Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

April 1, 2018  ·  Published May 17, 2013

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This Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is an irresistible cake! If you’re looking for a banana cake recipe, let this be the one you choose. I’m telling you, it does not disappoint!

It’s made from scratch and one of the best you’ll find. Just think of banana bread made even better, and that’s what you get here!

slice of Banana Cake with cream cheese frosting on a white plate

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This easy banana cake recipe tastes just like banana bread, but in cake form with the delicious addition of a light and tangy homemade cream cheese frosting…yes, I definitely accept! You are going to want to eat this frosting by the spoonful (like I may or may not have done).

Banana bread has always been one of my favorite desserts/snacks/breakfasts since I was little, so when I finally tried it in cake form many years ago it was a given that I was going to be hooked. I mean, I still have a hard time resisting a piece of this first thing in the morning. Leave the frosting off and it does make a perfect weekend breakfast.

Lately, I just buy more bananas at the grocery store than I plan on my family eating on their own, because I love to bake with them and add them to smoothies or oatmeal. The hard part, though, is waiting for them to ripen. It’s like Christmas when I’m at the grocery store and every once in a while they have those overripe bananas wrapped with a red tape.

That means they’ve done the hard part for me and I don’t have to wait a week for my bananas to become generously speckled. I’d pay more for those bananas than the regularly priced ones, but they label and sell them like they are the lesser quality.

I love this banana cake with cream cheese frosting so much that I’ve made it twice in one week, and both times it disappeared in no time!

Banana Cake with cream cheese frosting on a white cake stand

Banana Cake Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to make the best ever banana cake:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Mashed overripe bananas
  • Lemon juice
  • Granulated sugar and brown sugar
  • Butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Buttermilk
  • Heavy cream
  • Cream Cheese
  • Powered sugar

How to Make Banana Cake

  • Preheat oven and butter and line cake pans.
  • In a bowl whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
  • Mash bananas with 1 tsp lemon juice.
  • In a stand mixer whip together butter, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, sugars until pale and fluffy.
  • Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp vegetable oil then blend in eggs one at a time.
  • Stir in vanilla and mashed bananas.
  • Stir in flour and buttermilk alternating with several additions.
  • Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans and spread batter into an even layer.
  • Bake until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 45 – 50 minutes.
  • Allow to cool completely then frost with whipped cream cheese frosting.

How to Tell If a Cake is Done

You’ll know when this easy banana cake is finished baking when a toothpick or knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.

slice of Banana Cake sitting in front of cake on a cake stand

Can I Add Less Sugar to the Cream Cheese Frosting?

Yes, you can scale the sugar back to make the frosting less sweet, if desired.

Can I Use a Buttermilk Substitute?

Yes, you can make your own by measuring out 1 1/2 cups milk, removing 1 1/2 Tbsp, and replacing it with 1 1/2 Tbsp lemon juice or plain vinegar. Whisk and let sit 5 minutes before adding to the batter.

Can I Freeze Banana Cake?

Yes, this homemade banana cake should be fine to freeze. Ideally, you should freeze the banana cake frosting in a separate container (rather than freezing the frosted cake).

But if you wind up with leftovers, go ahead and freeze the frosted cake — just note that the texture of the cake may change slightly once thawed.

Tips for the Best Banana Cake

  • I’d recommend frosting the cake within 30 minutes of serving, as the top layer of cake will begin to weigh down that center layer of frosting (and you may not want a really thick layer in the center, just because after a while it will begin to spill out the sides).
  • You want to use overripe, practically black bananas for this easy cake recipe.
  • If you only have salted butter on hand, scale back on the amount of salt you add into the cake batter.

More Banana Desserts You’ll Love:

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 17 votes

A double layered, moist and flavorful banana cake topped with rich and luscious, fluffy cream cheese frosting. It's the perfect use for those overripe bananas sitting on the counter. Everyone will love this cake!

Servings: 14 people
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Cooling time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 20 minutes

Ingredients

Banana Cake:

  • 3 cups (425g) all-purpose flour (scoop and level to measure)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups (368g) mashed overripe bananas (from about 4 medium bananas)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light-brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups (350 ml) buttermilk

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 1 1/4 cups (295ml) heavy cream
  • 14 oz cream cheese, nearly at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup (74g) unsalted butter, nearly at room temperature
  • 1 3/4 cup (210g) powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Instructions

For the Banana Cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. 

  2. Butter two 9-inch round cake pans then line bottom with a round of parchment paper, butter parchment and dust lightly with flour.

  3. In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt for 30 seconds. Set aside. 
  4. Mash bananas with 1 tsp lemon juice.

  5. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, whip together butter, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, granulated sugar and light brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.

  6. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp vegetable oil then blend in eggs one at a time.

