This Banana Cake is seriously the BEST banana cake recipe, ever! It’s incredibly moist and fluffy and topped with a dreamy cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It has a secret method that might sound a little crazy, but keeps this cake super moist and with the perfect soft crumb texture. This homemade banana cake is definitely not to be missed!
My Favorite Homemade Banana Cake
This is seriously the BEST Banana Cake recipe you are ever going to make. It’s insanely moist and the banana flavor is just right — not too strong and not too subtle. Then you add the whipped cinnamon cream cheese frosting and it takes it to a new epic level!
I originally got this recipe from a family friend in 2010 at an engagement party. They had made this banana cake in a 9×13 casserole dish as the main dessert for the party and everyone was drooling to get a piece of her famous banana cake. I was so intrigued because it’s not often that you see a banana cake as a family favorite dessert!
Then I had a bite and OH MY. I was instantly hooked and demanded (nicely) that the recipe be shared! I have since tweaked it a little to work as a layer cake, but the recipe still holds true to the original. It has two secret methods to getting a perfect banana cake that I bet you won’t expect, (Hint: It involves a freezer) but the results will blow you away.
I promise you will not regret taking the time to make this insanely delicious homemade Banana Cake! I guarantee it will be the hit of any party and everyone will be begging you for the recipe!
Banana Cake With A Secret
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) then 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.
Here’s what you’ll need to whip up this perfect Banana Cake:
For the Banana Cake:
- Mashed Bananas: about 2 large, over-ripe bananas.
- Lemon Juice: fresh or jarred.
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Soda
- 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
For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- Unsalted Butter: let butter soften before you use it.
- Cream Cheese: also let cream cheese soften.
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Salt: just a pinch!
How to Make Banana Cake from Scratch
Grease the Cake Pans: Preheat oven to 275°F (135°C). Grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans, set aside.
Combine: In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with lemon juice, set aside. Then, in a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.
Mix: 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.
Bake: 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.
Freeze: This is where that freezer method comes in! Slide those 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 minutes in the freezer.
How I Decorate this Cake
For the Frosting: In a large bowl, cream butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth.
Decorating: 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, for up to 3 days, until ready to serve.
Tips for the Best Banana Cake
Make sure you read through these tips for the best results with this banana cake:
- Make Ahead Instructions: you can easily make the layers of this cake ahead of time, and then construct the whole thing later, if you want. Once the cake has cooled, refrigerate the cake and frosting separately until you’re ready to put them together.
- 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.
- Measuring Flour: 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.
- Which Cream Cheese to Use: use brick-style cream cheese instead of the kind that comes in a tub to avoid runny frosting.
- How to Ripen Bananas: if you don’t have any over-ripe bananas, put some yellow bananas in a paper bag a day or two before you bake the cake. This will help them ripen faster!
How to Store Banana 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!
Best Banana Cake
This epic Banana Cake is seriously the BEST banana cake recipe, ever! It's incredibly moist and fluffy and topped with a dreamy cinnamon cream cheese frosting. It has a secret method that might sound a little crazy, but keeps this cake super moist and with the perfect soft crumb texture. This homemade banana cake is definitely not to be missed!
- 1 cup mashed over ripe bananas (about 2 large bananas)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 1/8 cups granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 4 oz applesauce
- 1 cup whole milk
Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting:
- 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
- 12 oz (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, softened
- 5 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 647Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 86mgSodium: 428mgCarbohydrates: 118gFiber: 2gSugar: 90gProtein: 12g
Looking For More Layered Cake Recipes?
- Best Chocolate Cake Recipe
- Best Pumpkin Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake
- Caramel Apple Dream Cake
- Gingerbread Cake
- Red Velvet Dream Cake
- Vanilla Dream Cake
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Is the cooling different for cupcakes?
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!
I wanted to know can I make this cake in 2 9 inch pan instead
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!
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 made this for my husband’s birthday and he said it was the best cake he’s ever eaten!
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?
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!
I cooked mine in a bundt pan for an hour and it came out great.
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.
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.
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?
Yes it should be ok for a few hours! :-)
Can this cake be made in a 9X13 pan or a bundt pan????
Where is recipe that that lady did for pineapple center/layers??
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!
OMG! Saw this recipe, sounds delicious and read the reviews. Can’t wait to make it! Thank you!
Can’t wait to have it tonight for my Dads 95th birthday! The frosting is delicious from licking my fingers
Wow! 95!! Happy Birthday to your dad! I hope He enjoyed his Banana Cake!!
What is the cooking time for a sheet cake?
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!
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.
I make a similar cake and make a pineapple filling for between the layers. Add moisture and gives it a tropical flavor.
Can you share your recipe?
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!
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!
That sounds amazing! Can I ask what your pineapple filling is?
Can I do a 4 layers in 7 inches pan instead?
Sure! You may need more frosting to cover them all.
How long would you have to bake it if you made cupcakes?
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!
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.