Thiseasy and delicious banana snack cake is light in texture, but always moist, with just the right amount of banana flavour. Makes 8×8 or 9×13 pan, with optional cream cheese frosting.

banana snack cake sliced with cream cheese frosting

Why you’ll love this banana snack cake recipe

You’ll love that this is a small banana snack cake, for those of us who just have a couple of people snacking :) I call it a snack cake, since it’s more casual than a layer cake, so it’s easy to enjoy anytime, without the fuss.

Make this in an 8×8 pan or a 9-inch round cake pan for a small banana cake. You can even make it smaller, by making a half recipe and baking in an 8×4-inch loaf pan! For those times when you want more cake, simply double the recipe and make a 9×13-inch banana snack cake.

This banana cake has the perfect texture! Moist, but light and never dense or wet. It also has just the right amount of banana flavour. It actually stands really well on its own, but if you’re feeling a frosting, it offers a lot of options. I love to pipe a little dollop of cream cheese frosting on top, but you can also just enjoy plain or frost the top completely. (scroll down to explore some classic banana cake frosting options!).

Finally, this banana snack cake keeps really well on the counter, in the fridge (recommended if using cream cheese frosting) or it freezes beautifully, too.

Key Ingredients

Bananas – you’ll need about 2 medium ripe bananas for the 1 cup of mashed banana that the basic recipe calls for. The more ripe the bananas, the more banana flavour you will get in your banana cake, so don’t be afraid to leave them until they are quite dark.

I usually use fresh bananas, but if you have frozen bananas, you can thaw, drain for a bit in a colander (to get rid of any excess moisture) and use in this recipe. It’s best if they are at room temperature when used, like the other cake ingredients.

Process Photos

photo collage of making banana snack cake

I baked my cake in a 9-inch round springform pan. I lined the bottom of the pan with a round of parchment paper, so I could easily remove the cake from the base. After the cake was cooled, I lightly scored the top of the cake with a knife, dividing the round into 8 even slices.

I used a cream cheese frosting (recipe below), that I put into a piping bag. I used a Wilton 1M piping tip (any star tip will work) and added a little pat of frosting to each slice.

Baking pan options

You can use any of the following baking pans. You can use the scale recipe buttons on the Recipe Card below to increase or decrease the recipe …

For the base recipe (1X):
8×8-inch square cake pan
9-inch round cake pan or springform pan

For a double recipe (2X):
9×13-inch cake pan

For a mini cake (1/2X):
8×4-inch loaf pan

Frosting Options

All recipes for a small 8×8 or 9-inch round cake. Double for a 9×13 cake.

Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups icing/confectioners’ sugar

Cream together cream cheese and butter. Mix in vanilla. Add confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.

Brown Butter Frosting:
1/4 cup butter
2 cups icing/confectioners’ sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbling and golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in confectioners’ sugar, milk and vanilla until a smooth.

Brown Sugar Frosting:

1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 Tablespoons milk
1 1/4 – 1 1/2 cups icing/confectioners’ sugar

In a medium saucepan, bring brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil over medium heat. Boil, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to lukewarm. Gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency.

You can also sprinkle the frosting with chopped walnuts or pecans.

Cake Baking Tips

Cakes are more than just mixing up a bunch of ingredients. There are common techniques in cake making that contributes to the quality of the finished cake. If you’re a new baker, here are the things to pay attention to, to enjoy the best possible cake …

Room temperature butter, eggs and milk – it’s always best to have all ingredients at the same temperature, so when you take the butter out of the fridge to soften, grab the eggs and milk, too and let them come to room temperature as well.

Creaming the butter – Creaming butter is a very common baking technique, but how it’s done is important to the end result of your cake. Creaming should be done at medium speed (not high). You should cream the mixture for the time indicated in the recipe. Set a timer, as it’s very easy to think you’ve done it long enough when you haven’t really.

Scraping the bowl – scrape the bowl as needed, but especially after adding the eggs and vanilla and before adding the dry ingredients. Unincorporated butter mixture can often be hiding under the paddle if using a stand mixer, so be sure to scrape the bottom, as well. Give the mixture a quick beat after scraping down the bowl.

Measuring the flour – it is best practice to spoon and level when measuring flour. That means using a spoon to over-fill a dry measuring cup, then using the back of a knife to scrape evenly across the top of the measuring cup to level it off.

Preparing the baking pan – I swear by baking spray myself, but spray oil works well, too. If you don’t have either of those, you can brush lightly with vegetable oil. If you want to remove the cake from the pan in one piece easily, line the bottom of the pan with a square or round of parchment paper.

