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Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Moist and delicious, my Banana Cake recipe is a great way to use up any bananas that may be past their best. With a tangy cream cheese frosting, this sturdy cake is perfect for parties and picnics. Nobody can resist a second slice!

If you are guilty, like me, of ALWAYS buying too many bananas, then my delicious banana cake recipe is for you! Dense and moist with a strong banana flavour and a tangy cream cheese frosting, this sturdy cake is perfect for picnics, parties or just as a mid-morning snack.

Moist banana cake with cream cheese frosting decorated with flowers.

Ingredients

To make my easy banana cake recipe, you’ll need the following main ingredients:

  • Bananas: The star ingredient! For the most potent banana flavour, use the most overripe, blackest bananas you have. PRO TIP: Whenever I have bananas that are past their best, I peel them and pop them in a bag in the freezer for baking another day.
  • Sugar: I use white sugar for the cleanest banana taste. Brown sugar is too heavy and will disguise the flavour.
  • Butter: I use unsalted butter in my baking to control the amount of salt in the final product. Butter can be substituted with oil; see this section below.
  • Buttermilk: Tangy and creamy, buttermilk gives a lift to cakes and promotes browning. See below for substitutions.
  • Eggs: I use European size L eggs in my baking, weighing 55-60g ea. (That’s 2 oz.)
  • Flour: Plain or all-purpose flour is suitable for this recipe. If you are using self-raising, you can omit the baking powder.
  • Baking powder AND baking soda: Baking powder will lift your cake. However, I always add extra baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) when baking with bananas. Quick science lesson: ripe bananas are very alkaline, which makes it hard for the buttermilk and baking powder to do their work! The baking soda gives us a little extra lift.
  • Cinnamon, nutmeg and vanilla: To enhance the beautiful banana flavour of the cake.
  • Cream cheese: To make the silky smooth cream cheese frosting. Be sure to use whole-fat cream cheese, low-fat cream cheeses are not suitable for frosting. PRO TIP: For best results, the butter and cream cheese must be at room temperature when mixing. Otherwise, you’ll get lumps!
  • Did you know cream cheese is easy to make at home? Grab my recipe for Homemade Cream Cheese here!

The recipe card at the bottom of the page contains the complete ingredient list and instructions.

Can I make banana cake with oil?

Yes! In fact, cakes made with oil tend to stay moister for longer than their butter-based counterparts, especially when kept in the fridge. To make this banana cake recipe with oil, use ½ cup (125ml) of oil instead of the softened butter.

You may find that you need to bake the cake for 10 minutes longer if using oil. Remember to check the middle of the cake with a skewer to ensure it is cooked all the way through.

Can I make this banana cake recipe without buttermilk?

Yes! Though buttermilk is traditional (and delicious), it can be challenging to find in the grocery store. However, you can substitute buttermilk with soured milk.

To substitute, add one tablespoon of lemon juice to whole-fat milk, stir and allow to stand for 1 minute before proceeding with the recipe.

Natural yoghurt, kefir, or sour cream are also perfectly delicious substitutes for buttermilk in baking.

Decorated Banana cake.

How to make my easy banana cake

This cake is so simple!

  • First, blend together all of the wet ingredients in a food processor or mixer.
  • Next, sift the dry ingredients together and make a well in the middle.
  • Stir the wet ingredients into the dry until just combined, pour batter into a prepared cake pan and bake for 50 minutes.
  • After the cake has cooled on a rack, whisk together the cream cheese, butter, lemon juice and zest, chill to set, and then spread thickly over the top of the cake. Yum!

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How should I store banana cake?

Un-frosted banana cake can be covered well or wrapped at room temperature for around 3 days. Because it is a very moist cake, it is best kept cool. Frosted banana cake will keep for up to 7 days in the refrigerator. Unfrosted banana cake can be frozen.

Can I make this banana cake in other size pans?

Yes, it’s quite a flexible recipe. Try it in a loaf pan or muffin pan for a moist banana bread or banana muffins. You’ll need to adjust the timing and check with a skewer to ensure the cake or muffins are cooked.

Can I make banana cake with another frosting?

Of course! Banana cake tastes wonderful with lemon frosting. In New Zealand, it almost always comes with chocolate frosting!

LEMON FROSTING

I often make this cake with a simple lemon frosting. Use an electric mixer to whisk together 2 cups of powdered sugar with 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of very soft butter until light and fluffy. So delicious!

Like this recipe? You’ll love my famous Carrot Cake Loaf! Get the recipe here!

Decorated banana cake on a cake stand in front of a kitchen window.

Banana Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

Moist banana cake with cream cheese frosting decorated with flowers.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yield: 10 slices
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes

Moist and delicious, my Banana Cake recipe is a great way to use up any bananas that may be past their best. With a tangy cream cheese frosting, this sturdy cake is perfect for parties and picnics. Nobody can resist a second slice!

Ingredients

  • 2 overripe bananas, roughly mashed
  • 225g (1 cup) sugar
  • 125g (1 stick + 1 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened
  • 125ml (½ cup) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 225g (1.5 cups) plain or all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ½ tsp baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)

for the cream cheese frosting:

  • 250g (½ lb.) cream cheese, room temperature
  • 75g (2.5 oz) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 125g (1 + ¼ cups) powdered or confectioners sugar

Instructions

  1. PREPARE: Heat the oven to 180°C / 350°F / Gas 4 and grease and line a 23cm (9 in.) diameter round cake pan.
  2. BLEND WET INGREDIENTS: In the bowl of a food processor with the blade attachment fitted or an electric mixer, combine the mashed bananas, sugar, butter, buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract. Process until smooth, 1-2 minutes.
  3. SIFT DRY INGREDIENTS: In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking soda. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mixture and mix until just combined.
  4. BAKE: Use a spatula to scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan, smooth the top, then bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 50 minutes until the cake has risen, is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before turning onto a wire rack to cool completely.
  5. MAKE FROSTING: When the cake has completely cooled, make the cream cheese frosting by beating the cream cheese, butter, lemon zest and juice together until smooth. Sift over the powdered sugar and stir to combine. If the frosting is a little thin or runny, transfer it to the fridge for 15 minutes to firm up.
  6. DECORATE AND SERVE: When the frosting has firmed up to your liking, spread it thickly over the cake, slice and serve.

Notes

Cup and Imperial measurements are approximate. For best and most accurate results I use and recommend a digital kitchen scale like the one below.

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Jay Wadams
Jay Wadams

Jay Wadams is a cookbook author and food photographer. Jay is the author of two cookbooks: 'Tasty' (2017) and 'Simply Summer' (2019). Based in Italy 🇮🇹 Germany 🇩🇪 and Australia 🇦🇺.

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