I’m actually posting a recipe!!!

Banana Snack Cake ~ ElephantEats.com

Apparently leg cramps are a common symptom of pregnancy. I’ve been getting so many of them that I wake up in the middle of the night in agony. Any time I flex my foot or calf in the slightest it cramps up.

I’ve long known that potassium can help with leg cramps, so I figured it couldn’t hurt to start eating a banana every day. Now whenever I go to the market, I buy a big bunch, figuring that the ones that don’t get eaten can get turned into something delicious- it helps that I’m loving cooking in my new kitchen :)

Banana Snack Cake ~ ElephantEats.com

The first week I had leftovers, I made our favorite chocolate chip banana bread recipe (which I totally need to share with you guys some time). Then last week I decided a banana snack cake would be a tasty treat. 

In addition to trying a new recipe, I decided to experiment with White Whole Wheat flour. Monica had first told me about this flour and has been touting it as awesome, especially if you want the whole grains from whole wheat flour but don’t love the dry and gritty texture it adds.

I had never heard of white whole wheat flour so I decided to research it a bit and give it a try. The Whole Grains Council explains it as the following:

“White wheat is a different type of wheat that has no major genes for bran color (unlike traditional “red” wheat which has one to three bran color genes). An easy way to think of it is as a sort of albino wheat. The bran of white wheat is not only lighter in color but it’s also milder in flavor, making whole white wheat more appealing to many people accustomed to the taste of refined flour.

The term “white flour” has often been used to mean “refined flour,” so “whole white wheat flour” sounds like a contradiction in terms. But it is simply WHOLE flour – including the bran, germ and endosperm – made from WHITE wheat.”

Banana Snack Cake ~ ElephantEats.com

The one thing I was skeptical about was how it compares nutritionally to regular whole wheat flour, but the council goes on to say that experts consider these two kinds of whole wheat to be the same, nutritionally. I was sold!

I bought King Arthur Flour brand. Usually, if subbing whole wheat for all-purpose flour in a recipe, you would only substitue part of the all-purpose for whole wheat, lest you dry out your baked goods. Since I was using a lighter whole wheat flour and had the moisture from the bananas, I decided to use 100% of the white whole wheat flour.

Honestly, the result was amazing! It definitely helped that the bananas already added moisture, plus I upped the sour cream amount from the original recipe. And it never hurts to have a creamy cream cheese frosting on top.

I could feel the texture of the whole wheat in the cake, but I thought it went perfectly with the bananas and made even a small piece extremely filling! It also totally made this cake ok to eat for breakfast ;)

Banana Snack Cake ~ ElephantEats.com 

Whole Wheat Banana Spice Snack Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Serves 12
A really moist, spiced snack cake made healthier with the addition of white whole wheat flour!
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  1. 2 cups White Whole Wheat flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  5. 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  6. 1 teaspoon allspice
  7. 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  8. Pinch cloves
  9. 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  10. 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  11. 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large)
  12. 1 1/4 cup sour cream
  13. 2 large eggs
Cream Cheese Frosting
  1. 1 8 ounce block light or regular cream cheese, room temperature
  2. 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  3. 2 cups powdered (confectioner's) sugar
  4. 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  5. Pinch salt
  6. Milk (only if needed for thinning the icing to a spreading consistency)
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter and flour a 13-inch x 9-inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves. Set aside.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the beater blade attachment or in a large bowl using an electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy, about 1 - 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until well incorporated. Mix in the sour cream and the bananas.
  4. Pour in the flour mixture, a little bit at a time, beating continuously until well-incorporated.
  5. Spread batter into the prepared pan.
  6. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, or until the top of the cake is golden and a toothpick or tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove the cake from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  7. To make the frosting, fit a stand mixer with the beater attachment or use a large bowl and an electric hand mixer. On medium speed, beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Turn the mixer to low and gradually add the powdered sugar. Once all the powdered sugar has been added, increase the speed to medium and beat for another 30 seconds. Add the vanilla and pinch salt; beat for another minute or so until smooth. Add a little milk (a couple of teaspoons at a time) if the frosting seems too stiff to spread.
  8. Spread frosting onto completely cooled cake. Cut into 12 pieces and serve. Cover and store leftover cake in the refrigerator. The cake stays moist even straight out of the fridge!
Adapted from Kitchen Treaty
Adapted from Kitchen Treaty


  1. Looks delicious, I’ve been making smoothies with my overripe bananas, but I’ll have to try this out!

  2. Yum this banana cake looks so good, especially with the cream cheese icing! Hope the bananas help your leg cramps!

  3. This looks super yummy!

    Avocados also have a TON of potassium, and magnesium is good for leg cramps too. I take a magnesium supplement for my headaches anyway, so *fingers crossed* it helps prevent leg cramps.

    • Oh interesting…i didn’t know that about avocados! I’ll have to pick some up. The cramps have eased up a bit, thankfully (knock on wood!).

  4. The words “snack” and “cake” together sound perfect to me. And how lovely that this has cream cheese frosting, too!

  5. When I was pregnant the first time I had horrid leg cramps. I was living in Maine at the time and it was winter. The doctor told me to hobble to the door and put my foot in the snow and the cramp would go away instantly. I thought he was nuts. but it worked. :)

    I’d love your banana cake and what isn’t made better with cream cheese frosting?

