How To Make Banana Cake From Scratch

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If you love to bake and looking for a lovely easy cake recipe then this is right up your street, it’s How To Make Banana Cake From Scratch. Follow these easy step-by-step instructions to make one of the tastiest cakes you’ll ever eat – or share with friends and family  however you want to do it.

Are you searching how to make banana cake from scratch? If so, the recipe is here.

The Best Banana Cake I’ve Ever Had

slice of banana cake in a glass baking dish
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Remember that time I told you about the best banana cake I’ve ever had?

enjoyed obsessed over it at a family reunion the other weekend. My 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?

slice of banana cake on a wood plate with a fork
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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.

She 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.

ingredients for banana cake
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mashed bananas in a glass stand mixer bowl
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How to Make Banana Cake

The recipe starts with 3 mashed bananas (above). Now, make sure those bananas are nice and spotty. The bananas you see above are just right (and it’s what you want for banana bread too). 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 lumps.

banana cake batter in a glass bowl with a whisk
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One more thing to note: buttermilk. 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.

cream cheese frosting in a glass bowl with a hand mixer
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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 our cream cheese frosting that we use for carrot cake, 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. 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.

slice of banana cake on a wood plate with a fork
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The best banana cake I’ve ever had. We love it so much we turned it into a chocolate marble banana Bundt cake, too. Let me know if you try it!

slice of banana cake in a glass baking dish
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The Best Banana Cake I’ve Ever Had

  • Prep Time:30 minutes
  • Cook Time:45 minutes
  • Total Time:5 hours (includes cooling)
  • Yield:serves 12

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.

Surprise Banana Cake

This is an old Seattle recipe for a simple cake to turn overripe bananas into a delicious dessert.

Gallery

Surprise Banana Cake
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Ingredients

Decrease Serving24Increase ServingAdjustOriginal recipe yields 24 servingsIngredient Checklist

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • ½ cup unsalted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped walnuts
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Directions

Instructions Checklist

  • Step 1Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease and flour one 9 x 13 inch cake pan.
  • Step 2Cream together the butter or margarine and the sugar.
  • Step 3Add eggs, bananas, flour, soda, salt, nuts, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour batter into the prepared pan.
  • Step 4Bake at 375 degrees F (190 degrees C) for 30 minutes. Cool and frost cake.

The Best Banana Cake

This is, hands down, the BEST banana cake I’ve ever had.  It’s soft, moist and rich all at the same time!  Once cooled this cake is topped with a totally irresistible lemon cream cheese frosting for a perfect dessert your family will love.

A piece of Banana Cake on a plate
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I love a good banana cake, it just reminds me of being a kid because my Grandpa and Grandma made the BEST banana cupcakes. I can still smell them baking in my grandma’s kitchen, waiting impatiently with my sisters.

This cake is reminiscent of my favorite banana cupcakes.  It is soft and fluffy and incredibly moist and topped with my favorite ever lemony cream cheese frosting.

Banana Cake being served out of cake pan
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As much as I love a fluffy banana cake, I love it even more when it’s topped with an amazing cream cheese frosting! I add in a little bit of lemon zest and lemon juice for extra flavor in my cream cheese frosting but if you prefer, you can leave out the lemon and substitute vanilla.

Regardless of how you top it, once you try this cake, it’ll be your go-to.  Every time you have overripe bananas on the counter you’ll want to make this recipe! In fact, I often buy extra bananas to ripen and make this cake!

Single serving of Banana Cake on a wooden plate
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Tips to ensure a soft moist result:

  • Ensure your ingredients are at room temperature (eggs and butter)
  • You need the acidity from the lemon juice (& milk) mixture.  Subbing in just milk or cream won’t work.  (You can use buttermilk in its place if needed).
  • When mixing your butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla, beat the mixture until VERY fluffy, almost the consistency of a fluffy buttercream frosting.  This should take about 5 minutes.
  • When adding the flour mixture you want to mix until just combined.  Over-mixing will cause a dense chewy result.
  • The cooking time on this cake can vary!  Check your cake at 55 minutes, if it isn’t ready, continue cooking until a toothpick comes out clean (this can be up to an additional 20 minutes depending on your oven).  The result will be a moist and irresistible banana cake.

The Best Banana Cake

Ingredients

  • ▢1 ½ cups milk
  • ▢2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice divided
  • ▢1 ⅓ cup mashed bananas
  • ▢⅔ cup butter softened
  • ▢½ cup brown sugar
  • ▢1 cup white sugar
  • ▢3 large eggs
  • ▢1 teaspoons vanilla
  • ▢3 cups flour
  • ▢1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ▢¼ teaspoon salt

FROSTING

  • ▢8 ounces cream cheese
  • ▢⅓ cup butter softened
  • ▢1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ▢1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • ▢3-3 ½ cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
  • Place 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice in a measuring cup. Top to 1 ½ cups with milk. Set aside.
  • Mix together mashed banana with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, set aside.
  • Beat together butter, brown and white sugar until combined. Add in eggs one at a time and vanilla. Mix on high until light and fluffy (almost the texture of frosting).
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to egg mixture stirring just until combined. (Do not overmix). Fold in bananas. Pour into prepared pan.
  • Put into the oven and reduce heat to 300°F. Bake 60 – 70 minutes (see note below) or just until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (do not over bake).
  • Remove from oven and place in the freezer for 45 minutes to make the cake extra moist. Cool completely before frosting.

FROSTING

  • Cream together butter & cream cheese until fluffy. Add in lemon zest and juice.
  • Add powdered sugar a little at a time until you reach desired consistency. Spread over cooled cake.

Recipe Notes

The cooking time on this cake can vary! Mine takes about 60 minutes. Check your cake at 55 minutes, if it isn’t ready, continue cooking until a toothpick comes out clean (this can be up to an additional 20-30 minutes depending on your oven).

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