Chocolate Banana Cake Bars (vegan + gluten-free)

I have a hard time walking away from a sale.

I thought I’d learned my lesson from the 2011 canned pumpkin sale incident, but my freezer full of over-ripe bananas says otherwise. It’s just so challenging to say no to an over-ripe banana. They’re perfect for banana soft-serve, green smoothies, banana pops and can be stored in the freezer for ages!

Plus, the bananas I’ve been collecting aren’t your average run of the mill bananas. They’re organic, brown and mushy, and were 50% off; gotta love the Superstore aged produce bin, that’s like 20 cents per banana!

All things were fine and dandy with my ever-growing banana collection until Sunday evening when Kevin flung open the freezer door and a bunch of bananas came flying out, stubbing his toe and nearly crushing Pebbles. Weighing in at just under 6lbs, a banana falling from 3 feet could harm the little beast, not a laughing matter… but the stubbed toe was pretty funny ;)

In fear of a broken foot; Kevin’s words, not mine, he asked me to do something about our banana problem. Preferably something that involved chocolate… because we have a chocolate problem too I guess? Eh, nothing a little flour and sugar can’t fix, right?

I resisted the urge to make these cake bars with eggs despite my recent obsession with them. I’ve received requests to post egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free baked goods more often, so thought I’d attempt to solve my banana problem and try to make the recipe as allergen-free as possible.

The result? Rich and delicious banana cake fit for (hopefully) everyone!

Adapted from Fit for two and inspired by my blueberry banana cake bars

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4.3 from 3 reviews
Chocolate Banana Cake Bars (Vegan + Gluten-free)
Author: 
Recipe type: Vegan, Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Refined sugar-free, Yeast-free, Corn-free, Nut-free (option)
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 16 cake bars, 16 servings
 
Vegan and gluten-free chocolate banana cake, portable and snacktastic!
Ingredients
Wet
  • 2 tablespoon chia seed, ground + 7 tablespoon water
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar
  • ½ cup extra virgin coconut oil, softened
  • 4 bananas, mashed
  • 2 vanilla beans, ½ teaspoon vanilla paste or 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Dry
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 350F and line 8×8 pan with parchment paper across both sides for easy lifting and set aside.
  2. Combine ground chia and water, set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. In a large bowl, cream coconut sugar and coconut oil with a hand or stand mixer for 3 minutes.
  4. Add mashed banana, vanilla and chia mixture. Set aside.
  5. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk all dry ingredients. Once combined, add to wet mixture and mix with hand or stand mixture until incorporated.
  6. Add walnuts if using them.
  7. Drop batter into prepared pan, flattening out as best you can.
  8. Bake until golden, 40-50 minutes, or toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven, slide out of baking pan and place on a cooling rack for 30 minutes.
    Notes
    Because these bars are gluten-free and vegan, the consistency isn’t exactly the same as a regular cake. The end result is fully cooked, not mushy, but somewhat elastic-like, I believe from using ground chia. Kevin and I both really enjoyed them. The longer they sit after being baked, the less elastic-like they become.

    Just look at those beautiful frozen bananas just waiting to be baked!

    As I was carrying the cutting board back to the kitchen to start on the recipe, I turned the corner a bit too sharply and chia went everywhere.

    Pebbles came to the rescue… kinda.

    You want to cream the oil and sugar until it looks like the first photo above. Then, mix the chia and water. It’s going to be really sticky, that’s okay! Just get rid of as many clumps as you can. Allow the mix to sit for 5 minutes before adding it to the sugar along with the bananas and vanilla.

    Set the liquid mix aside and get going on the dry. All you need’s a little whisk and you’re good to go!

    Add the dry mix to the wet and stir with a spoon until combined. The batter is pretty thick due to the chia so don’t be alarmed. If you want to add walnuts as I did, do it now.

    Press the mix into your prepared baking sheet and place it in the oven. Then vacuum up the leftover chia seeds that are now caked to your kitchen floor with dog drool.

    awesome :|

    The end result is totally worth waiting for!

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