Espresso Toffee Nut Banana Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

This Espresso Toffee Nut Banana Cake is light, moreish, tender and packed with medjool dates, pecans and hazelnuts and a coffee soak. Top this egg-free, vegan and gluten-free cake with coconut yoghurt and homemade candied nuts and toffee sauce.

I am so happy to be sharing February’s banana bread, it is moist, tender cake-y and is so moreish, like a cross between banana cake, tiramisu flavours and a sticky toffee pudding. It’s the best of three desserts baked into one and it is naturally vegan, egg-free, gluten-free and made with good-for-you ingredients like oats, coconut oil, olive oil and coconut yoghurt. It also comes with addictive homemade candied nuts and the best quick and easy toffee sauce. It’s perfect for baking for friends and family or for special occasions.

An Espresso Toffee Nut Banana Cake with slices cut
Espresso Nut Banana Cake

Why will I love this?

This banana cake is amazing:

  • Moist, tender, fluffy and delicious
  • Tastes like sticky toffee, tiramisu and banana bread in every bite
  • Naturally sweet and wholesome
  • Filled with sticky dates, crunchy nuts and sweet banana
  • Topped with lighter coconut yoghurt frosting
  • Drizzled with homemade toffee sauce (no butter or cream)
  • Ideal topped with crunchy 3-ingredient candied nuts
  • Soaked in coffee (can be decaf)
  • Easy to make in one bowl
  • Bakes easily
  • Naturally vegan, egg-free and dairy-free
  • Easily gluten-free (and nut-free but it will be a different bake)
  • Ideal for baking for friends and family

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

What ingredients do I need?

You can see the ingredients in the recipe card with weights and see my favourites in the “shop the recipe” section.

For the banana cake:

  • Ripe bananas: the riper the better as they are sweeter and easier to mash. Make sure to weigh your bananas as they can vary a lot in size.
  • Plant-based milk and apple cider vinegar: together, these curdle to form a buttermilk to help bind this egg-free batter.
  • Coconut sugar: to sweeten the bake, I love the caramel-like quality of coconut sugar. You can also try light brown or caster sugar.
  • Olive oil: this adds the moisture to the cake and you can use any other liquid oil or try melted coconut oil, too.
  • Espresso coffee: for a real tiramisu flavour to this cake. You can use decaf coffee, if you prefer.
  • Vanilla essence: for flavour.
  • Plain or gluten-free flour: to keep this light, I like plain flour but you can make this gluten-free by using your preferred 1:1 baking blend of gluten-free flour and add ½ tsp xanthan gum if it doesn’t already contain it.
  • Oat flour: this adds fibre and a wholesome quality to the cake that makes it slightly more fudgy and tender. Make your own oat flour by blending your oats into a flour.
  • Bicarbonate of soda and salt: for the rise and flavour.
  • Chopped nuts: I love using pecans and hazelnuts together for this cake as they’re sweet and nutty. Try using walnuts, almonds, or cashews or to make this nut-free use seeds or chocolate chips.
  • Medjool dates: these add the sticky toffee pudding element to the cake, and you can use other dates or dried fruits like raisins or chopped dried figs.

For the toffee candied nuts:

  • Mixed nuts: I use the same nuts as inside the cake so pecans and hazelnuts but you can use any nuts or seeds.
  • Coconut sugar: allow this to melt with the syrup to create a bubbly mix to coat the nuts. You can also use light brown sugar.
  • Maple syrup: or you can use maple syrup.
  • Cinnamon and salt: for flavour, these are optional but recommended.

As for the toffee sauce:

  • Smooth peanut butter: or you can use another nut or seed butter like cashew, almond or tahini and make sure it’s smooth and runny for the best results.
  • Melted coconut oil: this helps the sauce become silky smooth.
  • Maple syrup: to make this sauce sticky.

For the frosting:

  • Espresso coffee: brush this all over the cooled cake to add more coffee to the cake, and use decaf, where needed.
  • Thick coconut yoghurt: this is naturally cooling, refreshing and works well with the sweet sticky sauce. Make sure it’s really thick and creamy like the Cocos Organic natural or vanilla yoghurt, or you can use whipped coconut cream, or another whipped dairy-free cream. If you prefer buttercream, try my Cinnamon Buttercream, too.

Is this gluten-free and nut-free?

