This recipe from Finn Ní Fhaolain makes a delicious, yet healthy cake- perfect for January!

"This is probably my absolute favourite cake. Then again I’m sure I’ve said that to lots of other cakes at one point too. While I love love love banana bread, I’m also coconuts about coconut and I love tropical flavoured things. I wanted to bring the two together and what a marriage it made! This bad boy is gluten, dairy and refined sugar-free, full of healthy fats and fairly low in carbs by cake standards, but more importantly, it's a tasty cake."- Finn Ní Fhaolain 

Yield: Makes 1 thin (but decadent) 9” round cake, or 1 perfectly sized loaf tin cake


  • 2 cups desiccated coconut
  • 1 cup gluten free self-raising flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 2/3 cup coconut oil
  • 4 bananas - 2 brown bananas for the cake and 2 newer ones for the top
  • 2/3 cup maple syrup


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C.
  2. Place a non-stick pan on a high heat. Dry fry the desiccated coconut until it turns a light golden colour, then leave on a big plate to cool.
  3. In a big mixing bowl, add the coconut oil, eggs, the two ripe bananas and maple syrup, then blend with a hand blender. If you're determined to get a workout in, you can do it by hand and mash the bananas with a fork on a plate first!
  4. In a smaller mixing bowl, mix the desiccated coconut, flour, ground almonds and baking powder, then pour the dry mix into the wet mix bit by bit.
  5. Line a 9” round cake tin or a loaf tin with baking paper, then pour in the cake mix. Bake in the oven for 40 minutes.
  6. Halfway through the baking time, I slice the two fresh bananas into super thin slices and lay them all across the top of the cake, then pop it back in the oven for the last 20-25 minutes so they dry out, you end up with a beautiful natural-looking cake, perfect for a party!
  7. To serve, leave the cake to cool then cut into slices and tuck in. I tend to serve this cake by itself as its decadent and rich all on its own. Its a perfect pick me up with a nice cup of strong coffee!

TIP: The recipe is still delicious if you don't dry fry the coconut, but I think it adds an extra umph to the cake!

TIP: If the coconut oil is solid, place it in a little bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds to melt before you use it in step three.

TIP: I use the 9” tin if I want a decorative cake and the loaf tin if I want to pre-slice the cake and freeze the slices to have one each day with my lunch or 11am coffee!

TIP: You can also make this cake even more of a health superstar by lowering the sweetness count. While I love a sweet treat it doesn't take a lot to satisfy my sweet tooth (I love dark chocolate!) if I’m using super ripe bananas I might chuck a third one into the mix and leave the maple syrup out altogether.

Read more: Irish soda bread

Read more: Saltwater stories from Finn Ní Fhaolain

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