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 sallysbakingaddiction.com

Remember that time I told you about the best banana cake I’ve ever had?

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 moister. 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

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!

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.

As you guessed, buttermilk is the moist-maker in this cake. The cake wouldn’t be what it is without it! You also need the acid in buttermilk to help the baking soda do its job. I rarely have buttermilk in my refrigerator, so I always sour whole milk instead. For this recipe, you need 1 and 1/2 cups of buttermilk. If you don’t keep buttermilk on hand either, measure 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or white vinegar. Pour into a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough whole milk until it reaches 1 and 1/2 cups. Stir together, let it sit for 5 minutes, then use in the recipe. To keep the cake extra rich, I recommend whole milk when you are souring milk.

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

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

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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 (includes cooling)
  • Yield: serves 12
  • Category: Cake
  • Method: Baking
  • Cuisine: American

Description

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.


Ingredients

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 temperature*

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

Instructions

  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.

Notes

  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: Buttermilk is required for this recipe. You can make your own DIY version of buttermilk if needed. Add 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice to a liquid measuring cup. Then add enough room temperature whole milk to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1 and 1/2 cups. (In a pinch, lower fat or nondairy milks work for this soured milk, but the cake won’t taste as moist or rich.) Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes. The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in the recipe.
  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.
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

1144 Comments

  1. Really lovely My family enjoyed the banana cake

    1. I’ve made the original recipe 3 times and we loved it but decided to make a few healthy revisions this last time, and we honestly can say it turned out just as good if not better. I cut the sugar in the cake to 1/2 cup, eliminated the butter from the icing and added 1/4 cup more cream cheese.

  2. Hi! Do you know if this can be made in a loaf pan? I tried searching the comments to see if anyone has already asked this but didn’t see any questions about this. I can’t wait to try it!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      This batter would fit into 2 9×5 inch loaf pans, yes. I’m unsure of the exact bake time, but you can use a toothpick to test for doneness.

      1. I just pulled this out of the oven, had a piece and I must say, it’s great. I doubled the recipe and baked it in two tubed pans for 1 hr. And 1/2.
        I don’t like Banana Bread, but this is worth all the effort.

  3. janice adamson says:

    I have always been a fan of banana cake! This one is so moist and flavorful. Since it’s just the two of us, I cut the recipe by 1/2, pour in 9” round pan and ice the top generously. Major yum!!!

    1. Is this banana cake recipe good for fondant covering? I really wanna try to be my base cake for my fondant

  4. I made this cake several weeks ago. Getting ready to make again and want to say thanks for sharing. This recipe is true to it’s name!

  5. I’m so glad I found your website. I made this last night and know why it’s called the “best”! It is such a moist and high cake…thank you!

  6. Omg tried these today and it came out absolutely yummy!!!! I cut everything in half and made cupcakes instead. I got about 17 cupcakes. I didn’t do the frosting lol trying a be a little healthy

    1. Hi! I’m about to make cupcakes from this recipe too and I saw your comment 🙂 I was wondering how you halved the eggs since the recipe called for 3 large eggs? Did you use one/two eggs or did you really use half of one egg?

      1. In a seperate small dish stir the egg and then just add half

  7. Came out perfect. Thank you! My family loved it.

  8. Going to try this. Sounds delicious. Can I put a little coconut flakes in this?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jean, I can’t see why not! Add about 1 cup of sweetened or unsweetened shredded coconut.

  9. Made this for a family birthday and received rave reviews from kids and adults. Thank you for sharing!

  10. Excellent banana cake. Great flavor and the texture is delicious. It’s great with or without the frosting. Going to try your cinnamon cream cheese frosting with it next. Thanks Sally.

  11. So great! Perfect consistency and really lovely. It deserves it’s title as the “best” for sure!

  12. A really delicious recipe, so moist and we got 2 cakes out of it.

  13. Martha Carr says:

    HI Sally,
    Can this be made in two round cake pans to make a more traditional cake?

    1. Hilari @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Martha, definitely! 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.

  14. HI Sally ,
    Can I add walnut ?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Serlina, You can gently stir in about 1 cup chopped walnuts after the wet and dry ingredients are mixed together.

  15. Wow! This really was a major hit. I used spelt four & half a cup less of sugar. Was so yummy! & the Icing nom nom! I made it in a kugelhopf tin- Perfect!

