Using 3 ingredients and a blender, this Sweet Plantain Cake is a perfect lesson in keeping things simple!
This cake has no added sweeteners. Its lightly sweet flavor comes from the plantains themselves. And, as you can imagine from a recipe that’s only 3 ingredients, this recipe is gluten free, paleo, nut free, dairy free, and vegetarian.
You can top this cake with fruit, honey, or whipped cream, or keep things as simplistic as possible and snack on it plain!
Author’s note: This recipe was originally published 8/12/15 and has been updated on 3/16/21.
What are plantains, anyway?
Presumably, you ended up here because you already know what plantains are! In the off chance you just loved the photos or did a Google search to try and figure out what the heck to do with the new-to-you produce you decided to try out, here’s a brief rundown.
Plantains are a cultivar of bananas, meaning they’ve been selectively bred to become the starchy fruit they are today. While the two are related, they are not interchangeable.
Plantains are thicker and starchier than bananas, meaning they are most appealing when cooked. While you could eat a raw plantain, you’ll likely be immediately turned off by the starch and bitterness. Always cook your plantains!
Want to learn more? I’ve written a whole guide for plantains, including nutrition, benefits, and how to cook them!
How to make a simple, 3-ingredient sweet plantain cake
This recipe is CRAZY easy, so I won’t waste your time walking through the whole recipe.
But, first thing’s first, you’ve got to peel the plantains. The easiest way to do so in my experience is to chop the ends off, slice down the peel lengthwise, and gently remove the peel.
With more ripe plantains, though, you might find that some of the peel just sticks to the plantain. In those cases, use your knife to help cut away these pieces. You won’t want that tough peel to end up in your cake!
After the plantains are peeled, just throw ’em in a blender along with the eggs and baking soda. Blend until smooth, then pour the mixture into an oiled cast iron pan or cake pan. Bake and you’re done!
If you plan to top the cake with any of the suggested toppings below, let it cool completely beforehand.
What’s the difference between yellow, green, and brown plantains?
Similar to a banana, the color of a plantain will let you know how ripe it is.
YELLOW plantains are a little more ripe, easier to peel, and lightly sweet. Still WAY more starchy than a banana!
BROWN plantains are much sweeter and best for baking. They’ll likely not keep their shape when you peel them.
For this recipe and most plantain baking recipes, you’ll want to use YELLOW-BROWN plantains — pick ones that are either yellow with brown spots or pretty much brown. Or just let them ripen to perfection before using!
The ripeness of the plantains will significantly affect the texture and sweetness of this cake. Since there are no added sweeteners in this recipe, browner plantains will make a sweeter cake. However, since brown plantains are a little less starchy, the cake will be a little more dense.
For me, the best texture/taste comes with plantains that are yellow-brown — not completely browned but also not completely yellow.
Can I use bananas instead of plantains?
NOPE! Not recommended at all.
Plantains are much starchier than bananas. The starch content has a huge impact on baked goods. So DO NOT use the two interchangeably.
Toppings and tips for serving this cake
This sweet plantain cake is super versatile as far as serving goes! Sometimes I opt to treat it like a snack cake, grabbing a piece without any accompaniament.
On the other hand, you can go all out (like I did for the photos!) and top this cake with a coconut whipped cream and fresh fruit.
But that’s not the only idea I’ve got! Here are a few other ways to top and serve this cake. Feel free to mix and match to find your perfect combo.
- Whipped cream (Use coconut whipped cream as a dairy-free option)
- Fresh fruit
- Fried egg
- Drizzle of honey or maple syrup
- Crumbled bacon
- Dust with cinnamon
- Roasted berries
- Cashew cream cheese frosting
Otherwise, I put a spin on this recipe and made a gingerbread plantain cake — which is the cake I made for my wedding!
More creative plantain recipes to bookmark for later!
- The Best Plantain Pancake Recipe
- Mashed Plantains—Sweet & Savory
- Plantain & Raisin Fritters with Date Caramel Dipping Sauce
- Crazy Easy Pan-Fried Plantain Patties
- Flourless Plantain Skillet Brownie
Did you try this recipe? I’d love to hear what you think! Comment below or tag me on Instagram.Print
This unsweetened, flourless 3 ingredient sweet plantain cake makes a light and satisfying snack or dessert. Top it with coconut whipped cream and fresh fruit for a stunning summer treat!
- 3 large ripe yellow-brown plantains (~3 cups pureed plantain – the more ripe, the better!)
- 6 eggs
- 1 tsp baking soda
This recipe will work with yellow to brown plantains. I find the best texture comes from plantains that are in between the two!
- Serving Size: 1 slice
Keywords: 3 ingredient plantain cake, paleo, vegetarian, gluten free