This is, hands down, the BEST banana cake I’ve ever had.  It’s soft, moist and rich all at the same time!  Once cooled this cake is topped with a totally irresistible lemon cream cheese frosting for a perfect dessert your family will love.

A piece of Banana Cake on a plate

I love a good banana cake, it just reminds me of being a kid because my Grandpa and Grandma made the BEST banana cupcakes. I can still smell them baking in my grandma’s kitchen, waiting impatiently with my sisters.

This cake is reminiscent of my favorite banana cupcakes.  It is soft and fluffy and incredibly moist and topped with my favorite ever lemony cream cheese frosting.

Banana Cake being served out of cake pan

As much as I love a fluffy banana cake, I love it even more when it’s topped with an amazing cream cheese frosting! I add in a little bit of lemon zest and lemon juice for extra flavor in my cream cheese frosting but if you prefer, you can leave out the lemon and substitute vanilla.

Regardless of how you top it, once you try this cake, it’ll be your go-to.  Every time you have overripe bananas on the counter you’ll want to make this recipe! In fact, I often buy extra bananas to ripen and make this cake!

Single serving of Banana Cake on a wooden plate

Tips to ensure a soft moist result:

  • Ensure your ingredients are at room temperature (eggs and butter)
  • You need the acidity from the lemon juice (& milk) mixture.  Subbing in just milk or cream won’t work.  (You can use buttermilk in its place if needed).
  • When mixing your butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla, beat the mixture until VERY fluffy, almost the consistency of a fluffy buttercream frosting.  This should take about 5 minutes.
  • When adding the flour mixture you want to mix until just combined.  Over-mixing will cause a dense chewy result.
  • The cooking time on this cake can vary!  Check your cake at 55 minutes, if it isn’t ready, continue cooking until a toothpick comes out clean (this can be up to an additional 20 minutes depending on your oven).  The result will be a moist and irresistible banana cake.

Happy Baking!

frosted banana cake with a banana on top on a wood plate
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The Best Banana Cake

This Banana Cake is soft, moist and rich all at the same time! Once cooled this cake is topped with a totally irresistible lemon cream cheese frosting for a perfect dessert your family will love.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 15 servings

Ingredients  

  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice divided
  • 1 ⅓ cup mashed bananas
  • cup butter softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt

FROSTING

  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • cup butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 3-3 ½ cups powdered sugar

Instructions 

  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
  • Place 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice in a measuring cup. Top to 1 ½ cups with milk. Set aside.
  • Mix together mashed banana with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, set aside.
  • Beat together butter, brown and white sugar until combined. Add in eggs one at a time and vanilla. Mix on high until light and fluffy (almost the texture of frosting).
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to egg mixture stirring just until combined. (Do not overmix). Fold in bananas. Pour into prepared pan.
  • Put into the oven and reduce heat to 300°F. Bake 60 – 70 minutes (see note below) or just until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (do not over bake).
  • Remove from oven and place in the freezer for 45 minutes to make the cake extra moist. Cool completely before frosting.

FROSTING

  • Cream together butter & cream cheese until fluffy. Add in lemon zest and juice.
  • Add powdered sugar a little at a time until you reach desired consistency. Spread over cooled cake.

Video

Notes

The cooking time on this cake can vary! Mine takes about 60 minutes. Check your cake at 55 minutes, if it isn’t ready, continue cooking until a toothpick comes out clean (this can be up to an additional 20-30 minutes depending on your oven).
4.91 from 1142 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 470 | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 680IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Slice of Banana Cake on a plate

This recipe has been retested and updated 11/20/16.

Very slightly adapted from food.com 

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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Comments

  1. the only banana cake recipe you will ever ever need. it is out of this world!!!!!
    the only change I made was I don’t put lemon juice in frosting..just butter cream cheese and vanilla.5 stars

    1. The frosting has cream cheese so I recommend refrigerating the leftovers Susan. I am so glad you enjoyed this cake!

    1. I usually store it in the refrigerator and try to leave it at room temp at least 30 min before serving. I am so glad you love it Gia!

  2. Hi! Based on your instructions, I understand the reason for placing in the freezer is to assist with moisture. I don’t hav a lick of extra room in my freezer to place two 9” round pounds. I am afraid not to follow your instructions to “T”. Other recipes include butter and oil. You have the best recipes I have ever tried. What’s your thoughts.

    1. You can skip it if you’d like but we do find this gives the best results Debbie. If it’s cold out where you live, you can also stick it outside to cool in the winter!

  3. I’ve made this cake many times using this recipe and it came out awesome, but I want to make it again and I don’t have cow’s milk. Has anyone ever used a nut milk instead such as almond or
    coconut milk? And if I can use that, do I still need to add the lemon juice to it?

    1. Either of those milks should work. Yes, the acidity from the lemon juice is needed to get a good rise so you’ll still want to add it.

  4. Hi Holly, I was wondering about making this cake into bars because my husband and I prefer cake bars over cakes. I was wondering if I could make bake this cake in a half-sheet pan 18×13 do you think that would work?

    P.S. I come here a lot and so does my husband, we always find something good that we want to try, and we do. =D

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure, but it should work if you adjust the cook time. You could also try these banana bars which are similar and SO yummy! I am so glad you are enjoying the recipes!

  5. I’m planning to make it for my mom’s 87th birthday, can I add cinnamon powder and walnuts? If yes, how much cinnamon would you recommend? I’m leaving out the icing, do I still need to keep it in the freezer – still warm from the oven as I understand it? Thank you.

    1. I have not tried adding cinnamon and walnuts but I think they would be delicious! I would still put it in the freezer, it helps to make the cake extra moist and delicious! :) Enjoy!

    1. Hi Nuha, the exact amounts can be found in the ingredients in the recipe. For the cake you will use ⅔ cup butter softened, and for the frosting you need ⅓ cup butter softened. So in total 1 cup of butter. I hope his helps!