Best Banana Cake

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy.

Incredibly moist and fluffy and layered with a dreamy cinnamon cream cheese frosting, this is seriously the BEST Banana Cake Recipe. You’ll never guess the secret trick I use to keep it super moist (no, it’s not applesauce or sour cream)!

Why This is The BEST Banana Cake Recipe

This is seriously the BEST Banana Cake recipe you are ever going to make. Here’s why:

  • It’s insanely moist. Due to the secret tip I share below, each layer of this banana cake is both moist and fluffy, creating the perfect soft crumb texture.
  • Just the right amount of banana flavor. The thing with banana desserts is that you want to taste the bananas…but you don’t want it to be overpowering. The banana flavor in this cake is just right, not too strong and not too subtle.
  • The perfect frosting. Banana + cinnamon cream cheese frosting might just be my new favorite combination. The warm cinnamon just enhances the banana flavor and the whipped cream cheese frosting is just what this layer cake needs to take it to an epic level!

Recipe Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to whip up this perfect Banana Cake:

Banana cake ingredients

For the Banana Cake:

  • Mashed Bananas: about 2 large, over-ripe bananas.
  • Lemon Juice: fresh or jarred.
  • All-Purpose Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Unsalted Butter
  • Granulated Sugar
  • Eggs: make sure you let them come to room temperature.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Sour Cream
  • Applesauce: you can substitute this with oil, but I prefer applesauce in this recipe.
  • Whole Milk
Cinnamon cream cheese frosting ingredients

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • Unsalted Butter: let butter soften before you use it.
  • Cream Cheese: Be sure to use brick-style cream cheese instead of the kind that comes in a tub to avoid runny frosting.
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Cinnamon
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Salt: just a pinch!

How to Ripen Bananas Quickly

If you don’t already have bananas browning on the counter (I envy you!), here’s what you can do:

Put your (yellow) bananas in a paper bag a day or two before you need to bake the cake. It will speed up the ripening process so they’re just right for this recipe. Keep in mind that if they’re green and not yellow, it may take an extra day for them to ripen!

A slice of banana layer cake on a plate in front of the cake

The Secret to Ultra Moist Banana Cake

This banana cake recipe has a secret that makes it so incredibly moist. Can you guess what it is?

If you guessed bananas, applesauce, or sour cream — you would be incorrect! While those are all three in this cake and help with the texture and flavor, the secret to this perfect cake is in the method!

Actually, it is in two methods! First, this banana cake is baked at a lower temperature (275°F) than you are probably used to. Secondly, as soon as the cake is done baking, you pull out the cake out of the oven and stick it directly into the freezer to stop the cake from cooking anymore!

I know this sounds crazy, but it makes a big difference in the final texture and moisture level in the cake! I have tested this recipe so many different ways over the years, but this is truly the best method.

The best banana cake with cream cheese frosting on a cake stand

Tips for the Best Homemade Banana Cake

The process for this banana dream cake is quite straight-forward but here are a few tips to help.

  • Use Ripe Bananas: Just like any other baked good with bananas, you want to be sure to use ripe or overripe bananas for this recipe. Bananas with brown spots are perfect for baking!
  • Don’t Skip The Freezer Trick: It’s not necessary, but it makes a big difference to the final texture of the cake.
  • Ensure Eggs and Butter are Room Temperature: This will also help make the banana cake super moist.
  • Measure the Flour Correctly: Too much flour can make this cake dense. To avoid this, spoon the flour into your measuring cup and then level it off with a knife.
A slice of banana dream cake being served from the cake

Can This Banana Dream Cake Be Prepared In Advance?

You can easily make the layers of this cake ahead of time, and then construct the whole thing later, if you want. You can even prepare the frosting in advance, though you’ll likely want to whip it again before assembling the cake.

If you choose the prepare your banana cake layers in advance, all the cake to cool then wrap in plastic and refrigerate until you’re ready to assemble the cake. The frosting should also be refrigerated in an airtight container.

A slice of banana layer cake on a plate

How to Store Banana Layer Cake

Banana cake can be stored in the refrigerator for about 5 days, but I find it is at its’ best within those first 3 days. Be sure to cover it tightly with plastic wrap, or store it in an airtight container.

Can I Freeze this Cake?

Yes you can! Once the cake has cooled, you can store it in the freezer in an airtight container for 2-3 months. When you’re ready to eat it, let it thaw overnight in the fridge, frost it, and then enjoy!

