This Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is my go-to recipe for this classic treat. Made with sour cream, so it’s always moist and topped with a generous layer of cream cheese frosting.

Everyone needs a go-to banana cake recipe and this is mine. I actually made this particular cake before Christmas, to deal with some over-ripe bananas, but it got lost in all the Christmas posts. So I’m just going to quietly put this one out here now. With apologies to anyone on a New Year diet.

There’s nothing fancy about this banana cake, but it’s everything you expect a banana cake to be. Lots of banana flavour in a moist, but not too dense cake. And of course, on top is a generous layer of cream cheese icing, because it’s just … well, the icing on the cake!

I garnished my cake with some chopped walnuts, since I happened to have some around left-over from holiday baking. You can skip if you like, or use pecans instead, if you like them better. I have always loved the slightly bitter flavour of walnuts with the sweet icing myself.

Simply Perfect Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cook’s Notes for Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Be sure to have your ingredients at room temperature, as noted in the recipe. This is particularly true for the frosting. Take your cream cheese out of the fridge well ahead, to be sure it has time to come to room temperature. It won’t whip up well if it’s cold (it will be lumpy).

Starting with really over-ripe bananas will create the most banana flavour in this cake, so be patient and wait until they are good and dark.

And no, it’s not a typo. It really does bake at 300 degrees F. As for baking time, use it a rough guide. Simply bake it until it tests clean with a cake tester, as long as that takes :) Some bakers have had to bake up to 1 hour and 50 minutes. So be patient and test the center regularly after about 80 minutes.

Observant readers may note that I scored the top of my frosting in to “slices”. I kind of like the look. If you’d like to do that, simply score the top of the frosting into triangle-shaped “slices” by running your knife from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock, then from 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock, then finally score each of the quarters into 3 slices, for a total of 12 “slices”. Again, I’m just scoring the very top of the frosting, not actually cutting in to the cake. I then scatter the walnuts in to the “slices”. It’s a little thing, but it looks pretty and actually helps with me with portion control, so I’m not tempted to take an overly generous slice :)

Simply Perfect Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Simply Perfect Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

A classic banana cake recipe, that is full of banana flavour and lovely and moist. Topped with a generous layer of cream cheese frosting. Freezes well!

Cake:

  • 3/4 cup butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • ½ cup sour cream (full fat recommended)
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (about 2 large bananas)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk (at least 2%)

For Cream Cheese Icing (for 10-inch round cake. See recipe below re 9×13 amounts):

  • 6 oz. cream cheese (at room temperature)
  • 3 Tbsp butter (at room temperature)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
  • 2 1/4 cups icing/confectioners' sugar

Garnish (Optional):

  • 1/4 cup finely chopped walnuts
  1. For the cake: Preheat oven to 300 F.
  2. Grease an 10-inch round springform pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper. (Alternately, you can bake this as a 9×13 cake. It will be a little shorter and will bake in the 60-65 minute range. You may want to up the frosting amounts to 8 oz. cream cheese/4 Tbsp butter/ 2 tsp vanilla and 3 cups icing sugar, if you want a nice thick layer of frosting).

  3. In a large bowl with an electric mixer or in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the sour cream and mashed bananas and mix until combined. Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the side of the bowl, as needed. Stir in vanilla.
  4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Add the flour mixture to the batter in three additions, alternating with the milk in between flour additions, until all is added and just combined. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  6. Bake cake in preheated oven for anywhere from 1 hour and 20 minutes – 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean (test and be sure!). Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes, then cover the top with aluminum foil and place in to the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, or until completely cool.
  7. For the frosting: In a medium bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and butter. Add the vanilla and icing sugar and beat until smooth and glossy.
  8. Remove cake from refrigerator and remove the foil from the top. Spoon the prepared frosting on top of the cake and spread completely over the top in an even layer. Sprinkle top with finely chopped walnuts, if using. Gently run a knife around the edge of the pan, then loosen the outer ring of the springform pan. Carefully run a knife around under the cake, between the ring bottom and the parchment paper. When loosened, slide the cake, still with the parchment on the bottom, onto a serving platter.
  9. Can be stored at room temperature or the fridge.


