Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

The frequency with which I bake with bananas is dependent on how many we buy that go uneaten. When I see them get to that lovely, ripe, baking stage, I start scouring my brain, all available cookbooks, and the internet for banana recipes. Having made banana bread too many times to count, I really wanted to bake something a little different.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Bake or Break

As I kept an eye on our latest batch of steadily ripening bananas, I remembered the glorious banana cupcakes at Billy’s Bakery, one of my favorite NYC bakeries. With those lovelies in mind, I started my search for something similar.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting | Bake or Break

That leads us to this cake. I am a big fan of this cake. It’s denser and sweeter than banana bread. And, of course, there’s cream cheese frosting, which is one of my all-time favorite things. My initial instinct was to bemoan only having an 8-inch square cake. On further contemplation, though, I think having more of it around would be dangerous.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Ingredients

    For the cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 large egg white, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • For the frosting:
  • 4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 & 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 2 tablespoons chopped toasted nuts (optional)

Instructions

To make the cake:

Preheat oven to 375°. Spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter, oil, and sugar. Beat in eggs and egg white, 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Mix in vanilla.

In a separate bowl, mash bananas with milk. Set aside.

Gradually mix half of dry ingredients into butter mixture. Mix in bananas. Mix in remaining dry ingredients. Pour cake batter into prepared baking pan.

Bake 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean. Cool cake in pan on wire rack.

To make the frosting:

Using an electric mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and vanilla. Reduce speed and gradually add confectioners’ sugar.

Spread frosting on cake. Sprinkle with nuts.

Notes

Recipe adapted from All You.

http://www.bakeorbreak.com/2011/12/banana-cake-with-cream-cheese-frosting/
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76 Comments

  1. Jess Wakasugi December 13, 2011 Reply

    Omgosh, I can’t tell you how fun it has been browsing through all of your recent posts. Every recipe is absolutely mouthwatering! I pinned this recipe, I know everyone would LOVE it!

  2. Merin George December 14, 2011 Reply

    yummy.is it required to use only canola oil?can we use any other oil as well?

  3. jennifer December 14, 2011 Reply

    Merin, I usually use canola oil and that is what the original recipe recommended. You should be able to use another kind of oil if you’d like.

  4. Nydia Bonilla December 15, 2011 Reply

    Wow, this looks amazing. Thank you for the great alternative to the good old banana bread.

  5. David December 17, 2011 Reply

    I just placed this into the oven…can’t wait for it to cool and then frost. The batter was a good clue of how delicous this is going to be!

  6. Nicole December 19, 2011 Reply

    I just died a little! Already saved the recipe so I can do it right after Christmas. It looks great and I can’t wait to make it!

  7. Susan January 2, 2012 Reply

    I love the sound of this and cannot wait to try it. I wonder (being a non-baker), if peanut butter icing would be good. Could you just add a dollop of peanut butter to the cream cheese?

    • jennifer January 2, 2012 Reply

      Susan, Martha Stewart has a good recipe for a cream cheese – peanut butter frosting. Click here!

  8. Just wanted to let you know I made this cake for a luncheon at work this week and it was an absolute hit. People were asking for the recipe and taking bowl of it back to their desks. Another great recipe! I attached the link to my post if you want to take a look. Thanks again!

    http://lifessimplemeasures.blogspot.com/2012/01/banana-cake.html

  9. Andrea January 17, 2012 Reply

    I just made this cake and it came out extremely dense…I have NO idea what I did wrong…the only thing I can think of is that I blended the ingredients too long..any ideas?

    • jennifer January 18, 2012 Reply

      Andrea, that would be my first guess. I’m sorry you had troubles!

  10. Janelle January 18, 2012 Reply

    Mine also came out very dense…more like bread not cake.

  11. Anna January 21, 2012 Reply

    You can add my attempt as also turning out quite dense. I bake quite a bit and haven’t had this happen in quite a while. I know the rule is generally 1 tsp. of baking powder for every cup of flour which this recipe does follow. Don’t quite know how to fix this one.

  12. Andrea January 24, 2012 Reply

    I will definitely be making this again, so I will try and see if I can fix the problem. Not that it was a very big problem, because it was still delicious!! Thank you for the recipe!

  13. Alicia January 30, 2012 Reply

    Mine also came out dense. Kinda like banana bread.

  14. KJDoland February 6, 2012 Reply

    This was not a hit at my house.. IT was very dry (tasted like flour)and more like a bread then a cake! maybe 2cups of flour is a little much.