    • Interesting! Well, putting my foot in the snow isn’t an option…but maybe an ice pack? I wonder why that works! Thanks, Maureen :)

  6. Kelly @ Inspired Edibles

    I remember the leg cramps!! Charley horse city especially through the night when you’re not quite awake enough to control your movements but fully aware of the pain. Heeheeh, if it’s an excuse to eat this delightful spiced banana cake, I’m all for it :). Sounds delicious – haven’t had cream cheese frosting in way too long.. great idea. Hope you and those hard working legs get some well deserved rest (by the way, magnesium is a natural muscle relaxant ;-) ).

    • The leg cramps are such a strange symptom, I think! But then I guess pregnancy has a lot of strange symptoms.
      Cream cheese frosting is the best ;)

  7. Hey Amy! Oh my gosh – when I realized you might be talking about me and I read on…I was holding my breath to see how it’d turn out! : ) You are one brave lady to go full whole-wheat on your first go but I’m so glad you liked the result. You can definitely tell the difference but I find, a lot of times, it’s actually a good difference in texture. I was skeptical about white whole wheat “really” being whole wheat and unrefined too! Now you need to try whole wheat pastry flour…I use it for more delicate things like in cakes or some lighter muffins. : )

    Anyway…hope this delicious banana cake helped with the leg cramps. Now that you mention it, I do remember those but it was 9 long years ago. I feel so ancient!

    • Heheh, yes I was talking about you and I’m so glad I tried your suggestion! I haven’t done any baking since this cake, but I’m itching to try the White Whole Wheat flour again. I’m thinking maybe in scones this week? I might go half/half with white flour to be on the safe side since they tend to be dry to begin with. Will def try the whole wheat pastry flour! Thanks, Monica :)

  8. I lucked out and didn’t have leg cramps during pregnancy. But I know they can HURT.
    Whole wheat—-excellent. I agree with the person who said ‘snack’ and ‘cake’ go together. With the bananas it had to be moist. Of course everything is delicious with cream cheese frosting.

    • That is lucky! Although I suppose there are worse symptoms (like morning sickness), so I hope you didn’t have those instead. I agree about the cream cheese frosting…Thanks, Carol :)

  9. I’m so happy you posted a recipe, because this looks amazing! Plus. who doesn’t love a snack cake?! <3

    • Thanks, Ashley :) Good to be back in the kitchen. I really should post more recipes since I’ve been cooking but I haven’t found a good spot in our new house for photo-take yet and I’ve been lazy…

  10. Oh I remember those cramps. NO FUN AT ALL. But this cake? Just delicious! I want a big fat slice/piece right now!

  11. this cake looks amazing, amy! i’m so happy that you’re back in the kitchen – i usually turn my bananas into banana bread (out of laziness) but this cake doesn’t look difficult at all :)

    funny story – i got a bag of that white whole wheat flour to play with, then got home and realized i got REGULAR whole wheat flour (oops!) idk what happens to my brain sometimes at the store….

    • Thanks, Natalie! I’ve actually made a bunch of stuff in the kitchen but haven’t gotten the energy to photograph it since I haven’t figured out a routine here in regards to where to take the photos, etc :( I need to get on that. This cake is def as easy to make as banana bread!
      Regular whole wheat flour is def different…give the white kind a try!!

  12. Elizabeth @ SugarHero.com

    Oh man, I remember the leg cramps! Stay strong mama! Glad you have this delicious cake to help you get through it. I think you should make an extra one, and stick it in the freezer as a treat for after the baby comes. :) But I’m the girl who basically needed a cookie an hour when nursing, so maybe you shouldn’t listen to me.

    • Oooh, I like you’re thinking ;) I have a feeling i’m gonna go snack crazy when nursing too…i mean you’re burning all those calories so it’s totally justified, right?

  13. This sounds so delicious! And the nursery looks like it’s going to be adorable!!

  14. Oh no, sorry to hear about your leg cramps. Hang in there mama, I know that part is no fun :( Hopefully this cake will help a little bit. It sounds delicious with the frosting and I love that you used all white whole wheat flour in here too :)

  15. I used to get leg cramps when I was pregnant too. I’ve heard magnesium is good for cramps. Your banana cake slice looks very comforting xx

    • A bunch of people have mentioned magnesium. I take a pre-natal so i’m hoping it’s in that…but luckily the cramps have eased up a bit. Thanks, Charlie!!

  16. I’m totally going to try baking with whole white wheat flour!

    • Yes, def give it a try! I was very skeptical of it but I’m so happy I was open-minded enough to try :) Thanks so much for stopping by!!

  17. Huh, I learned something today! I didn’t realize that white whole wheat flour was so good. I kind of assumed it was regular whole wheat flour that had gone through some kind of bleaching or refining process, but I’m glad to hear it isn’t…. I’ll have to pick some up the next time I’m planning to do some baking! (Also, the banana snack cake sounds delicious! I love the idea of a dense, filling little bite to start the day.)

  18. don’t you love how snack cake makes it sound like it’s an “OK” snack to have as opposed to just cake?
    it like totally gives you permission to eat! LOL

  19. Damn delicious sweet bites!!!
    the photograph is really seducing my taste buds…..

  20. This looks so delicious! I was looking for a recipe to use up some brown bananas that I have on my counter! :)

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