This Homemade Banana Cake is delicious, soft, moist, and topped with an easy cream cheese frosting. A great way to use up overripe bananas!
Do you ever end up with several overripe bananas on your counter at the end of the week? It seems like we do all of the time, so I love to use them in recipes like my homemade banana bread or these banana baked oatmeal cups.
But today’s homemade banana cake recipe is another fantastic way to use them! This cake is jam-packed with banana flavor and is incredibly moist. Oh, and did I mention it’s made completely from scratch too?
I love to top this easy banana cake with my homemade cream cheese frosting, but I’ve included a few other frosting options for you to try too!
Banana Cake Ingredients
This simple banana cake recipe comes together quickly with minimal ingredients. Here’s what we’ll need to make the banana cake itself:
- Unsalted butter: I recommend using unsalted butter, since the amount of salt in salted butters can vary between different brands.
- Sugar: Both kinds of sugar need to be beaten with the butter for several minutes to incorporate more air into the batter. This results in a super fluffy banana cake.
- Eggs: Be sure your eggs are room temperature before adding them to the batter.
- Vanilla extract: Pure vanilla extract is best in this recipe.
- Mashed banana: There are two cups of mashed banana in this cake to give it maximum banana flavor! Which, depending on the size of your bananas, should be about 4-5 medium sized bananas.
- All-purpose flour: Make sure to spoon and level the flour when you measure it so you don’t end up with a dense cake.
- Baking powder & baking soda: Helps the cake rise in the oven.
- Ground cinnamon: Adds flavor and complements the banana so well.
- Salt: Balances out the sweetness of the batter and enhances the banana flavor.
- Buttermilk: Provides moisture and creates a tender, soft crumb.
And for the homemade cream cheese frosting, we’ll need:
- Cream cheese: Make sure to use brick-style cream cheese for best results. It should also be room temperature so it whips up easily.
- Unsalted butter: To make a creamy frosting, your butter needs to be softened to room temperature.
- Powdered sugar: Sweetens the cream cheese frosting.
- Vanilla extract: Adds flavor. Use pure vanilla extract if possible.
How to Make Banana Cake
To make this moist banana cake, you’ll start out by creaming together some unsalted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar. I recommend mixing them together for at least 4-5 minutes until the mixture is light in color and fluffy. This will incorporate more air into your cake batter which means a lighter cake.
Then, you’ll mix in some eggs, pure vanilla extract, and mashed banana. Next, you’ll whisk together your dry ingredients: all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon, and salt.
One important thing: You’ll want to alternate mixing the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients with the buttermilk in three additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. This will help prevent you from overmixing the cake batter which can lead to a dense and chewy cake. At this point, you can mix in some chopped walnuts if you like too.
The cake will take about 40-45 minutes in the oven in a 9×13 pan, you’ll know it’s done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Once the cake has cooled completely, you can mix up your frosting.
For this cake, I used my homemade cream cheese frosting because it pairs perfectly with it. To make the frosting, you’ll mix together a block of cream cheese and one stick of butter until well combined. Then, you’ll mix in some powdered sugar and vanilla extract until it’s nice and creamy.
You can just use an offset spatula or spoon to spread the frosting on the cake. Once the cake is frosted, you can either serve it right away or refrigerate it until you’re ready to enjoy.
Can I Use a Different Frosting?
Of course! If you want to try another frosting, here are a few that would pair well with this cake:
Can I Use a Buttermilk Substitute?
If you don’t have any buttermilk on hand, you can use my homemade substitute here.
Can I Freeze This Cake?
Yes, this easy banana cake will freeze well for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, thaw overnight in the refrigerator. The cream cheese frosting will also freeze well for up to 3 months. Simply thaw overnight in the refrigerator, then bring to room temperature and mix well before frosting the cake.
- When measuring your flour, make sure to stir it around, spoon it into your measuring cup, and level it off with the back of a knife.
- For the best flavor, I suggest using very ripe bananas for this cake. You’ll need about 4-5 medium to large bananas for this recipe too.
- If your bananas aren’t very ripe, you can place them in a paper bag for 2-3 days to speed up the process.
- When mixing in the dry ingredients and buttermilk, mix in each addition until just combined. You want to avoid over mixing the cake as this can lead to a dense and gummy texture.
- Make sure to use a block or brick of cream cheese for the frosting and not cream cheese spread in a tub, which can lead to a runny frosting.
More Easy Cake Recipes to Try!
- The Best Coffee Cake
- German Chocolate Cake
- Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Classic Chocolate Layer Cake
- The Best Carrot Cake
For the banana cake:
- 3/4 cup (170 grams) unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
- 1 cup (200 grams) light brown sugar , packed
- 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs , room temperature
- 1 and 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups (460 grams) ripe mashed banana
- 3 cups (375 grams) all-purpose flour (spooned & leveled)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 and 1/4 cups (300 ml) buttermilk , room temperature
- 1 cup (120 grams) chopped walnuts , optional
For the cream cheese frosting:
- 1 (8-ounce) package brick-style cream cheese , softened
- 1/2 cup (115 grams) unsalted butter , softened to room temperature
- 2 cups (240 grams) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
To make the banana cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Spray a 9x13-inch baking pan with nonstick cooking spray and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, cream together the butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy (about 4-5 minutes).
- Mix in the eggs one at a time, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed, then mix in the vanilla extract and mashed bananas.
- In a separate mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt until well combined.
- Alternate mixing the dry ingredients into the wet ingrediets with the buttermilk in three additions, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Stir in the chopped walnuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread it around into one even layer.
- Bake at 350°F (177°C) for 40-45 minutes or until the top is set and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool completely in the pan on a wire rack.
To make the cream cheese frosting:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter together until smooth.
- Add the powdered sugar and vanilla extract and continue mixing until fully combined, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly on top of the the cooled banana cake.