  15. kc February 12, 2012 Reply

    This was very tasty! Based on others’ reports of the cake being a bit dense, I added 1/4 tsp of vinegar to the milk and let it sit for 5 minutes before adding (pseudo butermilk) to help the baking powder do it’s thing. I also added a small amount of chocolate chips and a little butter to the frosting. It was a hit at our dinner party!

  16. SR March 24, 2012 Reply

    I think it might have needed 1 tsp baking soda to make it less dense. I have a similar recipe and that was the only real difference. I used your ingredients and it was very dense, will try adding the baking soda next time.

  17. Jodi April 1, 2012 Reply

    I am going to try this today. I was wondering if it can be doubled and baked in a 9×13 dish instead? I am debating on trying that or just making two different batches.

  18. Jodi April 1, 2012 Reply

    I made this recipe and it was so yummy!! I did end up doubling it and putting it in one 9×13 dish. I also substituted buttermilk for the regular milk because buttermilk makes everything better. :-) I also added about a cup of peanut butter to the icing. Yum yum yum! Thanks for the recipe!!

    • jennifer April 1, 2012 Reply

      Jodi, I’m sorry I didn’t see your comment in time to answer. Glad it worked out!

  19. Lynn April 12, 2012 Reply

    This was really good but like other comments I couldn’t get it like a cake. It was much more like banana bread.. It was still very tasty though :)

  20. bellathirty April 26, 2012 Reply

    … and then i tried this, died & went to heaven. thank you so much for posting this. yes, the cake is more dense than your typical cake BUT, it works so well with the depth of the cream cheese frosting. i shared on my blog and credited you entirely for it’s awesomeness. thank you again for sharing… simply delicious!

  21. Erin May 13, 2012 Reply

    I made this today for Mother’s day dinner at my house. I thought it turned out good (my 2 1/2 yr old loved it!). I was wondering, though, when I was mixing it all together, was I supposed to keep mixing it with the mixer to incorporate butter/eggs, etc. with the bananas and flour mixture (or was I supposed to stir/mix by hand)? I’m not a big baker, so I used the mixer with the eggs and sugar part, but wasn’t sure about with the flour mixture. I did use the mixer for all of it and wondered if that’s why mine was a little dense.
    Just wondering…Thanks for any tips!
    :)

    • jennifer May 13, 2012 Reply

      Erin, you can mix or stir the flour mixture. Either way is fine as long as you don’t over mix. The cake is supposed to be dense, so it sounds like you did everything right!

  22. Beth July 10, 2012 Reply

    I found this today on Pinterest and made it and it is SO GOOD. I used buttermilk just because I had some. It is dense, but perfectly so. Will definitely make it again….thank you so much!

  23. Abbe August 6, 2012 Reply

    I love your website! This is the first thing I have made from it. Is this cake suppose to be sweet? I’m not a big fan of frosting so I left that off. I’m thinking maybe I needed it! This was not a favorite, but I am excited to make other other things!

  24. jennifer August 6, 2012 Reply

    Abbe, thank you! This cake is just a bit sweeter than banana bread. I think the frosting is just perfect, but I am a confessed cream cheese frosting fanatic. Happy baking!

  25. Debbelynn August 15, 2012 Reply

    I baked this yesterday, and was really disappointed. It was so dense that I was even questioning whether I forgot to add the flour! I don’t understand how it can turn out “perfect” for some, but not for others. Hmmm. Oh well, it DID taste good. Hubby had a small slice with some vanilla ice cream. :)

  26. Cynsational August 16, 2012 Reply

    This sounds delicious. I love baking and will try this one. I think my 2 year old would love it.

  27. Hayley August 19, 2012 Reply

    I really want to try this because it sounds like something my family would love. Before I make it I was wondering if the bananas should be black. I know for banana bread its best if you make it with really ripe black bananas, I’m wondering if it’s the same for this? I have never baked anything with banana in it so I’m a little clueless, I would love any suggestions :]

    • jennifer August 20, 2012 Reply

      Hayley, you just need overripe bananas, not necessarily black. Usually, I deem them ready for baking when we are no longer willing to eat them. That generally means the bananas have a lot of black spots on them.

  28. danielle August 20, 2012 Reply

    Looking to make this soon, think I can use frozen bananas?

    • jennifer August 20, 2012 Reply

      Danielle, I’ve never frozen bananas. If you froze them when they were overripe, my guess is you should be able to thaw them and use them for this cake.

  29. Rhonda August 28, 2012 Reply

    My family LOVED this recipe! We didn’t find it too dense at all. Thanks so much for posting this new family favorite:)

  30. Lisa September 5, 2012 Reply

    I have been thinking about this little cake since you posted it..I had too many over ripe bananas and froze them. Each time I open the freezer, there is my reminder to make the little cake. So today is the day!

