This banana cake recipe is moist and has a ton of banana flavor but it's not heavy at all. It's frosted with a sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting. I can't think of a better way to use leftover bananas.
If you're looking for a banana cake that's light and fluffy then this is your cake!!!
Once you've made this banana cake recipe, it'll be your go-to recipe not only for cake but for banana cupcakes too.
There's a bakery in our area called Icing on the cake. This bakery is one of the bakeries that, on the weekend, you can find a line out the door. Cookies and cupcakes are flying off the racks.
One of my favorite things at Icing on the cake is their banana cake recipe. Their cake is light and fluffy. If you've ever tried making banana cake before, you probably know that it can be heavy and dense.
WHY THIS IS THE BEST BANANA CAKE RECIPE
- This banana cake is moist and fluffy. A lot of banana cake recipes seem more like banana bread with frosting. NOT this cake!
- The Cream Cheese Frosting is AMAZING!
- Whenever I serve this cake, it makes people happy, and I get a million requests for the recipe.
What You'll Need
- Flour: I've used both all-purpose flour and cake flour in this recipe. I didn't notice a significant difference either way. The cake is moist and fluffy, using either type of flour.
- Baking powder. Baking powder is still responsible for the majority of the leavening in this recipe.
- Baking soda. Baking soda is used in baking to neutralize the acid in the batter. Such as in the case with cake batter
- that includes sour cream as an ingredient.
- Kosher salt. I almost exclusively use kosher salt of fine sea salt with baking
- Sugar: I use granulated white sugar in this cake recipe.
- Butter: Always unsalted butter that has been warmed to room temperature. It's also acceptable to substitute vegetable oil in this cake recipe. Oil will give you a cake that is even moister. I love baking with butter because it is less processed but either fat will work fine in this recipe.
- Eggs: Make sure the eggs are at room temperature when baking.
- Bananas: 3 very ripe bananas (about 1 generous cup). The more brown spots, the better. Overripe bananas have a lot of sugar and give this cake its sweet banana flavor. You will want to peel and mash the bananas with a fork or a potato masher.
- Sour cream: Sour cream is the key to getting a light, fluffy crumb in this cake. Sour cream has a perfect balance of acidity and fat. The acidity helps to bolster the performance of the baking soda. The fat and acid help to inhibit the formation of gluten in the flour, so the cake crumb remains tender and moist. You can also use plain greek yogurt in this recipe in lieu of sour cream.
- Vanilla extract: Use a high-quality vanilla extract. Add the vanilla to the banana mixture. Many of my readers have subbed in a banana bakery emulsion into the cake or into the frosting with great results.
HOW TO MAKE BANANA CAKE
- Get ready to bake: Preheat your oven to 350℉.
- Prepare your baking pans: grease and flour two round cake pans. I add a round of parchment paper to the bottom of each pan. I love the pre-cut parchment rounds.
- Peel the bananas add them not a small bowl. Use a fork or a potato masher to smash them. Add the vanilla to the bananas and mix.
- Mix flour with the remaining dry ingredients in a large bowl: If you don't have a sifter, you can add the dry ingredients to a bowl and whisk them together.
- Cream the butter and sugar: This step is very important and might take longer than you think. Beat the butter and sugar together for a good 10 minutes. The goal is to get the water component of the butter to interact with the sugar. A stand mixer is your friend here. Butter and sugar both contribute to the moistness of a cake.
- Add the eggs: After the butter and sugar are light and fluffy, add the eggs, and then continue to mix until blended.
- Alternately add the mashed bananas and the flour mixture to the wet mixture: Add half of the bananas and then half of the flour mix until everything is just incorporated. Then add the remaining banana and then flour. Mix again. Do not overmix.
- Bake: Pour half of the batter into each prepared pan. (I use a food scale to measure). Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a wooden skewer comes out clean from the center of the cake or for best results use a probe thermometer and bake until the internal temperature of the cake is 200 to 210℉ (93 to 99℃)
- Cool: Let the cake cool for about 10 minutes and then flip them out onto a wire rack. Before frosting, allow the cake to cool on a wire baking rack for several hours.
Cream Cheese Frosting
A classic and simple frosting recipe that works beautifully when paired with this banana cake.
Ingredients for Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream cheese: Bring the cream cheese to room temperature.
- Butter: Use unsalted butter, room temp
- Powdered sugar (Confectioners sugar):
- Vanilla extract:
- Heavy cream:
How to make Cream Cheese Frosting
- Start by creaming together the butter and the cream cheese. Add the cream cheese and the butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until they have a smooth consistency.
- Add the powdered sugar and start the mixer on a very low speed at first. Once the powdered sugar is mixed into the cream cheese you can increase the mixer to a high speed and beat until the icing is smooth and creamy.
- Add the vanilla extract. Beat until the vanilla is completely incorporated.
- If you need to thin out the frosting you can add heavy cream. Start by adding heavy cream in one tablespoon at a time.
VARIATIONS AND FAQS
This banana cake recipe makes a delicious light banana layer cake and equally delicious banana cupcakes. My readers have used this recipe to make banana cupcakes, bundt cake, and my favorite, the super unfussy, easy banana sheet cake baked in a 9x13 pan.
Bake timing for different pans
The original recipe for this banana cake is a layer cake. But, don't let that stop you from using it to make a less fussy version.
Bundt cake pan: This cake works wonderfully when baked as a bundt cake. You will need to adjust the timing.
9x13 pan: The 9x13 inch baking pan turns this layer cake into a super easy banana cake. One layer and you can frost it right in the pan. I recommend halving the frosting recipe.
Cupcakes: So many people have made banana cupcakes (not to be confused with banana muffins) with this recipe. I'm in love with this idea. Again you will only need to adjust the timing.
