Landscape photo of Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread

Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread (Vegan Gluten-Free)

This Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread is the perfect summer bake packed with real strawberries and a luscious cream cheese buttercream frosting.

The banana bread for June is here and it’s a summery one; lots of fresh strawberries and cream. The banana bread is naturally pink with fresh strawberries and flavoured with real strawberries, too. Baked as a small 6-inch two-tier cake, this is a showstopper cake that’s really easy to make but is great to serve to friends and family this summertime.

Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread on a wooden cake stand
Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread

Why will I love this banana bread?

This Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread is a special one, it is:

  • Fruity and naturally sweet
  • Rich and creamy
  • Moist, tender and fluffy
  • Easy to make in one bowl
  • Quick to make
  • Made with wholesome vegan, gluten-free and nut-free ingredients
  • Delicious as a cake (shown here) or as a loaf

If you already love this cake, then skip ahead to the recipe card below. First, let’s discuss the recipe in more detail.

What ingredients to I need?

The base for the banana bread batter is made of simple ingredients:

  • Strawberries: fresh is best here as frozen strawberries tend to have a lot of water in them as they de-frost. That said, if you only have frozen berries, allow them to defrost and strain away any excess liquid. Then we blend up the berries to a puree which goes into the banana bread mix.
  • Ripe bananas: the obvious ingredient for banana bread. As always, I recommend using ripe bananas as they are softer and sweeter and I always weigh the bananas as they vary so much in size.
  • Thick dairy-free yoghurt: my favourite is thick unsweetened or vanilla flavoured coconut yoghurt. Cocos Organic is my go-to brand and you can also use other dairy-free Greek-style yoghurt.
  • Olive or sunflower oil: just a little bit for texture and moisture. You could also use melted and slightly cooled coconut oil.
  • Plant-based milk: a splash of your favourite milk like oat, almond, soya or coconut (from the carton).
  • Coconut or caster sugar: coconut sugar lends a richer flavour and colour, or golden or white caster sugar are also great.
  • Lemon juice: when added into the mix, it reacts with the milk to curdle the milk, forming a buttermilk. This, in turn, helps to bind the batter. Apple cider vinegar can also be used.
  • Vanilla essence: for flavour.
  • Strawberry or raspberry essence: this is optional but I do find it emphasises the natural flavour that the strawberries add. While strawberry essence is slightly harder to find, I have found raspberry essence more readily avaible and adds a similar flavour here.
  • Plain or GF plain flour: to keep the Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread light and fluffy. If using gluten-free flour, make sure it contains xanthan gum to help bind the mix and precent crumbly dry cakes.
  • Baking powder and bicarbonate of soda: for the rise.
  • Salt: for flavour.

For the buttercream we need a few ingredients:

  • Vegan butter: this is the block kind of butter. Allow it to sit at room temperature for an hour or so until softened, which helps for the best textured and fluffiest buttercream.
  • Vegan cream cheese: there are a few dairy-free cream cheeses in the shops and my favourites are from NUSH or Violife.
  • Icing sugar: for the sweetness.
  • Aquafaba or plant-based milk: I love adding aquafaba (the water from a tin of chickpeas) to buttercreams as it really makes them light and fluffy as it whips up. That said, you can also use plant-based milk (save the actual chickpeas for curries, sandwiches and cookie dough).
  • Vanilla essence: for flavour.
  • Strawberry or raspberry essence: again this is optional as above.
  • Freeze-dried strawberry powder: this adds the slightly pink colour in the buttercream and I just love adding it. You do not have to use it if you cannot find any. If you can only find whole freeze-dried strawberries (or raspberries) simple grind or crush them to a powder.

Finally a few finishing touches:

  • Strawberry jam: for adding into the middle of the cake.
  • Fresh strawberries: for decoration.
  • Crushed pistachios: I love the crunch and colour they add on top.
Cutting a slice of Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread
Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread

How do I make this Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread?

