I can never pass up an Easy Banana Cake recipe. One bowl and a mixer are all you need to make this decadent cake.
This moist cake will become your absolute favorite banana recipe. Slather brown sugar frosting over the top and you’ve got yourself the ultimate treat.
I adore baking with banana. It’s by far my favorite fruit and makes all the baked goods super moist.
There is no shortage of banana recipes on the blog. If you type banana in the search bar, you’ll see every glorious recipe that uses this delicious fruit. Why must bananas be so darn good?!
Banana zucchini muffins, banana pudding cupcakes, banoffee pie, and banana Nutella cupcakes are just a few of my favorites. The cupcakes are so good, in fact, I thought I’d make a banana cake as well.
It’s the dreamiest!
This cake is so moist. And the brown sugar frosting, OH MY HEAVENS, it’s delightful. I love the caramel-y flavor of the frosting. It complements the cake so well.
I promise this is the butteriest, richest, and most tender banana cake you’ll ever try. Not to mention, it’s super flavorful.
If you like banana bread, you’ll love this cake. It resembles banana bread in a sense but it isn’t quite as dense. It’s soft but not crumbly.
Why this recipe works
- The cake contains FOUR large bananas. That’s a lot of banana flavor! Plus they keep the cake super tender.
- Plain Greek yogurt is my secret ingredient here. It does wonders in keeping baked good moist.
- Cake flour is used to keep the crumb soft and tight. You will be amazed at the texture of this cake!
Banana cake recipe
The recipe is made entirely from scratch and it starts with 4 extra ripe bananas. The spottier the skin, the sweeter the banana. And sweet bananas are a must for a good banana cake.
I like to puree the bananas in a food processor so they are free of lumps. Lumps are good for bread but I don’t think cake should have lumps of banana in it.
It’s totally up to you though. If you want chunky banana cake, simply mash the bananas with a fork.
I mixed everything together in one bowl so clean up was a breeze. I creamed the butter and sugars, then added the eggs, banana, vanilla, and Greek yogurt. I sifted in the flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
I should mention that we’re using cake flour, not all-purpose. This yielded the best result when testing the recipe. Cake flour is finer than all-purpose and this is what gave the cake a tender yet tight crumb.
Greek yogurt is, of course, a necessity. It’s what makes the cake supremely moist.
If you don’t have Gree yogurt on hand, you can use regular plain yogurt or sour cream in its place.
Banana Cake Ingredients
Let’s break down all the ingredients you need for today’s cake.
- Butter – Use room temperature unsalted butter. I prefer sweet cream butter because it tastes the best in baked goods.
- Sugar – Granulated sugar is what I used but you could use brown sugar also or a combination of both. Coconut sugar would also be great.
- Eggs – Whole eggs are used for binding.
- Vanilla extract – Use high-quality pure vanilla for the best results.
- Banana – You need 4 large bananas. Make sure the skins are super spotty. This means they are perfect for baking.
- Plain Greek yogurt – The cake came out with the best texture when Greek yogurt was used. You could also use regular yogurt or sour cream.
- Cake flour – Cake flour will give you the best texture. All-purpose isn’t recommended.
- Leavening – Baking powder and baking soda are both used to give the cake rise.
- Salt & cinnamon – A little salt and ground cinnamon are added to enhance the flavor of the cake.
To bake this cake you need:
- Mixer – You really only need a hand mixer but and a stand mixer will make the process even easier.
- Food processor – I like to use this food processor to puree the bananas.
- Baking pan – Through testing this recipe, I found that a ceramic or glass baking pan works the best. The cake won’t rise as tall in a nonstick pan.
- Sifter – I prefer to use a fine-mesh sieve but a sifter will work also.
The printable recipe card with full ingredient amounts and instructions can be found at the bottom of this post.
How to make banana cake
It’s super easy to make this moist banana cake. The recipe comes together quickly and the cake bakes up tall and fluffy.
It’s important to have the oven preheated for at least 30 minutes before making the cake. And all the ingredients should be at room temperature before you begin.
The Batter – To make sure the cake has the most banana flavor, use bananas that are overly spotty. They will be sweeter!
The Frosting – Brown sugar frosting is absolutely amazing. I’ve never had brown sugar frosting until now and I’m so glad I decided to make it.
Step 1: Make the cake
Start by beating the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until it’s light and fluffy. Put the mixer on medium speed and beat for about 5 minutes. This will add air which helps the cake rise tall.
Beat in each egg, one at a time, and mix on low speed for about 20 seconds after each addition. Add the vanilla, pureed banana, and yogurt. Mix on low speed until well combined.
