed banana
  • 2 tablespoons icing sugar


  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Grease and line a 6cm-deep, 20cm round cake pan with baking paper. Remove thick top layer of coconut milk from both cans and place in a bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until required.
  2. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda into large bowl. Add sugar. Stir well to combine. Place eggs, 1 teaspoon vanilla and 3/4 cup of coconut milk in jug. Whisk to combine. Add coconut milk mixture and banana to flour mixture. Stir until well combined. Pour into prepared pan. Smooth over top with back of spoon.
  3. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until cooked through. Cool in pan for 10 minutes. Turn out onto a baking paper-lined wire rack to cool completely.
  4. Transfer reserved thick coconut milk from the fridge to chilled bowl of an electric mixer. Add icing sugar and remaining vanilla. Beat for three to four minutes until thickened. Spread top of cake with coconut mixture. Serve immediately.

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