Banana Almond Snack Cake

by Marla on January 13, 2011 · 67 comments

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Banana Almond Snack Cake recipe on food blog

On the heels of Food Blogger Camp I wanted to bring you a cake that epitomizes what this blog is all about. Healthy, whole food ingredients that taste great, make you feel energized & well fed. This is a banana nut bread recipe that pairs perfectly with a steamy morning cup of coffee or as pick-me-up afternoon snack. I chose to call it a “snack cake” because lets’s face it banana bread is really cake, right? It has all of the flavor of a higher calorie banana bread but none of the refined sugar and just enough healthy fat to satisfy.

Healthy banana cake with almond butter & slivered almonds From the whole grain flours to the sweet bananas – this bread/cake is different than most. Most of the sweetness comes from the bananas & the fat comes from the almond butter & sliced nuts.Pack this banana bread in your lunchbox or the kids. Serve with a cool glass of milk or a hot cup of coffee or tea.

Pre school boy bakes banana bread with momI also have mine as a pre-workout snack. I slather a piece of this nutty cake with some extra almond butter to help get me though workouts. This is a simple cake to bake with the kids. The love to help measure ingredients, stir the batter & decorate the cake with the slivered almonds.

Pre school boy in pajamas in kitchen baking with mom

Slice up this banana bread so you have pieces at the ready for grab & go anytime snacks & meals. Instead of opening up overly sweetened power bars from the grocery store it is nice to have a treat like this banana bread available at anytime. My Maple Apple Pie Oat Bars and Cranberry Ricotta Cookies are two more lightened up sweets that I like to have on hand.

Banana Nut Bread, healthy & sugar free dessert or breakfast

If you are working towards fitness & health goals in the new year, always remember to be mindful of portion sizes, even when it comes to nutrient filled sweets like this.

Banana Nut Bread dessert or breakfast cake

The slivered almonds add a nice crunch & they are fun decorations  too. A small handful inside the cake would be great also. Just mix some into the batter before you bake.

Banana nut bread for breakfast, lunch & dessertA perfect cake to have with coffee & friends.

Banana Almond Nut Bread Recipe

Do you have a favorite snack cake/bread recipe? Something that can easily be disguised as decadent when it is really great for you too?

Banana Almond Snack Cake

makes 8-10 servings


  • Any nut butter (crunchy or smooth) could work in this snack cake. If you don’t have almond butter use peanut butter. Low salt or no salt preferred.
  • I always use Nu Naturals No Carb Stevia Powder in my baking. This has the best flavor compared to any I have ever tried.
  • It is OK to have some chunky banana pieces, it adds to the overall texture of the cake.


  • 1 cup Whole Wheat Pastry Flour
  • 1 cup fine Corn Flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Stevia Powder or to taste
  • 1 cup (about 4 medium) very ripe Bananas, peeled & mashed
  • 1/4 cup all natural Almond Butter
  • 1 large Egg, whisked at room temperature
  • 1 cup fat free milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1/4 cup slivered Almonds


Preheat oven to 350˚F with the rack in the middle of oven. Prepare a loaf pan (9″ x 5″ x 3″) with parchment paper.Whisk together all dry ingredients in a medium bowl. Combine all wet ingredients in a separate bowl.

Put mixture in loaf pan & top with slivered almonds. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. Cool cake to room temperature, flip out of pan & slice.

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  • Add some lightly floured chocolate chips, dried fruit or more nuts to the batter. About 1/4 cup in volume should be right.
  • Add some unsweetened coconut flake to the batter or on the top of the cake before baking.

Banana Bread/Cake Recipe Links

{ 61 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Estela @ Weekly Bite January 13, 2011 at 5:49 am

This looks delicious! I like to call sweet bread ‘snack cakes’ too :)

I need to try cooking with Stevia Powder!