Using a fine-mesh sieve or sifter, sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. With the mixer on low speed, mix until everything is just combined.
Take care to not over mix. Overmixing will cause the cake to come out dense and tough. I like to mix just until the dry flour is incorporated.
Step 2: Bake the cake
Pour the cake batter in a 9×13-inch baking pan that has been lightly greased and floured. I prefer to use a ceramic or glass pan for this cake. I found the cake comes out best in these types of pans.
Use an offset spatula to spread the batter evenly in the pan.
Bake the cake for 25-35 minutes. This will vary depending on your oven. Keep a close eye on the cake so you don’t overbake it.
Test the cake with a toothpick or bamboo skewer. If the toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs attached, the cake is done.
Remove it from the oven immediately and let it cool to room temperature before frosting.
Step 3: Make the frosting
I adapted the recipe from the Cupcake Project. It starts by heating butter until melted, then brown sugar and heavy cream are added. You want to let it sit at a low boil until the sugar is fully dissolved. If you rush this process the frosting will be gritty.
It’s very similar to making a caramel sauce.
Once the sugar has fully dissolved, transfer the mixture to the bowl of a stand mixer. Attach the whisk attachment and mix on low speed until the mixture has cooled to room temperature.
Gradually sift in powdered sugar and a couple more tablespoons of heavy cream until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency.
Spread the frosting all over the top of the cooled cake and immerse yourself in the most ultimate easy banana cake recipe.
If you like banana desserts, you will love this flavorful and rich cake that’s perfect for your next dinner party. Everyone will rave about how delicious it is.
Is banana cake and banana bread the same?
The difference between my banana cake and banana bread is the type of flour and leavening used. For banana cake, I use cake flour with baking powder and baking soda. For banana bread, I use all-purpose flour and only baking soda.
How to store banana cake?
Keep the cake covered tightly and store it in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature before serving.
If you like this banana cake, you’ll love these other cake recipes:
For the cake
- ¾ cup (170 g) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups (300 g) pureed ripe banana, about 4 large bananas, SEE NOTE 1
- 1 cup (200 g) plain Greek yogurt, room temperature, SEE NOTE 2
- 3 cups (360 g) cake flour, sifted, SEE NOTE 3
- 2 ½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
For the frosting
- ½ cup (114 g) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (220 g) light brown sugar, packed
- ¼ cup (60 ml) heavy cream, plus 2-3 tablespoons, divided
- 2 cups (240 g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Make the cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°Lightly grease and flour a 9×13-inch ceramic or glass pan; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar; beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs one at a time; mixing after each addition. Mix in the vanilla extract followed by the pureed banana and yogurt.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon together and add it to the banana mixture. Mix on low speed just until incorporated. Do not over mix.
- Spread batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Bake times can vary so watch closely. Cool completely on a wire rack.
Make the frosting
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Once melted, add the brown sugar and heavy cream. Bring to a low boil and let bubble for about 3 minutes, whisking constantly, until sugar is fully dissolved.
- Remove from heat, pour into a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Turn the mixer on low and beat until the mixture cools to room temperature.
- Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of heavy cream until the frosting reaches a spreadable consistency. Spread over the cooled cake.
Make ahead tip
- The cake will keep for up to 5 days covered tightly and stored in the refrigerator. Bring to room temperature before serving.
- Tightly cover the unfrosted cake and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before frosting.
- Frosted cake can be covered tightly and stored in the freezer for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving.
- It’s best to puree the banana in a food processor. You can mash the banana with a fork but keep in mind this will leave chunks of banana through the cake.
- I’ve tested and retested this recipe. Greek yogurt is so much better than buttermilk. The texture of the cake came out lighter and fluffier. You can still use butttermilk if you don’t have Greek yogurt but keep in mind the recipe will not be as good. Sour cream is the best substitute if you don’t have Greek yogurt.
- Cake flour works the best for a softer cake texture. I prefer it over all-purpose flour. You can find cake flour on the baking isle of your local supermarket. Or you can make homemade cake flour but keep in mind the results are not an exact replica as if using real cake flour.
- The frosting included with the cake is extremely sweet. The cake itself isn’t too sweet and I find the two balance each other nicely. If you do not like super sweet frostings, you won’t like this one. I suggest using cream cheese frosting instead.
- Ceramic or glass baking pans work best with this cake. I’ve tested the recipe in various types of pans and these two yeilded tall, fluffy cakes. Nonstick pans will not work because it prevents the cake from sticking to the sides and it will not rise properly.
UPDATED July 12, 2019: The recipe was retested and updated with a few minor changes. The cake texture is much better than the previous recipe.