Lifeway + Simple Mills: Coconut Banana Cake with Frozen Kefir

Last week we introduced you to Simple Mills, a Chicago food company that specializes in common allergen-friendly baking mixes. More specifically, we shared a delicious Summer Vegetable Breakfast Bake that was devoured immediately in our test kitchen. It was definitely one of the more satisfying recipes we’ve made recently and is sure to make an appearance in some form or another at our Sunday brunch tables soon.

While cooking Simple Mills’s Pancake & Waffle Mix, we were actively brainstorming tons of other ways to use the mix. From biscuits to muffins, bread sticks to crepes and even dumplings, the versatility of the mixes makes us eager to keep them stocked in out kitchen. Here are a few more reasons we love Simple Mills mixes:

  • They’re naturally gluten-free
  • They contain just a few ingredients (all of which we recognize!)
  • They’re quick to mix up and take minimal effort
  • They’re nutritionally dense
  • Most importantly, they’re delicious

Summer Time Sweet, Healthier Treat

Last week we went savory, this week, we’re taming our sweet tooth by working Simple Mill’s Banana Muffin Almond Flour Mix with one of our flavored kefir options. The weather isn’t as warm as we’re used to seeing this time of year in Chicago, but that doesn’t mean we can’t imagine ourselves on a tropical getaway, right? The Simple Mills’ banana muffins are delicious when prepared “by the box,” but to us, nothing says sunshine like coconuts and pineapple. Think about it: banana, coconut, pineapple. And cake.

We went there.

While most gluten-free/grain-free baked goods come out heavy and grainy, our Coconut Banana Cake with Frozen Kefir is surprisingly moist and light, thanks to the perfect science of Simple Mills mixes and the cooking power of our kefir. We use Coconut Chia Kefir for sweetness, and to infuse the mix with a subtle coconut flavor (we don’t want to overpower the banana). We also mix in some shredded coconut and crushed walnut for texture and crunch. To finish it off, we drop a dollop (or two) of our favorite Frozen Kefir and a drizzle of simple pineapple syrup.

To die for. Seriously! No one will believe you that it’s grain-free. Especially your taste buds.

As we always advise, feel free to play around with your additions. Don’t like coconut? Add some strawberries (we have a kefir for that, too)! Our of pineapple? Any fruit reduction will do. Make it into a bread loaf, mini muffins or doughnuts – there are endless possibilities! Just one more reason we love Simple Mills.

Coconut Banana Cake with Frozen Kefir and Pineapple Syrup



Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F. Grease a 8 inch square baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together kefir, oil and eggs. Add the Simple Mills Banana Muffin mix. Stir until there are no lumps left. Fold in walnuts and ¼ cup shredded coconut.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the top with additional shredded coconut, if desired. Place in the oven and bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Let cool completely before removing the loaf from the pan.

When cool, cut into squares, top with a scoop of Frozen Kefir and a drizzle of pineapple sauce. We used this recipe, blended the mixture with an immersion blender and strained through a mesh strainer to remove any chunks. Feel free to experiment!