Banana Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing

This amazing banana bundt cake is the perfect mid-week treat: incredibly easy to prepare, wonderfully rich and moist, and simply bursting with flavour thanks to the addition of brown butter, light brown sugar, chopped pecans and chocolate into the batter. The brown butter cream cheese icing is a total revelation, and it takes this simple gluten free cake to whole new levels of deliciousness.

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Banana bundt cake on a large dessert plate.

It seems like the whole world has been busy baking banana bread these last few months (or, rather, this past year) – so, here’s another twist on this comfort food classic, in bundt cake form.

This banana bundt cake is the perfect mid-week treat: it comes together in no time with minimal fuss, it’s simply packed full of the most wonderful flavours (from brown butter to chopped pecans and chocolate), it’s wonderfully moist (and stays that way for days) and the brown butter cream cheese icing is simply DIVINE.

It’s also gluten free, not that you could possibly guess it!

Importantly, you don’t need any special equipment to make the cake or the icing, and you’ll need only your regular (gluten free) pantry staples.

Now, technically, this is just a slightly fancier banana bread, baked in a bundt pan. But I think it’s incredibly fun to switch things up every now and then – and once you give it a try, you’ll want to make it over and over again. Yes, it’s just that good.

A slice of banana bundt cake on a small white dessert plate.

Before we get to the bits and bobs of making this wonderful cake – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my newsletter to keep up to date on the latest recipes and tips!

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Note: the whole recipe, including the ingredient quantities, can be found at the bottom of this page – just scroll down to the bottom, or click the ‘Jump to Recipe’ button at the top of this post.

The banana bundt cake

We’re really going all out on the flavour front here, with:

  • brown butter and light brown sugar for all those wonderful nutty and caramelised notes,
  • bananas for moisture and sweetness,
  • yoghurt for EXTRA moisture and a bit of tangy freshness (to balance out the sweetness of the other ingredients),
  • chopped pecans, because pecans in banana bread are AMAZING, and
  • chocolate, because honestly, when is chocolate not an excellent idea?

If you want to take things a step further, you can toast the pecans to bring out their flavour even more. I used a mix of milk and dark chocolate chips (partly because I just couldn’t decide, and partly because the combination of the two gives just the right amount of chocolatey bitter-sweetness), but you can use only dark or only milk chocolate chips, as well as chopped chocolate if you don’t want to use chocolate chips.

The cake comes together in no time and requires no special equipment to make – just a large bowl, a whisk, and a saucepan to brown the butter. The finished, baked cake is incredibly moist and flavourful – it’s not a super light and fluffy cake, but rather pleasantly dense, with a wonderful added crunch from the chopped pecans.

Banana bundt cake on a large dessert plate, with a few pieces cut from it.

I know that bundt cakes can sometimes seem scary to make, as you might be worried that they will stick to the bundt pan. Here’s what I’ve found helps prevent sticking:

  • Use a high quality bundt pan. This is the one I used –  it’s a NordicWare bundt pan and I love it. The bundt cakes just pop right out of it, and it gives them the most beautiful shape.
  • Generously butter your bundt pan and lightly sprinkle with almond flour. I know that it’s more common to dust it with (gluten free) flour and you can definitely do that, especially if you’re allergic to nuts. But almond flour, due to its higher fat content, really helps with getting the bundt cakes out of the pan quickly and in one piece.

Removing the banana bundt cake from the bundt pan.

    The brown butter cream cheese icing

    Now, you could finish this banana bundt cake off with just a simple dusting of icing sugar – it would still be incredibly delicious.

    But… it’s just so much better with this AMAZING brown butter cream cheese icing!! The icing truly elevates it to a whole new level of deliciousness, with the extra burst of flavour from the brown butter, the tangy creaminess of cream cheese and the subtle undertones of vanilla.

    When I developed the recipe for this icing, I didn’t want it to be too thick – certainly not so thick that you would need to pipe it on top of the cake or that you would have to spread it on top, like you would with cinnamon rolls. Instead, the icing has a wonderful thick yet runny consistency that gently drips down the grooves of the bundt cake.

    And just look at those specks of caramelised milk solids from the browned butter in the icing – that’s where all the flavour is hiding, friends!

    Icing the banana bundt cake with brown butter cream cheese icing.

    I like to decorate this banana cake with a sprinkling of chopped pecans – for a fun extra crunch. Plus, it looks pretty, wouldn’t you say?

    Decorating the iced banana bundt cake with chopped pecans.

    And that’s all there is to it. This amazing gluten free banana bundt cake truly couldn’t be easier to make, and yet it’s simply bursting with flavour and texture.

    I hope you’ll love it.

    Happy baking!

    Signature of the author, Kat.

    Banana bundt cake on a large dessert plate.

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    Banana bundt cake on a large dessert plate.
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    Banana Bundt Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Icing (Gluten Free)

    This amazing banana bundt cake is the perfect mid-week treat: incredibly easy to prepare, wonderfully rich and moist, and simply bursting with flavour thanks to the addition of brown butter, light brown sugar, chopped pecans and chocolate into the batter. The brown butter cream cheese icing is a total revelation, and it takes this simple gluten free cake to whole new levels of deliciousness.