2 Deliciously Organic January 13, 2011 at 6:15 am

I love this recipe! I also like the almonds all neatly
stacked in a row. :)


3 allison [Haute Box] January 13, 2011 at 6:19 am

I definitely enjoy a flavorful and healthy slice of banana
bread in the morning. Beats the Starbucks version on SO many
levels. Looks so tasty Marla! xo


4 Amanda January 13, 2011 at 6:33 am

So many stunning pictures in this post… how on earth do
you choose which one for foodgawker??? I LOVE the gorgeous almonds
and the helping hands!! Blessings! Amanda


5 Jessica @ How Sweet January 13, 2011 at 6:34 am

Love these two delicious flavors. The cake would make the
perfect snack!


6 Caroline January 13, 2011 at 6:38 am

Yum! I have some browning bananas on my counter that need
baking. Yay! Your photos are just beautiful! Thank you for the
recipe! As for my favorite go to healthy, yet delicious snack would
have to be Healthy Apple Pecan Muffins:


7 Maria January 13, 2011 at 6:44 am

Love this loaf! I always have brown bananas too:)


8 Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets January 13, 2011 at 6:45 am

This looks delicious and I love how you arranged the
almonds on top :).


9 Kristen January 13, 2011 at 7:01 am

Your pictures always make me swoon and you are the only one
who has ever made me wish I’d gone Canon instead of Nikon! I love
how bright and clear your pics are. Your camp pics were stunning,
by the way! This looks like a delicious snack cake… and for
breakfast? Heck yeah!


10 Megan January 13, 2011 at 7:04 am

The nuts make your cake so pretty I just want to dig in.
I’ve never used almond butter (I know!) or tried baking with the
stevia powder. I need to try it soon!


11 Shawnda January 13, 2011 at 7:29 am

I love the almonds neatly lined on top! And thanks for the
Stevia powder tip.


12 Damaris @Kitchen Corners January 13, 2011 at 7:47 am

Do you always bake with low fat milk? I’ve never thought of
that. What a great recipe. After getting to know you I believe in
your recipes 100%. You amaze me Marla.


13 Jennifer @ Jane Deere January 13, 2011 at 8:05 am

Beautiful cake! I looks simple and delicious…I love cakes
like this for breakfast!


14 Lentil Breakdown January 13, 2011 at 8:18 am

Beautiful photos. Am intrigued by your use of corn flour.
At first I thought it was to be gluten-free, but there is


15 Rosa January 13, 2011 at 8:36 am

A delicious looking bread! Your little helper is so cute.
Cheers, Rosa


16 Lucy January 13, 2011 at 9:22 am

Gotta love those helping hands x


17 Faith January 13, 2011 at 9:46 am

Such a beautiful and versatile cake, Marla! I would love to
toast a slice, spread on some cream cheese and strawberries, and
serve it with tea for breakfast…delicious!


18 Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. January 13, 2011 at 10:18 am

Looks fabulous as always. Your photos are beyond phenomenal on a consistent basis. I have a breakfast bread on my site too today that’s snack-ish too. I love yours and will try it this weekend. Great minds think alike


19 Heather (Heather's Dish) January 13, 2011 at 11:24 am

this is by far the prettiest snack cake i’ve ever seen…can i come over for my snack later? :)


20 Marla January 13, 2011 at 11:56 am

Heather: Of course you can come over for a snack! I would love to meet you for real :)

Georgia: *kisses* you are a sweetheart! Glad I can make healthy look tasty too….It is possible to have it all, yes??

Alison: Yes, you & I do think a lot alike when it comes to recipe development. It would be so fun to speak with you at a conference on recipe development!

Adair: I like to use the corn flour for a few reasons – I love the fine texture & crumb it adds to baked goods. Also, it has a mild sort of nutty flavor that pairs well with the whole wheat pastry flour. You don’t have to use it, but I really dig it. Worth it to try experimenting with – I think!


21 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking January 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

Marla, I’m endlessly amazed with your skill for making healthy food look incredibly tasty and your ability to set up a gorgeous photograph! Thank you for sharing this bread and your talents in the kitchen and behind the camera lens! You’re an inspiration to us all.


22 Shaina January 13, 2011 at 12:14 pm

I love this. It looks so moist and delicious. We have a ton of bananas to use up too. Perfect timing!


