Sugar-free banana cake

Prep: 10 mins Cook: 30 mins


Cuts into 6 - 8 slices
The natural sweetness of fruit and a drizzle of agave syrup means less added sugar is needed in this banana bread

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal214
  • fat7.6g
  • saturates4.5g
  • carbs31.7g
  • sugars19g
  • fibre3.6g
  • protein3.8g
  • salt0.2g
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  • 125g self-raising wholemeal flour
  • ½ tsp baking powder
    Baking powder

    Baking powder

    bay-king pow-dah

    Baking powder is a raising agent that is commonly used in cake-making. It is made from an alkali…

  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 75g sultana
  • 50g butter, melted



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 2 tsp vanilla essence



    The sun-dried seed pod of a type of climbing orchid, vanilla has an inimitable soft, sweet…

  • 1 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • 1 tbsp milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 3 ripe banana, mashed



    Probably the best known, most popular tropical fruit, their name probably derives from the…

  • drizzle agave syrup, to serve (optional)
    Agave syrup

    Agave syrup

    Agave syrup (also known as agave nectar) is a naturally occurring sweetener similar in…


  1. Grown ups: Preheat the oven to 180C/ 160C fan/ gas mark 4. Grease and line a 450g loaf/1lb tin with baking parchment.

  2. Children: Weigh the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and sultanas into a bowl and mix with a wooden spoon. Then weigh the butter, vanilla essence, egg, milk and mashed bananas and put into another bowl or jug and mix with a small balloon whisk or fork. Pour the ‘wet’ banana mixture into the ‘dry’ flour mixture and combine thoroughly with a wooden spoon. Weighing needs to be very accurate when baking so help older children to measure carefully. Younger children can also get involved by spooning or pouring into the scales with adult supervision. Younger children can also beat the egg with a fork and mash the banana with a potato masher.

  3. Grown ups: Pour the cake mixture into the prepared tin and bake for 30 - 40 mins or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the tin for 10 mins then turn out.

  4. Children: Drizzle with agave syrup if using.

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Comments (39)

peach19's picture

I would rank the recipe four stars as it is, but with a few minor tweaks the second time round it has really become a winner. In fact, I devoured more than half the cake in one day! Firstly, I replaced the raisins with 40 g of walnuts, as I do not particularly like raisins in cake. I also added an extra banana for more flavour. Lastly, as I could only find plain wholemeal flour, I used this with two teaspoons of baking powder. I did not feel it needed the agave syrup at all. Omission of the milk also does not affect the end-product, so I certainly wouldn't bother running to the store if you don't have it on hand.

Never thought something so wholesome could be so delicious. This recipe will certainly be a staple for me from now on. Next time I will try replacing/omitting the butter to make it 100% healthy.

LilyChanning1's picture

Can someone please give me an idea of the size of the bananas needed? Small/medium/large? Or an idea in weight, 100g/200g? Thank you

rebeccalouisestone's picture

I have made this recipe three times now & it is both healthy and delicious! I have rated it as a four star mostly because of the changes that I have made to it, I use one tsp of baking powder (seems to rise better) and I use four-five bananas to make it slightly more moist and gooey. I also add walnut pieces or pecans which adds extra crunch to the recipe. I would recommend to any fellow cake lovers that are looking for a healthier and refined sugar free alternative.

bluelavolta's picture

I use this recipe all the time and it's great, though I make it as 12 cupcakes instead of one big cake. I also often add an extra banana, make the sultana weight up to 100g and put in 2 tsp of baking powder to make the cakes rise properly. Never needed agave syrup - they're sweet enough.

fifi02's picture

After reading the comments on this recipe I felt I had to add something.
I made this cake this week and it was demolished by my children. So yummy and moist I made another two loaves the next day which were also gobbled up in lunch boxes. Mine didn't rise much either so will try folding in a bit more gently next time.

As my 6 year old is type 1 diabetic I will be making this again and again. Its great to see a recipe without processed sugar/honey/etc etc that tastes good. As a type 1 diabetic the wholemeal flour and bananas provide carbohydrates that my son relies on to provide energy plus the fact that he is allowed 'cake' like his school pals is an added bonus. More of these recipes please for us hard pressed mums trying to provide yummy healthy treats.
As for the sugar free title, I couldn't agree more with all the other posters who said that clearly its referring to the addition of processed/granulated sugar and anyone with half an interest in nutrition is aware of that. Of course the fruit has fructose to sweeten it, it wouldn't be much of a cake if it wasn't sweet.............duh!

