Lately, I have been on a roll with raw banana cinnamon rolls (or snails as I like to call them) lately, so I decided to turn it into a giant cinnabun cake.
This Cinnabun Cake has four components. A rich baked vegan paleo chocolate sponge layered with banana maple cream, a white chocolate drip for that cinnamon roll icing look, and raw banana cinnamon rolls for garnish.
Tips on Baked Rich Chocolate Sponge
- Bloom cacao powder in warm almond milk to draw out maximum cacao flavour.
- In place of instant espresso, you can replace half the almond milk with warm freshly brewed coffee or a coffee alternative such as roasted dandelion / chicory.
Tips on Raw Banana Maple Frosting
- Use ripe bananas for best taste; unripe bananas have a sour vipaka (post-digestive effect).
- Dehydrating the bananas for a short period of 2-3 hours helps to reduce the moisture content and concentrate and intensify of flavour of bananas. This is because you can pack more bananas into the cream without it becoming too watery (the banana is about 75% water by weight).
- Many raw food recipes call for the use of Irish moss paste, made from a type of seaweed, which function as a fat-free binder. As Irish moss is not available in my region, I substituted 1% agar fluid gel. To do this, prepare a 1 percent agar solution, boil it, cool it so that it forms a gel, then shear it to transform it to a fluid gel. You can prepare a large batch and store the remainder in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. Using agar (or Irish moss) gel allows you to reduce the amount of coconut oil needed to stabilise the cream.
Tips on White Chocolate Drip
- You can use homemade white chocolate (made from coconut milk powder, cacao butter, cashews and coconut nectar) or store-bought. I recommend Loving Earth or Pana brand.
- Melt the white chocolate first, then slowly incorporate the warm coconut milk, stirring constantly. It is important that the coconut milk is warm to prevent the chocolate from seizing, or becoming grainy.
- To create the drip look, you can use a piping bag or a spoon with a narrow tip. I find the spoon to be easier to control and less messy too.
- Drip the ganache on a cold cake so the drip will solidify before it reaches the bottom of the cake.
Tips on Raw Banana Cinnamon Rolls
- Choose straight, not curved, bananas if possible. This makes it easier to cut and roll.
- Use semi-ripe or just ripe bananas that are not too soft. This makes it easier to cut. The bananas will continue to “ripen” in the warmth of the dehydrator.
- Cut each banana lengthwise to 6 mm (1/4 inch) thickness, about 3 or 4 slices per banana.
- Dehydrate the bananas slices until they are pliable but still juicy. Do not over-dry or they will become tough. I find about 6-8 hours gives the right consistency. Flip the bananas halfway through drying to ensure both sides are dry.
- If you do not have a dehydrator and live in a hot climate, you can sun-dry the bananas by placing them in a sunny spot. Cover the bananas with a mesh to ward off unwanted insects and animals.
- For the filling, I used a coconut sugar based filling. Use the ratio of 8-3-2 coconut sugar, coconut butter, and ground cinnamon respectively. Many versions of raw banana cinnamon fillings are date-based. I have tried both and conclude the coconut sugar version is more similar to regular cinnamon rolls.
- You can add some texture to your cinnamon rolls by sprinkling raisins or crushed walnuts on the coconut sugar paste before rolling up the banana slices.
Cinnabun Cake with Raw Banana Cinnamon Rolls
Banana, chocolate, maple, and cinnamon come together in this cake inspired by banana cinnamon rolls. It features a rich baked chocolate sponge, banana maple frosting, white chocolate icing drip and ooey gooey raw banana cinnamon rolls. Vegan, Paleo.
