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Banana Cake

5 from 4 votes
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posted: 05/10/22

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This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

This Banana Cake recipe will knock your socks off. It is so easy to make, but moist perfect and delicious. It comes with a fast chocolate frosting that is drool worthy.

close up picture of a piece of banana cake with a bite missing

I am beyond excited to share this Banana Cake recipe with you today. It went through a few rounds of testing, and when I ate a bite of the cake you see here, I almost cried. It was so good. I get a little emotional when it comes to cake.

Not only is this cake easy to make, it is incredibly light and moist. It is fluffy and delicious, just as cake should be. When it is done we top it with the same amazing chocolate frosting that we use in my Easy Chocolate Cake.

Put away your mixers, you just need some bananas and a few bowls for this amazing cake.

Reader Review

Made this cake with really ripe bananas and no chocolate chips. It was better than banana bread. The frosting was so good and a surprise to all who ate the cake. Everyone loved it. Especially the frosting. It was like the specialty cakes served at a local restaurant that everyone goes to especially to get their cake cut at the register.

overhead picture of a 9 by 13 inch metal baking pan full of easy banana cake with chocolate frosting

How to Make Banana Cake

This is a brief overview of how to make this banana cake recipe. For the full printable recipe with all of the measurements and baking time, please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post.

  1. Mix together the dry ingredients. In a large bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  2. Mix together the wet ingredients. In a smaller bowl whisk together the bananas, sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
  3. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Mix (by hand) until just combined.
  4. Bake and cool. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting it.
  5. Make the frosting. Mix together the butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract and milk until smooth. Pour over cake and spread it. The frosting sets pretty quickly, and you can cut and enjoy.

Using Brown Bananas in Baking

We love making everything from banana bread to cookies to now this amazing cake with our brown bananas. It is important to keep in mind why brown bananas work so well in baking. Not only is their texture perfect – soft and easy to mash – but they are actually sweeter than regular bananas, making it possible to use less sugar in the recipe.

If you are considering speeding up the browning by throwing your bananas in the oven I would offer a word of caution. While this will make them the right texture, it won’t really increase their sweetness. For that, you need to be patient and wait out the bananas on the counter.

Your brown bananas can about 50% brown and they are perfect for this cake. You don’t need to wait for them to be fully brown before you use them.

9 by 13 inch metal baking dish with recipe for banana cake in it with a piece missing

Banana Cake Tips and Tricks

There are a few great baking tips and tricks that I like to share every time I share a baking recipe. Baking is a science, so unlike cooking, the details truly matter.

  • Measure your flour correctly. This one is so important it gets it’s own section below.
  • Use fresh baking powder and baking soda. They need to be replaced every 6 months. To test their freshness, drop a little baking soda in vinegar or baking powder in water. They should bubble right away.
  • Use room temperature eggs and sour cream. This will prevent your batter from cooling down dramatically, which can impact how it bakes up.
  • Use a good baking pan. A pan can make all the difference. I love this pan from USA Pan (I actually love all their pans).

How to Measure Flour for Banana Cake

One of the biggest mistakes new bakers make is measuring flour incorrectly. By using the wrong type of measuring cup or by scooping it right from the container it is stored in with the measuring cup, your flour can pack and you can end up with up to 25% more flour. This will make for a really dry cake. Follow the steps below and you are good to go.

  1. Whisk the flour in the container it is stored in (glass jar, flour bag, etc.).
  2. Spoon the flour from the container it is stored in into a dry measuring cup using a spoon.
  3. Level off the measuring cup using a flat edge of a spatula.
piece of banana cake with chocolate frosting on a white plate

Substitutions and Variations

  • Swap the sour cream for yogurt. If you don’t have sour cream on hand, you can use yogurt (even vanilla yogurt).
  • Add in mini chocolate chips. A great tip is to whisk them in to the dry ingredients. They will get coated in flour, and distribute more evenly in the batter. One cup of mini chocolate chips will be just right.
  • Change out the frosting. I love love love this chocolate frosting, but if you prefer cream cheese frosting on your banana cake, we have a great recipe: Cream Cheese Frosting.
  • Make it a layer cake. Instead of cooking this as a sheet cake, make it into a layer cake by using two 9 inch round cake pans. Adjust the baking time to 20 to 25 minutes.

