Banana Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Fresh ripe bananas are the main flavoring in this old fashioned cake. This is a perfect dessert for a spring tea or any time of year. Finish with a cream cheese or chocolate frosting, or simply top with a dollop of whipped cream.
Recipe type: Dessert | Cake | Fresh Banana
Serves: 10 to 12
  • 2½ cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 large ripe bananas, mashed (about 1½ cups)
  • ½ cup walnuts, finely chopped, optional
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups confectioners' (powdered) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, finely chopped, optional
  • Fresh banana slices, optional
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare two 9-inch round layer cake pans or one 9x13-inch oblong pan; lightly grease the pans with shortening and dust with flour. Tip: to make baked cake easier to remove from pan, lightly grease the pan, line the bottom with parchment paper, and then lightly grease the top of the parchment paper and dust the pan with flour.
  1. In a medium mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; sift or whisk together to mix. Set aside.
  2. In a small mixing bowl, stir the buttermilk and vanilla together. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Tip: To cream, start by placing the butter in the bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed begin by beating the butter about 1 minute until it is smooth and light in color.
  4. With the mixer still on medium speed, slowly add the granulated sugar and brown sugar to the butter, either one tablespoon at a time, or in a very slow steady stream, taking from 4 to 8 minutes to add all of the sugar, and beating until the butter and sugar are fully incorporated and the mixture is a light, or pale yellow color, with a fluffy texture. While adding the sugar, stop the mixer occasionally to scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly.
  5. Add eggs one at a time, beating until thoroughly mixed. Tip: For each egg, crack the egg into a small bowl and whisk with a fork to thoroughly break up the egg before adding to the creamed mixture. Start with the mixer on low speed so the liquid from the egg doesn’t splatter, once the egg is partially mixed increase the speed to medium. Each egg should be fully incorporated into the mixture before adding the next egg, taking about one minute to blend in each egg.
  6. Add mashed bananas, lightly stir until mixed.
  7. With the mixer on low speed, add about one third of the flour mixture, mix just until the flour is almost completely blended. Scrape the bowl down, and add about one half of the buttermilk mixture, blending just until mixed. Scrape the bowl down again and continue alternating with the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, ending with the last portion of the flour, and stirring just until blended. Stir in walnuts (optional).
  8. Bake: Spoon the batter into the prepared pans and smooth the surface with the back of a large spoon. Bake 40 to 45 minutes if using a 13x9 inch pan, or 30 to 35 minutes if using 9 inch pans, or until a long toothpick, wooden skewer, or cake tester inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place baking pan on a wire cooling rack to cool for 10 to 15 minutes. If using round cake pans, remove cake from pans and place directly on wire racks to finish cooling. If using a 13x9 inch pan you can leave in the baking pan to finish cooling and cut into squares to serve.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
  1. In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, butter, and vanilla; use an electric hand mixer or wooden spoon and beat together until mixture is smooth. Slowly add powdered sugar; beat until frosting is smooth and creamy. For 9 inch layers, use an offset spatula to spread frosting between layers and over top and sides of cake. For a 13x9 inch cake, frost the top.
  1. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts on top of frosting if desired. Decorate with fresh banana slices, optional.
  2. Cover cake and refrigerate until ready to serve. Refrigerate leftovers.
Recipe Notes
Pan: Two 9" Round Layers or One 13"x9"x2" Oblong Pan Prep: Greased and Floured Oven Temp: 350° Storage: Cover and Refrigerate

Tip: Use very ripe bananas to give your cake a stronger banana flavor.

Help: Cake Hints and Tips

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