Addictive Recipes from a Self-Taught Baker

The Best Banana Cake I’ve Ever Had

This is absolutely the best banana cake I've ever had! It's supremely moist with cream cheese frosting, tons of banana, brown sugar, and cinnamon flavor. Recipe on

Remember that time I told you about the best banana cake I’ve ever had? It was over on Instagram.

I enjoyed obsessed over it at a family reunion the other weekend. Kevin’s cousin made it and I stalked her down like a dessert creep and proceeded to talk her ear off about cream cheese frosting and spotty bananas for 35 minutes straight.

What? You don’t do that at parties?

This is absolutely the best banana cake I've ever had! It's supremely moist with cream cheese frosting, tons of banana, brown sugar, and cinnamon flavor. Recipe on

Ok but this banana cake.

It was the moistest cake I’ve ever eaten. Stick-to-the-back of your fork moist. The perfect cream cheese frosting, both sweet and tangy, sinking into the top of the cake made it even more moist. Sweet, but not overpowering. Mega banana flavor, certainly more banana flavor than any banana bread I’ve ever eaten. Very buttery and cakey from creaming the butter and sugars. Ridiculously rich, decadent.

The banana cake was dense, but not heavy. If that makes any sense? (Coming from the lady who talks about rotting bananas at social gatherings, but stick with me here.) The crumb was very soft, but they were tight crumbs. The cake didn’t fall apart when you took a forkful.

Lori told me this cake comes out perfect every time she makes it. And such perfection is reinforced, she told me, when absolutely everyone who has a slice begs her for the recipe. It is, hands down, the best banana cake I’ve ever had.

And I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.

How to make the best banana cake on

Mashed bananas for the best banana cake on

The recipe starts with 3 mashed bananas (above). Now, make sure those bananas are nice and spotty. As you know, I’m very passionate about spotty bananas. The bananas you see above are just right. More brown spots = sweeter, more banana flavor. Your cake will thank you. I simply mash the bananas in my mixer– the same mixer I use for creaming the butter and sugars. Beat the bananas on high speed for a minute, then transfer to another bowl. I don’t even wash the mixing bowl– just throw the butter right in and start creaming!

I really love the mix of brown and white sugars in this banana cake. Brown sugar and banana pair wonderfully together and the brown sugar leaves the cake even more moist. Plus, a little brown sugar flavor is never a bad thing!

Let’s see, what else. Oh! The cinnamon. Just a little bit, nothing overpowering. 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon compliments the brown sugar and banana flavors.

Here’s the batter. There will be some pretty lumps.

Ok, let’s face it– are lumps ever attractive? Ever?

How to make the best banana cake on

One more thing to note: buttermilk. Hey, how often do I express my love for buttermilk in desserts? You’re lucky I don’t hunt you down at parties and talk your ear off about… dairy.

But anyway, as you guessed, buttermilk is the moist-maker. The cake wouldn’t be what it is without it! I rarely have buttermilk in my refrigerator, unless I have a ton of baking to do that day, so I always sour whole milk instead. For this recipe, you’ll need 1 and 1/2 cups of buttermilk. So here’s what I do instead: measure 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar, then add enough whole milk until I reach 1 and 1/2 cups. Stir it around, let it sit for a minute, then pour into the batter. To keep the cake extra rich, I do recommend whole milk when you are souring milk– not any other milks.

So, soured whole milk OR buttermilk. Your two best bets in this banana cake.

The silkiest, best cream cheese frosting! Recipe on

Is this not the silkiest and smoothest cream cheese frosting you’ve ever seen? Well, it’s the silkiest and smoothest cream cheese frosting I’ve ever tasted! It’s pretty similar to my favorite cream cheese frosting, but there’s a little less cream cheese for the amount of butter. So, this makes the frosting a little more silky. And definitely more buttery!

There’s also a lot of cream cheese frosting. You will think I’m crazy (-er than you already think I am). When you begin slathering it onto the cake, you’ll probably go “Sally, this is way too much frosting!” But it’s not. You want a nice thick layer. It’s essential to the cake’s overall awesomeness.

This is absolutely the best banana cake I've ever had! It's supremely moist with cream cheese frosting, tons of banana, brown sugar, and cinnamon flavor. Recipe on

 YUP. The best banana cake I’ve ever had. Let me know if you try it!

