The Best Banana Cake Recipe

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 This is the best banana cake recipe ever! It’s easy to make (no mixer required), moist, loaded with bananas and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting. 

front view of a slice of banana cake with cream cheese frosting


Banana cake is a dessert that is completely nostalgic for me. I grew up eating the Sara Lee version, and nothing else compared to that dense yet fluffy cake paired with a thick cream cheese frosting.

Well, I decided it was time to create a homemade banana cake recipe to make all my (and hopefully your) childhood dreams come true, and this is seriously the BEST banana cake EVER! 

This banana cake recipe is easy to make with simple ingredients and is out-of-this-world delicious!. It has no buttermilk (because I never have it on hand, if I’m being honest) and doesn’t a require a mixer! 

front view of a piece of banana cake with cream cheese frosting on a plate

Banana Cake: Ingredients and Substitutions

overhead photo of the ingredients in this Banana Cake Recipe
  • All-purpose flour. Cake flour can be used in place of all-purpose flour for a slightly lighter texture. Bread flour and pastry flour also work well! 
  • Salted butter. Unsalted butter works perfectly in this banana cake recipe. You just may need to increase the amount of sea salt. You can also substitute up to half of the butter with canola oil or applesauce with great results! 
  • Granulated sugar. I found that granulated sugar yielded the lightest, fluffiest cake. You can replace up to 1/2 cup of the white sugar with brown sugar for a little bit of a richer flavor! 
  • Sour Cream. Greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream with great results!
  • Whole Milk. 2% milk can be used in place of whole milk, but I would avoid skim and fat-free milk, because the fat is necessary for the best texture.
    • NOTE: you can substitute both the sour cream and whole milk with 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk. I just never have it on hand so I chose to create a recipe without relying on it! 
front view of a slice of banana cake with cream cheese frosting

How to make Banana Cake

Let’s walk through how to make this easy banana cake step-by-step to ensure your success! Don’t forget to watch the video too!

Combine wet ingredients

Begin by mashing the bananas in a large bowl. Next, add melted butter and vanilla and stir until combined. Add sugar and stir until dissolved.

Add eggs, sour cream, and beaten eggs and stir until combined. Make sure these ingredients are at room temperature for the best results! 

two photos showing how to make banana cake -  mashing bananas and adding milk & sour cream

Add dry ingredients: 

In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir until the mixture is homogenous (uniform throughout) and there are no lumps (other than the mashed banana)!

two photos showing how to make banana cake adding dry ingredients

Bake

Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean and the top is golden brown and the edges are set. 

Cool

Remove the baked cake from the oven and set it on a wire rack to cool completely. While it’s cooling, make the cream cheese frosting! 

two photos showing how to make banana cake batter in the baking dish before and after baking

Make the cream cheese frosting

I personally think one of the best parts of banana cake is the cream cheese frosting! It’s a mixture of butter and cream cheese (and other ingredients, of course) that forms a thick and delicious layer on the top of the banana cake!

To make it: Beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add vanilla and 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat (starting on low speed and increasing to medium-high) until smooth. Add up to ½ cup more powdered sugar until you reach a spreadable, but thick consistency.

How to make cream cheese frosting for the best banana cake recipe!

Putting it together

When the cake is cooled, spread frosting evenly over the top. If desired, top with crushed pecans or walnuts!  You could also pipe a design on the top, but for the sake of time I chose to just slather that cream cheese frosting right on top! 

front view showing cream cheese frosting being spread on a banana cake

Chill & Serve

Chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight. I find the chilling time really gives the cake a chance for the flavors to deepen and the banana cake to taste its absolute best! Serve the banana cake cold or at room temperature.

overhead view of a frosted banana cake in a pan with nuts around the edge

Store/Freeze

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. This recipe can also be wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to 2 months!

To enjoy, simply let the cake thaw in the refrigerator, or at room temperature.

overhead view of a piece of banana cake

FAQs about Banana Cake

Here are some commonly asked questions about this easy banana cake with cream cheese frosting! 

What is the difference between banana bread and banana cake?

Banana cake and banana bread are very similar, but there are some key differences! First, banana cake is fluffier and less-dense than banana bread because of the high amount of liquid/wet ingredients. This banana cake recipe also makes a larger cake with more portions, and it’s topped with frosting, which our banana bread recipe is not! 

