Delicious gluten-free banana cake

Wow. That’s all I can say.

Today I ate some of the most delicious banana cake you can imagine. Moist, flavourful, not over-poweringly sweet. And free from gluten, dairy, oil, and refined sugar. What more can you ask for in a baked good??

I was teaching a group of ladies on stewardship of resources in the kitchen, but I became the student today. The ladies wanted to teach me how to make ‘chigumu’, or traditional African cake. Who knew that it would turn out to be delicious, healthy, whole-food goodness?

I knew I needed to share the recipe! I hope you will enjoy it as much as we did.

Serves 12 pieces of cake

Delicious gluten-free banana cake

Yields 1 banana cake

Malawian traditional African cake, or 'chigumu'

30 minPrep Time

40 minCook Time

1 hr, 10 Total Time

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  • 12 ripe bananas (the riper the better), approx. 4 cups mashed
  • 1 egg
  • 2 t bicarbonate of soda/baking soda
  • ¾ cup warm water
  • 2 cups maize meal/flour
  • ¼ t salt


  1. Mash bananas until liquid
  2. Add salt and egg and continue to mix
  3. Add bicarb and water and mix again.
  4. Slowly stir in maize flour until it is all incorporated.
  5. Let it soak for 15-20min, stirring frequently.
  6. Pour into a greased cake pan or loaf tin.
  7. Bake at 170’C for 35-40 min, until it is brown on top and a skewer comes out clean.
  8. Cool, cut, and enjoy!


This is traditionally made on a fire! Grease a medium-sized pot, pour in batter. Put the pot on moderate coals, and place more coals on the lid. Make sure the coals on the lid stay hot. Cook for 35-40 min or until browned on top. If your bananas are not very ripe, you may need to add additional sweetener to taste. Should you wish to use wheat flour instead of maize flour, change bicarbonate of soda to baking powder. The cake does not taste like maize flour at all! If I hadn’t known what was in it, I would never have guessed.


ovo vegetarian
gluten free
dairy free
soy free
wheat free
treenut free



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