Chocolate Cake Banana Splits, Oil- & Gluten-free; A Xylitol Review & Mini-Giveaway

Chocolate Cake Banana Split

Xylitol Canada was kind enough to send me some freebies (with absolutely no expectation of a review, let alone a positive review), including a bag of their Xyla crystals.  I baked a chocolate cake (recipe below) using this product as well as a batch of chocolate chip cookies (a Kathy Hester recipe, see photo below) and a maple pumpkin spice quickbread (see photo below).   If you’re an unrepentant sweet-fiend as I am, there are many reasons why you might want to give Xyla a try as well:

  • corn-free, gluten-free, and has no GMOs
  • 40% fewer calories than sugar; 75% few carbs than sugar
  • safe for diabetics
  • does not promote tooth decay
  • alkalizing

So how does it bake and taste?  I am very impressed with Xyla.  The look and feel is spot-on to refined sugar and I discerned absolutely NO difference in taste – even when simply stirred into tea.  The nice thing is that there is no adjustment needed in ingredients – as one must do when using stevia – Xyla is a 1:1 replacement for refined sugar.


Along with the bag of the crystals, Xylitol included several different kinds of candies.  Since I don’t eat candy any more, I can’t tell you how these taste.  Instead, I’m giving away three cute tins of Xyla candies (cherry, watermelon, and cocoa-mint) along with a pack of their spearmint gum.  Enter the giveaway at the very bottom of this post.  It’s open until August 13 and everyone from around the globe is welcome to enter.

Candies and gum

Now – for the cake.  I have this nifty little New England hot dog bun pan that I got from King Arthur Flour (their catalog is a drug I can’t kick…) and sure, I’ve made hot dog buns with it, but I also discovered while looking through KAF’s blog a recipe for chocolate cake buns.  Stuffed with bananas, cherries and whipped cream, this was an idea I could not resist.  I went with a gluten- and oil-free version and used fresh cherries instead of those scary nuclear red ones that come in a jar – and I topped my splits with coconut cream and chopped peanuts.  These would make a fantastic treat for a child’s birthday, but since I haven’t really grown up, they’re also fantastic for “young” adults like me.  If you don’t have a hot dog bun pan, use a 9″ x 9″ pan, cut cake into pieces and top with the fixings.

Ingredients you’ll need:

Sugar-free Chocolate Cake Banana Splits by An Unrefined Vegan


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Vegan Chocolate Cake Banana Splits

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  • Author: Annie
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 45
  • Total Time: 60


Rich chocolate cake stuffed with bananas + smothered in fresh cherries and coconut whipped cream = Chocolate Cake Banana Splits! Vegan, oil-free, sugar-free.


  • 1 1/2 cups GF flour blend
  • 2 tsp. powdered stevia
  • 1/2 cup Xyla
  • 1 Tbsp. Dandy Blend or Cafix, optional
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa (I recommend King Arthur Flour’s Double Dutch Dark Cocoa)
  • 2 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. xanthan gum
  • 2 Tbsp. flaxseed meal + 3 Tbsp. water (whisk together and let sit for a few minutes)
  • 1 1/3 cup nut milk
  • 6 ounces unsweetened plain non-dairy yogurt
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Bananas (about 1/2 per person), cut into rounds or sliced in half lengthwise
  • Fresh cherries (about 6 per person), pitted
  • Roasted, unsalted peanuts, chopped
  • Coconut whipped cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees F and lightly spray pan with oil. Set aside.
  2. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the flour, stevia, Xyla, Dandy Blend (if using), cocoa powder, baking powder, salt, and xanthan gum. In a large bowl, combine the flaxseed meal mixture, nut milk, yogurt, and vanilla extract. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix thoroughly. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 40-45 minutes, testing the center with a toothpick to make sure cake is baked all the way through. Let cool in the pan for a few minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.
  4. To serve, cut about 3/4 of the way through the domed part of each of the 10 “pieces” (creating a place to put the banana) – then separate them into individual buns (cut down through the deep crevice part of the cake). Divide banana slices among buns, drizzle with coconut cream and top with cherries and peanuts.


