Best Ever Banana Cake

Did you notice anything funny about my picture?

Nothing at all?

How about that I have a slice of cake and I have a whole cake showing?   That’s because I baked three of these beauties.  Two for us, and one for my mom who recently had surgery to repair a badly broken arm.

Well I just wouldn’t be me if I didn’t bring someone a piece of cake when they were on the mend….

Banana Cake is one hundred percent comfort food to me.  So moist and delicious with Cream Cheese Frosting.   That is’ lick the bowl clean’ frosting.  So delicious.   I always add some freshly grated nutmeg to my banana cake recipe.  I think it gives banana cakes and breads just a little kick of flavour.

And, I love making them in 6 inch pans.  I rarely make a cake that’s any larger anymore.  It’s the perfect size for a family treat and to give as a gift.

One of my favourite icing technique’s is “tomboy” style from the Miette Bakery in San Fransisco.  I think its’ very simple.  No icing on the sides, just on the layers and an elegant swirl on the top.

I hope my mom enjoys her treat and that her road to recovery is a piece of cake.

Best Ever Banana Cake

*adapted from 

Note:  I have recently changed this recipe to include the use of oil or butter.  I find oil produces a much more moist and tender cake.   Either ingredient is an option! The recipe on recommends immediately putting the cake in the freezer after removing it from the oven.  I did not follow this step.

  • 1 ½ cups bananas , mashed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • generous pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • ¾ cup oil or unsalted butter, at room temp
  • 2 18; cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk, room temperature
Preheat oven to 275°.  Grease and flour 3 6 inch cake pans.  You can also make this in a 9 x 13 inch pan.
1.  In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.  In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda , nutmeg and salt; set aside.
2.  In a large bowl, mix oil/butter and sugar until well combined.  Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add in 2 tsp vanilla.
3.  On low, add the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.  Stir in banana mixture.
4.  Pour batter into prepared pans and bake in preheated oven for one hour and 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (start checking at the hour mark).   Cool for 10 minutes in pans.  Unmold 6″ cakes on to wire racks and cool completely.  If using a 9 x 13 pan, you can cool completely in the pan and ice it directly in the pan for easy clean up!

Cream Cheese Frosting

*this makes just enough for two of the cakes

  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 pound cream cheese softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 pound sifted powdered sugar

For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Beat in the vanilla.  Add icing sugar and beat on low-speed until combined.  Slice cooled 6″ cake into two layers.  Place the bottom layer onto a cake board or plate.  Pipe or spread a layer of icing on top.  Place the second cake layer on top.  Pipe or spread another icing layer (I don’t ice the sides).  Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top of the frosting, if desired.


  1. This makes enough icing for two of the 6″ cakes.
  2. These cakes freeze extremely well.  Make one 6″ cake for now and freeze the other two for later!
  3. This batter also makes excellent cupcakes.
  4. Oven temp can be easily changed to 350°- just decrease baking time to approx. 40 minutes for the cakes and 20 minutes for cupcakes.


Filed under Cake

60 responses to “Best Ever Banana Cake

  1. dianne butler

    where did you get the 6 inch pans?

  2. Tesei

    Renée, so far I’ve always made Nigella’s Banana Bread which I thought was delicious and of the “no-fail” type. I will certainly try yours, it looks lovely, I’m sure it will encourage your mother’s recovery!

  3. I love the idea of making 6″ round cakes for gift-giving. Your banana cakes look wonderful and I hope that your Mom’s arm is healing well.

  4. Francesca

    Thank you Renee for this lovely, lovely recipe. I have just made this cake and it smells beautiful. Mine cake does not look nearly a professional nor as impressive as yours… am I doing something wrong? I bought six inch pans especially, with sides allowing for a 3 inch depth, like the ones you recommended. I set my oven at 275 degrees and cooked the cake for 1hr 20 minutes… something doesn’t seem right though. It just looks a bit ‘scruffy’ around the edges, and although it’s beautifully moist, it’s a bit crumby/crumbly – is this right? Why does the original recipe recommend freezing it right away? Just curious. I stuck by your recipe but I just wondered if and what difference this would make. Thank you again, and I am sorry for asking so many questions. Francesca

    • Don’t apologize Francesca! I’m not sure why your cake is crumbly? Sounds like you did all the right things! Sometimes cake can be a bit crumbly if has been removed from the pan too soon?
      I’m guessing that they freeze immediately after baking because any condensation will be absorbed by the cake and will make it super moist. I wouldn’t recommend freezing immediately after because that can alter the temperature of your freezer (and break it over time) and affect the other foods you have in there! Really, this cake is pretty moist without that step.
      I bet once you have added your icing and let it set in the fridge for a bit it will be divine! Let me know what you thought of the taste. I’m sure it looks great.