Storing Banana Cake Recipe

This banana cake recipe will last for about 5 days. It does not need to be refrigerated and should just be kept covered so that it does not dry out. Be warned that if it is in a high traffic area of your kitchen, you will be likely to eat forkfuls as you walk by. Ask me how I know.

FAQ

What is the difference between banana cake and banana bread?

The biggest difference is consistency. I actually ate a bite side by side of this banana cake and my banana bread. The bread, while delicious, is far more dense. The cake is light and fluffy – as a cake should be.

What icing goes with banana cake?

I think that this chocolate icing is perfect for banana cake. Chocolate and bananas were meant to be. But you can also use our Cream Cheese Frosting and that would be delicious too.

Can this banana cake be made with gluten free flour?

This recipe has only been tested as written. That being said, many readers have had good results using Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Baking Blend. It is meant to replace all purpose flour one for one.

piece of banana cake recipe on a plate with a fork pushing into it

Other Popular Banana Recipes

If you make this easy banana cake recipe or any of my other recipes, leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

close up picture of a piece of banana cake with a bite missing
5 from 4 votes

Banana Cake

Serves: 24 pieces
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 1 hour 45 minutes
This Banana Cake recipe will knock your socks off. It is so easy to make, but moist perfect and delicious. It comes with a fast chocolate frosting that is drool worthy.

Ingredients

Banana Cake

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas mashed well
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark brown sugar packed
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature and lightly whisked
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Chocolate Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup skim milk (or a higher fat content milk)

Instructions

Banana Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9 by 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the bananas, granulated sugar, brown sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, sour cream, and vanilla extract.
  • Gently fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Pour the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 28 to 32 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out with just a few crumbs.

Chocolate Frosting

  • Once the cake has fully cooled, mix together the melted butter, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and milk. Whisk until smooth. Pour over cake and spread it out. Allow a few minutes to set before cutting the cake.

Notes

.
Calories: 292kcal (15%) Carbohydrates: 45g (15%) Protein: 3g (6%) Fat: 12g (18%) Saturated Fat: 4g (25%) Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g Monounsaturated Fat: 3g Trans Fat: 1g Cholesterol: 39mg (13%) Sodium: 131mg (6%) Potassium: 103mg (3%) Fiber: 1g (4%) Sugar: 32g (36%) Vitamin A: 186IU (4%) Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) Calcium: 29mg (3%) Iron: 1mg (6%)
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
close up picture of a piece of banana cake with a bite missing

did you make this

Banana Cake

I’d love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions

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  1. Sandy says

    The cake looks wonderful but what is the measure for the mini chocolate chips? Also assume you add the cocoa powder to the frosting mix.

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Sandy! Good catch on the cocoa powder! I updated that now and added a line about adding 1 cup of chocolate chips if you choose to use them.

  2. Sandy S. says

    Thanks so much ! Can’t wait to try it! Getting a tad tired of banana bread. This looks wonderful.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you love it!

  3. Sara says

    This cake looks really yummy! My family really enjoys brown sugar and cinnamon in our baking. Would it be possible to adjust the ratio of the two sugars to a higher amount of the brown sugar, and possibly add cinnamon?

    • Lisa Longley says

      Hi Sara! I haven’t tested it with more brown sugar, but I think it will be fine to adjust it for more brown sugar and less granulated sugar. I personally wouldn’t want any cinnamon in this cake. But tastes absolutely vary! If you would like to add some, I would throw in 1 teaspoon with the other dry ingredients.

  4. Maria says

    5 stars
    Thank you so much for taking the time explaining each of your recipes. Love the stories behind them , love your recipes, everything I have made is delicious and perfect.🥰

    • Lisa Longley says

      Thank you for this sweet comment, Maria.

  5. Bonnie says

    5 stars
    Made this cake with really ripe bananas and no chocolate chips. It was better than banana bread. The frosting was so good and a surprise to all who ate the cake. Everyone loved it. Especially the frosting. It was like the specialty cakes served at a local restaurant that everyone goes to especially to get their cake cut at the register.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you for taking the time to come back and let me know.

  6. Ma.Lourdes J. Ecube says

    I’ll try making your banana cake recipe and thanks for sharing.

    • Lisa Longley says

      I hope you enjoy it!

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