The Best Banana Cake I’ve Ever Had

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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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

Mashed bananas for the best banana cake on sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 pairs with 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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

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

Best Banana Cake

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
  • 1/2 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

Directions:

  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. Some of the links above are affiliate links, which pay me a small commission for my referral at no extra cost to you! Thank you for supporting Sally’s Baking Addiction.

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 sallysbakingaddiction.com
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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

465 Comments

All Comments

  1. Hi! Is it possible to make this cake with a dairy free milk? (Almond milk) or a dairy free yogurt (cashew yogurt) in place of the buttermilk?

  2. I just made this! It’s still too hot to cut but I want to tell you it smells fantastic! I had to improvise on somethings; first I didn’t have buttermilk but I had plain yogurt and milk so I poured a half cup of milk in then I added enough yogurt to make 1 1/2 cups I stirred it with a fork. I had 4 bananas that needed to be used they were perfectly ripe so I used your trick and whipped them up with the mixer, lastly I didn’t have a large enough cake pan so I used what I had and a loaf pan filling them to an equal height. I baked at the 350 thinking it was going to be around an hour but in half an hour the house started to smell really good so I checked and they were nicely brown with a little crack down the middle, tested with a toothpick, came out clean so now I wait….. ceiling fan is on, hoping to hurry the cooling down process! Can’t wait!

  3. I made this for a friend’s birthday celebration and it was a big hit with our writing group! It’s now in my sure-bets folder! I used vanilla paste in the recipe and the frosting. The little specks of vanilla in the frosting made it look even better. Posted on Instagram, too!

    1. I made this recipe last week for my boyfriend’s birthday & it was delicious! I used a Bundt pan & baked it for 40 minutes. I only had 2 ripe bananas, so I added some unsweetened apple sauce. I didn’t make the frosting because we are trying to cut back on sweets. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. It’s best to keep cream cheese frosting frosted cakes in the refrigerator. You can cover and leave the unfrosted cake out for a couple days though.

  4. Hi…can you tell me exactly how many grams 3 bananas are? I love that you use metric and the bananas are so different. Thank you!!

  5. Damn Mumma! that was a good cake! I couldn’t wait for it to cool or frost, we ate it warm from the oven with plain cream, my cockatiel Fenton did not complain – she in-fact went into a feeding frenzy.
    Its midnight here but you only live once ey? Commodores singing ‘Easy like Sunday morning’ from the other room and life is good 🙂
    I made in a round cake pan, took longer than 45 ’cause of the smaller size container. I don’t have white sugar only raw, but that did not stop my thermomix ‘Herman’ creaming the raw and brown sugars with the butter – just took a little longer to have the correct consistency. And once the egg was added, well my word I was creamily impressed!
    Indeed the crumb holds together yet is super fine. And this flour mixture was very nice. I really do not like the taste of raising agents in baked goods, yet I did not notice those awful flavours using your mixture.
    Thanks babe – will check out some more of your recs! Mwah from the Barossa valley

  6. I made this yesterday and it is a great cake, easy and delicious. My husband brought it to work and said it was “very popular”! I’m going to try some other recipes on this website now.

  7. Tried your recipe for the most delish banana cake ever! So moist. Brought it to a friends gathering to celebrate 4 people’s birthdays. It was a hit. I’ll make another for church on Sunday.

  8. This is wonderful thank you so much . I’m a great grandmother and I love to bake and give it to neighbors or our clinics. This IS the best cake hands down I have ever made or tasted. Thank you. You are awesome. I have never written a review in my life so I hope I do this correctly.

  9. I stumbled in here to compare with my grannies ‘best banana cake ever’ recipe… ( which Ive been making for 20 years now) . I gotta admit it seems somewhat better ( yet to make this one tho). Note: For a fresher ‘twist’, try adding v.finely chopped Orange Zest to the frosting, or even into the batter. I normally do a thinner creamed-butter frosting, but love your idea of Cream Cheese. Thanks for your cooking inspiration.. Im off to make your salted caramel. ( which I came here to do til you distracted me with these scrumptious photos). DM

  10. Sally, this really is the best banana cake I’ve every had! I’ll bet they’re serving this little piece of heaven in, well, heaven =). Thanks Sally!

  11. I am a baker with many banana recipes up my sleeve and must say this recipe is WONDERFUL! Thank you – it’s a KEEPER! I love flavorful spices and so added a tiny bit of nutmet, allspice and nutmeg, in addition to the cinnamon. Husband just confirmed this is the Best Banana Cake!

  12. Our grandson wanted Banana cake for his four year old birthday party. I saw this recipe and have liked Sally’s past posts so I made her banana cake with cream cheese frosting. OH, MY GOODNESS! This is wonderful cake! Thank you, Sally! Everett LOVED IT!!!

  13. Just wanted to circle back and comment again. I’ve made this cake maybe 5-6 times. It has never failed to have people commenting on what a great cake it is! And the frosting is to die for! It really is “The Best Banana Cake Ever!!

  14. Hey Sally! Love all the recipes I’ve tried from you! Do you think this would bake well in a 6” or 8” pan as well? Looks yummy!

