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 teaspoon 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).
4.93 from 1568 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 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. So, I made a couple of mistakes. I forgot to add the milk when adding the eggs. Rough night. I poured the milk over my very stiff dough mixture and blended it in. Then I forgot to push start on the timer :D I kept an eye on it. This cake is tall and fluffity! Nothing was dense about it. It’s also not too sweet (haven’t made the icing yet). It worked out somehow! I really like this recipe.

  2. Have made this a number of times, it never disappoints ! So moist and the flavor is great I do tend to use butter milk bc it seems to always be in the fridge. This will be the cake for my mother on her 88th birthday it is her favorite.5 stars

  3. Just finished making this!
    It’s in the oven right now the dough was already so yummy!
    I added some chocolate chips
    And instead of lemon frosting I will make some peanut butter frosting!5 stars

  4. Looks delicious, I can’t wait to make it! Can this recipe be made in a bundt pan? If so, would the temperature or baking time need to be adjusted? Thanks:)5 stars

    1. Hi Maria, we have only tried this recipe as written but other readers have made it in a bundt pan with great results! Try baking for 55 minutes at 325°F in a greased and floured bundt pan, but as always check it early just in case. I hope that helps!

  5. Hello Holly

    I’m going to make this cake in the next few days, I was wondering about the milk, do you use 1%, 2% or whole milk in this recipe. We use Lactose Free 1%, but can get other %’s of that milk.

    Thanks for the recipe, and any info you can provide !!

    1. 1% milk will work just fine in this recipe – you’ll still need to mix it with the lemon juice as the acidity helps the rise. Enjoy!

  6. Toothpick came out clean at 55 mark, but once I cut a piece, I found out the bottom was underdone and dense. I’m reading all good reviews and would like to try again. What should I do differently? More time?4 stars

    1. If the toothpick came out clean but the bottom was still underdone and dense, it could be uneven heat distribution in your oven. Try moving it to a higher rack or placing a baking sheet on the lower rack to prevent the bottom from getting too much direct heat. You could also try lowering the temperature slightly and baking for a longer time so it cooks evenly. Keep an eye on it and check with a toothpick again to make sure it’s fully cooked throughout. I hope that helps, Isa!

  7. I made this for the very first time 01/10/24. I did leave the brown sugar out, it still turned out AMAZING. My Family loves it. I will keep in my recipe box for the future.5 stars

    1. Hi TaraLee, I haven’t tried this recipe as muffins or mini muffins but others readers have with great results. I would bake the muffins for 18-20 minutes, and mini muffins for 10-15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. I would love to hear how they turn out for you!

  8. This cake and its frosting were fantastic! I made it for a church meeting and it was a definite hit. I followed the comments/notes about beating the butter-sugar mixture until very fluffy and baking for 55 minutes. I would make one change just for a test: after reaching the 55-minute mark and testing with the toothpick, I might tent the cake with foil for 5 additional minutes, a full hour. I got no complaints, but I think just a little more baking could add to the perfection. LOL. Also, I decided to add 1 teaspoon of vanilla to the frosting, omitting the lemon juice and the zest. Result: I was trying not to lick the beater. Absolutely a keeper.5 stars

  9. In all my years of trying to bake a cake from scratch this was the easiest and best I ever made.
    The cake was fluffy and moist the frosting was delicious.
    This cake will be on my list to make again.5 stars

  10. hands-down the best banana cake I’ve ever tasted let alone made! my dad is a chef and this blew him away. I decorated with a cream cheese glaze and slivered almonds.5 stars

  11. absolutely thr most moist banana cake I’ve ever made. had to cook it 65 minutes. I added cake batter flavoring as well as the vanilla called for. I had left over chocolate ganache and poured over a wee bit and added a spray of crushed sugar coated pecans. thank you for a wonderful cake recipe. merry Christmas!5 stars

  12. The lemon frosting is strange with the banana. Next time I’ll do a regular cream cheese frosting. The lemon over powers the other flavors. Cake is great tho!4 stars

  13. Hi

    I will make this cake for my daughter’s birthday tomorrow but I do have a question.
    When the cake is ready in the oven , you put it straight into the freezer?

    “Remove from oven and place in the freezer for 45 minutes to make the cake extra moist. Cool completely before frosting.”

  14. Thinking of making this cake soon – is there a specific type or brand of flour you’d recommend? I’ve struggled using different brands and types of flour in the past. Thanks!

  15. Tasty, but also had a dense consistency (now I know why, based on previous reviews). I do feel like the lemon icing overpowered the banana…which isn’t bad or good…just…lemony instead of banana-y.