How the colour of your baking pan affects baking time – very dark or black metal baking pans will cook more quickly than lighter coloured pans. Sometimes it’s advisable to lower the oven temperature by 25 degrees F. to compensate and/or you can just be sure to check your cakes earlier. I didn’t reduce the baking temperature here and I used a dark grey springform pan. You can see that the edges of my cake are a darker golden colour (which I don’t mind really, as I kind of like the more crisp texture) and my cake may have baked more quickly than your cake will in a lighter pan. So just keep that in mind. If you prefer/want a lighter coloured cake, reduce the oven temperature with your darker pans.

Making ahead, storing and freezing

This banana cake keeps well stored on the counter for several days if not frosted. If you frost with cream cheese frosting, it is advisable to store in the fridge. You can also freeze it, well wrapped, for up to 2 months.

banana snack cake sliced with cream cheese frosting

banana snack cake sliced with cream cheese frosting

Get the Recipe: Banana Snack Cake

Light, but moist banana snack cake. Enjoy plain or frost with your favourite frosting. Makes an 8x8-inch or 9-inch round cake or double for a 9x13-inch cake.
5 stars from 1 rating
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Yield: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter, salted or unsalted, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups white granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature, slightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, measured with the spoon and level method
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt, reduce to 1/4 tsp if using salted butter
  • 1/2 cup milk, whole or 2% milk recommended, at room temperature

Instructions
 

  • Take your butter, eggs and milk out of the refrigerator to come to room temperature before starting.
  • Preheat oven to 350F (regular bake/not fan assisted). *Reduce temperature by 25F for glass pans or very dark (black) baking pans.
  • Prepare an 8x8-inch square cake pan or 9-inch round cake pan or springform baking pan (or 9x13-inch pan if doubling the recipe) by spraying with baking spray, cooking spray or by brushing lightly with vegetable oil. If you want to remove the entire cake from the pan easily, line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl with an electric mixer or the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter at medium speed for 1-2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and gradually add the sugar until all the sugar has been added. Break the eggs into a small bowl and beat with a fork slightly. Add eggs to the batter and beat in thoroughly. Scrape down the bowl well and remix briefly. Add mashed banana and vanilla and beat in.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk dry ingredients together the flour, baking soda and salt. With mixer on medium-low, add the flour mixture to batter, alternately with the milk. (That means to add 1/3 of the flour, followed by 1/2 of the milk, the next 1/3 of the flour, the remaining milk and then the remaining flour mixture). Mix just until combined and smooth. (Do not over-mix after adding the flour).
  • Pour batter into prepared pan and smooth and level the top of the batter.
  • Bake at 350F 35-40 minutes (for 8x8 or 9-inch round cakes), or until a tester inserted in the centre of the cake comes out clean. (9x13 may take slightly longer. If doing a 1/2 recipe in a loaf pan, start checking earlier). Baking time will vary, depending on oven and baking pan. Check regularly after 30 minutes of baking. Avoid opening the oven door until you feel that the cake is ready to be tested. It is ready to be tested when it is slightly domed (not concave on top) and evenly golden.
  • Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in the pan completely, or at least 20-25 minutes, before removing from the pan to a wire rack to cool.
  • See below for some optional frosting options. If frosting, ensure that the cake is fully cooled before adding any frosting.

Notes

Baking Pan Options:
You can use any of the following baking pans. You can use the scale recipe buttons on the Recipe Card below to increase or decrease the recipe ...
For the base recipe (1X):
8x8-inch square cake pan
9-inch round cake pan or springform pan
For a double recipe (2X):
9x13-inch cake pan
For a mini cake (1/2X):
8x4-inch loaf pan
Frosting Options: All recipes for a small 8x8 or 9-inch round cake. Double for a 9x13 cake.
Cream Cheese Frosting:
4 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
2 Tbsp butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups icing/confectioners' sugar
Cream together cream cheese and butter. Mix in vanilla. Add confectioners sugar and beat until smooth.
Brown Butter Frosting:
1/4 cup butter
2 cups icing/confectioners' sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until bubbling and golden brown, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Whisk in confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla until a smooth.
Brown Sugar Frosting:
1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
2 Tablespoons butter, at room temperature
3 Tablespoons milk
1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups icing/confectioners' sugar
In a medium saucepan, bring brown sugar, butter and milk to a boil over medium heat. Boil, stirring, for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the frosting to cool to lukewarm. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar until frosting reaches spreading consistency.
You can also sprinkle the frosting with chopped walnuts or pecans. If using cream cheese frosting, refrigerate cake to store.
Nutritional information listed is for cake only and does not include any optional frosting.
Cuisine: American, Canadian
Course: Dessert
Author: Jennifer
Calories: 403kcal, Carbohydrates: 67g, Protein: 6g, Fat: 13g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 4g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 78mg, Sodium: 341mg, Potassium: 145mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 41g, Vitamin A: 463IU, Vitamin C: 2mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @seasonsandsuppers on Instagram or tag #seasonsandsuppers.

 

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