snicka's picture

Very good put only a bit of flour and added 2 eggs. Was very nice.

beatricedeufemia's picture

To those saying theirs didn't rise, I used plain white flour and a tablespoon (ish) of baking powder. Fold dry ingredients in gently and as soon as it's all mixed in bake at FAN 160 for 35 mins. Rose a treat and tasted fluffy and delicious!

agal's picture

I love the flavour of this cake. I used ghee instead of butter and the cake did not rise very well but still tasted really delicious. I also preferred this recipe to the healthy banana bread -much more flavour! Will be making it again.

seffcat's picture

Nice recipe! Lovely flavours - it satisfies a sweet craving without being overpowering. I didn't add the agave syrup or extra banana. Unfortunately mine didn't rise either.. (I even put 2 tsp of baking powder as someone suggested) Any tips? Will definitely try again!

alicla's picture

If you use too much baking powder the cake over rises then falls as it can't hold the "bubbles"

MummyAbey's picture

Needed longer in the oven. 55 mins is about right. Tasted good and the kids enjoyed making and eating it.

sweetenuf's picture

I only had white SR flour, so I used that without adding baking powder. It was really yummy. It rose well and was nicely moist. Took a little longer to cook in my fan oven on 160 than 40 mins - more like 55 mins. I will be making this again.

jahane's picture

Agreed with the comments below... Hopefully most people making their own food from scratch aren't daft enough to think that bananas have no sugar in them. I think the point is that people might want to make this because it's more nutritious than ordinary sugar based cakes.

Mine didn't rise (even with the extra baking powder suggested) but I was actually quite impressed with the taste. I'm not a fan of banana bread but this had more of a bread and butter pudding thing going for it (when eaten warm anyway) and was quite scrummy.

rachel_cook_queen's picture

Great recipe. Made as alternative to the very sugary standard recipes and this was perfect.

Really moist and you can't even notice that it contains a lot less sugar than your standard banana cake. Definitely going to make again and turn into muffins!

muffin top's picture

I think we can all be credited with enough common sense to realise that bananas and other fruits contain sugar (and diabetics are probably even more aware of this than others). It is pretty clear to me that sugar free means no added sugar, I would never kid myself that a cake really does contain no sugar! That point aside, I thought it was lovely and moist and went down well with my 2 year old too!

Charlie T's picture

This banana cake recipe is the best.
I use an olive oil marg instead of blower utter and mixed fruit instead od just sultanas.
Sprinkle with sunflower seeds and you have a bread/cake with good stuff intertwined with a lovely texture and taste.

sabamoley's picture

Very tasty cake. Tried the healthy banana bread recipe last week but preferred this one. Found it sweet enough without the agave syrup or an extra banana. Thought 2 tsp cinnamon seemed like a lot, but it tasted like the right amount when cooked. I cooked it for about an hour before it was cooked through.

Innette's picture

The cake doesn't have any refined sugars added. Usually when people refer to 'sugar' they are referring to table sugar - sucrose. The bananas contain sugar in the form of fructose, but also contain fibre etc., making the bananas a healthier choice for sweetening the cake than table sugar.

The twix and the kit-kat have nothing going for them (nutritionally speaking), so the cake may be a slightly better choice, if you want your calories with a bit of fibre, vitamins and minerals added too.

julese's picture

This recipe is NOT "Sugar-free" as stated, as bananas are full of sugars (maybe natural sugars, but still sugars). Sultanas are also packed full of sugar. Agave syrup also has 72% sugar content (clear honey has 77%, just for comparison).

If you add up all the macronutrients, this recipe has in excess of 19g of sugars per SMALL slice. That is simply NOT "Sugar-free".

To call this cake "Sugar Free" is not only misleading but is an entirely FALSE claim (if it was sold in a shop or café as "Sugar-Free" it would actually be illegal!).

Please, PLEASE, BBC GOOD FOOD (and all other Food sites/Books/Chefs) stop misleading the public with claims of "Sugar Free".

Sugar is Sugar, whether it's from Table sugar, fresh fruit, dried fruits, Agave, Honey or wherever... it STILL affects Blood Sugar levels and insulin and is NOT automatically healthy just because it's from a "natural" source.

Even worse, such false claims can be dangerous for Diabetics who might see this and think it is "Sugar Free" so OK for them to eat.

To put this into perspective, a single finger of a Twix chocolate bar has 12.2g of sugars, and a 4 finger Kit Kat chocolate bar has 19.2g of Sugars. Yet this recipe has over 19g sugars per SMALL slice, and is claiming to be "Sugar Free"..... It ISN'T.


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