A dense, moist banana cake is delicious on its own, but topping it with sweet-and-tangy cream cheese frosting makes it next-level amazing!
An Easy Frosted Banana Cake Recipe
When you think “banana cake,” you’re probably imagining something similar to banana bread. While this recipe does have that same cozy flavor and moistness, the similarities end there. While banana bread might masquerade as a health food (even though we know it’s totally not!), there’s no mistaking this banana cake for anything other than a dessert. It’s incredibly dense, much sweeter than bread, and the icing on the cake is, well…the icing on the cake!
Cream cheese frosting is definitely the best pairing with this cake because it balances out that sweetness with a touch of tanginess, and the creamy, whipped texture is a foil to the dense layer of cake beneath. If you’re making this for a get-together, you can jazz up the top by garnishing with chopped nuts or a drizzle of homemade dulce de leche, but it’s really perfect as-is.
What You’ll Need
If you have overripe bananas and a well-stocked pantry, you probably have most of what you need to make this recipe!
For the cake:
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Unsalted butter – Take it out of the fridge and let it soften before you start the recipe.
- Canola oil – Vegetable oil works if that’s what you have on hand.
- Granulated sugar
- Eggs – Bring the eggs to room temperature.
- Egg white – Yes, the egg white needs to be at room temperature too!
- Vanilla extract
- Ripe bananas
- Milk – I prefer baking with whole or reduced-fat (2%) milk.
For the frosting:
- Cream cheese – Take your cream cheese out of the fridge while the cake cools.
- Vanilla extract
- Confectioners’ sugar
- Toasted nuts – These are optional.
How to Make Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Ready to roll up your sleeves and get started? Here’s what you’ll need to do:
Prepare. Preheat your oven to 375°F and spray an 8-inch square pan with cooking spray.
Mix the dry ingredients. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
Mix the wet ingredients. Use an electric mixer to beat the butter, oil, and sugar. Beat in the eggs and egg white one at a time, then beat in the vanilla.
Mash the bananas. In a third bowl, use a fork to mash the bananas with the milk.
Make the cake batter. Gradually add half of the dry ingredients into the butter mixture, then stir in the bananas. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Pour the cake batter into the prepared baking pan.
Bake and cool. Bake the banana cake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack.
Make the frosting. Beat the cream cheese and vanilla using an electric mixer on medium speed. Reduce the speed and slowly add the confectioners’ sugar.
Frost the cake. Spread the frosting onto the cake and sprinkle with nuts, if using.
Tips for Success
Here are some tips to help you make the perfect banana cake.
- Don’t overmix the batter. It’s okay for there to be a few streaks of flour in the batter; that’s always better than mixing too much and ruining the texture of the cake!
- Consider mix-ins. The nuts can go in the cake instead of on top if you like, or you can add chocolate chips.
- Make it into cupcakes. Reduce the baking time by half to make banana cupcakes.
How to Store
Because it has cream cheese frosting, you’ll need to store this cake in the refrigerator. Tightly wrapped, it will last for 2 to 3 days.
Can This Recipe Be Frozen?
Yes, you can freeze this cake! Wrap it well and freeze it for up to 2 months; thaw it in the refrigerator before serving. If you’d like to freeze individual pieces, I recommend freezing them on a baking sheet lined with wax paper until the frosting is frozen through, then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag. This keeps the frosting intact.