You can also freeze individual slices that have already been frosted. Just make sure that you wrap them tightly with Saran Wrap and then a second protective layer like a plastic ziplock bag or foil. You want to make sure the cake doesn’t dry out. Let a slice thaw overnight in the fridge, or on the counter for a couple of hours if you are in a rush, and enjoy!

Angled view of a banana cake with two slices sliced
4.5 from 110 votes
Print Pin Recipe
Yield: 12 servings

Best Banana Cake

Incredibly moist and fluffy and layered with a dreamy cinnamon cream cheese frosting, this is seriously the BEST Banana Cake Recipe. You'll never guess the secret trick I use to keep it super moist (no, it's not applesauce or sour cream)!
Prep Time25 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour 5 minutes


Banana Cake

  • 1 cup mashed over-ripe bananas, about 2 large bananas
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 ⅛ cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ cup sour cream, or plain greek yogurt
  • 4 oz applesauce
  • 1 cup whole milk

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • ¾ cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 12 oz (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, softened
  • 5 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  • Preheat oven to 275°F (135°C). Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans, set aside.
  • In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with lemon juice, set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in vanilla, sour cream and applesauce. Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the milk. Fold in the banana mixture.
  • Divide batter (about 2 1/2 cup batter in each pan) into prepared pans. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  • Place the cake pans right into the freezer after taking them out of the oven. Be careful what you set the cake pans on as they can melt something like plastic. Let cakes cool completely before frosting, this takes about 30-40 minutes in the freezer! (You can also let them cool at room temperature on the counter. However, popping them into the freezer stops the cooking process much faster and keeps this cake super moist!)
  • For the frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and salt on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth.
  • Assemble the 3 layers with a thick layer of frosting in between each layer and frost the cake as desired. Sprinkle on a little cinnamon around the outside and store in the fridge until ready to serve.



Serving: 1 slice, Calories: 842kcal, Carbohydrates: 121g, Protein: 8g, Fat: 38g, Saturated Fat: 23g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 141mg, Sodium: 403mg, Potassium: 193mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 94g, Vitamin A: 1284IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 86mg, Iron: 2mg


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Recipe Rating

107 Responses
  1. Jody

    5 stars
    I made this cake for my granddaughters graduation. I was sceptical of the refrigerator trick but I did it. Only change I made was using a 9×13 pan. It was delicious! I still have requests 5 years later.

  2. Lisa

    5 stars
    Thank you for an absolutely delicious cake!
    May I ask, have you ever tried it without eggs? We have an egg allergy in the family but I do want to try make it for them too. All the classic egg replacements are already present (sour cream, apple sauce…).

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Lisa! Sadly I haven’t tried it without eggs to guide you. If you try it, please come back and share with all of us how it goes!

  3. Vanessa

    5 stars
    This was all that I expected after reading the recipe! My family raved over the amazing flavor of the cake combined with the cinnamon icing. I didn’t have 3 cake pans so I filled two 9” cake pans just over two thirds full and had no issues. I did have a little cake batter left over but not much. This one is a keeper!!

  4. Sarah L

    5 stars
    Amazing banana cake recipe, best I’ve ever used. Has been made for a 21st and 50th party cake with all cake being eaten and huge reviews. It was paired with condensed milk cream cheese icing and caramel drizzle. Highly recommend.

  5. Angela

    Good Afternoon,

    I have made this recipe before and it was delicious, can I use Buttermilk instead of Whole milk. I just have some that will go to waste soon.

    Thank you

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Angela! Yes, it should work, however be warned that buttermilk can change the texture. I haven’t tried it, so I can’t say for certain, but many times when a recipe uses buttermilk you need to increase the baking soda. So if the cake does turn out to dense with buttermilk, you will know for next time to add an extra 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. I’m sorry I can’t say for certain!

  6. Stephanie

    5 stars
    I had never heard about banana cake until someone told me about it. I found this recipe and was told by an expert banana cake eater that it was fantastic! Thank for the recipe! I make it every so often for someone special and he is so happy!

  7. Diana

    Made the cake, definitely took longer than specified time. I also put cake in freezer, and it shrunk away from pan. Maybe because I put it in a 9×13, not sure. I’m definitely not a baker, so my cake isn’t pretty! Hope it tastes good, it’s for my husband’s birthday!

  8. Stephen Floccari

    I am an experienced baker, and I will tell you this is the best dessert I ever made. My feedback? a). Cinnamon is not needed in the icing, it’s in the cake batter, b). I sprinkled chopped walnuts on top of the cake (nice touch).