23 Katrina January 13, 2011 at 12:55 pm

I love the little almonds on top! It really adds to the look of the cake. This recipe sounds delicious!


24 Joanne January 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm

I love how the sugar and fat in this are worked in through
super healthy ingredients! This definitely epitomizes what you’re
about Marla! Healthy food that tastes amazing!


25 Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) January 13, 2011 at 6:23 pm

This looks awesome and I love how your son is helping you
in the kitchen. Such a sweet picture! And thank you for your emails
and friendship. Means the world :) xoxo


26 Jeanette January 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm

I’ve never used almond butter in baking, will have to try


27 Kat January 13, 2011 at 7:35 pm

This looks so crumbly and delicious. I going to make this
next time I have enough ripened bananas


28 Daydreamer Desserts January 13, 2011 at 7:48 pm

What a gorgeous loaf topping it with those sliced almonds
was genius! Looks like someone definitely learned a food styling
tip or two during that Cancun trip, your photos look great


29 Marla January 13, 2011 at 7:51 pm

Josie: You are a doll, I actually shot this cake before the
Mexico trip. I did think it was fun to line up those almonds
though. I tend to be a perfectionist so that little task was fun
for me.


30 Diane {} January 14, 2011 at 9:17 am

so pretty and sounds delicious, okay-NOW I’m hungry :)


31 Heather January 14, 2011 at 1:09 pm

Gorgeous! I love what you did with the sliced almonds.
Really beautiful, healthy food. Your blog is an oasis.


32 Cookin' Canuck January 14, 2011 at 2:13 pm

This is so darn pretty, Marla! It must have taken you a bit
of time to line up those sliced almonds so perfectly. The almond
butter and bananas are a wonderful addition for keeping the cake
moist and the fat content low.


33 SMITH BITES!! January 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm

your little man is the cutest thing ever – sooooo serious!!
as always Marla, appreciate your spirit AND your recipes!


34 Jennie @ Oh, Sweet Day! January 14, 2011 at 6:12 pm

Gorgoeus!!! I love that you used stevia in this! I’ll be


35 Jyl January 14, 2011 at 6:43 pm

I made this bread but instead of the 1 cup of corn flour I
used 1 cup of Boku protein powder, which is an organic rice protein
and has a light maple flavor. They turned out FANTASTIC. So yummy,
and lots of “protein with my protein.” Thanks for the


36 Marla January 14, 2011 at 8:05 pm

Jyl: I am so happy that my banana cake recipe worked out for you! I must track down that Boku protein powder, I have never heard of it. Great that it worked & added some protein to the recipe. Hope you have cake left to enjoy with coffee this weekend 😉


37 Susan @ Our Family Eats January 14, 2011 at 8:46 pm

Sounds so good and looks even better. Bookmarking this one for later!


38 grace January 14, 2011 at 10:37 pm

it’s amazing what a simple layer of almonds on top can do to make this so classy! well done, marla. :)


39 Catherine*The Spring January 15, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Wow – this is a great recipe. I posted my own Gluten Free
take on banana bread today – what a coincidence! The almonds on the
top are really pretty. Love your blog! – Catherine


40 rebecca January 15, 2011 at 8:53 pm

this looks great love your little helper :-)


41 Monica January 16, 2011 at 8:00 am

Love the beautiful arrangements of almonds on top. The perfect finishing touch.


42 Medifast January 16, 2011 at 10:48 am

This looks like perfection in a loaf pan! The recipe of course is wonderful, but the taste is enhanced by the helping hands. Well done!


43 My Man's Belly January 16, 2011 at 10:59 am

You gotta love a recipe that calls for the fruit to be past
its “prime.” Bananas never go to waste in this house. If I don’t
have enough to make a bread, I just peel them and pop them in the
freezer. When I have enough…it’s banana bread time. Like that you
add almonds to yours.


