Birthday Cake Banana Bread (Vegan GF)

A fun and impressive banana bread birthday cake with a surprise centre of vegan sweets and chocolates. Make this moist and fluffy cake for a delicious celebration cake smothered with fluffy vegan meringue buttercream that is easy to make and gluten-free, too.

April’s banana bread is here, and it is one I have been excited to make ever since I wrote out my list for 2021 (I am trying to be organised and find that this keeps me focused with my banana bread of month challenge). The idea of the birthday cake started from a simple frosted cake with lots of birthday cake sprinkles and then I thought of a pinata cake and so this Birthday Cake Banana Bread was born!

Birthday Cake Banana Bread
Birthday Cake Banana Bread

What is a pinata cake?

This is basically a cake with a hole inside that you fill with sweets and chocolates and then you build the cake up around it and ice the entire thing. Then, much to everyone’s surprise, when you remove the first slice of cake, all the sweets and chocolate comes spilling out. This cake is a real joy!

How to build a pinata cake?

It really is so simple, so don’t worry about it being complicated and confusing. I also videoed the process for an IG Reels post to show step-by-step how to make this Birthday Cake Banana Bread.

  • Make 2 circle banana bread cakes: a simple banana bread batter (more info below) baked into round tins.
  • Slice in half: level off the tops of both cakes and slice each in half widthways to make 4 layers of cake.
  • Cut out the middle of the cake: stack the layers on top of one another and remove the top layer to keep this one intact. Place a cup or small plate in the centre and cut all the way round it through the 3 layers of cake. Keep these to eat or make cake balls.
  • Frost and stack the cake: spread the bottom cake ring with frosting, top with the second layer, more frosting, the third layer and then frosting.
  • Fill the hole with sweets and chocolates: use whatever vegan sweets and chocolates you like. I chose vegan Maltesers, gummy bears, smarties and sprinkles.
  • The final layer of cake: place this on top of the cake to hide the middle.
  • Frost the entire cake: also known as a crumb coat or frosting, spread all of the cake with a simple vegan vanilla buttercream. The thing with a crumb coat is that it doesn’t need to be flawless, being able to see some of the cake is better!
  • Decorate the cake: add on more sprinkles or sweets.
Birthday Cake Banana Bread
Birthday Cake Banana Bread

You are just a few steps away from this Birthday Cake Banana Bread and it’s such an impressive one! I shared it with my family, a couple of friends and neighbours and they all said how much they loved it. One friend said it was her favourite banana bread (and she’s tried most of them!) so that is high praise. The actual banana bread batter is really simple and it is even easier if you use a blender to mix all of the wet ingredients together. As this is more of a cake, the smoother the texture, the better. I don’t mind bits of banana in my other banana breads, but this one is best as smooth as possible.

The ingredient list is quite small for this Birthday Cake Banana Bread but is surprisingly light, moist, fluffy and sweet without any refined sugars or gluten.

  • Chia seeds: I always grind mine to a meal or you can use flaxseeds mixed with water to form a thick gel to replicate the binding nature of eggs.
  • Ripe banana: the riper the better! Whenever I know I am making banana bread, I will keep some aside for a week until they are really dark and so soft inside. Always weigh your bananas rather than relying on quantity as their size changes so much.
  • Plant-based milk: any milk will do but I like oat, almond or coconut for baking.
  • Lemon juice: or you can use apple cider vinegar which helps to bind the cake more.
  • Coconut sugar: my favourite sugar to bake with. It adds a light caramel taste and also a golden colour to the cake. You can also use golden or regular caster sugar (the cake may be lighter in colour if you use white sugar).
  • Vanilla essence: for flavour. 
  • Plain or GF plain flour: use your preferred GF 1:1 blend for this cake with xantham gum to act as a binder. My favourite GF blend is from Doves Farm in the UK.
  • Ground almonds: these add a really lovely texture and taste to the cake that you don’t get by using all flour. It doesn’t taste overly nutty, but it adds to the sweetness. If you are nut-free, you could try ground seeds like sunflower or pumpkin.
  • Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda: for the rise.
Birthday Cake Banana Bread
Birthday Cake Banana Bread
Birthday Cake Banana Bread
Birthday Cake Banana Bread

Blend all the wet ingredients for the cake until smooth and then stir into the dry ingredients, divide between the two cake tins and bake until nicely risen and golden. The hard part is waiting for the cakes to cool as I get really impatient and want to start decorating straight away! But, it is really important to wait until the cakes are fully cooled. It’s often a good idea to bake the cakes for this Birthday Cake Banana Bread the day before and then slice, build and decorate ethe cake on the day you want to serve it.

Now onto the fun part: decorating the cake! As well as the vegan sweets mentioned above, I chose a vegan meringue buttercream for the frosting, but there is an option for a regular buttercream, too.

The meringue element comes from adding aquafaba (the liquid from a tin of chickpeas) to the vegan butter and icing sugar mix and, similar to egg whites, as you whip the frosting it becomes really light, fluffy and creamy. But if you don’t have any aquafaba or want to use plant-based milk, the method is the same and just as delicious.