 

Got bananas? Here’s a few more banana recipes from the Seasons and Suppers archive

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30 Comments



  • Hi there

    If I wanted to add chocolate chips to this cake how much would you reccomend.. my son asked for a banana chocolate chip cake

  • This cake and the cream cheese frosting are a delicious combination. I always make it using two 8 inch cake pans for a layer cake and baking time at 300 degrees is just shy of 70 minutes. I make a bit more frosting in order to frost between the layers and around the edges.

  • I made this cake yesterday and it was delicious! I love that it’s not as dense as banana bread. As another commenter found, I couldn’t get the centre fully cooked and it definitely wasn’t close to being done after 80 minutes (it wasn’t an oven temperature issue as I have an oven thermometer). I cooked it for 30 minutes longer (in 10 minute intervals) and managed to get it pretty much cooked (tiniest bit of crumb sticking to the toothpick), but I worried it would make the edges dry. No need to worry because the edges were still perfectly moist and delicious! I didn’t have any cream cheese in the house, so I made a chocolate buttercream for it and it was so so good. I can’t wait to try it with the cream cheese frosting.

  • I just love this cake and have made it a few times now. But I always have the same problem no matter how long I cook it for, the center never fully cooks. any advice…other than that this a perfect banana cake and my whole family loves it.

    • Hi Jenn, So glad you are enjoying this cake :) As the the center not being cooked, the first thing would be to bake longer, but sounds like you have extended the baking time already? You can lay a piece of foil over-top to prevent over-browning, while you leave it in the oven a little longer. Beyond that, you might try a different size pan, maybe using the 9×13 instead of the springform. Hope that helps.

  • Can we use ricotta ? It is a whey cheese – whatever that means – I am draining it in the fridge through muslin just in case
    Banana cake baking in the oven now as we speak..

    • I assume you mean for the icing Louisa? I really don’t think ricotta would be a great substitute for cream cheese. To my taste, ricotta is quite bland in flavour and for icing, wouldn’t be nearly as creamy.

  • Had a decent banana cake receipe but, since your receipes are ALWAYS delicious, I decided to try a new one.
    The bananas were on the counter getting blacker & blacker. My husband was surprised that they were actually going into the cake!
    Ended up using a 9 x 13 pan since I don’t have a 10-inch springform pan. Followed your instructions & ended up with an exceptionally moist, very yummy cake.
    Took a few pieces to my neighbour (who enjoys treats). Her comment was “be still my heart”!
    My previous receipe – history!

    • So glad to hear! I have some ripe bananas right now, which is good, because I’m craving this one all of a sudden :)

  • This looks “simply perfect”! It seems that banana cake is a universal pleaser and I can’t imagine anyone refusing a slice of this one! I love your cutting/scoring trick too!

  • Banana bread is literally a staple in our household, we never seem to go a few days without making a new loaf. I’d love to try your banana cake recipe, looks so moist and that cream cheese frosting is definitely not to miss! Must have walnuts:) Pinned!

    • Perfect Lisa! I always seem to have over-ripe bananas around. My husband buys them every time he comes shopping with me and then doesn’t eat them. I’ll never understand that, but on the plus side, I have lots of bananas for baking :) Enjoy!

  • This really does look like the perfect Banana Cake Jennifer! Love walnuts in banana cake too – or on top – or both. I can smell this baking now – but will have to wait until the New Year’s diet is over before making this :) Hope you have a warm (er) weekend!

    • Thanks Tricia! I used to put walnuts in the cake, but one of my family members complained (can’t even remember which one now :), so I stick ’em on top now, figuring they could always scrape them off .

I love hearing from you, so if you have a question or something isn't quite clear, I'm happy to help. If you made this recipe, I'd love to know how you liked it ~ Jennifer

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