The Best Banana Cake

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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
4.88 from 764 votes
Review Recipe

The Best Banana Cake

Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 15 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
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.


  • 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
  • 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

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  • 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.
  • 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.

Recipe 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).

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.)

Keyword banana cake
Course Dessert
Cuisine American

Repin this Delicious Dessert!

Slice of Banana Cake on a plate

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

Very slightly adapted from 
About the author


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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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Recipe Rating


    1. Hi Tami, that is correct. We use 1 ½ teaspoons of baking soda in this recipe and no baking powder.

  1. I really enjoyed this cake and my husband said it was a hit.
    My only complaint is that the ingredients are not listed in chronological order. I was constantly looking for how much I needed of what, when I could’ve just made the cake based off of the ingredients list. The details are important, I know, but randomly listing ingredients could be very frustrating for an inexperienced baker.4 stars

  2. DON’T and I repeat DON’T put lemon juice in your batter or milk! It will curdle everything. You cannot mix an acid with a neutral. Truthfully, you don’t need ANY lemon juice. You cannot taste a difference.

    1. We have made this recipe as written more times than we can count. It is perfect as is. The lemon juice does not curdle, it helps make this cake moist and delicious. If you prefer, you can use regular milk.

      1. I assumed this was how you turned milk into buttermilk, however, I used buttermilk so was the lemon necessary? I added it anyway and I did notice some clumping that appeared to be curdling but I went ahead and made the recipe as directed. (except for the freezer part. I simply had no room in there to do so) I’ve yet to frost it and try it so keeping my fingers crossed. It looks and smells delicious!

  3. This cake is the best!!! I get compliments everytime I make it. I took it to a event for 13 people and not one person didn’t like it!5 stars

    1. Dies this recipe call for plain flour or selfraising flour. Sorry l cant seem to figure it out as it only says flour on the recipe

  4. My husband and I love a bit of sweet with our am coffee so I prepared the cake as written minus the frosting. If this was to be served for company after a savory meal I would definitely have added the frosting. It was a light cake…perfect with our morning routine!! I may add some spice the next time just to mix things up.5 stars

  5. I am super excited to try this recipe for my daughter’s birthday. She loves the combination of chocolate and bananas. Do you think this recipe would work with a chocolate frosting and/or chocolate chips?

  6. This cake is difficult to make. With only using 1 1/3 cups of bananas my guests and I only detected a very slight banana flavor. It was very moist. I added a tad of nutmeg, cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger, but I wish I added more because then it would have been more of a spice cake. Very disappointed with all the effort put into it.2 stars

    1. Hi Linda, the riper your banana the stronger the banana flavor. So for a more pronounced banana flavor, you will want to make sure you are using a well-ripened banana. You can definitely adjust the spices to meet your preferences too! Hope that helps!

    2. I made it without adding other more powerful spices and it had plenty of flavor. I suggest trying it as per recipe and then try it altered

  7. I’m not much of a baker, so I was surprised at how easy and delicious this Banana Cake recipe was! Also impressive is the 350⁰ preheat, reduce & bake at 300⁰ method, along with placing in the freezer. So dense and moist! Fail safe, since I was out of brown sugar and substituted with more white sugar.5 stars

  8. Hi I was wondering if this can be made into a three tier cake using 8in rounds or even 2, 8in rounds and if so how? Thanks!

    1. Hi Bo, we haven’t tried turning this recipe into a tiered cake so I am not sure how it would hold up. However, if splitting it into smaller pans I would watch it carefully as the cooking time will be reduced. Then just bake it until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let us know how it turns out!

  9. Hi,really looking forward to baking this cake,the recipe says flour,what flour is used,is it plain or self raising please, Thank you

  10. I didn’t use cream cheese frosting; instead I made a rum-flavored (extract) between the layers and frosted it with banana-buttercream frosting made with banana extract. It was magnificent; my mom was quite an accomplished baker, so she taught me a lot.4 stars