    1. Stephen Floccari

      Forgot to mention that the baking time was much longer than the recipe. I’m at sea level, maybe that explains??? It’s easy to tell if it needs more time, it’ll be wet in center of cake pan.

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      I would still recommend popping them in the freezer to stop the baking if you have the space. If you don’t, you can let them cool at room temperature instead. They will still be delicious!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      You will need 3 9-inch cake pans, 2 cake pans will make two very thick layers that would possibly spill out of the 9-inch pan if only using 2. Hope this helps!

  9. Marisa

    I tried this banana cake ,l added some chopped pecans and it was absolutely delicious. I am not a fan of ibanana cake but this one was soo good l will definitely make it again.thanks for sharing your recipe .


    I have made this cake several times, once with the cream cheese frosting but have been using the peanut butter frosting that goes with your chocolate peanut butter cake to rave reviews!! The PB frosting was a personal request from my husband and now we can’t go back. When I say this cake is one of the most moist I’ve ever had, it’s no lie. It is rich but it’s totally worth it. I’m wondering if this can be made as cupcakes?

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Ohh! I have to try that! I’m sure it is amazing, peanut butter and banana always go so well together. Of course you can also use it as cupcakes! They will need less baking time, but everything else should be the same!

  11. Wanda

    I’ve made this cake several times everyone loves it. Have been ask to make 200 jumbo cupcakes for a wedding. Need help to convert this recipe to fill this order.

  12. Julie Rodgers

    I made this cake today and it is amazing!!! So moist and delicious. My hubby isn’t a huge banana fan but he loved this cake. Will be making this again. I followed the recipe exactly and it came out wonderful. Thank you for this recipe.

  13. Sheila

    Hello Thank you for sharing your cake .my daughter wanted a banana cream cake for her wedding but wanted it to look like a naked cake would it be okay to leave it out a few hours before the wedding starts? And would it stay pretty and white?

  14. Diane

    Can this cake be made in a 9X13 pan or a bundt pan????
    Where is recipe that that lady did for pineapple center/layers??

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      I believe it would be too much batter for a bundt pan, but will work in a 9×13.

      Sorry, I’m not sure who you are asking about the pineapple center/layer. But sure, you could always add some pineapple in the center if you would like!

  15. Marna Klaft

    Can’t wait to have it tonight for my Dads 95th birthday! The frosting is delicious from licking my fingers

  16. Susan

    I was going to make a banana cake yesterday but didn’t. I went to look for the recipe today on Pinterest, and the photo didn’t quite meet my expectations as to the moisture. I know this might sound crazy, but I feel the pictures taken and posted on Pinterest, makes a difference for me in choosing who’s recipe to make. I am an aficionado on banana bread and cakes. My all time favorite cake. I made a banana cake one day and wanted to eat a piece w/frosting immediately (mouth drooling…lol), so I wrapped the pan in foil and stuck it in the fridge. Have been doing it ever since. I haven’t tried the freezer yet, there’s almost always no room. I sooooooooooooo cannot wait to make this! Thanks!

    1. Specialk

      I agree in looking at pics of inside of cakes as to how moist it looks. A lot look dry so I read the reviews to see if anyone mentions the moistness. IF it is, they will comment. On this recipie, the 1st pic looks soooo moist but when they show the cut cake after directions, it looks like a dryer crumb. But moistness was mentioned a lot, so I am going to try it this week! Sounds delish.

  17. Vonda Coy

    I make a similar cake and make a pineapple filling for between the layers. Add moisture and gives it a tropical flavor.

    1. Nina

      This is such a wonderful cake! I’ve made it several times and always with fabulous results. Did it used to be called Banana Dream Cake? Or am I imagining things?

      Also, my cakes come out better when I use some parchment in the bottom of the cake pans.

      Thank you for a tried and true recipe!

      1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

        Hi Nina! Yes, it used to be called Banana Dream Cake! I had to change it for google, but it’s the same cake it has always been! :-) So glad you love it as much as we do!

        1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

          I’d start looking in on them around 16 minutes if using a standard sized cupcake tin. They will probably need a little longer bake time, but better to check early than too late!

  18. sue

    Forgot to mention in original post that I added a bag of dark chocolate chips. You will need at least 3 cake pans. Makes a large cake , very dense. No where near done
    after baking 50 min. I did bake at 275 but took closer to 90 minutes. Was still very moist.

  19. Sue

    Made this cake for a birthday. WOW! This is amazing. Added a bit more vanilla and cinnamon than recipe called for. Everyone wanted 2nds. My new favorite dessert recipe.

