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What Is Vegan Banana Cake?

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  • Written By: C. Mitchell
  • Edited By: John Allen
  • Last Modified Date: 25 August 2016
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Vegan banana cake is any sort of cake made with bananas that does not contain any milk, eggs, or dairy products. All of the ingredients in vegan banana cake must be plant derived or synthetic, but cannot have been so much as processed with any animal parts or products. In most cases, vegan banana cake tastes much as would any other banana cake. The difference is in the nature of the ingredients, as well as their proportions.

Banana cake is, in most instances, little more than a banana bread with added sweetener that is baked as a cake rather than as a loaf. Mashed bananas are a major ingredient in its batter, which typically leads to a dense, sweet consistency. The cake is usually frosted with cream cheese or sour cream frosting or eaten on its own, sometimes spread with butter or honey.

Butter, honey, and dairy products like cream cheese and sour cream are not acceptable options for vegans. Veganism is a lifestyle choice that instructs followers to avoid any and all animal products, particularly in food. Most vegans extend the animal prohibition to clothing and other goods as well, often avoiding such things as wool sweaters and leather car interiors. Eating vegan can make baking a challenge, but banana cake is one confection that is relatively simple to make within dairy-free, animal-free constraints.

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Typical non-vegan banana cake usually requires eggs and sometimes also butter. These ingredients are mixed with flour, sugar, mashed bananas, oil, and spices to create a dense batter that is then baked. Regular banana cakes are not non-dairy foods, but they are vegetarian foods. Making them wholly vegan is usually a matter or replacing or eliminating the eggs and butter, and finding an acceptable vegan frosting alternative.

Part of the trick to making a good banana cake is ensuring that the proportion of wet to dry ingredients is roughly one to one. Eliminating the eggs from the more traditional recipe means that a vegan baker needs something else moist. This can often be found in applesauce, additional vegetable oil, or even simply an extra mashed banana.

Most everyday ingredients are acceptable for a vegan diet for no other reason than that they are made without impacting animals. The strictest of vegan chefs will also use only vegan certified flours, naturally-derived sugars, and organic spices in baking. This often impacts the cost of the final product, but rarely ever its taste. Certified vegan foods are often pricier than other more generic products, in part because of the effort that goes into evaluating them.

Vegan banana cake variations are popular. Many bakers add nuts, especially walnuts, or dried fruits like coconut or raisins. Non-dairy chocolate chips — usually those labeled “semi-sweet” or “baking” — are also popular additions. The finished product is typically cut into thick slices, and served with water-based icing, caramelized sugar, or a variety of fruit syrups.

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