Low-Fat Banana Bundt Cake

Low-Fat Banana Bundt Cake

People get really loyal about their banana bread recipes. I’m no exception. I use my Auntie Lo’s recipe almost exclusively. However, there are times when branching out is a good thing. This Banana Bundt Cake is no exception. (I realize this is technically a cake, but it’s banana and you could bake it in a loaf pan, so it qualifies as a banana bread in my mind.)

When you’re a sweet toothed, carb addict who is trying to make wise food choices, low-fat and cake in the same recipe is a beautiful partnership. My mom had already vetted a couple muffin recipes from the Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites cookbook I talked about in this month’s Twitterature post, so we were intrigued by the banana cake that fit that glorious description.

Many things can go wrong with low-fat baked goods. Some aren’t sweet enough (for me), others have a weird texture due to reduced amounts of butter and/or eggs. Some just have that “too-healthy” stank on them. But this dense, flavorful cake? None of the above.

Banana Bundt Cake Ingredients

Bananas and unsweetened applesauce add moistness to balance the reduced oil content. Brown sugar’s molasses undertones provide strong flavor and just enough sweetness to make this a viable dessert. The whipped egg white to egg yolk ration is perfect, cutting out some cholesterol while still maintaining a tight, rich crumb. I’m a sucker for anything with nutmeg (homey and festive, right?), and I loved how the unexpected spice in this cake made the banana flavor more complex.

Banana Bundt Cake Process

The recipe calls for baking in a Bundt pan (which is how I baked it), but my mom has made it twice in a 9-inch springform with great results. Slices of any shape are perfect for tucking into lunch boxes or nibbling on in the afternoon. I love mine with a plop of peanut butter and a cup of tea in the morning. But, it is a cake, so we’ve served it with a cloud of lightly sweetened whipped cream to rave reviews. I can also envision it with a dusting of powdered sugar and berries or a drizzle of homemade caramel sauce.

whipped cream

Whatever way you serve it, this Low-Fat Banana Bundt Cake is worth having in your banana repertoire. As with most banana baked goods, it tastes even better then next day.

Budget tips:

  • Unless your family eats a lot of unsweetened applesauce, buy a pack of the individual snack sized applesauces. You’ll have enough to make three cakes without worrying about the applesauce spoiling.
  • Buy overly ripe bananas instead of waiting for regular ones to get hinky. Grocery stores sell bags of brown bananas for cheap. You can even freeze mashed banana to use later (which is what you see in the photo of ingredients above).

Do you have a favorite banana baked good recipe?

Low-Fat Banana Bundt Cake

Banana Bundt Cake recipe

A dense and delicious banana cake for anytime of day! Adapted from Moosewood Restaurant Low-Fat Favorites: Flavorful Recipes For Healthful Meals

  • 2 1/2 cups unbleached flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 cup mashed bananas
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 egg whites

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Lightly coat a 10-inch Bundt pan (or 9-inch springform) with cooking spray.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and brown sugar. Mix well and set aside.

Combine the egg yolks, bananas, applesauce, oil, and vanilla. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and stir just until evenly blended.

Beat the egg whites until stiff but not dry. Gently fold the egg whites into the banana batter with a spatula. Pour into prepared pan.

Bake for 60 minutes, until the cake begins to pull away from the sides of the pan and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on rack for 10 minutes and then invert onto a plate.

Store in an airtight container.

Serves 16

Per serving: 140 calories, 3.5 grams protein, 5.8 grams fat, 18.6 grams carbs


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Banana Cake with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting

Banana Cake with PB Frosting

When my mom begins an email with, “gotta share these two new and fabulous recipes with you!”, I know I’m in for a treat.

The summer humidity where my mom lives makes bananas ripen quicker than they get eaten. After making multiple loaves of banana bread, she went searching for a different recipe to utilize her browning nanners and a spare cake mix. What she found was a simple and versatile (you could use any flavor cake mix) recipe that yields a moist, tender cake with a mild, but distinct, banana flavor.

My mom and I share an affinity for banana bread and peanut butter sandwiches. With that in mind she found a fluffy peanut butter frosting to adorn the banana cake and mimic the taste of those tasty sandwiches we so love.

The result of these two new recipes is indeed fabulous!

Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

Banana Cake {source}

  • yellow cake mix
  • eggs, oil, and water (ingredients listed on the box to make cake)
  • 2 overripe bananas
  • 1 tsp baking soda

Create cake batter according the package instructions. In a separate bowl, mash the two bananas. Mix the baking soda into the bananas until thoroughly mixed – it will look lighter and slightly foamy. Add banana mixture to the cake batter and stir until combined.

Pour banana batter into a greased 9 x 13 pan. Bake according to package directions. Let cool completely and frost with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting (below).

Banana cake with PB Frosting

Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting {adapted from All Recipes}

  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons heavy cream

Beat butter and peanut butter together until well combined. Beat in the powdered sugar. Frosting will be very dense and thick.  Add heavy cream and beat until fluffy and spreadable. Spread on cooled Banana Cake.


Banana Cream Smoothie

Living right across the street from a state-of-the-art gym has increased my workout regularity, so, I’ve been on the lookout for good “recovery” foods.  Normally my recovery habits include chocolate and bread.  My much more workout savvy husband finally convinced me those weren’t the best foods to replenish the nutrients I loose running and such. Foiled.  He suggested an electrolyte drink like Accelerade (gag!) and/or starchy fruit.

Since I despise Accelerade, I compromised and settled on a meal replacement shake mix.  I’m cheap, thus, given the option between Slim Fast and generic, I went with generic.  Not a bad choice if I do say so myself.  The French Vanilla (Kroger) variety tastes exactly like cake batter!  I had been mixing it with almond milk, which was quite satisfying, but had a banana lying around and decided I might get “recovery” brownie points if I included a fruit in my shake.  Plus, I just purchased a food processor and wanted to give it a whirl…

I’m not normally a pureed banana fan.  In fact, it’s only been in the last few years that I would classify myself as a banana fan at all.  Something about a malleable, potentially mushy, substance was always off-putting to me.  (What’s with me and my weird food texture aversions? Refer to carrot confession…)  With the help of copious amounts of peanut butter, I began to build a tolerance, then a liking, for the ubiquitous yellow fruit.

My jogging scenery: sun setting behind the Spokane River along the Centennial Trail.

After my 4+ mile jog along the Centennial  Trail yesterday evening, I broke out the Cuisinart and downed the results.  Three ingredients and a minute of prep yielded a frothy, stick to the side of the cup concoction that I would be happy to recover with anytime.  It tastes like a banana cream pie in smoothie form.  All for 250 calories.  Score!

Banana Cream Smoothie

1 cup Unsweetened Almond Milk (I used Almond Breeze)

1 medium (6″-7″) banana

1 scoop vanilla shake mix (French Vanilla Kroger brand or Slim Fast)

Peel banana and place in blender or food processor.  Add almond milk and shake mix.  Blend until smooth.  Pour into glass (chilled would be lovely) and enjoy!

Yield: 1 smoothie, 250 calories

Adding a tablespoon of peanut butter to this smoothie would be utterly delicious.  Regular peanut butter would make the smoothie 345 calories, Better N’ Peanut Butter would make it 300.