    1. Jessica

      Hey Denise! That just means 1&1/2 and 2&1/8th. Any time you see numbers like that you can assume they mean “and a half” or “and an eighth”, etc

  20. Maggie

    Absolutely NUMMERS!  The best banana cake ever and wonderful frosting!  Little tip:  Don’t try to bake in two 8 inch cake pans!  Just sayin, not looking forward to cleaning the over flow in the oven!  But so worth it to taste such deliciousness!  Out to purchase my 3rd cake pan!  Next time I’ll follow all directions!  Thanks so much for sharing your recipe!

  21. Sophie

    I just made that superbe cake! The taste is amazing but i have to say my frosting ans the cake look more light brun then white, but other then that, its the best banana cake i ever made! Thanks for sharing :)

  22. Rita Guill

    Just made This tonight and it was absolutely delicious. I did not have the ingredients to make the frosting so I merely put powdered sugar over it and it was a hit!

      1. Marilyn

        Hello Jessica,

        Can this recipe also be made into cupcakes? If so, how long would you recommend to bake? Would it be the same baking time as the three cake pans?

  23. Morgan

    I’ve made this cake multiple times for my boys’ birthdays. It is their favorite! I have never been able to get that dense cake look though when I cut it. You know, that nice clean cut where the cake all holds together. Mine looks more crumbly, closer to the first time you posted this recipe. I’ve tried many cakes that have a similar look to yours and never achieved those results. Some people mention freezing the layers to keep a cake moist. Do you do this? Do you have any advice on how to get that nice clean cut?

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Morgan! So glad you all enjoy it so much! To cut the cake for photos I freeze it to get the cleanest cut possible for photos, but I wouldn’t recommend that for taste purposes. It’s best not frozen. ;-) 

      1. Dena

        Thanks for your honesty Jessica! Many bakers wonder how to get that clean cut that’s in photographs and bakers seldom admit to freezing.

  24. Peggy Bauman

    I just made this as we speak, and I just used 2 – 9″, pans. How will that affect the baking time? I didn’t have 3 pans of the same size, so I had to resort to the 2 pans. Also, should I bake it at a higher temperature instead of 275 degrees? 
    Thank you!

  25. Liz

    Hey there! Found this on Pinterest and looks amazing! My daughter is turning 4 and can’t have dairy so I told her I’d make her a separate cake for her bday. She asked for banana cake and here I am. This recipe looks like the best however I am unsure of the substitutes I am about to make. What do you think about substituting dairy free plain yogurt for sour cream? Plain almond milk for milk?? I might just cross my fingers and go for it! Would love your input! Thanks a ton! 

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Liz! I think it’s worth a shot! I don’t have a ton of experience, but I believe both of those substitutes should work well! If you try it, I would love to hear how it turns out. Happy 4th Birthday to your daughter!! 

  26. Lauren

    Just made this for my son’s 2nd birthday tomorrow, can’t wait to eat it!! The batter and the icing tasted AMAZING. Bananas are his favorite! 

    Quick question though….it says 275 in the recipe but when I cooked it for 50 mins at 275 and it was still soupy. Did you mean 375, or did I do something wrong? I bumped the oven to 375 and cooked it for an extra 15 minutes and it looks ok. Fingers crossed!! 

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Lauren! 

      Nope, I mean 275! Did you use one larger pan instead of three 8-inch pans? I hope it eventually baked up well and everyone enjoyed it — especially our son! :-) 

  27. Alli

    I can’t wait to eat this cake! I used a 9×13 pan & baked it for 1 1/2 hours, I had no trouble removing from the pan…frosted generously, topped cake with mini vanilla wafers…and WOW, what a beautiful cake!

  28. Kathy

    I made this cake last weekend and the taste was wonderful, but the texture was really super dense. I got no complaints from the family, but I’m wondering if its supposed to be that way. I think I’d personally like it a little lighter. Might there be a way to lighten it up?

  29. Chan

    Hey there Jessica. That cake looks absolutely scrumptious!!!
    I’ve added it to my list of cakes to make. Actually this bad baby just may be for my next dinner party. A truly decadent dessert. So simple too. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Felicia

    Hi Jessica! Just wondering here we dont really have applesauce do u have a suggestion with what I can replace it with?? Hehe thanks! I reallyyyyy wanna make it…

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hmm. I would suggest trying 3/4 cup sour cream (total – so an additional 1/4 cup) and adding 2 tablespoons of oil in place of the applesauce.