Just a quick note on the size of this cake: as it is 4 layers, it is quite large but still remains quite light so you can easily eat a whole slice. But, if you want a smaller cake, simply half all of the ingredients (frosting too) and bake as one cake before slicing in half when it is cool. You can still fill the hole with sweets or just sandwich together with buttercream and ice as a normal sandwich cake. Either way it is delicious.

Birthday Cake Banana Bread
Birthday Cake Banana Bread

I hope you will love this moist, fluffy and impressive Birthday Cake Banana Bread. Naturally vegan and easily gluten-free, it is easy to make in a few simple steps and makes a show-stopping cake for special occasions. I made this one for my birthday this year and cannot wait to make it again soon. Also watch this space for Birthday Cake Pops soon, too.

If you are looking for more banana bread or celebration cake ideas, how about my:

Birthday Cake Banana Bread (Vegan GF)

  • Servings: 12
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

A fun and impressive banana bread birthday cake with a surprise centre of vegan sweets and chocolates. Make this moist and fluffy cake for a delicious celebration cake smothered with fluffy vegan meringue buttercream that is easy to make and gluten-free, too.


    Banana Bread Cake:
  • 4 tbsp ground chia or flaxseed + 10 tbsp water
  • 500g ripe banana (about 4 medium bananas)
  • 360ml plant-based milk
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 160g coconut or caster sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla essence
  • 350g plain of GF plain flour
  • 150g ground almonds
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • Pinch of salt
  • Frosting:
  • 200g vegan butter
  • 2 tbsp aquafaba or plant-based milk
  • 400g – 500g icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • Filling:
  • 1 pack vegan Maltesers
  • 1 pack vegan gummy Beas
  • 1 pack vegan smarties
  • Sprinkles


  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and line two 8-inch cake tins with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk together the chia and water to a thick gel and leave to one side. If using a blender (recommended for the smoothest batter) add the ripe banana, milk, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla to the blender and blend until smooth. Or, by hand, mash the bananas until smooth and then stir in the milk, lemon juice, sugar and vanilla. Either way, now whisk in the chia gel.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, sift in the flour and add the ground almonds, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and a pinch of salt. Whisk to combine. Pour in the wet mix and whisk to thick and smooth batter.
  4. Divide equally between both tins and smooth over the tops. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until an inserted skewer comes out clean and they’re golden on top (cover with foil if they are turning too dark).
  5. Cool for 10 minutes in the tins then remove and cool fully on a wire rack.
  6. Make the buttercream by beating the butter until fluffy before gradually beating in the aquafaba and the icing sugar. Continue to beat for 5 minutes until really fluffy.
  7. Level off the top of both cakes (save to eat or for cake balls) and then slice each cake in half widthways.
  8. Stack the cakes on top of one another and remove the top layer. Place a small plate/large cup in the centre and cut around it all the way to the bottom to make a cavity/hole in the centre. Save the cake to make cake balls.
  9. Dismantle the cake layers, remembering their order. Place the bottom one on a plate/serving tray and spread/pipe some buttercream on the top (this is what the cake will be served on and will be difficult to move after). Place the second cake layer on top, spread with buttercream then top with the third layer and more buttercream. Fill the hole with all the sweets and chocolates. Spread more buttercream on the top of the cake and place the final cake layer on top and sandwich together.
  10. Fully cover the cake in a crumb coat frosting, working your way round the sides and the top. Decorate with more sprinkles and then slice into the cake. Store the cake at room temperature or in the fridge if it is warm for 3-5 days in an airtight container.
Birthday Cake Banana Bread
Birthday Cake Banana Bread

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Birthday Cake Banana Bread so please let me know in the comments below and tag me in your bakes as I love seeing them. I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With banana birthday cake love x 

  1. Rebecca says:

    This looks beautiful!

  2. […] to with leftover cake? Now, this isn’t a problem we have a lot, but if you’ve just made my Birthday Cake Banana Bread, you will have quite a bit of cake “leftover” if you haven’t already eaten it. Combining the […]

  3. Hey Amy my friend.. A very belated Happy birthday 🥳 to you and glad you had a great day celebrating. Looks insane your birthday cake 🍰 banana bread and love the sweets/chocolate coming out of the cake. I so want to make this for my birthday in may! Hehe wish you could make for me lol 😂 as I know mine won’t be as good as you. Where is the reel to this cake 🍰 recipe amy? So sorry as ah slightly complicated for me to follow. It looks so simple and would love to make.
    Splendid photography as always and so vibrant like a rainbow 🌈 xxxx
    My dog 🐶 says woofs

  4. […] birthday cake banana bread would make the perfect cake for birthday celebrations. Plus, it’s both gluten free and […]

  5. […] better way to celebrate than with the ultimate birthday cake! Last year I made a really exciting a pinata-style Birthday Cake Banana Bread and this time, I kept to the sprinkle theme in a different way. It is such a fun […]

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