Banana Bread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting {Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free}

By Sara McGlothlin

Sometimes I receive recipe inspiration from a more significant moment: a restaurant meal while traveling, something I see on T.V., a conversation with a friend who asks how I would healthify her favorite dessert. Other times however, the moment is more mundane, like noticing a couple of over-ripe bananas sitting in my fruit basket that I failed to freeze. That is exactly how I came up with these cupcakes. What can I do with those? I asked myself. Ideas of breads, muffins and cookies came to mind (is this how your brain works too??), but it took me a day to settle on a specific baked good. I have been loving cupcakes lately, mostly because I have been practicing my frosting technique. When I saw a recipe for banana bread cake pop up in my Instagram feed, I knew that was my inspirational cherry on top.

With mashed banana in your cupcakes, you don’t need as much liquid sweetener in my opinion. A cupcake is supposed to be sweet, it’s true, but I have a schtick for making sweet things a touch more nutritious and blood sugar balancing, so expect that natural sweetness from the banana to shine through in this dessert. In fact, I bet you could leave out the maple syrup all together; don’t quote me on that – I didn’t test it that way, but intuitively, I think this cupcake batter would work without it.

Planning and prep:

The most important preparation piece is making sure you have overly ripe bananas on hand. This takes almost a week. If you already have ripe bananas, and you are wondering (as I did) what to make with them, this recipe can come together effortlessly. The frosting does take an hour of forethought, because both the butter and cream cheese have to be at room temperature. You won’t frost the cupcakes until after they have cooled anyway, so you can do this later the same day, or even the next day.

If you are looking for a dessert to take to an earlier morning affair, such as a brunch or shower, I believe these banana bread cupcakes would be perfect. There is something about banana bread and cream cheese frosting that provides a taste of morning, while also still having that celebratory sweet treat element. I hope you love them as much as I do.

Banana Bread Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Everyone's favorite breakfast baked good turned into a cupcake. Naturally sweet while still satisfying your sweet tooth. Gluten-free and Dairy-free
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Cooling Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Course Dessert
Servings 12 cupcakes


  • 1 Hand beater or stand mixer


For the cupcakes

  • 1/2 cup dairy-free. milk I used unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 2 overly ripe bananas, mashed equals about 1 cup
  • 1 cup almond flour
  • 1 cup brown rice flour
  • 3/4 cup coconut sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 1/2 cup grass-fed better room temperature
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil room temperature
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese room temperature
  • 1 cup powdered monk fruit or use regular powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the dairy-free milk and apple cider vinegar.
  • In a large bowl or stand mixer, combine the almond flour, brown rice flour, coconut sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Stir until blended.
  • To the bowl with the milk and apple cider vinegar mixture, add the beaten egg, mashed banana, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Whisk until creamy.
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the bowl with the flour mixture. Beat until a batter is formed.
  • Evenly transfer the batter to the cupcake-lined muffin tin, filling each one about 3/4 of the way to the top. Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to completely cool (at least 1 hour) before frosting.
  • To make the frosting, combine the grass-fed butter, coconut oil, and cream cheese in a large bowl. Using a hand beater, stand mixer, or hand blender with the whisk tool, beat until fluffy, about 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. You can also whisk by hand if needed. Add the powdered monk fruit and vanilla extract and beat again. Give the frosting a good stir with your spatula. Frost the cupcakes immediately, or put the frosting in the refrigerator for 10 minutes for a firmer texture.
Keyword Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Oil-free option