  5. Georgia

    Looks delicious! I definitely have to try this!

  6. Jen

    I am always more of a banana bread person than banana cake, because I find banana cakes are often too sweet (and almost fake banana tasting) and not what I am realy looking for when I make something with bananas. But I like how light in color and texture this cake looks, and the lemon juice with the bananas. Will give it a go this weekend 🙂

  7. I always make our family recipe but I love the idea of adding nutmeg – I’ll definitely try that next time!

  8. It looks so yummy! My mom loves banana bread and I love just about any type of cake, so we’re definitely gonna have to try this 🙂

  9. scribbleofhappygoluckygal

    thats yummyy… i want it now..!!!:(

  10. Shannon McCarthy

    This chocolate banana cake really is the best ever =) Made it for my husband this past weekend and between him and my grand-kids, it was gone in no time flat. Thanks for sharing.
    – Shannon, the Crumb Cake Queen

  11. Jessica

    Is this recipe correct with the temp at 275? Or should it be 375?

  12. Sarah

    I was a little nervous making this cake- never heard of baking at 275 before! But it turned out beautifully : ) thank you so much for sharing the recipe! I made it for my own birthday cake lol My entire house smells delicious, and I loved the addition of nutmeg to the cake. I added a 1/2 tsp of rum to the frosting and love how it turned out as well. Thank you!

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  15. Flo Valdes

    I have made this recipe already four times!! It has the most appropriate title ever!! It is truly the BEST banana cake I’ve ever had! Its simply delish. I have tried making these in cupcakes. However, while baking in the oven they collapsed. Did I do something wrong? Should I have increased the temp.? Please help! Thank you for posting this recipe!!

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  17. Ann

    Can u make this cake in a tube cake pan ? Any alteration in oven temp?

  18. can you make this cake in regular 9″ pans? If so what temp.?

  19. Sara

    this turned out great! Love the recipe!!!!!! Can I make them into cupcakes as well? Would the 275 still work and how do you think i should adjust the bake time?

  20. Have you ever tried this as cupcakes? Do you think it would work?

  21. msdecaf64

    Do you think this would work as cupcakes?

  22. Paula

    Just wondering, why do you make 3 layers, but you only show 2?

    • Hi Paula,
      This actually makes 3 small cakes, which are then layered and iced. Each six inch cake is cut into two layers. I only showed two cakes because I gave one away! You can always bake it as cupcakes and a 9 x 13 cake if you don’t have the 6″ pans. I’ve made some additional notes on the post to make it more clear. This cake is outstanding! Give it a try!

  23. Hayden clark

    Hi! I’m super excited to make this beautiful cake but i was wondering if a 9×1 1/2 round cake pan would work? And if so Should I use just one or two of them? Thanks so much!

  24. Jen

    Lovely cake but was surprised how sweet it was- and I’m usually someone that loves sweet stuff. I even went back over the recipe to make sure I had done it correctly. I’ve never had cake this sweet. I use grams and halved everything… I must have done something wrong!

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  26. xila

    is there a way to make this without buttermilk? I live in France and I dont think thats sold here):

  27. Karen

    Can I use dried nutmeg? If so, how much?

  28. Ali g

    Seems like a long to bake it?

  29. Ali g

    I just made this and it is truly amazing!

  30. Jaime

    Best banana cake recipe, hands down! Thanks for the amazing recipe.

  31. Xila

    can you use Mascarpone instead of cream cheese for the frosting?

  32. Valli

    I must try this. Are you using over-ripened bananas or ripe firm ones? And how should I adjust recipe for 9″ pans. Or should I just go with the 9×13 pan if I need more?

  33. Jocelyn Lemaire

    what is the measurement for two sticks of butter. we dont have the sticks here in french polynesia…mauruuru:)

  34. Does this recipe work for high altitude….i live in Colorado.

    • I can’t say Julia I’ve never received feedback about that. I would increase your oven temp by about 15-25 degrees and watch your baking time. You may need to add an extra egg and just use 1 tsp of baking soda. Let me know your results!

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