The method is simple to follow and is ready in a few steps:

  • Puree the strawberry: until smooth but no need to strain away any pips.
  • Whisk together all the wet ingredients: till smooth.
  • Sift in the flour and add the raising agents: and whisk again till smooth and thick.
  • Pour into two 6-inch cake tins: or you can use one 9×5-inch loaf tin, too.
  • Smooth over the top and bake: till golden and risen. For the cakes this is 45-50 minutes and this will be more for the loaf.
  • Allow to cool fully: before frosting them.
  • Make the frosting: by beating together the ingredients.
  • Place one cake on a plate: and spread over some buttercream.
  • Fill the middle with jam: and sandwich together with the second cake.
  • Top with buttercream and decorate: as you please with strawberries and pistachios.

Is this cake gluten-free and nut-free?

Yes this cake is gluten-free if you use GF flour in the batter. This Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread is also nut-free, please check that your milk, butter and cream cheese are all vegan and omit the pistachios on top.

How long will this last?

Once frosted and decorated, you can keep this Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread in the fridge in a covered container for up to 3-5 days or you can freeze the layers (without the frosting) covered well for up to 1 month.

Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread on a small white plate
Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread
The top of a Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread
Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread

I love this banana bread, what else can I make?

I hope you are going to love this Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread and think it’s a perfect summer bake. For more ideas, how about my:

Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread (Vegan Gluten-Free)

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

This Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread is the perfect summer bake packed with real strawberries and a luscious cream cheese buttercream frosting.

Ingredients

    For the Banana Bread:
  • 120g strawberries (trimmed weight)
  • 2 large ripe bananas (250g)
  • 60g thick dairy-free yoghurt e.g. coconut
  • 2 tbsp (30ml) olive or sunflower oil
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) plant-based milk
  • 75g coconut or caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp strawberry or raspberry essence, optional
  • 250g plain or GF plain flour, sifted
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp freeze-dried strawberry powder, optional
  • For the Buttercream:
  • 70g vegan butter, softened
  • 30g vegan cream cheese
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 1 tbsp aquafaba or plant-based milk
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • ½ tsp strawberry or raspberry essence, optional
  • 1 tbsp freeze-dried strawberry powder, optional
  • For Decorating:
  • 2 tbsp strawberry jam
  • Fresh strawberries
  • 1 tbsp crushed pistachios

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180*C and grease and line two 6-inch round tins.
  2. Trim the strawberries and weigh 120g and blend the strawberries to a smooth puree.
  3. Mash the bananas and make sure you have 250g. Add to a mixing bowl with the pureed strawberry, yoghurt, oil, milk, sugar, lemon, vanilla and strawberry/raspberry essence, if using. Whisk till smooth.
  4. Add in the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt and freeze-dried strawberry powder, if suing. Whisk to a smooth, thick batter.
  5. Divide equally between the two tins and smooth over the tops. Bake for 45-50 minutes till risen and fluffy and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
  6. Cool for 10 minutes then lift out of the tins and cool fully on a wire rack.
  7. When ready, add the softened butter and cream cheese to a bowl or freestanding mixer and beat for 1 minute till soft. Now gradually beat in the icing sugar, aquafaba or milk and vanilla. Beat for 2-3 minutes till really fluffy, adding more icing sugar or aquafaba as needed. Stir in the strawberry powder, if using, so it’s swirly.
  8. Slice off the tops if the cakes, if they have domed so they are flat. Add a smear of buttercream to your serving plate and add one cake. Top with half the buttercream, spreading out evenly to the edges and make an indent in the middle to fill with the jam.
  9. Add on the second cake and spread over the rest of the buttercream. Decorate with fresh strawberries and pistachios. Slice and enjoy straight away or keep in the fridge for 2-3 days in a sealed container. You can store the unfrosted cakes in the freezer for 1 month, wrapped well. Allow to thaw and then decorate as above.
Landscape photo of Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread
Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Strawberries and Cream Banana Bread so please let me know in the comments below. If you do make this bread, I’d love to see so please tag me in your bakes, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With strawberries and cream BB love x

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