    For those in comments asking about frozen bananas, just freeze the overripe bananas in their skins and when you want to use them, simply place in a bowl or small dish to thaw, remove the skins and mash! Easy peasy!

    Happy baking everyone!

  31. Sarah September 5, 2012 Reply

    Made this today & it is amazing. I didn’t have three eggs so I substituted 1/4 cup applesauce for one egg, used vegetable oil instead of canola and added peanut butter to the frosting. It was delicious!!

  32. emilybelle99 September 13, 2012 Reply

    I have a similar recipe for banana cake that came from better homes and gardens mag that has a browned butter frosting. it is out of this world!!! it just has butter browned in a skillet, powdered sugar, vanilla and a touch of cream. i dont know the exact recipes.

  33. Karen September 16, 2012 Reply

    can this be baked in a 9×13 pan without doubling ?

  34. jennifer September 16, 2012 Reply

    Karen, a 9×13 is essentially twice the volume of an 8×8, so you’d need to double the recipe.

  35. Sheila December 30, 2012 Reply

    Using gluten free flours I converted this recipe for my husband. It was wonderful! Baked so nice! Even my mother who is sometimes skeptical to try try my gf goodies loved it! Thanks for a great recipe!

  36. Claire December 31, 2012 Reply

    My daughter requested I make this recipe for her bday cake for tomorrow’s celebration. Very easy! Although, I used two 8 x 3.5 loaf pans instead of one 8 x 8 pan. Just added 5 more minutes at 300*. Perfect!!! Will check back tomorrow after we blow out the candles.

  37. Mandy January 27, 2013 Reply

    Im making this cake right now, and the edges of the cake are getting burnt while the center is still doughy.

  38. Deej February 8, 2013 Reply

    Just made this today! I’m really not a big fan of banana bread, but this has a nice mix of banana flavour and cream cheese. About the cake being too dense, I added 1/4tsp of baking soda. It came out fine, although I think the outside bakes much more quickly than the inside. So the inside was a lot doughy and had to be baked at a lower temp for longer. It came out pretty good though. I used a bundt pan and drizzled it with frosting, walnuts and pecans.

    Good recipe. I cut the confectioner’s sugar in frosting by half, though, was too sweet for me!

  39. Lisa Y February 16, 2013 Reply

    Just baked this today and…yummy! Swapped the oil for vanilla fat free greek yogurt and still very moist. I doubled the recipe to make a layer cake, I only had 6 large bananas, so I added a few extra tablespoons of yogurt and it still has very good banana flavor. I think Deej’s comments on the temperature or bundt pan are great as I had a small doughy center as well. Thanks!

  40. Carrie February 18, 2013 Reply

    Made this tonight, and while I think the flavor of the cake is awesome, it needs a little help. It is very dense, definitely not cake consistency, and the bottom and sides browned too quickly while the center remained gooey. I suggest a lower oven temp, but as for the density I’m at a loss. Also, I decreased the sugar in the icing to just a 1/2 cup, just a personal preference. :)

  41. Dana February 22, 2013 Reply

    Added 4T butter to the icing. Yummy! Thank you.

  42. Sarahmary March 17, 2013 Reply

    I had a friend and her children over this weekend and had many over ripe bananas so I went to my Pinterest board and decided to make this cake. My gosh it was sooo good. super easy to make. I followed to recipe to a T… almost I had to use egg substitute as my son is anaphalactic to eggs and tree nuts. It was very moist and had a light sweetness about it. The topper was the cream cheese icing. I will def make this again.

  43. Kate April 8, 2013 Reply

    The cake was extremely dense. Followed the recipe to a tee. I will look for other recipes. Disappointed. Frosting was very tasty.

  44. Jeannette May 23, 2013 Reply

    I would love to make this into a 9 inch round cake. Will the bake time need to be adjusted?

  45. jennifer May 23, 2013 Reply

    Hi, Jeannette! You shouldn’t have to adjust the baking time. The volume of the two pans is very comparable, so the cake should have the same thickness in either pan.

  46. Renee June 25, 2013 Reply

    Best. Banana Cake. Ever. Based on other reviews, I added 3/4 tsp vinegar to the milk. I also added a teaspoon of baking soda to alleviate the issue with it being too dense. It was amazing!!! Thanks for the great recipe!!

  47. Sandra July 18, 2013 Reply

    Hi Jennifer,

    I too found this recipe on Pinterest and am so glad I didn’t read the comments before I baked it. The cake came out very moist. My husband loved it! He suggested next time to add the nuts in the cake instead of on top, and no frosting…this cake stands on its own! Will post on my blog with a link to yours! I am looking for recipes that will become family favorites, and this one will definitely be! Thanks!