    Course Dessert
    Cuisine Gluten Free
    Prep Time 45 minutes
    Bake/Cook Time 50 minutes
    Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
    Servings 10

    Ingredients

    For banana bundt cake:

    • 220 g (1 cup) mashed bananas (2 medium bananas)
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 200 g (1 ¾ sticks) unsalted butter
    • 125 g (½ cup + 2 tbsp) light brown soft sugar
    • 2 UK medium/US large eggs, room temperature
    • 100 g (⅓ cup + 1 ½ tbsp) full-fat plain natural or Greek-style yoghurt, room temperature
    • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
    • 225 g (1 ¾ cups + 2 tbsp) plain gluten free flour blend (I used Doves Farm Freee plain gluten free flour, which doesn't contain xanthan gum. You can also mix your own blend from 50% white rice flour, 30% potato starch and 20% maize flour by weight.)
    • 50 g (½ cup) almond flour, plus extra for dusting the bundt pan (You can substitute it with an equal weight of the GF flour blend if you're allergic to nuts, but note that the cake will dry out a bit faster.)
    • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
    • ¾ tsp baking soda
    • ¼ tsp xanthan gum (Omit if your GF flour blend already contains xanthan gum.)
    • ¼ tsp salt
    • 90 g (3 oz) milk and/or dark chocolate chips or chopped chocolate
    • 80 g (⅔ cup) pecans, chopped plus extra for decoration

    For brown butter cream cheese icing:

    • 100 g (¾ cup + 1 tbsp) icing/powdered sugar
    • 45 g (3 tbsp) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature
    • 15 g (1 tbsp) whole milk, room temperature
    • ½ tsp vanilla bean paste (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)

    Instructions

    For banana bundt cake:

    1. Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 350ºF (180ºC) and generously butter a 10-cup bundt pan (about 8.5 inch/22cm wide and 4 inch/10cm deep) – this is the one I used from NordicWare – and, once buttered, dust it lightly with almond flour.

      Tip: You can also dust the bundt pan with the gluten free flour blend, especially if you’re allergic to nuts. But almond flour, due to its higher fat content, really helps with getting the bundt cake out of the pan quickly, cleanly and in one piece.

    2. Mix the mashed bananas with the lemon juice (to prevent oxidation and browning) and set aside.

    3. To brown the butter:

      Add the butter to a saucepan (preferably one with a light-coloured interior that allows you to see the butter changing colour) and cook it over medium-high heat with frequent stirring for 8-10 minutes in total.

      The butter will first melt and then start bubbling and foaming. Finally, it will turn amber. You should see specks of a deep brown/amber colour on the bottom of the saucepan (those are the caramelised milk solids).

      Remove from heat, pour the browned butter into a separate bowl, and allow to cool until warm.

    4. Add about 150g (about ¾ cup + 1 tbsp) of the browned butter to a large bowl. Reserve the rest (about 1 ½ – 2 tablespoons) for the icing.

    5. Add the light brown soft sugar, eggs, yoghurt and vanilla to the butter, and use a large balloon whisk to whisk them together until well combined.

    6. Add the mashed bananas and whisk well until combined.

    7. In a separate bowl, sift together the gluten free flour blend, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda, xanthan gum and salt.

    8. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and whisk well until you get a smooth cake batter with no flour clumps.

    9. Add the chocolate chips and chopped pecans, and use a wooden spoon or rubber spatula to mix them into the batter until evenly distributed.

    10. Transfer the cake batter into the prepared bundt pan. Tap the pan on the worktop to level out the top of the batter and to help the batter settle into all the grooves of the bundt pan.

    11. Bake at 350ºF (180ºC) for about 50-52 minutes or until well risen, golden brown and an inserted toothpick comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs attached. If the top of the cake starts browning too quickly, cover with aluminium foil (shiny side up) and continue baking until done.

    12. Allow to cool in the bundt pan for about 15 minutes, then carefully turn it out of the pan onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

    For brown butter cream cheese icing:

    1. If the reserved browned butter has cooled down and firmed up, reheat it briefly either in the microwave or in a saucepan on the stovetop.

    2. Mix the reserved brown butter with the rest of the icing ingredients until you get a smooth, thick yer runny icing that thickly coats the back of a spoon.

      Tip: At this stage, you can easily adjust the icing consistency by adding more milk (if you want it runnier/thinner) or by adding more icing/powdered sugar (to make it thicker).

    3. Transfer the cooled bundt pan onto the serving/dessert platter of choice and drizzle it with the icing.

    4. Decorate with chopped pecans while the icing is still wet to the touch, then allow the icing to set (it will dry out slightly on the surface, so it will no longer be wet to the touch) at room temperature for about 30 minutes, before slicing and serving.

    Storage:

    1. The banana bundt cake keeps well in a closed container in a cool dry place for 3-4 days.

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