Banana Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

Best banana layer cake recipe with brown butter cream cheese frosting!! So easy to make. Moist, delicious, simple homemade cake! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Happy eclipse day!! Doing anything special for the big event? Did you get your hands on those coveted eclipse glasses? My answers: no and no. I’m so boring. I’ll just stay inside with the pups and feel weird for those few minutes when it’s a little dark out at 2:30 in the afternoon.

Come back and tell me how cool it was to see, ok?

Best banana layer cake recipe with brown butter cream cheese frosting!! So easy to make. Moist, delicious, simple homemade cake! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s get into the good stuff. I’ve been meaning to bake my favorite banana cake as a banana layer cake for the past year. Do you remember when I shared my love/obsession for this banana cake? You know, the cake recipe I stalked Kevin’s cousin for like a complete lunatic? Turns out, it’s just as moist/perfect/unbelievable as a layer cake too.

Here’s why it’s my favorite banana cake:

  • Front-and-center banana flavor.
  • Buttery and cakey.
  • Cinnamon-spiced.
  • Dense without tasting too heavy.
  • Soft crumb that holds its shape.
  • Easy to make, very basic ingredients.

Just read the reviews— the cake is phenomenal.

Baking the banana cake as a layer cake changes the frosting to cake ratio. More layers = more frosting in each bite. That’s certainly something we’re all OK with. Also, aren’t layer cakes a bit more fancy? I don’t know about you, but I always feel more accomplished/fancier serving a layer cake vs a sheet cake.

La-di-da look at my tall masterpiece sort of thing.

How to make banana layer cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

But we’re not only changing the shape and presentation of the banana cake today. We’re also serving it up with THE BEST FROSTING TO EVER HIT YOUR LIPS. Dramatic? Who… me?

And the frosting is what I really want to focus on today.

I’m not sure why I waited over 30 years to turn regular cream cheese frosting into brown butter cream cheese frosting? Learn from my mistake and don’t waste any more time. It’s everything you love about cream cheese frosting– tangy and sweet, but not as tooth-decaying sweet as buttercream. Creamy, thick, silky, smooth. Yep, all of the above. But this version has brown butter hiding inside. Those specks of nutty toasty buttery goodness bring cream cheese frosting up about 700 notches on the delicious scale. Do you want to upgrade a great dessert into the mega-watt billionaire of desserts? Add brown butter. I wrote an entire tutorial on how to brown butter so you can learn exactly how it’s done!

How to make brown butter cream cheese frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Let’s break it down.

√ Brown butter on the stove. (above left)
√ Refrigerate it until solid. Cream it. (above right)
√ Add cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla ,and salt.

How to make brown butter cream cheese frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Time saving tip: Browning the butter and refrigerating it until solid is a whole extra step, but do this before you even start the cake. By the time the baked cake has cooled, the brown butter is ready to be whipped into frosting.

Have I mentioned how creamy this stuff is?

Frosting banana layer cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

How to make brown butter cream cheese frosting on sallysbakingaddiction.com

I brought this cake over to our friends and it was like I gave them a block of gold or something. They were impressed by the cake’s flavor and texture, but kept enthusiastically raving about the combination of banana/cinnamon/cream cheese frosting/brown butter.

I promise you’ll understand what all the fuss is about after 1 bite.

Best banana layer cake recipe with brown butter cream cheese frosting!! So easy to make. Moist, delicious, simple homemade cake! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Best banana layer cake recipe with brown butter cream cheese frosting!! So easy to make. Moist, delicious, simple homemade cake! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Print

Banana Cake with Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 3 hours, 55 minutes
  • Yield: serves 10-12
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

Want to serve the most impressive homemade dessert? This banana cake with brown butter cream cheese frosting is loved by all!


