bubby fran’s famous banana cake

This is my Bubby Fran with Lily.

This is Lily, BC (before celiac), chillin’ with my Bubby Fran.


They had a lot of fun together.

Bubby had a way with babies. After five kids and 10 grandkids, she was a real natural.


They be chillin.

When it came to her role as great grandmother, Fran never phoned it in. She approached baking in the same way. You could taste the love in her cakes.


This is Bub's banana chocolate chip cake.

This is Bub’s famous banana chocolate chip cake—gluten-free style!


You might be thinking, “gluten-free banana cake, a dime a dozen.” Google it, and 9,990,000 recipes pop up on your screen.

Not this banana cake, oh no. I’ve perfected a gluten-free version of my Bubby Fran’s famous banana chocolate chip cake. It’s super moist (even on day two!) and full of flavour, with the same taste and texture as my Bub’s cake. Fresh out of the oven, you would NEVER know it’s gluten free (be careful not to devour the entire thing). Not only have my dad, aunts and uncle come back for seconds, they’ve also given me permission to share this beloved, slightly tweaked family recipe with you.

For the gluten-free makeover, I follow Fran’s recipe to a T, substituting either Cup 4 Cup Gluten-Free Flour or Bob’s Red Mill Gluten-Free All-Purpose Baking Flour, depending on what’s in the cupboard. (If it’s the Bob’s Red Mill, I use xantham gum as well). It might also work with other gluten-free flour blends but I’ve only tried it with these so far. The other key difference is I don’t bake it for as long as the original recipe called for.

It may not be the healthiest banana cake recipe around, and I’m not claiming it is. There are plenty of those out there—go ahead, just google it. But this is my Bubby’s banana chocolate chip cake, gluten-free style. And Lily gets to enjoy it, the same banana cake that I grew up on. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Note: You can attempt to make this cake healthier by using low-fat sour cream instead of full fat, or coconut sugar instead of regular white sugar, but Fran would frown on this. And, trust me, your cake won’t taste as delicious. Besides, can’t a girl have her gluten-free cake and eat it too?

Bubby’s Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

Bub used ½ cup Crisco all-vegetable shortening (at room temp) but I use ½ cup butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3 ripe bananas, mashed
1 tsp pure vanilla
4 tbsp sour cream (full fat)
1 tsp baking soda (gluten free)
2 tsp baking powder (gluten free)
1¾ cup flour (+ ¼ tsp xantham gum per cup of flour if using Bob’s Red Mill or a blend without it)
¾ cup chocolate chips (but who’s counting?)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly grease a cake pan. (I used this fancy mold just because my Bubby did but I’ve also made it in a loaf pan and muffin tin.) Mix together Crisco and sugar. Add eggs, and then bananas, vanilla and sour cream, and beat to combine. Mix together all dry ingredients, then fold them into the batter and stir. Add chocolate chips. Bake for about 40 minutes (use a cake tester to make sure it’s properly baked).

You’re welcome! Please let me know how it turns out!

It's tempting not to like the batter.

Good moms let their kids lick the beaters. Great moms turn off the mixer first.








Lily requested Bubby Fran's banana chocolate chip for her 7th birthday this year.

Lily requested Bubby Fran’s banana chocolate chip cake for her 7th birthday this year. Curly candles for a curly girl!


I couldn't resist this shot.

I miss her hugs.