Chocolate Banana Cake is the perfect marriage of chocolate and bananas in a delicious 13×9 snack cake! Topped with delicious cream cheese frosting, you’ll love this easy recipe!
Love easy cake recipes? Our chocolate pudding cake is dense and delicious! Fudgy and moist. Or give these easy Banana Cupcakes a try for an on the go treat.
Table of Contents
Why this Recipe Works
Instead of banana bread or banana muffins, I wanted to bake a banana dessert.
Specifically a dessert with CHOCOLATE. This Chocolate Banana Cake was the solution. The deliciously satisfying solution!
Adding bananas to your cake does more than just give it banana flavor.
- Mashed bananas provide rich moisture to the cake without adding fat or liquid. This helps the cake stay moist for much longer than most other homemade cakes.
- Another thing I love about this recipe is that you add cocoa powder to the batter. Chocolate can overpower banana flavor, but I’ve added just enough to complement the banana flavor!
It tastes like chocolate banana bread, in a lighter, cakier form.
If you’re looking for a layered cake, my Banana Cake recipe would be your ideal treat. Add in some cocoa powder for a delicious chocolate treat.
Bananas. Ripe bananas work best. If you’re making this by hand with a mixing bowl, mash the bananas in a separate bowl before using them in the recipe. Use our guide on how to ripen bananas in 20 minutes!
Cocoa powder. Use a good quality unsweetened cocoa powder for best results.
Vanilla. My homemade vanilla extract is perfect in this recipe.
- Make the Batter. Cream together butter and sugar. Beat in an egg and vanilla extract, then mix in the mashed bananas.
- Add flour, kosher salt, baking powder and baking soda and blend to form a batter. Add cocoa powder just until blended. Don’t overmix.
- Spread in a 13×9 baking dish. It won’t seem like a lot of batter, but it will bake up nice and fluffy.
- Bake for 25 minutes. Cool. Top with homemade cream cheese frosting!
Tips and Tricks
- Serving suggestion: Go full chocolate! Add homemade chocolate buttercream frosting instead of the cream cheese for a rich, decadent dessert. Or use my easy vanilla frosting recipe instead!
- Storing: I love this cake best when kept chilled in the fridge. Store it covered in the pan or in an airtight container.
- Freeze: Transfer individual slices of baked chocolate banana cake to freezer safe bags. To serve, pull out as many slices as you desire and let thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Greasing the pan: I use my empty butter wrapper to grease the pan before adding the cake batter. You can also use baking spray if preferred. Or use my homemade cake release!
I bake Chocolate Banana Cake in a 9 x 13 rimmed baking dish (rectangular cake pan).
Bananas can be mashed so many ways! Soft and overripe bananas are usually easy to mash by hand with a potato masher or even a strong fork. If you’re using a stand mixer to make this recipe, you don’t even need to mash the bananas first! Just add them right to the bowl and let the mixing attachment do its thing.
If you want to make a layer cake, I would divide the batter evenly between two layer pans. The cakes will need less baking time. Add your favorite frosting and enjoy. I find I enjoy the “rustic” swirl of the layers baked together, however it would make a delicious traditional layer cake too.
Banana bread is baked in a loaf pan and has a firmer, dense texture. Banana cake has a soft crumb and is great for adding sweet frosting!
More Cake Recipes
- Pineapple Upside Down Cake
- Chocolate Cake Recipe
- German Chocolate Cake
- Carrot Cake Recipe
- Pound Cake
- Twinkie Cake
- Vanilla Sheet Cake
Chocolate Banana Cake
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 medium bananas mashed (about 2 cups)
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ cup unsweetened baking cocoa
- ½ batch cream cheese frosting see notes below
- ¼ cup walnuts optional
- In mixer, blend butter and sugar until creamy. Add egg and vanilla, beat until combined. Blend in bananas. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add cocoa powder, just until combined, do not overmix.
- Spread in bottom of greased 13×9 pan (I use my butter wrapper to grease the pan).
- Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes. Cool completely before frosting.
- FROSTING: You’ll need a half batch of our delicious cream cheese frosting. Or use 1/2 batch of chocolate frosting for a rich decadent cake.
- COCOA: Choose a high quality unsweetened cocoa powder like Ghirardelli. This reduces the bitterness that some brands have.
- STORAGE: This cake is delicious served cold. Store in airtight container in refrigerator (or room temperature if preferred) for up to 4 days. Or freeze for up to 3 months.
Never let over ripe bananas go to waste again! You may even want to start buying extra bananas just for an excuse to make this Easy Chocolate Banana Cake recipe.
Just made this recipe! For future reference, I ended up baking the cake for 30-35 minutes. hopefully that helps anyone who experienced wobbly cakes! I recommend continuing to bake them for five minutes at a time if they’re still wobbly after 25 min
Baked it today. super moist cake!!
Mine was super moist. Maybe it baked too long? Or smaller bananas?
I doubled the recipe, I had so many bananas to use up! Moist, delicious, and a new family favorite. This was amazing!!!
I’m baking this recipe now, even at 350 degrees and 25 mins, my cake was stroll wobbly. How much time do you recommend for it to firm up?
I cheated and used banana pudding mixed with the Cream cheese frosting and put pecans and waffles on top crumbled. I was afraid the real bananas would turn brown or go bad faster.
Just like chocolate banana bread. It was so easy to make and absolutely delicious! We’ll definitely make this again! Thanks.
Wow!! The most moist cake ever!! Love the hint of banana with the chocolate. And, of course the cream cheese frosting is my favorite!
This looks amazing and so yummy! My family and I are definitely going to love this cake! So excited!
I would like to make the chocolate banana cake but I need the recipe for the cream cheese frosting. Thank you.
The link to the cream cheese frosting recipe is in the recipe card 🙂 It’s also linked in the blog post.
Hi, when you say baking cocoa, do you mean unsweetened cocoa powder? Just want to get it right, thanks.
Yes exactly 🙂
I’m still a beginner baker, and this feels like a skillful cake that I could bake with ease. Usually baking takes me a long time but everything was super easy peasy. Plus the results are sooo satisfying! It tastes so good!
Made this today. It was a little dry. Shouldn’t it have some other type of liquid, like buttermilk?
Mine was super moist. Maybe it baked too long? Or smaller bananas?
This is my kinda breakfast! Chocolate & Banana are amazing together.
I am so with you on this!!!
Chocolate, cake, and breakfast are some of my favorite words to be said in the same sentence!
It seems very yummy but there is one thing wasn’t clear, you said divide the batter into two and add coca , what happens to the other half?
I love finding new ways to use those over ripe bananas! This looks amazing – pinning & fb sharing 🙂 Have a wonderful weekend!
Yum! I’m going to buy some bananas just so I can let them get overipe and make this! (My kids always ask for them and never eat them!) I think the Nutella would be delish!
Yum! That cakes looks so good! Great recipe!
Love it, going to feature your cake on Friday at Bacon Time. Thanks for linking and hope to see you this week.