  7. Stir in vanilla and mashed bananas.

  8. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add flour mixture alternating with buttermilk in 3 separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition. 

  9. Divide batter evenly among prepared cake pans and spread batter into an even layer. 
  10. Bake in preheated oven 45 - 50 minutes, until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely then frost with Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting.

For the Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip heavy cream on high speed until stiff peaks form, then transfer whipped cream to a mixing bowl and set aside. 
  2. Replace whisk attachment with paddle attachment and add cream cheese and butter to stand mixer bowl. 
  3. Whip together cream cheese and butter until smooth and fluffy on medium-high speed, about 2 minutes, occasionally scraping down sides and bottom of bowl.

  4. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla and whip on medium speed, about 2 minutes longer.

  5. Add half of whipped cream into cream cheese mixture and gently fold until combined, then fold in remaining half. Spread over cake and keep cool.

Recipe Notes

  • For best results, frost within 30 minutes of serving and store leftover cake in refrigerator. Allow to rest at room temperature about 10 - 20 minutes before enjoying. 
  • You want to use overripe, practically black bananas for this easy cake recipe.
  • Recipe Source: Cooking Classy
Nutrition Facts
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 594 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 21g131%
Cholesterol 126mg42%
Sodium 372mg16%
Potassium 226mg6%
Carbohydrates 65g22%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 38g42%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 1130IU23%
Vitamin C 2.4mg3%
Calcium 88mg9%
Iron 1.8mg10%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Banana Cake
Author: Jaclyn

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220 Comments

  • Sally

    I made this cake yesterday, it came out very dense and flat, quite disappointing as it was for a birthday cake. It has a nice taste just completely the wrong texture. I did follow every part of the recipe.
    Any idea why this could have happened?

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      Sorry to hear it came out dense and flat! It could be possible that too much flour was added, the batter may have been over-mixed, leavening could be expired, or oven not up to proper temp (or if oven door is opened during baking it can case cake to collapse).

  • Jess

    I made this cake for my sons birthday and it turned out so well! (cake only, not the icing, I made my own caramel buttercream)
    I used the weighted measurements for all ingredients except flour which was about 465grams. I used the full 465g as I am an experienced baker and the batter was slightly too wet for me.. I’m in Australia so our cup measurements are slightly different.

    I would make it again, thank you!

  • Neeta Singh

    This recipe has no baking powder. My cake was very dense and did not rise. Very disappointed

    • Jaclyn

      Jaclyn Bell

      You shouldn’t need baking powder for this cake to rise the baking soda should be plenty. Sorry to hear your cake didn’t turn out!

    • Monika

      Likely because you put too much flour.
      The recipe calls for 425 grams. That’s too much and isn’t 3 cups.
      You want between 360-375 grams of flour.

      • Jaclyn

        Jaclyn Bell

        It depends on the method used to measure flour to get the amount in grams (America’s Test Kitchen uses the scoop and sweep method as do many others) but that is why a scale is most accurate and recommended because some use spoon and sweep while others use scoop and sweep. And I actually did try this cake using less flour and it came out very dense.

        • Monika

          I baked it used 425 grams, but it shrank down…
          That said, it baked through so I think it will be o.k.
          At least I hope…TBD once cooled and assembled…

          Do you think making half the frosting would still work if I did a thin middle later and left the sides “naked”?

          Thank you for replying to my previous question and thanks for the recipe.

          • Jaclyn

            Jaclyn Bell

            Yes if you only cover the tops and want a thinner layer half should be fine.

          • monika

            I made half the recipe for the frosting and it was STILL too much…even after putting a GENEROUS amount in the middle, top and sides. I still have leftover actually…

            Also, 420 grams is too much. My cake was too dense. It baked for 45 minutes, yet looked like it was underbaked. Luckily, the taste was there. Next time, I will use between the cup to flour conversion based on 1 cup = 120 grams.

  • Emily

    This cake is amazing!! Best banana cake I’ve ever had (although only used actual cake recipe from this and made the other salted caramel frosting also from Cooking Classy instead). Recipe for the cake is perfect as is, SUPER moist and delicious. Made for mother’s day and my mom said it was her favorite cake I’ve ever made and maybe that she’s ever had! Highly recommend if you’re going to make this layer cake style and especially if you’re baking the layers a day or two in advance to make a banana simple syrup (regular 1 cup sugar 1 cup water boil then simmer for 3 minutes and add around a tablespoon or so of banana extract once its begun to cool) to brush on the layers before the crumb coat to keep them at their peak moistness/freshness and really enhance the banana flavoring!

  • Tammy Smart

    how can I adapt this recipe to be low carb? Like with a coconut flour or something? My birthday is thurs and I think I want to try this but it needs to be low carb…i already know how substitute the sugar for my sweetener it’s just the flour has to change.