This banana cake recipe makes a moist and fluffy cake topped with the best ever cream cheese frosting. It is the most delicious way to use up ripe bananas!
My Favorite Banana Cake Recipe
You know those bananas that have been sitting on your counter forever? Well, it’s time to use them up in this banana cake! It’s moist, nutty, sweet, and just the thing to enjoy with a mug of coffee or tea. It’s as satisfying as a really good slice of banana bread, but you get the extra treat of a simple cream cheese frosting on top!
One of the reasons I love this banana cake so much is that it’s perfect for any occasion. You can grab a small slice for a casual snack, but it’s also a treat that you could make to celebrate a birthday! Personally, I recommend doing both because I can’t get enough of this sweet cake. 🙂
What is the Difference Between Banana Bread and Banana Cake?
Banana bread and banana cake may sound like the same thing, but they’re pretty different. Banana bread is firmer than most cakes are, and denser in texture, while banana cake is lighter and spongier. If you want to know which is better, I really couldn’t tell you – I love them both! (Especially this Blueberry Banana Bread.)
The ingredients for this cake are all pretty basic. If you’ve already got the bananas, I bet you have everything else you need as well, already in your pantry!
For the Cake
- Butter: Let it come to room temperature and soften.
- Sugar: White sugar is best for this recipe, but substitutes like honey or maple syrup can be used in a pinch.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda: The acidity of the sour cream will balance out the bases in these two ingredients.
- Salt: If using Kosher salt, use a little more because the granules are bigger.
- Egg: Let this come to room temperature.
- Bananas: You’ll need 1 cup mashed, ripened bananas (about 2 to 3).
- Sour Cream: Buttermilk can also function as an acidic ingredient in banana cake.
- Vanilla Extract: For extra sweet flavor!
- Flour: I used 2 cups all-purpose flour.
- Nuts: Use 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts.
For the Frosting
- Cream Cheese: You’ll need 1 package (8-ounces) cream cheese, softened (I use 1/3 Less Fat Cream Cheese).
- Butter: Also softened.
- Pure Vanilla Extract
- Powdered Sugar: I used about 5 cups.
How to Make Banana Cake from Scratch
This banana cake with cream cheese frosting is a breeze to mix together. The prep work won’t take you more than 30 minutes, and then all you have to do is wait (im)patiently for the cake to be done!
I highly recommend getting little ones to help you out on this one – it makes the process more fun!
- Prepare: Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
- Cream the Butter: In a large mixing bowl beat butter on high until creamy; about 30 seconds.
- Mix in Sugar: Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat until combined.
- Combine with Wet Ingredients: Add egg, mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla; beat until incorporated.
- Add Flour & Pecans: Mix in the flour; continue to mix until combined. Stir in pecans.
- Pour Batter into the Baking Dish: Transfer batter to previously prepared baking dish and, using an offset spatula, spread batter evenly.
- Bake the Cake: Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
How to Make Cream Cheese Frosting
Once you’ve got the cake baking in the oven, you can get started on the frosting. You’re almost done, by the way, just 4 ingredients and 4 easy steps to go!
- Mix Cream Cheese, Butter & Vanilla: In your mixer’s bowl, combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla; mix until fluffy and completely combined.
- Add Powdered Sugar: Slowly add powdered sugar, about 1/3-cup at a time; continue to mix until smooth and thoroughly incorporated.
- Let Cake Cool: Remove cake from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
- Frost and Enjoy: Frost with previously prepared Cream Cheese Frosting. Cut and serve.
Tips for Success
Not too bad, eh? There’s nothing better than a good slice of cake.
Anyway, here are some tips to help you get the best results with your banana cake:
- Let Ingredients Come to Room Temp: When the butter, cream cheese and egg are at room temperature it makes the mixing process a whole lot easier. The texture of the cake will turn out better this way, too.
- Don’t Over-Mix the Cake: Just make sure that all of the ingredients are combined. The cake could turn out dense or tough if you mix the batter too much.
- Watch the Baking Time: The cooking time for this cake can be different depending on what your oven is like. Adjust the time accordingly – you don’t want a burnt cake on your hands! Keep an eye on the cake starting at around 32 minutes. When checking to see if the cake is done, use a toothpick – if it comes out clean, take the cake out.
How to Store
- Counter: Loosely cover your cake with saran wrap and store it on the counter for up to 3 days.
- Fridge: For a longer shelf life, wrap your cake in saran wrap or cut it into slices and transfer them to airtight containers. The cake will keep in the fridge for up to 5 days.
- Freezer: I recommend freezing individual slices to make it easier to enjoy your cake later. First, freeze the slices on a baking sheet in the freezer for about 2 hours to firm up the frosting. Then wrap each slice in saran wrap and transfer them to an airtight, freezer-safe container. The cake will keep for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge or on the counter for a few hours before digging in.
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Lightly grease a 9×13 glass baking dish with cooking spray; set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl beat butter on high until creamy; about 30 seconds.
- Add sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; beat until combined.
- Add egg, mashed bananas, sour cream and vanilla; beat until incorporated.
- Mix in the flour; continue to mix until combined.
- Stir in pecans.
- Transfer batter to previously prepared baking dish and, using an offset spatula, spread batter evenly.
- Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- In your mixer’s bowl, combine cream cheese, butter and vanilla; mix until fluffy and completely combined.
- Slowly add powdered sugar, about 1/3-cup at a time; continue to mix until smooth and thoroughly incorporated.
- Remove cake from oven and let cool on a wire rack.
- Frost cooled cake with previously prepared Cream Cheese Frosting.
- Cut and Serve.
- WW POINTS: Without the Frosting, the Cake is 11 POINTS.
Nutritional info is an estimate and provided as courtesy. Values may vary according to the ingredients and tools used. Please use your preferred nutritional calculator for more detailed info.
Recipe originally published on November 3, 2014. Updated post and photos on February 10, 2021.
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