Ingredients

  • 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 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 temperature

Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 and 1/2 8-ounce blocks (12 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
  • 4 cups (480g) confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C) and grease three round 9×2 inch cake pans. Set aside.
  2. **Time-saving tip** Brown the butter in step 8 now, then place into the refrigerator to solidify as instructed below. This will save time when you’re ready to make the frosting.
  3. Make the cake: Mash the bananas. I usually just use my mixer for this! Set mashed bananas aside.
  4. Whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt together. Set aside.
  5. Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar together on high speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. 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. A few lumps is OK.
  6. Divide batter evenly between 3 pans. Bake for 22-26 minutes. Baking times vary, so keep an eye on yours. The cakes are done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  7. Remove the cakes from the oven and set on a wire rack. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
  8. Make the frosting: Slice the butter up into pieces and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring occasionally. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning– you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and it will have a nutty aroma. See photo above for a visual. Once browned, remove from heat, and immediately pour into a heat-proof bowl. Refrigerate until solid.
  9. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the solid brown butter on high speed until creamed. Add the cream cheese and beat on high speed until combined, smooth, and creamy. Add 4 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.
  10. Assemble and frost: Place 1 cake layer on your cake stand or serving plate. Evenly cover the top with frosting. Top with 2nd layer and evenly cover the top with frosting. Finish with the third cake layer and spread the remaining frosting all over the top and sides. Garnish with chopped nuts. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before slicing or else the cake may gently fall apart as you cut.
  11. Cover leftover cake tightly and store in the refrigerator for 5 days.

Notes

  1. Make Ahead Instructions: Prepare cake through step 7. Wrap the individual baked cake layers 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.
  2. 9×13 Cake: Here is that recipe.
  3. Cupcakes: For about 2 dozen cupcakes, fill the cupcake liners halfway and bake for about 20-22 minutes. Same oven temperature.

You might also like my hummingbird cake!

Hummingbird cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

Best banana layer cake recipe with brown butter cream cheese frosting!! So easy to make. Moist, delicious, simple homemade cake! Recipe on sallysbakingaddiction.com

SaveSave

215 Comments

  1. someone is bringing a telescope into my office for it tomorrow! although apparently it’s only a smudge in sf (according to the simulators online). oh well. this cake sounds delicious, especially with that frosting!

  2. Sally, I’ve said it before and i’ll say it again – you’re a genius! I have no idea how you take a simple recipe and turn it up 100 notches. Incredible. I can’t wait to try this!

  3. One of those reviews is mine and for good reason. I couldn’t believe how moist, creamy and delicious this cake was! And that brown butter icing-swoon!! This layer cake looks phenomenal. Not doing anything special for the eclipse today as my husband is working, but looking forward to seeing it happen☺

  4. O.M.G. I am drooling! Cannot wait to make this! Love your recipes. I know I am set up for success when using them! Thanks Sally!

  5. I can’t wait to try the recipe! I have some really ripe bananas at home that are just begging to be made into a cake. Also, I have a recipe request for sometime in the future: Black Forest cake! I’ve always loved it but felt intimidated about making one. Thanks! 

  6. How beautiful! I love banana bread but haven’t ever had banana cake. And I looooove frosting, so layer cakes are superior to sheet cakes 😉 I’m so glad Jude is being such a good brother/uncle to you and the baby 🙂 <3 I hope you are feeling okay!

  7. Sally! I love your blog!! Every single recipe I’ve made has been phenomenal – thank you!!

    So funny story but my husband’s birthday is Thursday and he wanted me to surprise him with a cake. I decided on Saturday I would do a banana cake with cream cheese frosting. Yesterday, after making your whole wheat pumpkin chocolate chip muffins (amazing, btw!), I was thinking how I needed to search your blog to see if you had a banana cake. Well, long story short I was then scrolling through IG a few hours later and saw this cake!! Haha, meant to be!! I will absolutely be making this on Thursday! Thank you!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    -Sarah www.thefrugalmillionaireblog.com

  8. Happy eclipse day if you care! Your banana cake is easy to make and I have all ingredients. I never made brown butter cream cheese frosting or brown the butter. (I am not sure why?)
    For me this recipe is must try.