  15. Okay – this IS the best banana cake AND cream cheese frosting I have ever experienced. I have had a fantastic life long family banana cake recipe for many, many, many years. And I make an awesome cream cheese frosting. But I couldn’t find the family banana cake recipe so I was surfing the web to see if I could find something similar. I stumbled upon this and it was very close (that I could recollect from memory) to my family recipe. There are slight variations in both the cake and the frosting recipe – and oh my goodness! This is more than amazing. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! My husband is in heaven. I brought a few pieces to work and everyone who tried it could absolutely not believe it. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ll be following you on your blogs and website from now on. Thanks Sally!

  16. I am a home Baker and I used your recipe with the advice of some of the reviews you received and your cake was amazing. My house smelled so wonderful. It was the 3rd layer of a 3-tiered cake and it was so moist and delicious. I enjoyed the trimmings very much. My customer loved it too!!

  17. I would love to make this cake for my son’s birthday. Banana cake with cream cheese frosting is his favorite cake. Two questions–how would the cooking time change if I divide the batter between 2 8 inch round cake pans? And would adding a cup of mini chocolate chips alter the recipe or cooking time? Thanks so much!

    1. Hi Jody! 2 8-inch cake pans wouldn’t be large enough for all this batter. I recommend using 3 8-inch cake pans. The bake time will be similar to my banana layer cake. You can use a toothpick to test for doneness. A cup of mini chocolate chips would be delicious! Banana and chocolate is a wonderful combination.

      1. Thanks Sally. Just read your layer cake recipe. The browned butter cream cheese frosting sounds amazing.

  18. So tomorrow is my birthday and I decided to make a layered cake for myself since I love to bake. I realized I have never made a banana cake so I’m giving it a go. This recipe sounds delicious! Thank you for sharing this. I am so excited!!!

  19. Oh my god! I tried it yesterday and it was fantastic. They finished the big pan and still asking for more cake. Thanks for this recipe!

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Reviews

  1. Damn Mumma! that was a good cake! I couldn’t wait for it to cool or frost, we ate it warm from the oven with plain cream, my cockatiel Fenton did not complain – she in-fact went into a feeding frenzy.
    Its midnight here but you only live once ey? Commodores singing ‘Easy like Sunday morning’ from the other room and life is good 🙂
    I made in a round cake pan, took longer than 45 ’cause of the smaller size container. I don’t have white sugar only raw, but that did not stop my thermomix ‘Herman’ creaming the raw and brown sugars with the butter – just took a little longer to have the correct consistency. And once the egg was added, well my word I was creamily impressed!
    Indeed the crumb holds together yet is super fine. And this flour mixture was very nice. I really do not like the taste of raising agents in baked goods, yet I did not notice those awful flavours using your mixture.
    Thanks babe – will check out some more of your recs! Mwah from the Barossa valley

  2. I made this yesterday and it is a great cake, easy and delicious. My husband brought it to work and said it was “very popular”! I’m going to try some other recipes on this website now.

  3. This is wonderful thank you so much . I’m a great grandmother and I love to bake and give it to neighbors or our clinics. This IS the best cake hands down I have ever made or tasted. Thank you. You are awesome. I have never written a review in my life so I hope I do this correctly.

  4. I am a baker with many banana recipes up my sleeve and must say this recipe is WONDERFUL! Thank you – it’s a KEEPER! I love flavorful spices and so added a tiny bit of nutmet, allspice and nutmeg, in addition to the cinnamon. Husband just confirmed this is the Best Banana Cake!

  5. Our grandson wanted Banana cake for his four year old birthday party. I saw this recipe and have liked Sally’s past posts so I made her banana cake with cream cheese frosting. OH, MY GOODNESS! This is wonderful cake! Thank you, Sally! Everett LOVED IT!!!

  6. Okay – this IS the best banana cake AND cream cheese frosting I have ever experienced. I have had a fantastic life long family banana cake recipe for many, many, many years. And I make an awesome cream cheese frosting. But I couldn’t find the family banana cake recipe so I was surfing the web to see if I could find something similar. I stumbled upon this and it was very close (that I could recollect from memory) to my family recipe. There are slight variations in both the cake and the frosting recipe – and oh my goodness! This is more than amazing. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! My husband is in heaven. I brought a few pieces to work and everyone who tried it could absolutely not believe it. Thanks so much for sharing. I’ll be following you on your blogs and website from now on. Thanks Sally!

  7. I am a home Baker and I used your recipe with the advice of some of the reviews you received and your cake was amazing. My house smelled so wonderful. It was the 3rd layer of a 3-tiered cake and it was so moist and delicious. I enjoyed the trimmings very much. My customer loved it too!!

Questions

  1. Hi! Is it possible to make this cake with a dairy free milk? (Almond milk) or a dairy free yogurt (cashew yogurt) in place of the buttermilk?

    1. I made this recipe last week for my boyfriend’s birthday & it was delicious! I used a Bundt pan & baked it for 40 minutes. I only had 2 ripe bananas, so I added some unsweetened apple sauce. I didn’t make the frosting because we are trying to cut back on sweets. Thank you for the recipe!

    1. It’s best to keep cream cheese frosting frosted cakes in the refrigerator. You can cover and leave the unfrosted cake out for a couple days though.

  2. Hi…can you tell me exactly how many grams 3 bananas are? I love that you use metric and the bananas are so different. Thank you!!

  3. I would love to make this cake for my son’s birthday. Banana cake with cream cheese frosting is his favorite cake. Two questions–how would the cooking time change if I divide the batter between 2 8 inch round cake pans? And would adding a cup of mini chocolate chips alter the recipe or cooking time? Thanks so much!

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