Baked Rich Chocolate Sponge (makes 3 5-inch rounds)
- 96 g (1 cup) almond flour
- 20 g (1/4 cup) coconut flour
- 16 g (2 tbsp) arrowroot flour
- 42 g (5 tbsp) coconut sugar
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 3/4 tsp baking soda
- 22 g (1/4 cup) cacao powder
- 1 tsp instant espresso (optional)
- 120 g (1/2 cup) almond milk, hot
- 1 Flax Egg (mix 6 g ground flaxseed + 40 g water)
- 36 g (2 tbsp) maple syrup
- 25 g (2 1/2 tbsp) cold-pressed coconut oil
- 14 g (1/2 oz) cacao paste, melted
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Raw Banana Maple Frosting
- 205 g (2 medium) ripe bananas, peeled, chopped and dried 2-3 hours to remove moisture and concentrate flavours) (about 118 g post-drying)
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 144 g (1 cup) raw cashews, soaked at least 4 hours to soften
- 40 g (2 1/2 tbsp) activated almond butter or tahini
- 80 g (4 1/2 tbsp) maple syrup
- 24 g (1 1/2 tbsp) 1% agar fluid gel or Irish moss paste
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/8 tsp Himalayan salt
- 15 g (1 1/2 tbsp) cold-pressed coconut oil
- 8 g (1 1/2 tbsp) cacao powder
White Chocolate Drip
- 32 g (2 tbsp) vegan white chocolate (homemade or store-bought, such as Loving Earth or Pana)
- 32 g (2 tbsp) coconut milk, warmed
Raw Banana Cinnamon Rolls - makes 6 rolls
- 3 no semi-ripe bananas
- 4 tsp coconut sugar
- 1 tsp cinnamon powder
- 8 g (1 1/2 tsp) coconut butter
- Splash warm water, to dissolve
- 6 g (1/2 no) pitted Medjool date, to make a sticky paste
- 20 g (2 tbsp) raisins or crushed walnuts (optional)
For the Baked Rich Chocolate Sponge
Line 3 5-inch round baking tins with parchment paper. You can also use an 8-inch baking tin.
In a large bowl, combine the almond, coconut, and arrowroot flours, coconut sugar, salt, and baking soda. Set aside.
Bloom the cacao powder, and instant espresso if using, in hot almond milk. Heat up the milk in a small saucepan over low heat. Once the milk is hot but before it comes to a simmer, stir in the cacao powder (and instant espresso) to dissolve. Set it aside to cool.
Prepare one flax egg. In a small bowl, combine 6 g (1 tablespoon) flaxseed powder with 40 ml water. Whisk well then set it aside to gel.
In a blender, combine the bloomed cacao milk mixture, flax egg, maple syrup, coconut oil, melted cacao paste, and vanilla extract. Blend on high speed until a smooth, silky mixture. You can also whisk the mixture by hand if you prefer not use a blender.
Fold the wet mixture into the dry flour mixture until well combined and evenly distributed. The final batter should have a thick consistency.
Divide the batter equally into the three prepared baking tins. Bake at 175°C (350°F) for 22-25 minutes, or until the top springs back when touched.
Let the cakes cool in their tins for 10 minutes. Release the cakes from the tins, and cool completely to room temperature before frosting.
For the Raw Banana Maple Frosting
Toss the chopped bananas in lemon juice and spread on a dehydrator sheet. Dehydrate at 46°C (115°F) for 2-3 hours.
Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. In a blender, combine the soaked cashews, semi-dried bananas, and almond butter / tahini, maple syrup, agar fluid gel / Irish moss paste, vanilla extract, and salt. Blend on high speed until very smooth. Add the coconut oil and blend again until the mixture is emulsified.
Transfer about 120 g (1/2 cup) of cream into a bowl and stir in 8 g (1 1/2 tablespoons) of cacao powder. Transfer the remaining cream into a separate bowl. Now you should have two creams: banana cream and chocolate banana cream. Place the bowls in the freezer for 30 minutes to allow the creams to firm up.
To frost the cake, spread the banana cream on the chocolate sponge cakes. Stack and coat the outside with banana cream and chocolate banana cream alternately to get a striped look. Place the cake in the refrigerator.
For the White Chocolate Drip
Melt the white chocolate over a bain marie. Gradually stir in warm coconut milk to form a silky ganache.
Place the cake on a turntable. Using a narrow spoon or piping bag, drip the ganache around the edges of the cake, turning the turntable as you go.
Pour the remaining ganache over the top of the cake and use an offset spatula to spread it out evenly. Place the cake in the refrigerator.
For the Raw Banana Cinnamon Rolls
Slice semi-ripe or just ripe bananas into 3-4 slices lengthwise, about 6mm (1/4 inch) thick.
Place the banana slices on dehydrator sheets and brush with lemon juice. Dehydrate at 46°C (115°F) for 6-8 hours, flipping halfway through.
To make the cinnamon filling, combine the coconut sugar, cinnamon powder, and coconut butter in a small bowl. Add a splash of water and stir well. Add the date and mash it with the back of a spoon. Stir again until a uniform, sticky mixture.
Spread the mixture thinly on the dried bananas. Sprinkle raisins or walnuts on the paste, if using. Roll the banana slices, using 2-3 slices per roll depending on how large you want your roll to be.
Garnish the cake with raw banana cinnamon rolls. The rolls themselves make a nice dessert snack.