Best Banana Cake


  • 3 large ripe bananas (about 1 and 1/2 cups mashed)
  • 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) packed light or dark brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) buttermilk, at room temperature1

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 8 ounces (224g) full-fat block cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3 cups (360g) confectioners' sugar, plus an extra 1/4 cup if needed
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease a 9x13 inch pan.
  2. Make the cake: Mash the bananas. I usually just use my mixer for this! Set mashed bananas aside.
  3. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
  4. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on high speed until smooth and creamy - about 1 minute. Add both sugars and beat on high speed for 2 minutes until creamed together. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the eggs and the vanilla. Beat on medium-high speed until combined, then beat in the mashed bananas. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl as needed. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients in three additions alternating with the buttermilk and mixing each addition just until incorporated. Do not overmix. The batter will be slightly thick and a few lumps is OK.
  5. Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If you find the top of the cake is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely. After about 45 minutes, I usually place it in the refrigerator to speed things up.
  7. Make the frosting: In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese and butter together on high speed until smooth and creamy. Add 3 cups confectioners' sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar (I add it). Spread the frosting on the cooled cake. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before serving. This helps sets the frosting and makes cutting easier.
  8. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Make ahead tip: Prepare cake through step 5. Cover the cake tightly and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months. Bring to room temperature, make the frosting, frost, and serve. Frosted cake freezes well, up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator, bring to room temperature or serve cold.

Recipe Notes:

  1. If you don't have buttermilk, you can add 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice or white vinegar to a large liquid measuring cup. Then add enough regular room temperature milk (whole milk is recommended) to make 1 and 1/2 cups total. Stir and let sit for 5 minutes. This soured milk can be used in the recipe instead of buttermilk.

Cupcakes: I've gotten a few questions about turning this cake into cupcakes. For about 2 dozen cupcakes, fill the cupcake liners halfway and bake for about 20-22 minutes. Same oven temperature.

Did you make a recipe?

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© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

PS: Happy National S’mores Day. Here’s a new video for you. Try these. Try these!

Also, there may have been too much puppy partying on Kevin’s birthday yesterday…

pups 8-9-16

Creamy, silky, smooth, and simple cream cheese frosting! Recipe on
This is absolutely the best banana cake I've ever had! It's supremely moist with cream cheese frosting, tons of banana, brown sugar, and cinnamon flavor. Recipe on


  1. I made this banana cake….
    Followed the instructions and ingredients to a tee….
    Flavor was GREAT….
    BUT, the cake was very dense, like banana bread….
    Frosting was AWESOME….
    What did I do wrong ?!?

    • I made the cake today and followed 100% according to the recipe. Cake was dense and didn’t rise that much. It appeared like banana bread too. Any idea why?

      • I made this recipe 3 times. First time I made it, I baked it in a 9×11” deep pan. It was very dense, although the flavor was spot on. Second time I made it, I added an extra 1/2 tsp of baking powder to help fluff it up. I baked it in the same pan, and it came out better, but a little dry. Finally, I used a combination of mini loaf pans and cupcakes (using the timing listed in the recipe), while adding only 1/4 tsp extra baking powder. This was the ideal combo for me, and EVERYONE went crazy over the cupcakes/loaves (I put the icing in *and* on the cupcakes). 

        Two things I took away – 1. add the extra 1/4tsp baking powder;
        2. Use more shallow pans (the deeper your mix is when you bake it, the more likely it is to be dense/too thick). 

        Hope this helps!

  2. I made the cake yesterday and it turned out so awesome!! Probably my favorite! I have a question though! Do you have any idea what the carbs would be? I have gestational diabetes and have to watch my carbs. I was just wondering! Thank you very much!

    • Hi Kathy! So glad you love this banana cake, thank you! I’m unsure of the nutrition information but you can always calculate it online. There are lots of free counter apps!

  3. Best banana cake I’ve made so far! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Hello Sally! I tried out this recipe today and it was wonderful! My family practically ate it all and kept asking for more! Thanks so much for sharing. Cheers!

  5. I made this, but did not prepare perfectly but had to take a few shortcuts… Replaced some of the butter with oil and used a mix of yogurt and heavy cream in place of buttermilk. Used a bullet blender to do the creaming and beating, and that seemed to work fine. Also threw in a bag of coarsely chopped walnuts.

    It came out nicely, though tasted like a bit too nuch baking soda. Light with nice crumb and not too sweet. I would say that this is a very forgiving recipe. 

  6. I just made this cake, it’s in the oven and I added a cup of shredded coconut into the batter, also I used 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract and 1 teaspoon of banana extract. Cannot wait to try it! I didn’t have buttermilk on hand so I added 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to the milk, batter turned out beautiful! 

  7. I am planing on baking this cake today and I realized I only have salted butter on hand. Should I cut the added salt out of the recipe or modify the amount? Thanks!

  8. Is nice n lovely

  9. Just made it again today. Perfect again. I do stir in one cup of toasted, chopped walnuts but otherwise follow the recipe exactly.