This is easily gluten-free as long as you use gluten-free flour and oat flour. To make this nut-free, leave out the nuts in all parts of the recipe, and swap them for seeds. For inside the cake, try using chocolate chips instead of nuts and make sure that your milk, yoghurt and other ingredients are nut-free.

How do I make this cake?

This cake is ready to go in a few steps:

  • Mash the banana: and also stir together the milk and vinegar.
  • Whisk together all of the wet ingredients: until smooth.
  • Add in the dry ingredients: and whisk again.
  • Fold in the nuts and dates: and spoon into the cake tin.
  • Bake for 45 minutes: or until well-risen, golden and smelling delicious.
  • Remove the cake from the tin: and allow to cool fully.
  • Add the ingredients to the pan for the nuts: and allow to bubble and turn sticky. Remove from the pan to cool and harden.
  • Whisk together the toffee sauce ingredients: until smooth.
  • Poke holes all over the cake: and brush with the coffee.
  • Top with the coconut yoghurt: and spread out.
  • Decorate with toffee sauce and candied nuts: and enjoy.

How long will it last?

This cake will keep for 3-5 days in the fridge in a sealed container (although best enjoyed at room temperature) and you can freeze the unfrosted cake for 1 month and allow to defrost before decorating.

What else can I bake?

For more banana bread recipes, how about:

Espresso Toffee Nut Banana Cake on a plate

Espresso Toffee Nut Banana Cake (Vegan Gluten-Free)

Yield: 8-10 (makes 8-inch cake)
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

This Espresso Toffee Nut Banana Cake is light, moreish, tender and packed with medjool dates, pecans and hazelnuts and a coffee soak. Top this egg-free, vegan and gluten-free cake with coconut yoghurt and homemade candied nuts and toffee sauce.


For the Cake:

  • 350g ripe banana (3 large or 4 medium bananas)
  • 30ml plant-based milk + 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 100g coconut sugar
  • 60ml olive oil
  • 30ml espresso coffee
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 175g plain or GF plain flour
  • 100g oat flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 60g chopped nuts (I use half pecans, half hazelnuts)
  • 60g medjool dates, chopped (about 3 dates)

For the Toffee Nuts:

  • 75g mixed nuts (I use half pecans, half hazelnuts)
  • 2 tbsp coconut sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt

For the Toffee Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
  • ½ tbsp melted coconut oil
  • ½ tsp maple syrup
  • Pinch each: cinnamon and salt

For the Top:

  • 15ml (1 tbsp) espresso coffee
  • 150g thick coconut yoghurt


  1. Preheat the oven to 160Fan/180ºC and line and grease an 8-inch round cake tin with parchment paper.
  2. Mash and weigh the bananas. Stir together the milk and vinegar and leave for 5 minutes to curdle.
  3. Into a large mixing bowl: add the banana, milk mix, coconut sugar, olive oil, espresso and vanilla and whisk until smooth. Sift in the flour and add the oat flour and bicarbonate of soda with a pinch of salt. Stir to thick, smooth batter and then fold in the nuts and chopped dates.
  4. Spoon into the cake tin and smooth over the top.
  5. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes, covering with foil for the final 10 minutes. The cake will be well-risen, golden brown and an inserted skewer will come out clean.
  6. Allow to cool for 10 minutes and then carefully lift out of the tin to cool fully on a wire rack.
  7. To make the nuts: add the nuts to a non-stick pan and fry for a few minutes until smelling fragrant. Remove from the pan and add in the sugar and syrup and stir well to disclosed the sugar. Add in the cinnamon and salt and allow to just bubble before stirring in the nuts and after 30 seconds of stirring, remove from the heat. Tip the candied nuts onto a heatproof mat and allow to cool fully and harden.
  8. Make the toffee sauce: stir together the ingredients until smooth.
  9. To serve the cake: poke the cake all over and then brush over the coffee. Spoon the yoghurt over the top of the cake and swirl on the toffee sauce. Add on the candied nuts and slice.
  10. Enjoy straight away or keep in a sealed container in the fridge for 3-5 days, and best eaten at room temperature. You can freeze the unfrosted cake for 1 month, wrapped well, and allow to defrost before decorating.

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Stay in touch

I look forward to hearing what you think of this Espresso Toffee Nut Banana Cake so  please let me know in the comments below and leave a star review above. If you do make these, I’d love to see so please tag me, I’m @nourishing.amy on Instagram and use the hashtag #nourishingamy. I’m also on TwitterFacebook and Pinterest  – please say hello!

With toffee nut love x

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