Dairy Free Banana Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream

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These tender banana cupcakes are made with coconut oil and cashew milk, so they’re completely dairy free. Top them with swirls of brown sugar buttercream for a crave-worthy treat!
Dairy Free Banana Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream (Dairy Free)

Do you ever get a craving that you just can’t shake? I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve been craving banana cake since December. It came out of nowhere and just would. not. go. away. Of course every recipe for banana cake that I could find was incredibly rich and full of buttermilk, sour cream, and calories.

Of course every recipe for banana cake that I could find was incredibly rich and full of buttermilk, sour cream, and calories. Luckily, this cold weather that we’ve been having practically necessitates having cake in the oven, so I’ve been working on a lighter version of banana cake! These banana cupcakes are perfectly portioned and definitely hit the spot.

Dairy Free Banana Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream (Dairy Free)

These banana cupcakes are definitely still a treat – they clock in at just under 300 calories a piece – but they’re a significant improvement over other banana cake recipes out there. To lighten them up (and make them dairy free!) I swapped the butter for coconut oil and the buttermilk for Silk cashew milk! Whipped egg whites add volume to the batter and keep it tender, so there’s no need for sour cream.

Then came the difficult decision of that to frost them with? I couldn’t decide between brown sugar buttercream, whipped mocha ganache, or peanut butter frosting. The crowd on facebook was just as indecisive as I was: the vote was just about tied between brown sugar and peanut butter. I ended up opting for a dairy-free version of the brown sugar buttercream that I originally used on my baked chocolate pumpkin donuts and I was very happy with my decision. They frosting is delicious, but doesn’t distract from the cake itself.

Enjoy your cupcake with a cold glass of Silk cashew milk! It’s a lot easier to find now than it was back when I first used it in my cashew-chai French toast casserole and I’ve been keeping it around because it’s awesome in coffee. It’s rich and creamy in a way that most other non-dairy milks aren’t. The creaminess reminds me of 2% milk, but the unsweetened version only has 25 calories per serving. it also makes a great swap for dairy milk in recipes like these cupcakes, raspberry oatmeal pancakes, or smoothies.

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Dairy Free Banana Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream (Dairy Free)

Dairy Free Banana Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream 1

Dairy Free Banana Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream

4.77 from 21 votes
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Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 290kcal


  • 1 egg separated
  • cup coconut oil
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 cup mashed banana about 2 bananas
  • ½ cup Silk unsweetened cashew milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

For the brown sugar buttercream

  • 3 tablespoons vegetable shortening
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • ¾ cup powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons Silk unsweetened cashew milk optionla


  • Heat oven to 350ºF. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  • In a large mixing bowl, use an electric beater to beat the egg white until soft peaks form. Set aside.
  • In a second mixing bowl, cream together the coconut oil and sugar until it resembles fine, wet sand. Beat in the egg yolk. Stir in the bananas, cashew milk, and vanilla.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients to make a thick batter; gently fold in the whipped egg white.
  • Divide the batter among the prepared muffin cups. Bake for 18-22 minutes or until the tops of the cupcakes are gently domed and light golden brown.
  • Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  • While the cupcakes cool, prepare the frosting: Use an electric mixer to beat the shortening until it's light and creamy. Add the sugars and vanilla and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. If desired, beat in up to two teaspoons of cashew milk to thin out the frosting.
  • Frost cupcakes after they've completely cooled.
Nutrition Facts
Dairy Free Banana Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream
Amount Per Serving
Calories 290 Calories from Fat 81
% Daily Value*
Fat 9g14%
Fiber 1g4%
Protein 2g4%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?Mention @HealthyDelish or tag #HealthyDelish!


This conversation is sponsored by Silk. The opinions and text are all mine.


Hi, I'm Lauren!

I'm a certified plant-based cook and enthusiastic omnivore who loves looking for creative ways to make weeknight meals more nutritious. I'm the author of Heathy Eating One Pot Cookbook and Healthy Meal Prep Slow Cooker Cookbook. I also blog at The Busy Foodie. Read more...


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38 thoughts on “Dairy Free Banana Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Buttercream”

  1. 5 stars
    I was thoroughly impressed by this recipe. I do a lot of gluten free/diary free baking and not once have I found an online recipe this good.

  2. I only needed the buttercream frosting so apologize for being incomplete in my review. But the frosting did not work for me. It tasted too strongly of shortening (I used Spectrum) and the brown sugar was too grainy. I have tossed it and am trying a recipe with only powdered sugar and a combo of shortening and Earth Balance. Thank for posting.


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