This Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing combines a deliciously nutty cake with a sweet and simple banana icing. A beautiful and irresistible dessert!

Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing topped with chopped pecans

I have a green metal box full of my grandmother’s handwritten recipes. She loved baking, too, so it’s packed with lots of great baking recipes. When I find myself needing some baking inspiration, I love to look through it and see what jumps out at me.

Recently, I came across one of her recipes for a banana icing. No cake, just the icing. As I started thinking of what kind of cake would go well with the icing, my mind kept returning to the idea of a pecan cake. Pairing that delicate icing with a nutty cake seemed like an idea I just needed to put into action.

Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing on a milk glass cake stand

Never one to shy away from pecans, I dove in and made a new favorite cake packed with pecans and a hint of cinnamon. It proved to be a perfect complement to a simple, sweet banana icing. And, of course, I couldn’t resist serving it on one of my grandmother’s cake stands. Beautiful, isn’t it?

For a simple garnish, a sprinkling of chopped, toasted pecans is just the thing. You get a little extra crunch with an easy topping that brings in even more pecan flavor. I don’t usually go overboard with cake decorating, so this type of treatment is right up my alley.

sliced Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing

This Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing is a lovely and delicious choice for a special occasion or no occasion at all. I really love the flavors and the combination of textures. It’s a little off the beaten path of traditional cake flavors, so it’s a great way to shake up your cake game a bit.

Find more cake recipes in the Recipe Index.

Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing

Yield: 12 to 14 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing is a wonderfully nutty cake with a simple banana icing.

For the cake:

  • 2 cups (240g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup (150g) packed light brown sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (227g) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup (60g) chopped pecans

For the icing:

  • 1 large banana
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 16 ounces (454g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2-4 tablespoons coarsely chopped pecans, toasted (optional)

Directions:

To make the cake:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon. Set aside.
  3. Beat the butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the vanilla.
  4. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix until combined. Stir in the sour cream. Stir in the pecans.
  5. Bake 22-25 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pans on wire rack.

To make the icing:

  1. In a large bowl, mash the banana. Stir in the butter and lemon juice. Add the sugar in 3-4 additions and mix until smooth and spreadable.
  2. Place one cake layer on a cake plate. Cover the top with half of the icing. Top with the remaining cake layer. Cover the top with remaining icing. Garnish, if desired, with pecans.
  3. Refrigerate cake until frosting has set (1-2 hours) before serving.

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    30 Comments on “Pecan Layer Cake with Banana Icing”

  1. Yum! That cake looks and sounds amazing. I heard of Banana icing a while ago and was intreaged, I willl definitely have to give it a try!

  2. Beautiful, indeed. And I have bananas on my counter right now…thank you!

  3. The stand is beautiful and the cake looks simple and very tasty 🙂 Thanks for always sharing great recipes!!

  4. I never would’ve though to put banana in icing. Props to your grandma.

  5. Omgygoodness look at that pure white icing on that buttery nutty cake! I always love a goood cake kudos to your grandma. Keep it up!
    -Simply Bakes

  6. You had me at banana icing! This cake looks amazing, so much, that I had to “pin” it! I trust this meets with your approval! 🙂

  7. Looks amazing! If only computers could provide taste tests.

  8. When do you use the sour cream?!

  9. Kerry, it’s in the 4th paragraph of the cake instructions. Right before the pecans are added.

  10. Due to a general lack of talent, I steer clear of layer cakes. 🙂 Do you think this cake would work as a 13×9?

  11. I am going to give it a shot! I will try to remember to post the results, I will probably forget! 🙁

  12. Hi Jennifer! This recipe sounds incredible, especially the banana icing OMG, and I wanted to stop by to let you know I featured it in my Sunday Sweeties Easter Links 🙂
    http://teenagecakeland.wordpress.com/2013/03/31/sunday-sweeties-331-easter-links/

  13. Looks yummy! I’m going to make this for my Easter dessert! Will let you know how it turns out!

  14. I made your cake and gave you credit. It was delicious.

  15. Hi Jennifer I would love to make this cake it looks delicious. But I have a little problem I don’t like bananas in cakes. Can I omit the banana in the frosting. 🍰😀

    • Hi, Eve. Omitting the banana will change the texture of the icing, and I’m not sure how well it will work. You could always use a different icing or frosting. Try looking here for some other options you might like.

  16. Hello, looks amaze. I have a lot of good compliments from many of your cakes I have made! Should the banana be very ripe or not? Thank you!

  17. The flavours of this cake and icing sound perfect. I have pinned this recipe. Thank you for sharing yet another delicious recipe.

  18. Hi! Can I add a banana to the cake mixture also?

    • The question Ailyn wrote sounds very delicious to me. My Mother used to make a banana cake with banana icing. Do you think this cake would be good with a banana or two mashed in the cake batter? Thank you in advance.

    • Hi, Ailyn. You’d be changing the consistency of the batter by introducing more moisture and liquid with the banana. My guess is that you’d need to add more flour to get the right consistency. Without testing it, I can’t say for sure how to make that adjustment. If I were trying it, I’d probably add a couple more tablespoons of flour and assess the batter’s consistency from there. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d need about another 1/4 cup total. If you do happen to try it, please let me know how it works.

  19. This cake looked and sounded beautiful. I decided to make it yesterday for my husband’s 55th birthday. I cook and bake regularly by the way. The cake itself didn’t produce much height for whatever reason. I redid it and started over. The second one’s came out the same 😕 Today I worked on the banana frosting. Although it tastes good enough, it was extremely runny. I followed it exactly as it was written. It does not look like the photo from your site. Now all I’m hoping for is that the taste of it is a winner, otherwise it just wasn’t worth my time or effort. Sadly! I don’t understand what went wrong, as mentioned I cook and bake regularly, plus I didn’t tweek, I followed all instructions. It should have been fairly basic and simple.

    • Hi, Joanne. I’m sorry you had troubles! Without being there with you in your kitchen, it’s hard to say exactly what happened. I wouldn’t say this is an exceptionally tall cake, but it should rise to look like the photos. I’d start by checking that your leavening ingredients are still good. All sorts of things can give varying results, even with variances among brands of ingredients.

  20. So here’s the final comment on this pecan cake with banana frosting I made for my husband’s 55th birthday yesterday. He enjoyed it, as did our daughter, as did our neighbor. My son was not fond of the banana frosting…but he’s picky I admit. The banana frosting is one of the best parts of this cake. 🤗😉😋

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