  48. Jean July 23, 2013 Reply

    I gotta try this. I have to ask though…how do you make this banana cake without the flecks? I just hate those in my banana bread or cake. This one looks lovely – all fluffy and moist.

    • Author
      jennifer July 24, 2013 Reply

      Hi, Jean. Those dark flecks are just cooked banana. If I had a super close-up shot of a slice of this cake, you’d see that there are plenty in there.

  49. Louvelle September 11, 2013 Reply

    Great recipe. I read in previous comments that the cake turned out to be too dense. The recipe calls for 4 bananas but I only had 2. The cake came out nice and fluffy! The density could be due to the density from the bananas. Thanks for sharing!

  50. Joanne September 15, 2013 Reply

    I just put it in the oven, doubled the recipe, opted for brown sugar and white sugar mix, so I’m hoping not comes out good. My fingers are crossed

  51. Emily September 23, 2013 Reply

    This looks AMAZING!!!! I am definitely going to try it! Do you mind checking my new blog out? http://twins-inthekitchen.blogspot.com.au/
    xxxxx

  52. Felesha September 26, 2013 Reply

    I just tried this recipe and It was a epic FAIL! Way to dense I thought maybe I missed something so I read the recipe again, I have no idea what happened.

  53. Lacey December 3, 2013 Reply

    Made this banana cake tonight it is PHENOMINAL!
    I substituted 6 tbsp. of canola oil instead of using the butter , still came out fluffy and moist. Will be making this again !

  54. Lisa January 22, 2014 Reply

    I was looking for a nice light fluffy banana cake…..this was not it. Very dense. I bake for catering, so it’s not me or my skills……

  55. Kristina January 26, 2014 Reply

    I made this cake & it’s cooling!it looks delicious. It did crack on top but I can’t wait to smother it with cream cheese frosting!!

  56. Petrograd January 30, 2014 Reply

    I just doubled recipe and added a pineapple to blended banana mixture and some to frosting! Topped with pecans and coconut, YUM

  57. Petrograd January 31, 2014 Reply

    Ok, my cake was not all that great. It was more like a gummy heavy banana bread texture, and the frosting was more like royal icing. A buttercream would probably go better. Either way, I’d probably use that type of frosting, and I’d use cake flour, instead of regular, so it won’t be soooo dense.

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  59. Pam February 17, 2014 Reply

    This looks so goo…I have a similar recipe that was my mothers’s but I only tried making it once. I live at high altitude, and it turned my banana cake into a banana brick…didn’t taste bad, but boy was it dense…any adjustments for altitude available?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry February 18, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Pam. I don’t personally have high-altitude baking experience, but my guess is you need more liquid in the recipe. Try adding another egg.

  60. Jennifer February 20, 2014 Reply

    I will be using mashed bananas that were previously frozen. How much mashed banana is the equivalent of 4 large bananas?

  61. Martina Lutz February 21, 2014 Reply

    Help!!!!!!!
    Please, to gif a German Rezept!
    Tanks Martina

  62. Jenna March 3, 2014 Reply

    My roommate made this cake! It was absolutely delicious! She did not include the egg whites, and substituted confectioner’s sugar with granulated sugar and corn starch. Most importantly, she baked it for 20 minutes! Highly recommend it!

  63. Rachelle April 23, 2014 Reply

    Mine was sticky I baked for twenty minutes over and everything….what did I do wrong?

    • Author
      Jennifer McHenry April 24, 2014 Reply

      Hi, Rachelle. It could one of several things. Did you change anything about the recipe? Even a small change can cause big problems. Have you used an oven thermometer to verify your oven temperature? If it took longer to bake, that could be the problem. Did you weigh or measure your flour? Sticky sounds like it might need more flour.

  64. Isabel May 10, 2014 Reply

    Thank you for posting this recipe. I tried it last night and it came out great! After reading the comments here I decided to add a tsp of baking soda. I also changed the temp to 350 and shielded the cake with aluminum foil once it started browning. The result was a delicious moist cake.

  65. Miriam July 9, 2014 Reply

    I baked this cake tonight and it turned out amazing! I did make a few changes since I was afraid of a dense cake. I used a bundt pan at 350 which finished in 30 minutes (though my oven tends to be a bit on the hot end). I also added 1 tsp of baking soda and used laban (fermented yogurt/milk) in place of regular milk. for the frosting, I reduced the cream cheese frosting in half starting with 1/2 cup of conf. sugar and adding until it was mildly sweet and runny in consistency since I also prepared a dark chocolate frosting to glaze the cake. It had the perfect amount of sweetness to please everyone in the house. I will definitely save the recipe for another occasion.

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