  9. Jude is so sweet!
    Yes I got some glasses and we will see pieces of the eclipse. I think the kids will enjoy it… That cake looks so good! Back school time means more time for baking.

  10. I wish I liked bananas! Even the smell makes me want to vomit….anyway…do you think the frosting would work on a well loved ginger cake? I’m totally going to try it tomorrow! xxxxx

  11. Your story about stalking Kevin’s cousin is hilarious- I remember reading it last year and literally laughing out loud picturing that!! Classic. And I am with you on the frosting- how did we go so long?? You need to trademark this! Yummmm.

  12. Banana cakes are never the prettiest, but somehow you managed to make this one so photogenic! Lately it seems I’ve been on a banana kick, because I always have bananas lying around but none of them ever get ripe enough to make with hmm. I’ll have to specifically buy a batch for the purpose of baking. I made chocolate cake with oreo cream-cheese frosting for a birthday party last night and OMG I wish I saw this post first because I totally would’ve made brown butter cream-cheese frosting instead. Banana flavour is so great because to me it kind of feels like a “Fall” flavour but really, it’s perfect all year round 😉

    1. Thank you so much, Hayley! I work very hard on photography and I truly appreciate the compliment <3 Oreo cream cheese frosting sounds fantastic!

  13. Hi Sally! This looks amazing! I freeze alot of my over ripe bananas and than thaw overnight for baking. Would doing this change the cake? Too wet?

  14. One of those reviews is mine and for good reason. I couldn’t believe how moist, creamy and delicious this cake was! And that brown butter icing-swoon!! This layer cake looks phenomenal. Not doing anything special for the eclipse today as my husband is working, but looking forward to seeing it happen☺In the directions it says to add the extra 1\4cup confectioners sugar if you want the frosting thicker. So in the beginning, do you only add 3 and 3\4 cups???

  15. My sister tagged me on FB saying check out SBA today and that I had to make her this cake!!!! Her daughter’s baby shower is this Saturday and I am baking a ton of SBA already!!! Maybe next week! This sounds sooo good, the frosting I could just eat without the cake!!! lol

    1. Have fun baking for the shower. That’s so exciting! And yes, cake isn’t even necessary for this frosting… just a spoon 🙂

  16. We have a family fish fry coming up – this sounds perfect to take! That picture of Jude – oh my. Clenches those heart strings just a bit! (okay, a lot…) How sweet!! The eclipse is on the downside here in IL. I borrowed my bosses glasses and took a quick peek.

  17. Sally, you are hilarious. I will make that cake in a 9 x13 because all my layer cakes look like something from Dr. Suess! I loved the pic. Part of your belly and the dogs head, just cracked me up!! Thanks for sharing.

  18. I need this cake yo. And I’m just gonna say it, don’t care about the eclipse. CAKE OVER SPACE. Sorry sorry sorry. 

      1. I read the whole post and totally missed the recipe note. Oops! Will be making these tonight as long as the kiddos aren’t too much to handle! 

  19. Can’t wait to make this!
    If I were to make this a one-layer cake, do you think it would be able to be shipped in the mail??

1 2 3 4

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

With kitchen-tested quality recipes and step-by-step tutorials, my goal is to give you the confidence to bake and cook from scratch.

Recipes You’ll Love

Archives

Categories

Sally's Baking Challenge

Join the community on the 1st of every month as we tackle a new challenge recipe.

View More

Sally's Cookie Palooza

A tradition since 2013, every December we countdown to Christmas with 10 new cookie recipes in a row!

View More

Sally's Pie Week

The first week of every November is all about Thanksgiving Pies.

View More

My Cookbooks

About Sally

Welcome to my Kitchen!

I’m Sally, a cookbook author, photographer, and blogger. My goal is to give you the confidence and knowledge to cook and bake from scratch while providing quality recipes and plenty of pictures. Grab a cookie, take a seat, and have fun exploring! more about Sally

×