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. If you like banana desserts, you will love the flavorful and rich cake that’s perfect for your next dinner party. Everyone will rave about how delicious it is.
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.
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Easy banana cake from scratch
The recipe is made entirely from scratch and it starts with 3 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.
Typically I make my banana cupcakes with all white sugar. But, since I’m adding brown sugar frosting to the top of this cake, I decided to use both white and brown sugar in the cake batter. Honestly, that was the best decision I could make.
I mixed everything together in one bowl so cleanup was a breeze. I creamed the butter and sugars, then added the eggs, banana, vanilla, and buttermilk. I sifted in the flour, salt, 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 it’s tender yet tight crumb.
Buttermilk is, of course, a necessity. It’s what makes the cake supremely moist. If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make it by adding one tablespoon of lemon juice to 1 and 1/2 cups of regular milk. You can also use vinegar instead of lemon juice but I think vinegar has a stronger flavor and I can always taste it.
Brown sugar frosting recipe
This frosting is absolutely amazing. I’ve never had brown sugar frosting until now and I’m so glad I decided to make it.
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.
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.