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
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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 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose 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).
4.93 from 1675 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

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 food.com 

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Holly Nilsson is the creator of Spend With Pennies, where she creates easy, comforting recipes made for real life. With a passion for nostalgic flavors and simplified techniques, Holly helps busy home cooks create delicious meals that always work. She is also the author of “Everyday Comfort,” which promises to inspire even more hearty, home-cooked meals.
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Comments

  1. Excellent! Great instructions and it turned out perfectly. I put it in to the freezer for 45 mins and the outside was crispy and the inside moist. The title is no lie, The Best Banana Cake.

  2. I haven’t made this yet but was just wondering if I can sub the sugar for honey or maple syrup and if it will affect the outcome? Has anyone done it with this particular cake?5 stars

    1. I haven’t personally tried but other readers have with great results! I would love to hear how it turns out for you.

  3. I have not made this yet. Was wondering if anyone made it a couple of days ahead, left in freezer, then a day ahead of serving for a party, take it out then frost it, either frozen or a few hours after removing from freezer, or only leave the cake in the freezer for the alotted time, cover and put in fridge, then frost the day it is to be served. Im tempted to try both ways to see the outcome, but if someone has done anything like this, would love their input.

    1. Hi Vicki, I haven’t personally tried but other readers have. I would take it out the night before to let it defrost before frosting and serving.

  4. Ok 2nd review on this AMAZING CAKE! It came out perfect! So moist! I baked in pyrex and was worried- I covered with foil and let cool down for 45 minutes then put on hot pads in fridge to cool it down enough to out in freezer (I was afraid it would shatter) and it was fine that way. I Frosted while almost frozen ) my husband said “don’t make banana bread anymore- make this cake!! And the hint of lemon was amazing! My “Go To “ cake now!5 stars

  5. I baked in glass pan- now I am afraid to put in freezer( exploding pan syndrome?) So cooling a little then will put in. I just thought about that after the fact.
    Anyone do in glass pan? (Looks beautiful by the way!!!) smells so good.5 stars

    1. Hey Deb, I just made this tonight and did them in two round glass dishes. I placed a hot cold pad on the shelf in the freezer and laid the glass round right on the pad straight out of the oven. Everything was fine.

  6. My “first” banana cake attempt and it is DELICIOUS!!! Moist, tender, and perfect sweetness!!! Wow!!!! Thank you for sharing!!!!5 stars

  7. This cake is AWESOME!! It is the best banana cake I’ve ever make or tasted! I did put it in the freezer. I also measured the flour on a scale! Thanks for the recipe!!5 stars

  8. Do you wrap the pan at all before putting in the freezer or do you just put the hot pan straight into the freezer?5 stars

    1. I put it directly into the freezer, but you can cool it for a little bit first if you prefer. But covering it is not required.

  9. This cake is definitely moist and soft. Ever since i bumped into that recipe a while ago, o haven’t look for another recipe. Every time i make it, people request more. At times i don’t even get a piece for myself.. Many have also brought their banana so i can make for them.. THIS IS THE BEST BANANA CAKE RECIPE I KNOW! Thank you for sharing your recipe with us.5 stars

  10. I’ve had bariatric surgery so I don’t get to eat much of goodies like this, but I love to bake and had some bananas I needed to use. Recipe was easy and made plenty to share with 2 neighbors (one who has cancer and loves the sweets I bake for her) and my adult kids who are great cooks and bakers themselves. Son said cake was “pretty dang good!” High praise from him! It was delicious, flavorful and so moist. I baked it in Pyrex, so was unable to put in freezer after baking, but didn’t seem to matter. Lemon zest and juice gave cream cheese frosting a nice departure from the usual frostings. I’ll definitely keep this recipe on hand to make again!5 stars

  11. I have made this in the past and it was delicious. Now I am wondering if the dough can be distributed into 2 8 inch cake pans?5 stars

    1. I haven’t tried making this recipe in a round cake pan but others readers have had great results. I would check the cake around 30 minutes into baking for doneness and gauge the cooking time from there. We would love to hear how it turns out for you.

    1. The lemon juice with the milk creates a soured milk, so the cake would be affected if you left it out. You could replace with vinegar to make sour milk or replace the milk with buttermilk. I hope this helps Jean!

  12. This cake came out dry and gummy. There was no spice at all. The frosting tasted too much like butter and cream cheese flavors and not like other cream cheese icings I have made. I was careful to follow the recipe. It made me wonder where you’re located, and maybe it may have to do with the bake of the cake.1 star

    1. Oh no! I’m sorry to hear you didn’t love this recipe as much as we do Krys. Thank you for trying it.

  13. I never leave reviews, but I made this cake (and I am a terrible baker) and it was fantastic! I shared with neighbors and they went out of their way to tell me how fantastic it was! Saving this recipe and making again and again! Thank you!!5 stars

  14. Hi, if using frozen bananas, would you suggest reducing some of the milk? The bananas produce a lot of liquid as they thaw.

    1. I haven’t tried it so I can’t say for sure Martha, but I would not reduce the milk. You can lightly drain the thawed bananas and they should work just fine! If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  15. Hi.
    I just finished baking this cake, (sampled it right away).. OMG it is soooo good.
    I just have one question and I might have missed the info.. How should I store it?5 stars

    1. I usually store it in the refrigerator and try to leave it at room temp at least 30 min before serving. Enjoy Lisa!

  16. The banana cake with lemon frosting was a hit! The cake was moist and delicious; the frosting, with a hint of lemon, was yummy enough to eat with a spoon (and my husband did!). Since we can’t finish a larger cake, i baked two in 8×8″ pans. One is being enjoyed as I write this, and the other one is in the freezer. This recipe is a keeper and will be baked many more times to come!5 stars