  • Serving Size: 10
  • Calories: 238
  • Sugar: 3
  • Sodium: 250
  • Fat: 12
  • Saturated Fat: 3
  • Unsaturated Fat: 9
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 30
  • Protein: 8
  • Cholesterol: 3




Sugar-free Chocolate Cake Banana Splits by An Unrefined Vegan

A couple of other things I made with Xyla:

One cookie on plate.

Stack of Quickbread

Pumpkin & Maple Spice Quickbread. Click photo for recipe.


47 thoughts on “Chocolate Cake Banana Splits, Oil- & Gluten-free; A Xylitol Review & Mini-Giveaway

  1. Somer

    Too crazy. I picked up my first bag of xylitol ever today after reading about it in a raw food cookbook. I don’t know how the brand I have compares to yours, but I can’t wait to try it. The store clerk warned me that it may have some unfortunate side effects in the tummy department. Only one way to find out…

    How cute is that hot dog pan, what a great idea to bake the cakes in it!

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      Oh cool! Be interesting to hear what you think. I’m still only going to use it sparingly, but it’s nice to have another option in the pantry. I’d heard about the “effect” it has on some folks – didn’t have a problem- much to the relief of others in the household ;-).

  2. Sophie33

    Waw! All of these tasty creations look so appetizing, darling! Woehoe!!! Your Pumpkin & Maple Spice Quickbread looks fantastic even! I so going to make it all! 🙂 x

  3. AnnaZed

    We try really hard to limit refined sugars (sorry if this is a repeat post, everything went blank so I started over)

  4. Brittany

    I really liked this product!! The only down side was the gas…HAHA. Too much xylitol = gasssyyyy tummy!! I don’t have much control over cookies, so I ate a lot of xyla when I baked with it. I loved the gum was so good! I really need some of that cake!

  5. tearoomdelights

    I’ve never heard of Xyla, I wonder if we get it over here. I have noticed Stevia and other sugar substitutes popping up on supermarket shelves recently so I’ll keep an eye out. Your photographs are beautiful.

  6. Cowgirls & Collard Greens

    I have never tried Xyla, but I am anxious to as I am not a fan of stevia due to its aftertaste.

    Your photos and content are amazing. Keep up the great work Ann! Yeehaw!

  7. Elena Vo

    Have been trying to for a month now. I’ve been sticking to maple syrup and raw honey but some recipes just call for sugar and that’s where I stumble.

    1. An Unrefined Vegan

      I know it, Elena. There are just certain desserts that need the texture and chemistry (for lack of a better word) of sugar. Trying to wean myself off of those kinds of sweets ;-). Hard!

  8. Pingback: Giveaway: Xyla candies via An Unrefined Vegan | Vegan Perks

  9. Yvonne

    I’ve always been a sugar addict and I want to change that by eating sweeteners that won’t get me in that sugar coma!

  10. Ryan D

    I try to not eat refined sugars at all. It really fails in comparison to other raw sugars that I don’t know why people still eat it. But then again HFCS still exists so why am I surprised? My wife is a gum addict, and I’ve been trying to find a more natural version of this. I think I’ve finally found my answer. Thanks!

  11. Amanda Thomas

    I still working on totally eliminated refined sugar from my diet, but have been successful in finding alternative ways to sweeten my drinks. I even have come to enjoy unsweetened beverages more like tea and water with a slice of lemon.

  12. mamaraby

    Heh…I share the same KAF catalog addiction. My wishlist is a mile long. I’ve never tried xylitol, but did have it in a cake my SIL made once. More options are always a good thing!

  13. Hailey

    A much better use for a hamburger pan! This giveaway is great. I have a sugar sensitivity, so I try not to consume much sugar other than that naturally found in fruits and vegetables. I use a lot of NuNaturals, so this would be something fun and different to try 🙂

  14. Jordan D

    After a few years of a basically sugar-gree diet, I’ve returned to some unhealthily sweetended foods, like frozen yogurt and drinks mixes sweetened with splenda. I definitely need to kick this habit!


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