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
4.91 from 1081 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
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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 1081 votes↑ Click stars to rate now!
Or to leave a comment, click here!

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. Hi. I prefer my cakes dense cause that’s what I am used to from the islands, so if I want it denser I just mix it more? Thanks!

    (I never knew about that freezer trick.
    I will have to try it.
    I’m not sure if I care for that lemon icing but don’t knock it till you try it, right?)

    1. I haven’t tried to make this cake more dense Will so I can’t say for sure. Often overmixing cakes causes them to be dense so this may work. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  2. For this recipe could you add chocolate chips to it? What would you recommend? I thought chocolate and bananas sounds yummy together!!
    Thank you and I look forward to your reply!! ☺️☺️

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Ivy, but other readers have added chocolate chips to this cake with great success! If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  3. Quite good although I would not do the lemon or zest in the icing. It would be better without it. Cake was very moist and def would make again minus the lemon and zest in icing.4 stars

  4. Made this for my boyfriend because he loves banana desserts but no nuts. This was the perfect recipe. Didn’t have room in my freezer so I put it in my garage. Perks of it being freezing outside! It worked great.5 stars

  5. Yum! Just finished making this today. No room in my freezer so l had to improvise. I covered the baking pan with an inverted cookie sheet and set it in my catio on the porch to keep cold as the second snow of the year fell. We really enjoyed your recipe. Very moist and flavourful. Loved the unexpected lemon in the frosting! Thanks for a terrific keeper recipe.5 stars

  6. made this today. My eggs were cold, my milk sat out while my butter softened. My butter not as soft as Id like but it sat out while I prepared my ingredients. It did whip fluffy with the sugar. My milk buttermilked with lemon juice while my butter softened and I preped the rest of the recipe. I prepared banana mixture, I preped the flour. finished the recipe made cake. I froze it for 3 to 4 hours, made icing and frosted it. refrigerated it about 2 hours and it was delightful. on the edge of to moist, but I made it because banana bread tends to be too dense. It cream cheese icing and this fluffy cake is a moist banana cake and the icing makes me think of a cream cheese topping or filling of a banana muffin.5 stars

  7. This is by far the best banana cake I’ve ever made!!! My pan is more like 9 x 11 so I baked it about 70 minutes. Super moist and fluffy!

    Thank you for the recipe!5 stars

  8. I made cupcakes & it tasted good except it didn’t rise. Does the dough rise? I filled the cupcake tins 2/3 full but no dome4 stars

    1. I haven’t tried cupcakes so I can’t say for sure, but it should have a rise. The baking soda and soured milk (from combining with the lemon juice) react to create the perfect rise. Did you use the lemon juice? Did you check your baking soda to see if it expired? Or it is possible that you overmixed it, other readers have mentioned that overmixing it caused it to not rise as well.

  9. It would be helpful if when instructing how to prepare the pan you mentioned not to use a glass pan. I didn’t read about putting the cake in the freezer after taking it out of the oven until I got to that point and therefore couldn’t put it in the freezer. That glass pan would crack going from one extreme temperature to another.

    1. Hi Amy, we do put the hot pan directly into the freezer, although if you have a glass pan, you can let it cool for 15-20 minutes before transferring to the freezer. If it’s cold where you are, you can also pop it outside!