Loaf pan: A loaf pan is a great way to bake a cake recipe if you want to make easily proportionable slices. This shape is also incredibly easy to freeze.
|baking pan size||cups||bake time @350℉|
|Two 8 ½ -inch round pans||6 cups||35 to 40 minutes|
|Two 9 ½ -inch round pans||8 cups||30 to 35 minutes|
|10-inch tube pan||16 cups||35 minutes to an hour|
|10-inch bundt pan||12 cups||35 minutes to an hour|
|9-inch springform||9 cups||35 minutes to an hour|
|9 x 5 - inch loaf pan||8 cups||35 to 55 minutes|
|8-inch square pan||8 cups||25 to 30 minutes|
|13 x 9-inch pan||14 cups||30 to 35 minutes|
|15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan||12 cup||25 to 30 minutes|
|24 cupcakes||6 cups||18 to 23 minutes|
CAN I USE GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR?
I haven't tested baking this cake with gluten-free flour. I would love to hear about it if you do try it, though. I have swapped out King Arthurs Gluten Free flour for many recipes and have not had an issue.
How to tell when the banana cake is done.
Banana cake is a very moist cake and I find that testing it with a toothpick or a skewer isn't always reliable. Use a probe thermometer and make sure that the internal temperature of your cake is 200 to 210℉ (93-99℃).
PIÑA-COLADA FILLING FOR THIS CAKE
I have a pineapple and coconut filling for this cake that I love to make. To do this, beat heavy cream and coconut cream together with a little bit of coconut extract. Drain crushed pineapple and fold it into the mixture. Fill the middle layer with this piña-colada whipped cream filling.
HUNGRY FOR MORE BAKING RECIPES?
If you like this cake recipe, here are a few more of my favorite cake recipes. Give one or two a try!
- Carrot Cake
- Vanilla Cupcakes
- Guinness Cupcakes with Whiskey Ganache
- Bleeding Halloween Cupcakes
- Mocha Cake
- Swedish Birthday Cake
- Apple Cake
- Pavlova with Berries and Lemon Curd
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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 ½ cups cake flour
- 3 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 medium bananas very ripe, peeled, and mashed
- 1 cup sour cream room temperature
- 3 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ½ cup sugar
- 1 cup butter (2 sticks) room temperature
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 2 large egg yolks room temperature
- Position the oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 350°F degrees.
- Grease and flour two cake pans (9" diameter)
- Whisk the dry ingredients together in a medium bowl (flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt). Set aside.2 ½ cups cake flour, 3 teaspoon baking powder, 1 teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Mash the bananas in another bowl. [I use a flat bottomed bowl and a potato masher.] Add the sour cream and the vanilla to mashed bananas. Mix well. Set aside.3 medium bananas, 1 cup sour cream, 3 teaspoon vanilla
- Beat the sugar and butter together in a large bowl using an electric mixer. Beat for at least 3 minutes. Add the eggs and egg yolks. Continue beating until well blended.1 ½ cup sugar, 1 cup butter, 2 large eggs, 2 large egg yolks
- Add the dry ingredients and the banana mixture into the sugar, butter and egg mixture. ALTERNATE the addition of the dry and wet ingredients, starting with the dry and ending with the dry. Stir after each addition until the added ingredients are just combined.
- Divide the batter between the two prepared cake pans.
- PRO-TIP: If you have a kitchen scale, weigh each of the pans to ensure that the batter is divided evenly.
- Bake for 35 to 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The interanal temperature of the cake should be about 200°F. Allow the cake to cool completely on a rack before icing.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Beat the cream cheese, butter and vanilla together using an electric mixer.16 ounces cream cheese, 1 cup unsalted butter, 4 teaspoon vanilla
- Add the salt, and then the sifted powdered sugar, one cup at a time.3 cups powdered sugar, ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Beat until smooth after each addition.
Laura's Tips + Notes
- Dry Ingredients: Flour, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. I've used both all-purpose flour and cake flour in this recipe. I didn't notice a significant difference either way. The cake is moist and fluffy, using either type of flour.
- Sugar: I use granulated white sugar in this cake recipe.
- Butter and Eggs: Make sure the butter and eggs are room temperature. I always use unsalted butter when baking.
- Bananas: 3 very ripe bananas (about 1 generous cup). The blacker, the better. Overripe bananas have a lot of sugar and give this cake its sweet banana flavor. You will want to peel and mash the bananas with a fork or a potato masher. Add the vanilla to the banana and mix.
- Sour Cream: Sour cream is the key to getting a light, fluffy crumb in this cake. Sour cream has a perfect balance of acidity and fat. The acidity helps to bolster the performance of the baking soda. The fat and acid help to inhibit the formation of gluten in the flour, so the cake crumb remains tender and moist.
- Other: Vanilla and Salt
- This makes a ton of frosting.
- I used probably only 75% of it for the cake in the photos.
- There is extra in case you want to do any piping or decoration which many of my readers have done.
- If you do make this cake as a sheet cake, definitely only make one-half of the frosting.
- 2 cups of heavy whipping cream
- optional: a few tablespoons of coconut cream (I like karas brand)
- 1 small can of crushed pineapple, drained (you'll use ⅓ to ½ cup of crushed pineapple.)
- ⅓ to ½ cup of shredded coconut
- ½ teaspoon of coconut extract. I usually use coconut extract paste. You can adjust this to taste.
- Whip the heaving cream until it is nice and fluffy. You want it to be a little bit on the stiff side.
- Fold in the remaining ingredients.
- I don't ever add extra sweetener. But if you wanted the filling a little bit sweeter you could add a few teaspoons of brown sugar.