  16. Deepa Baruah says:

    Hi Sally! Awesome recipe—tried it out today and got two in loaf pans. Also, I substituted brown sugar with jaggery and it came out lovely. Thanks so much!

    1. Reshmy Rose Vincent says:

      Hello Deepa… Can you please tell me the time and temp..hope the loaf tin was of size 9*5

  17. This cake is DELICIOUS!! I froze some of it because we didn’t want to eat it all in one weekend; or one day – who am I kidding? It’s that good. I thawed it out overnight and just had a piece for breakfast and it’s still perfection. Make this cake!!

  18. This Banana Cake comes out perfect! I am very happy I found this recipe.

  19. Thanks for the recipe, came out amazing!

  20. This is insane! Best banana cake I’ve tried! Family loved it! I added some crushed cashew nuts and bam! Next time I’ll add chocolate bits to it. Thank you for the recipe!

  21. Brad Bentcover says:

    I must have made some mistake because this was the worst cake I ever made. It was dense and heavy, no lightness, no flavor. I’m 65 and know my way around a kitchen. I threw it away.

  22. Tiffany A Carroll says:

    I have a request for banana cupcakes so I made a test batch of these and omg they are sooooo good. I tasted without frosting and I’m in love. I will be pairing with a buttercream as that is what the customer is requesting but I have a red velvet cake I am making with cream cheese frosting at the end of the week I will be saving some of these to try with cream cheese frosting. Definitely saving this receipe.

  23. Hi Sally,

    I was success in making your pineapple carrot cake and you’ve become my Bible ever seen. But experiencing underbaked cake for this one. The toothpick came out clean after 45minutes, but once I cut, the bottom half is not fully cooked yet. Any idea to prevent this in the future? FYI, using glass pan just like the carrot cake. Thanks love!

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Sol, Yours may simply take longer to bake, batter baked in glass often takes longer. An easy fix if you try it again is to bake it longer and if you find the top of the cake is browning too quickly in the oven, loosely cover it with aluminum foil.

      1. Thank you! It’s so moist but not overly dense, and yet again, your recipe is not overly sweet, just like the carrot cake. Of course I’ll bake it again and try it this way. Stay safe!

  24. Danielle M. Wilson says:

    I made this before and it came out fantastic! I plan to make it again today using two round cake pans…will this work? Also, I happen to have cake flour on hand, is this a no go? Thanks for all your great recipes!

  25. Hello Sally. I tried this recipe after reading the great reviews. I followed the recipe, only I used Demerara sugar instead of granulated. I used a round cake tin. My cake was in the oven for 2 hours because the knife kept coming out moist. After 2 hours, I took it out thinking it must be cooked. After cutting it, the bottom third was still not cooked. The top 2 thirds was delicious though!! Any ideas where I went wrong please?

    1. Stephanie @ Sally's Baking Addiction says:

      Hi Jodie, I’m concerned that it didn’t bake through after that long. What size pan were you using? If using 9 inch round pans you should divide this batter between two 9 inch pans (see recipe notes) as it’s too much batter for just one.

      1. Hi Stephanie. Thanks for getting back to me. Yes it was a 9 inch!! My fault! Ok I’ll try it again using 2. Thank you

  26. Great job Sally’s! I tried your recipe and it was very delicious and fluffy. My clients keep coming for more. I just made a little twist to the sugar quantity but cake turned out so perfect and yummy. God bless you for sharing!

  27. This is the second time I’m making this recipe. Hands down the best banana cake I’ve ever tasted. One note from my experience is that the batter is much more thinner than the instructions say & I must bake it for about 15 minutes +/- than called for, but it turns out great. Could be because my bananas are really ripe & I made the buttermilk using fresh lemon juice. Anyway a great recipe and something my wife always asks me to make. As an aside; I’ve been cooking since I was a little boy growing up & it just seems to come naturally to me.

  28. Hi there, I’ve been making some simple mathematics to the recipe, make it for 2eggs recipe portion (by dividing everything in 3 and times with 2). However, the cake turned to be soggy and the crumble is not seen. May I know if there’s anything goes wrong? Thank you ❤️

  29. This is my go to banana cake recipe. We dont have buttermilk so we just use milk I know that they are completely different but it still works! Me and my family love this. Would recommend

  30. Wondering if it will be safe to put a glass cake pan in freezer. Wouldn’t want it to break ?

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