Bananas and cake together make for a heavenly combination. Make this Banana Cake layered with either a cream cheese frosting or cinnamon buttercream frosting and everyone will fight over who gets the last piece!
Table of Contents
Why this Recipe is Best
As much as I love banana everything, I have a gripe with some banana cakes. Too many are just banana bread recipes baked up in a cake pan and renamed.
That said, when I want cake, I want CAKE. I want it to be moist, sweet, rich and (usually) covered in frosting. A good banana cake has to be worthy of its status as “dessert.”
Let me tell you, folks. This Banana Cake recipe, well, takes the cake!
- RICH banana flavor in every bite – we’re using 4 bananas!
- Just 1 bowl needed to make the batter for this cake!
- Fluffy cream cheese frosting – made with or without added cinnamon – adds a luscious finish.
See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities.
- Butter – I prefer to use unsalted butter in all of my baking, but you can substitute salted butter if it’s what you have on hand. Just omit 1/4 teaspoon of the kosher salt in the cake batter. Use our guide on how to soften butter quickly.
- Bananas – Be sure to use very ripe – or over ripe – bananas here so you get the full sweetness and banana flavor. Check out our guide on how to ripen bananas.
- Vanilla – Use PURE vanilla extract, not the imitation kind. Or make your own vanilla extract for a richer vanilla flavor.
- Cream Cheese – Full-fat cream cheese will give you the best flavor and results for the frosting. Also, be sure to use the kind that comes in a block (not a tub) and let it soften at room temperature for a few minutes.
STEP 1. Make the cake batter. Beat the butter and sugar together, then add the egg, vanilla and bananas. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon and beat until fully blended.
STEP 2. Bake the cake. Divide the batter between two 9-inch cake pans greased with shortening and flour. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes. Let cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a cooling rack and let cool completely.
STEP 3. Make the frosting. Beat the butter and cream cheese together then add the vanilla, heavy cream and powdered sugar and beat until well combined. Add in the cinnamon, if using.
STEP 4. Assemble the cake. Place one layer of the cooled cake on a cake plate. Spoon frosting generously over the top. Add the second layer of cake and spread remaining frosting evenly over the top and sides of the cake. Enjoy!
Tips and Tricks
- How to make cake layers even: I use Wilton Bake Even Cake Strips to get perfectly even layers with no hassle. If you don’t have any, you can also slice off the puffed tops of your cake layers so they fit together evenly.
- Use ripe bananas: To make this cake moist and sweet, I recommend using very ripe (even over ripe) bananas. They have higher sugar content and they mash up much more easily! Got green bananas? Use the oven to ripen bananas!
- Be sure to let your butter, egg and cream cheese soften at room temperature for a few minutes before you begin.
- Mashing bananas: If you’re making the cake batter in a stand mixer, there’s no need to pre-mash the bananas. Just add them to the bowl and your mixer will do the work for you! If you’re making this without a mixer, I recommend mashing the bananas in a separate bowl with a fork or potato masher to make sure no big chunks are left before adding them to the cake batter.
Banana bread is baked in a loaf pan and has a firmer, more dense texture. Banana cake has a soft crumb and is perfect topped with a sweet frosting!
Sure, you could use store-bought cream cheese frosting to make this recipe even easier!
This cake stays moist and delicious for several days after baking! Store it covered in the fridge and enjoy cold or at room temperature.
Yes! You can wrap baked cake layers or individual cake slices in a few layers of cling wrap or in freezer safe bags and freeze them for up to 3 months. Let thaw in the fridge overnight.
More Easy Dessert Recipes
For the cake:
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 bananas about 2 cups mashed
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
For the frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 package cream cheese, softened 8 ounce
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon optional
- Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Grease two 9-inch cake pans with shortening and flour. I like to use these Wilton's Bake Even Strips. It keeps your cake layers level and flat, perfect for stacking (and the just slide right onto your cake pans)! Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat butter and sugar until creamy, about 3 minutes. Add in egg, vanilla, and bananas (you can mash them first, but I toss them in and it does the work). Add in flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Beat for a couple minutes until fully blended.
- Pour batter evenly between the two cake pans. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven and cool in pans for about 10 minutes. Flip onto a cooling rack to cool completely before frosting.
- For the frosting, beat butter and cream cheese for 3-4 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla, heavy cream, and powdered sugar. Beat an additional 3-5 minutes. scraping down the sides of the bowl periodically. Beat in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon if you want a cinnamon spice frosting.
- To assemble the cake, lay one layer of cooled cake on a cake plate. Spoon frosting over middle layer generously. Top with second layer of cake. Spoon and spread frosting over cake evenly. ENJOY!
When you need an easy banana flavored dessert recipe that everyone will love, look no further than Banana Cake I’d eat it every day if I could!