    Next will be your moist spice cake using the applesauce I made yesterday. Was going to make that cake but noticed 4 large, very brown bananas and figured I should use them first.

    Your recipes are very good and love your sense of humor.

  10. Thank you for this wonderful recipe. It is a keeper! It was so soft and moist. Mine did not come out dense. My husband loved it souch!♥♥♥

  11. Truly the best banana cake ever! My family didn’t even want to wait for the cake to cool, put the icing on, it melted all over and they couldn’t stop raving about how delicious this cake was. Definitely will make this one again and again…..

  12. Made this last night. It is so good. Used the Creamiest Peanut Butter frosting. Thanks for the recipes. 

  13. Sally, love the flavor of this cake!! So delicious. However, just wondering what could have made this cake come out with like this dense layer from the bottom half of this cake. The top half had a nice crumb to it, wish the whole thing had come out like this! It was brown on bottom and top, toothpick came out clean so I think I baked it long enough! Any other tips???

    • Hi Rennae! Typically that dense layer means that the butter and sugar have been over-creamed. Perhaps only running the mixer for 1-2 minutes would be better for your next try?

      • Ok! I admit I probably mixed a lot longer than 2 minutes. Thank you for your quick response, because this cake is absolutely worth another try!

  14. 8 oz pkg of cream cheese is 250g, not 224g

  15. This is the first time I e tried one of your recipes and the first time I have ever posted a comment. 

    First of all, I will say this is a very forgiving recipe. I am not a baker because I just can’t seem to follow recipes exactly. Usually I bake one of 3 things I know how to make already, banana bread, chocolate chip cookies or brownies. I had 3 ripe bananas and I had a hankering for cake with frosting, and did a quick online search. I saw this one and decided to give it a try.

    I kind of did everything right, except I mashed my bananas right in with the butter sugar egg mixture because I’m a short cut taker (and probably why I hate baking)… and of course it was spur of the moment and I didn’t have buttermilk. I never have buttermilk. I read the part about using whole milk (didn’t have that either) and lemon that I did have. Oh yeah, I didn’t have unsalted butter either.. I didn’t even notice that it said unsalted.
    So I’m half finished with my cake and didn’t know what to do, so I figured sour cream was just thick buttermilk so I used a cup of that and a half cup of cream and the juice of half a lemon to make my substitute butttermilk.
    Then I followed the recipe, or so I thought and added some left over chopped walnuts. I didn’t see where it said what size pan, so I used two 9×9 fireking glass pans. The batter only filled the pans 1/3, and I’m thinking maybe that wasn’t enough, so I set my timer for 30 minutes… checked it, then added 5 minutes which was perfect.

    Took them out and turned them over on cooling racks. They both came out without breaking apart which is probably a first for me. Each cake was just over an inch. I put them in the fridge while I made the frosting…
    I’m a sugar addict. I think I used twice as much powdered sugar to make it sweeter, but had to add a little cream as well because it got to thick.

    I made a square layer cake out of them with loads of frosting. 
    My cakes turned out perfectly for me. The first time ever. They were dense but moist and light. Not the least like my banana bread. It was a real cake.

    My husband and I both had a piece and it was so delicious. He had seconds, but I could not. I’d been without sugar for weeks and the overloaded frosting was like an overdose…

    It wasn’t until tonight when I was reading comments and someone mentioned baking powder. I didn’t realize it called for baking powder so mine didn’t have it. It was still the best cake we’ve ever had. That’s what I mean about forgiving… I totally did it wrong, but it still turned out great. It has to be the recipe proportions or something…

    I refrigerated the cake and it was even better the next day… I will make this again with the proper ingredients next time for an even better one I’m sure…

  16. im making this tonight, i didnt have buttermilk nor did i have whole milk, so im taking a chance and i used my 2% with about 2 tbs of sour cream, and added just a teaspoon of lemon..i was thinking sour cream maybe sour enough lol..ill give an update on how it turns out 🙂

  17. hi sally i wanted to mention your cream cheese frosting recipe is really similar to what i put in mine, but i discovered something neat i wanted to share, i add about a 1/4 cup of non dairy liquid vanilla creamer international delight) in mine, which seems to give it a little lighter whipped texture and yummy taste too 🙂

  18. Made it on Sunday for a party, used lemon juice and milk to substitute buttermilk and blended bananas with milk together. I used 2 eggs and reduced rest of the ingredience by 1/3. Split the batter into one 9 inch pan and a mini loaf pan, baked for 25mins and worked out perfectly! I sprinkled some coconut chips on top of the batter for decoration and taste since I didnt make the icing. One of my friend just can’t stop eating it. I love it a lot too, it’s the right amount of sweet for me.

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