Do you need to refrigerate banana cake?

Yes. Because of the cream cheese frosting this best banana cake recipe needs to be refrigerated. I also just believe it taste the best when served slightly cold! 

Can I make this recipe into cupcakes?

I suggest following this banana cupcakes recipe. They are so delicious!

front view of a piece of banana cake with cream cheese frosting

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Best Easy Banana Cake Recipe

Laura
This is the banana cake recipe ever! It's easy to make (no mixer required), moist, loaded with bananas and topped with a delicious cream cheese frosting.
5 from 54 votes
Course Breakfast, brunch, Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 16 servings
Calories 357
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Chilling time3 hours
Total Time1 hour

Ingredients 
 

Cream Cheese Frosting

Instructions 

Make the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
  • Grease a 9×13” pan, set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix together flour, baking soda, sea salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mash bananas.
  • Add melted butter and vanilla and stir until combined.
  • Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
  • Add eggs and sour cream and stir until combined.
  • Add milk and gently mix until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients and stir until the mixture is homogenous (uniform throughout) and there are no lumps.
  • Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • Bake in preheated oven for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Let the cake cool to room temperature.

Make the frosting:

  • While the cake is baking, make the cream cheese frosting.
  • Beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  • Add vanilla and 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat (starting on low speed and increasing to medium-high) until smooth.
  • Add up to ½ cup more powdered sugar until you reach a spreadable, but thick consistency.

Putting it together:

  • When the cake is cooled, spread frosting evenly over the top.
  • Chill for at least 3 hours, or overnight. Then serve cold or at room temperature.

Video

Notes

Banana Cake: Ingredient Substitutions

  • All-purpose flour. Cake flour can be used in place of all-purpose flour for a slightly lighter texture. Bread flour and pastry flour also work well! 
  • Salted butter. Unsalted butter works perfectly in this banana cake recipe. You just may need to increase the amount of sea salt. You can also substitute up to half of the butter with canola oil or applesauce with great results! 
  • Granulated sugar. I found that granulated sugar yielded the lightest, fluffiest cake. You can replace up to 1/2 cup of the white sugar with brown sugar for a little bit of a richer flavor! 
  • Sour Cream. Greek yogurt can be used in place of sour cream with great results!
  • Whole Milk. 2% milk can be used in place of whole milk, but I would avoid skim and fat-free milk, because the fat is necessary for the best texture. 
    • NOTE: you can substitute both the sour cream and whole milk with 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk. I just never have it on hand so I chose to create a recipe without relying on it! 

To store: 

Store leftovers covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. The best banana cake can also be wrapped in plastic wrap or placed in an airtight container and frozen for up to 2 months! To enjoy, simply let the cake thaw in the refrigerator, or at room temperature! 

Nutrition

Serving: 1piece | Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 51g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 16g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Cholesterol: 63mg | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 144mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 36g | Vitamin A: 547IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 42mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Recipe Rating




52 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I am making again today after having made it three weeks ago. fantastic recipe. I have trusted your recipes ever since making your pretzel bread. I appreciate you.

  2. 5 stars
    I made this cake for a friend’s birthday and it was a huge success. Super moist and delicious. Baked in exactly the time indicated. Everything about it was perfect!!!

  3. 5 stars
    The cake is somewhat denser than I expected. The banana flavor is subtle and the icing made the perfect amount for a 9×13 cake. Although I don’t normally, I did refrigerate it. The cake was even better the next day. A new way to use up old bananas! Will make again and add some of the add ins others mentioned. Thanks!!!!

  4. 5 stars
    I’ve made this cake twice and we love it so much! The first time I made it we froze some! This time we are giving some to family!

  5. 5 stars
    Thank you! The BEST banana cake recipe, I’ve ever tried! I frost mine with bakery style, white frosting, and it is wonderful. I added 1 and a half, teaspoons of cinnamon. (we love cinnamon!)

  6. 5 stars
    My daughter is not a fan of bananas but loves this cake. I add dark chocolate chips to “ kick it up a notch.”. Sometimes I also add some peanut powder. Great flavors that go great together

  7. 5 stars
    A great recipe, super simple and so yummy. I honestly didn’t measure out my bananas but I used 4 large bananas and my cake was so flavorful and moist. My whole family loved this cake especially the 4 legged 🐶 one 😁