Blueberry Cardamom Breakfast Cake {gluten-free, vegan}

This cake is a year-round staple for us.  It is full of whole grains, dotted with plump blueberries and sweetened just right for a breakfast dish. My favorite part is the crunchy raw sugar top, and of course, the spicy warmth of the cardamom.

When it comes to vegan baking, especially cakes, I always err on the side of a dryer batter than a wetter one. A cake with too much moisture results in a sunken gooey mess which is impossible to salvage.

I love the rumpled irregular surface of this cake. It looks so old-fashioned and rustic, the lumps only add to its charm.

Dry ingredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups flour (for GF use – 3/4 cup millet flour, 1/2 cup brown rice flour, 1/2 cup sorghum flour (or more brown rice flour), 1/2 cup tapioca starch, 1 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum)
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup brown sugar

Wet ingredients:

  • 1/2 mashed ripe banana (about 1/4 cup)
  • 1/4 cup butter or ghee, at room temperature (for vegans substitute – coconut oil, Spectrum organic shortening or vegan margarine)
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1/2 cup warm water or milk of choice (rice, almond, cow)


  • 10 ounces fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1 tablespoon or more raw or turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Oil a 9″ round cake pan.

In a large bowl whisk together the dry ingredients. In a stand mixer combine the wet ingredients. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix until combined.

Fold in thawed and drained blueberries. Scrape batter (which will be quite thick) into the oiled pan. Sprinkle top of cake evenly with 1 tablespoon raw or turbinado sugar.

Bake 50 – 60 minutes until firm to the touch and a tooth pick inserted in the cake comes out clean. Cover the cake with aluminum foil if it begins to brown too quickly (40 minute mark for me).

* If you’re not gluten free omit the xanthan gum and substitute 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour for the gluten free flours, but I would highly recommend at least keeping the millet flour, because it really lends a unique and complimentary flavor.  If you go that route you only need 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour.

Caramelized Banana Bread {gluten-free, vegan}

Caramelized Banana Bread {gluten-free, vegan}
Serendipitously, I was flipping through a magazine in the dentist’s chair last week, all sorts of specialized dental gadgetry filled my mouth, when I stumbled upon this little number.
Caramelized Banana Bread {gluten-free, vegan} Caramelized Banana Bread {gluten-free, vegan}CARAMELIZED BANANA BREAD
Adapted from Rachel Ray’s Everyday

I successfully adapted this to be gluten, dairy, soy and egg-free, with out Ener-G egg replacer, too.  I used clarified butter for the caramelization, but I really think coconut oil would work beautifully, too. And then it would be vegan.

I was nervous that this might be cloying for my tastes, but it was not. As a matter of fact, it had a wonderful balance between caramel sweetness and whole grain goodness. I just might have to make this again on Christmas morning.

3 or 4 large bananas
3/4 cups cane sugar
2 tablespoons clarified butter, coconut oil or butter if you can have it
2/3 cup sorghum flour
1/4 cup brown rice flour
3 tablespoons potato starch (not potato flour)
2 tablespoons tapioca, arrowroot or cornstarch
1 teaspoon baking powder (add a pinch more, maybe 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon if you’re at sea level)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/4 teaspoon salt
7 tablespoons canola oil or 1/2 cup less 1 tablespoon
1 tablespoon vinegar
3 tablespoons sparkling water

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Grease a loaf pan. Cut the ends off of the bananas using the bottom of your loaf pan as a guide (see above photo) and reserve the ends. Slice the long banana pieces in half, lenghtwise and set aside on a plate.
  2. Bring 1/4 cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of water to a simmer in a large, heavy bottom skillet. Do not stir the mixture, simply swirl your pan to keep the water and sugar mixed. The water will evaporate and the mix will begin to turn amber. Once it has a nice caramel color remove from heat and stir in the clarified butter or coconut oil with a fork. Lay the long banana pieces in the pan cut side down (see below photo) and continue to cook on low heat for 1-2 minutes. Transfer the banana slices to the prepared loaf pan, laying them cut side down. Drizzle the remaining caramel on top.
  3. Mash the reserved bananas and measure out 1 cup (this used all of my pieces). Using a stand mixer or hand mixer, beat the mashed banana pieces with the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar. Add the vinegar and sparkling water (this is your egg replacer) and mix until incorporated.
  4. In a large bowl mix the remaining ingredients: sorghum flour through salt. Add the banana mixture and the oil. Scrape into loaf pan on top of bananas. Spread batter into pan. Bake 50 – 55 minutes until top is firm to the touch and toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool 10 minutes. Then run a paring knife along the edges of the pan. Place a plate over the pan and invert the loaf onto the plate.

Caramelized Banana Bread {gluten-free, vegan}