44 Marla January 17, 2011 at 5:05 am

Pamela: I know, usually we have to throw fruit out when it gets old. Thankfully banana bread is so simple to make & we usually have all the ingredients on hand to throw it together. I will remember to freeze them too when I don’t have quite enough on hand. Are you going to Camp Blogaway again this year?


45 My Man's Belly January 17, 2011 at 8:58 am

I’m not going this year.


46 Maris January 16, 2011 at 10:59 am

This looks so good! I’m working on an apricot bread and I
might need to use almonds, this looks so good!


47 Michelle January 16, 2011 at 1:47 pm

Love the almond addition!


48 Viviane January 17, 2011 at 9:11 pm

I love this banana cake! Great recipe, thank you!


49 Lori @ RecipeGirl January 18, 2011 at 4:46 am

Love this recipe. I’m a big fan of breakfast breads, and these flavors totally work for me. Good idea to spread w/ almond butter as a pre-workout snack! Yum!


50 Marla January 18, 2011 at 7:18 am

Lori: I know breakfast breads are champs around here – especially now that I can make them so healthy. Sometimes it is hard to practice portion control, but well worth it to do so :) With the nut butter topping it has replaced my pre-workout packaged power bars.


51 Patricia Scarpin February 10, 2011 at 6:00 am

That banana bread looks so good! I love the almonds on top.
Your little helper is adorable, too!


52 The Texas Peach February 24, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Looks tasty! Love finding recipes that call for whole wheat
pastry flour. Will definitely have to try this.


53 Shelby March 3, 2011 at 10:52 am

As a long-time banana bread lover, I enjoyed reading your post and look forward to trying this recipe! Not only is this Banana Almond Snack Cake a healthy treat, it also includes a lot of kid-friendly steps that I’m sure other parents will love to try with their kids too.

Involving kids in the kitchen enables them to learn all about the food they eat (like the importance of using alternatives to sugar!), while teaching them valuable skills like math and problem solving at the same time. That’s why I work with The Kids Cook Monday, a campaign that encourages families to set aside the first day of every week to cook and eat together as a family. (More info:

We’re looking for people who would like to submit kid-friendly recipes like this one to be featured on the Kids Cook Monday website, launching in mid March. We would love to feature some of your recipes, crediting you and linking back to Family Fresh Cooking, of course. If you’re interested in submitting recipes, please email me at



54 Skinny Fat Kid March 28, 2011 at 10:49 am

Marla – What’s your favorite brand of almond butter? We’ve
tried a few and they are all so different!


55 Marla March 28, 2011 at 1:46 pm

Skinny Fat Kid: I have two favorites – Trader Joe’s makes almond butter with toasted flaxseed. Can’t get enough of that stuff. I also love Barney Butter. I like to buy almond butter with just salt in it, really adds to the flavor. Hope that helps you out.


56 Lyrical August 4, 2011 at 2:57 pm

I am about to try this recipe, to bake as a little “sweet but healthy treat” for my sister and mom, but before I do, I want to make sure it is not going to be one of those healthy-for-the-stomach-but-not-for-the-mouth crumbly bread recipes. I just want to make sure that I am about to make a truly mouth-watering sweet bread, one that is healthy, and delicious. I would really appreciate it!


57 crystal lane March 25, 2012 at 5:29 pm

This looks so yummy!


58 Vinny Grette November 2, 2012 at 9:23 am

I love how you bake, with whole wheat flour, stevia, and healthy fats – just how I want kids and their families to learn to bake. It makes these “sweet” treats easy on the waist and good on the tongue! Question: When a recipe calls for 2 1/2 cups sugar and you swap with stevia, what do you add for bolk? I’m trying 1 cup apple sauce in a brownie recipe… Comments?


59 Marla November 2, 2012 at 2:30 pm

Hi Vinny. Thanks for your comment. I don’t generally add too much for bulk ~ sometimes more egg or whole grain flours. I love blanched almond meal too!


60 Savanna Venier October 29, 2013 at 9:58 am

Oh my goodness this looks to die for!


61 Lisa Brown October 2, 2014 at 5:57 am

Looks mighty good: really moist.


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