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Sure you’ve heard of banana bread before, but have you tried banana cake? This is the tastiest banana cake recipe out there!
Don’t let those ripe bananas go to waste! Whip up this moist and tender Banana Cake and top with my fluffy homemade Cream Cheese Frosting.
Banana Cake Ingredients
Grab those ripe bananas and some other pantry staple baking ingredients to make this moist banana cake recipe. See what you need, and possible substitutes, below:
For the Cake:
- Ripe bananas – the more brown spots, the sweeter the bananas are in the cake.
- Buttermilk – If you don’t have buttermilk or don’t want to buy a whole carton, you can easily make your own buttermilk with milk and lemon juice or vinegar.
- Vegetable oil – or canola oil
- White granulated sugar
- Brown sugar – light or dark brown sugar
- Eggs – room temperature for easier mixing.
- Vanilla extract
- Flour – all-purpose flour
- Baking soda
For the Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Cream Cheese – softened to room temperature. Use the block-style, full fat cream cheese, not the spreadable kind in a tub.
- Butter – softened to room temperature.
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
Step by Step Instructions
This recipe is foolproof! Have the kids help mash the bananas for this soon to be family-favorite. See the simple step by step below:
- Prep – Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees F and greasing a 9×13 inch baking dish. I recommend greasing with butter then dusting with flour, but you can also use a nonstick baking spray that has flour in it.
- Mix wet ingredients – In a medium bowl, mix together the mashed bananas with the lemon juice and set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the vegetable oil with the brown and white sugar. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix to combine then mix in the vanilla.
- Add flour and buttermilk – Add the flour and buttermilk in thirds, starting with the flour and ending with the milk. Start by mixing in 1 cup of the flour and the salt and baking soda. Stir in about a third of the buttermilk then mix in another cup of the flour. Mix in another third of the buttermilk and then the final cup of the flour. Finally mix in the remaining buttermilk until the batter is just combined.
- Add bananas – Fold in the mashed bananas gently until combined.
- Add to pan and bake – Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
- Cool and frost – Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting and serving.
Cream Cheese Frosting
Homemade cream cheese frosting is so fluffy and rich. It takes only a few minutes to mix up and takes this banana cake recipe over the top!
- Cream butter and cream cheese – In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of your stand mixer, beat together the softened cream cheese and butter until fluffy and combined.
- Add powdered sugar and vanilla – Add 3 cups of the powdered sugar and beat to combine. I recommend starting the mixer on low then slowly increasing the speed to prevent an explosion of powdered sugar. Beat in the vanilla extract and add additional powdered sugar, if needed, to reach your desired consistency.
- Frost the cake – Spread the fluffy frosting over the top of the cooled cake. I like to make some swoops with a rubber spatula for a pretty presentation.
Storage and Freezer Tips
Trust me when I say that this cake will go FAST! If you do have leftovers or are trying to prep the cake in advance, see tips below.
Storage – Due to the cream cheese frosting, the finished and frosted cake needs to be stored in the fridge. Wrap the pan in plastic wrap and it will keep fresh for up to 3 days.
Freezing – Without the frosting, the cake freezes very well. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge then bring to room temperature before frosting and serving.
Expert Tips and FAQs
- Room temperature ingredients for the frosting are a MUST – It’s so important to let your cream cheese and butter soften to room temperature. This is key to get a smooth and creamy frosting.
- Don’t Overmix – Be sure to mix the cake batter only until just combined. Overmixing can result in a dense cake instead of the fluffy, tender result that you want.
- Top with coconut – As an optional addition, I love sprinkling toasted shredded coconut on top of the frosted cake. The coconut pairs wonderfully with the banana and it elevates the presentation.
- Add pineapple to the frosting – For a fun flavored frosting, increase the powdered sugar to 5 cups, add ½ cup crushed pineapple that’s been drained, and omit the vanilla extract. The results are frosting that is still creamy but has a pineapple flavor with small chunks of pineapple for texture.
More Banana Recipes
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
For the Banana Cake
- 3 ripe bananas Peeled and smashed
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 2/3 cup vegetable oil
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
For the Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/3 cup butter softened
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Banana Cake:
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9×13 pan.
- In a separate bowl, mix the mashed bananas with a tablespoon of lemon juice and set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, stir together vegetable oil and granulated and brown sugar. Add the eggs one at a time, stirring well after each addition. Add a teaspoon of vanilla and mix well.
- Add salt, baking soda and 1 cup of the flour to the large mixing bowl and stir to combine. Add buttermilk and remaining flour and gently stir to combine.
- Fold in the bananas, and pour into the prepared 9×13 pan.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs.
- Let the cake cool completely, then frost with the Cream Cheese Frosting (below).
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Cream together the 8 ounces of cream cheese and ⅓ cup of butter until fluffy.
- Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and mix well.
- Blend in the vanilla extract and add up to an extra ½ cup of powdered sugar until your desired consistency is reached. Spread onto the cooled cake.