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

How to Make Banana Cake

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

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!

Banana cake recipe

The Best Banana Cake I’ve Ever Had

  • Author: Sally
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 hours
  • Yield: serves 12
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American


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.


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 9×13 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.


  1. Make Ahead Instructions: 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.
  2. Buttermilk: 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Bundt Cake: You can bake this batter in a 10-12 cup bundt pan, but I find it’s not quite as moist when baked in the bundt shape. Bake for 50-65 minutes, give or take. Use a toothpick to determine doneness. Same oven temperature.
  5. Layer Cake: I use this recipe to make my banana layer cake. If you want to make a 2 layer cake, divide batter between 2 greased 9-inch cake pans, and bake at 350°F (177°C) for 26-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

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. OMG this was such a lovely cake. Mine was fluffy and moist. I knew it would be perfect the moment I saw the ingredient list. Spot on.

      1. This would work as a wedding cake, but you might have to keep the layers to a minimum or use bubble tea straws/Styrofoam tiers as it would sink very easily. Hope it works out 🙂

      2. If you malt the flour it will hold up a bit more as it makes bread more spongy so it’ll do the same with cake. I think a dash of rum would be nice too. I am going to try making this with some dark malt extract so I can use less sugar. It will make it have a slight banana malt flavor but it would compliment the profile. The malt works enzymatically so place a little powdered malt with the flour ahead of time and let it sit covered for a tad before making.

    1. I made this cake today exactly as the recipe called for and this is an outstanding cake and I’ve made many banana cakes in my time. Usually I opt out of cream cheese frosting but after I read the description of this one I decided to make it and it was just as described, absolutely delicious. Excellent recipe that I will return to. Thankyou for a great one!

  2. Sally I made this cake 9-21-2019 this cake was so good. I bought back a empty container back home.I put the cake mix in two 9 inch round cake
    pans. Wow this cake is good.

  3. Just made it tonight. Since it is just for two of us, I halved the recipe and baked it in a 6 in pan. It was very good…lighter than banana bread. I used cake flour instead of AP. The only other change I made was that I used half and half because I didn’t have buttermilk. The frosting….oooh the frosting….I was almost hoping the cake wouldn’t come out well so I could just sit and eat the frosting with a spoon. I liked that the cake wasn’t overly sweet so it paired nicely with the sweetness of the frosting. Next time I will add more cinnamon and maybe try it with buttermilk.

  4. What an incredible cake! This is going into my recipe book as my permanent go-to for banana cake. Yum! Moist and flavoursome!

  5. I have made this recipe a few times and it has always come out great. It makes a huge cake! I bake mine in a sheet pan as it’s too much mixture for my 10″ cake tin.
    When I do want to make a 10″ cake, I half everything and it turns out awesome.
    Thank you!

  6. First off I have never liked banana nut bread or muffins. But the family loves them. I had some overripe bananas that I had frozen and made this cake with those (after thawing the bananas). I was not expecting much. I used a bit more cinnamon and a combination of canola oil and butter and made my own buttermilk with vinegar. All I can say is Wow! This was one of the best cakes I have ever tasted. This is definitely a keeper so moist and rich in flavor. Thank you so much for sharing.

  7. Great recipe! I used this to make my husband’s bday cake yesterday. I reduced the sugar and butter by 1/3 and it still came out great. I also enjoyed making my own sour milk.

  8. I loved making this cake. WHY is mine way too dense? My beaters don’t have a really slow speed to mix the flour in. Is that it? I want to give it another try. Otherwise tasty. Tks

    1. Hi Joan, If you think you are over-mixing your batter that can certainly lead to a dense cake. When a cake is mixed to quickly/for too long it over-develops the gluten. Try mixing the wet and dry ingredients together by hand if you don’t have slow speed on your mixer.

  9. This cake is amazing, Sally! I am a new-ish reader of your blog and I follow you on FB and Instagram as well. I have made several recipes and have loved them all. This banana cake is a family favorite. I have made it three times in the past couple of months. The last time I made it, I had to giggle when my husband said, “Wow, this is the best banana cake I’ve ever had.” Ha! We both agree with you. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your wonderful recipes and baking expertise with the rest of us.

    1. Yes, this would likely work in mini bundt pans but I haven’t tested it so I’m unsure of the bake time. Let me know if you try it!

      1. I ended up following your cupcake version of this recipe exactly but used mini bundts instead of a cupcake tray. They came out beautifully! Thank you for the fun and delicious recipe

  10. This is the best banana cake I’ve ever made and eaten. It is even better with brown butter cream cheese frosting!

  11. Delicious! My children normally insist on chocolate in their banana cake, but they loved this. I baked a 2/3 recipe in a 9″ cake pan. The only modification was that I used all 3 bananas, and it turned out perfectly.

  12. What a easy to make recipe, Iwas thrilled when my family of four finished the cake in 2 days and are demanding more.I did not make the frosting, it was good enough without it.

  13. I wanted to make this banana cake yesterday and I had my daughter go to the store to bring me some all purpose flour as requested in the recipe. She came back with all purpose wheat presifted bleached flour, can I use this flour? I tried googling it but they want to keep referring to it as whole wheat flour which is not the case. The flour is just what I stated it was. I want to make this cake but I also don’t want to mess up the rest of the ingredients that goes into the cake so Sally can you please help me in this crisis I’m going thru, Thanks.

    1. Can you tell me what brand the flour is? All flour is made from wheat so I’m wondering if it’s really all purpose flour and not whole wheat flour which is different?

    1. Sure can. You can replace the brown sugar with 1/2 cup (100g) of regular white granulated sugar. Some flavor will be lost, though.

  14. Every body loved this cake. I added a handful each dried cranberries and chopped walnuts because we don’t like a strong banana taste and it was really wonderful.

  15. Hi Sally,
    This is AJ again and I need more info on the banana cake that I’m trying to make. I want to know is this enough cake batter to make a 3 layer cake or do I have to divide the cake recipe in half for that third layer?

    1. Hi AJ, It is! You can see that I made it into a layer cake here:

  16. I tried baking only the cake for the first time this evening. And it turned out perfectly. Wonderfully moist, soft and delicious even without the frosting! Thank you so much for sharing your fools proof recipe! Can’t wait to see what our 22 BSN girls will say about the cake when they have it tomorrow!

  17. Made this cake today and it is awesome, even my 2 picky eaters that only like chocolate ate it. This is my go to recipe now. Thank you very much.

  18. If I wanted to make this in three 8 inch round pans, would I want to 1.5 the recipe? Also would the layers hold up and not sink under the weight of three layers? It looks delish, can’t wait to try it.

    1. Hi Kristina, this recipe can fit into 3 8-inch cake pans. The layer cake won’t sink. Bake the layers at 350F and use a toothpick to test for doneness.

  19. This actually was the best banana cake I’ve ever had! Thank you for such a delicious and easy recipe. You made this beginner baker look like a professional – everyone LOVED it!

  20. This looks amazing!!! I need to try it. I have some bananas sitting there going brown soon so I am going to try making your delicious cake!

  21. Made this yesterday to take to a friends appetizer party and received rave reviews!
    It is my forever go to banana cake recipe. And I used all of the icing!!

1 13 14 15 16 17 19

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



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