Best Banana Cake

Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
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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 109 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

Ingredients

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

Instructions 

  • 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.

Video

Nutrition

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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Welcome!

Jessica
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.