Coconut-Banana Bread Breakfast Cakes

By Ann Fulton

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Gone are the days when flour as we know it meant all-purpose flour.  From almonds to garbanzo beans, rice, and oats, flour is made of almost anything these days.  I recently made pancakes with banana flour (yes, really…and they were good!) and sampled chestnut flour crackers (we liked the pancakes better 😀).

When used the right way, many of these newfound flours have the potential to work magic in the kitchen.  Nothing seems amiss in a family favorite breakfast bar recipe that uses all oat flour in place of all-purpose, and I’ve recently used the more obscure teff flour in delicious apple crisp and yeasted bread recipes.  If there is one flour that breaks all the traditional baking rules, however, it’s coconut flour.  

Coconut flour has an uncanny ability to absorb liquid.  A LOT of liquid.  So when a reader occasionally asks me why a recipe didn’t work so well and mentions that she replaced all of the stated flour (be it almond or all-purpose flour, for example) in the recipe with coconut flour, I immediately know the problem. 

In addition to liquids, coconut flour likes eggs.  But too many eggs can make something taste, well, eggy.  Even if we like eggs, that’s not necessarily what we want our pancakes or quick breads to taste like.  

Ultimately, coconut flour requires a careful balance, and when the stars align and this high-fiber, low-carb flour is paired with just the right amount of liquids and proteins–not to mention small but important details like baking powder and seasonings and/or sweetener–the results can be sublime.

The following recipe for breakfast cakes is one that I’ve been making for several years now and, for some reason, I was saving it for just the right occasion.  That moment came when my friends at Bob’s Red Mill were looking for recipes using this wholesome ingredient.  So as I share it with them, I am sharing it with you…and I hope you enjoy having these littles cakes for breakfast as much as my family does!

Coconut-Banana Bread Breakfast Cakes
I often mix several batches-worth of the dry ingredients and store in small jars or mini Tupperware containers.  That way, this wholesome option to a muffin is that much speedier to whip up.

Follow the basic recipe and then add extras as desired.  Although I've enjoyed many of these tasty cakes with no mix-ins and just a sprinkle of coconut on top, I adore a cinnamon-raisin version and my kids swoon over a shredded coconut-mini chocolate chip mix. Cacao nibs provide crunch like nuts do, but visually they make everyone think there are extra chocolate chips in there.  Win-win!  

  Yield: 1 breakfast cake 
  • 1/4 cup (60 grams) very ripe mashed banana
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter*
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon pure maple syrup (could reduce the amount if watching sugars or substitute another sweetener of choice)
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons (10 grams) coconut flour** (I use Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt (or a scant 1/8 teaspoon regular salt)
  • Optional add-ins:  nuts, shredded coconut, chocolate chips, cacao nibs, raisins, or other dried fruit of choice
  1. In a small bowl, mash the banana and the almond butter together with fork until smooth.  Whisk in the egg and the maple syrup.
  2. Add the coconut flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.  Stir to fully incorporate.  Mix in any of the optional add-ins; a tablespoon of one or two of them is a good starting point.
  3. Scoop into a ramekin or bowl–no need to grease. (I use a dish with a diameter of 4 inches and a depth of 2 inches. You may vary the dimension but may have to alter the cooking time up or down accordingly–and to avoid overflow, don’t go much smaller.)  Microwave on high (100 percent power) for 2 to 2 1/2 minutes.  Until you know how long this takes in your microwave, check it about 20 seconds early and then add time in 15-20 second increments until the center doesn’t feel squishy when lightly pressed.
  4. Allow the cake to cool for a few minutes and then loosen it with a dinner knife and pop it out of the ramekin or bowl. If not eating right away, place on a cooling rack to prevent the steam form making the bottom damp. The cake may be made in advance, cooled, covered and refrigerated.
  • *Nutella or another nut/seed butter of choice may be substituted.  When I tried Nutella for the first time, I thought everyone would like that version better.  As it turns out, mild-tasting almond butter is the preferred choice in our house.  Feel free to experiment.
  • **To properly measure coconut flour, fluff it up a little before measuring and make sure to level off the measuring spoons.  Also, for best results, make sure to squish any lumps as you are mixing the dry ingredients.
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The Fountain Avenue Kitchen
Coconut-Banana Bread Breakfast Cakes

A small amount of coconut flour goes a long way and provides a tender crumb in these high-fiber, low-carb breakfast cakes.  

Coconut-Banana Bread Breakfast Cakes

A single 2 tablespoon serving of coconut flour delivers 5 grams of fiber with only 8 grams of carbs and 60 calories. This makes it ideal for those following the paleo diet or who need to be carb conscious for their health. Coconut flour is also naturally gluten free.


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  1. April

    I made these this morning. I doubled recipe to make two and they are delicious. Since we don’t cook in the microwave, I baked them in oven at 350 and it took a good 30 minutes in the 4X2 ramekin. Also they did stick to the bottom even though I greased the dish so will need to figure that out. My son and I loved them. Thanks.

  2. Cindy M

    Ann – this is delicious. I like this even better than the flax meal muffin in a mug. I was doubtful that it would have a good texture – I am just starting to get my gluten-free legs under me, but, I was pleasantly surprised by the springy texture of this cake. It’s both healthy and tastes like a treat!

    1. Ann Post author

      Yay, Cindy! It’s so much easier to eliminate certain foods when you have options that you really enjoy. Glad you can add this one to your list!

  3. Cheyenne Vaughan-Weaver

    Eating this cake now and couldn’t wait to comment. Best thing I’ve made in a microwave from scratch! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    1. Ann Post author

      I have only made this as a single serve version and think it might be tougher to cook a larger portion evenly in the microwave. I would start by experimenting with the right oven temperature for a single serving–somewhere around 350-375 degrees F most likely. That way it won’t be a major waste if you don’t like results. If you like the way it turns out, I would try five times the recipe in an 8-inch square pan or a 9-inch round cake pan. Hope this helps, and I’d love to know how you make out if you try!

  4. Caroline Post author

    I have made these for a couple of weeks now and they are my new favorite. I make three or four one night, cool them, and then refrigerate for quick breakfasts over several days. Thank you for the GREAT recipe!!

  5. Abigail Murdock

    We grow bananas in the garden. Sometimes we had a lot of ripe bananas that we couldn’t eat them up, so this is a good recipe to make with bananas. Thanks for bringing me a new recipe using bananas as ingredients.

  6. Ellen

    This sounds delicious and I can’t wait to try it. In the notes section, did you perhaps mean to say “almond butter” instead of “almond four” in the first point?

    1. Ann Post author

      Aha…yes! Thanks for mentioning that, Ellen. I just corrected it. As an added note, I very recently tried these with Earth Balance’s coconut & peanut spread and loved it!

  7. Jill

    This looks great! Have you ever made in larger quantities (ie. loaf pan or muffin sized)? And have you ever tried baking vs. microwaving? Any tips are appreciated… Thanks, Ann!

    1. Ann Post author

      Hi Jill,
      I’ve made many variations of this recipe, but I have always made it as a single serve muffin/cake in the microwave. That said, I think the recipe could easily be multiplied and baked in the oven. I did some quick math, and 5 times the recipe cooked in a 9-inch round cake pan or an 8-inch square baking pan should result in a similar thickness. You could also experiment with muffins. I’d try an oven temperature of 350 F for the baking pans, 350 or 375 for muffins, checking periodically until you know how long it will take for the designated baking pan. I hope that helps!

  8. Emily Post author

    I love this recipe and the fact that it includes a whole egg for good protein and staying power. Thank you!