    2. Annette

      you can make applesauce too pretty easily – I would just look for a quick recipe on that – Applesauce is a great side dish too and you can eat it by itself!

  31. Cait

    Is the 275F correct? I have never baked a cake at that low of a temp… Is that why the extended baking time? Why not the standard 350? Thanks! 

  32. Carolina

    Can I make these into cupcakes? Having a banana themed 1st Bday for my son and would love to try…how many do you think this recipe would turn out?

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Carolina! It would be great as cupcakes. I do not have an exact number, but it would definitely make at least 24 standard cupcakes.

  33. Marnee Denny

    I hope this doesnt sound silly, but what do you mean by apple sauce. Do you make it yourself and is it just cooked apples? By the way, i love the cake. It really looks lovely.

  34. Amber

    Just wondering if you think this would work with flax eggs? My son has an egg allergy and I like baking! Thankfully, he’s grown out of his dairy allergy!
    The pictures of this cake are gorgeous! The flavor combinations have me salivating already. I may just go ahead and try it with the flax eggs. If I do, I’ll let you know what happens!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Amber, I wish I had an answer, however my experience with egg substitutes is small. Please comment back if you try it and let us all know how it goes! :-)

  35. Lori

    I know it is probably sacrilege, but for someone who is not patient and not a baker….how long would you bake in a 9X13 dish? Thanks

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      I would say probably 1 hour and 15 minutes or so, but I am not positive. Just keep a close eye on it and test it with a toothpick when it looks done! :-)

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      It would bake a few minutes less – 5 to 10 minutes less max. Just make sure a toothpick interested in the center comes out clean and you are good to go!

  36. Antika

    Hi, first off thank you for an AMAZING blog that I’ve been following for a long time. I wanted to ask about putting the cake pans (after baking) straight into the freezer–as I did when making the banana dream cake many times. For this cake, was there a reason you chose not to? I really liked how moist the cake was–will it still be moist without putting it in the freezer? THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Antika! Thank you! I ended up finding that I didn’t really need to cool the cake in the freezer, it had the same result either way. You can still pop it in the freezer if you want – but it isn’t necessary! :-)

  37. Amy J

    This looks like an amazing cake! Do you know if maple syrup or honey could be used instead of white sugar? I always sub in banana breads but wasn’t sure about cake!

  38. Georgina Benally

    I just made this and it looked nothing like your pics so I was flummoxed My frosting looks totally different. So I took a look at your original post and that’s what mine looks like, except the frosting which is brownish pink. I noticed that your frosting looks white in both and that your original recipe calls only for cinnamon for sprinkling. I was wondering if that’s what you did for both. And also why is your sponge so different from the original ?

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Georgia! These updated photos don’t show the same “sponge” look because I baked it in a bunch of small layers. I wanted a different look than the traditional look I usually go for. 

      As for the frosting, not sure why yours would look pink. That’s really strange with nothing pink added to the frosting.

      I did add the cinnamon into the frosting as well as on the sides. However, 2 teaspoons is not that much cinnamon in that much frosting — so the camera didn’t pick up on it as well. However, if you look closely in the last photo you can see the speckles of the cinnamon in the icing in between the layers. 

      I hope you still enjoyed it as much as we do! This is one of my favorite cakes! :-)

  39. Laura Ferrick

    I’m going to make this for my ladies tomorrow at church. A good banana cake is not an easy thing so I’m excited to try this one!

  40. Stef

    Hello! Excited to make this cake and use up bananas- quick question, the gorgeous photos show four cake layers, the instructions call for three pans. Did you have extra batter? Just wanting to make sure I do it correctly. Thanks so much!!

    1. A woman holding a camera standing in front of some shelves.

      Hi Stef! I usually make it in 3 layers, so that’s how I wrote the recipe. If you want to do 4 layers, they will take about 10 minutes less to bake. You can do 3 layers or 4 layers…up to you!

  41. Kacey @ The Cookie Writer

    Been there with the butter (and sugar, and flour…) But I must say, I have never seen a more beautiful cake!! I am serious, this is gorgeous!

  42. Erin R.

    Oh, my goodness. I like about a 1:1 frosting to cake ratio, so those layers look sublime to me. Beautiful cake!

  43. Patric Häkkinen

    Oh I love banana dream cake but it was such a long time since I had one.. Maybe it’s time to make one? :)


I'm a trial & error, self taught, sugar addict who thankfully learned how to survive in the kitchen! I am also a wife, mama of 3.