When my youngest son, Ryan, asked me to have a banana party for his third birthday last week, I was at a loss for what to do for food. I have a few recipes I make with bananas, but nothing that would be good for a birthday cake. So, of course, I scoured the internet for ideas, while also trying to come up with my own.
I found a recipe (here) that is called the Best Ever Banana Cake, so figured I would give it a shot. I made my cake very similar to this, and it was a hit! Everyone loved the cake. I hadn’t even tried it before we served it for the party, so I warned everyone that it was something new and no guarantees.
The original recipe says to bake it in a 9×13 baking pan, but I wanted a round cake for Ryan, so I did it a bit different than the directions. Either way, this cake was amazing.
If you plan to make a banana cake (and you totally should), you need to have a few hours to make it. The cake itself is easy to mix, but it has to bake for over an hour. Then, if you want to frost the cake, you need to let it cool entirely first, so the frosting doesn’t melt right off.
Start by preheating the oven to 275F. I thought this seemed low, but the cake stayed very moist since it was slow cooked. Grease and flour your cake pans. I forgot the “and flour” part of this and was still able to get the cakes out, but it took a little more work than it should have. I used two 9-inch round pans for my cake.
Mash the bananas in a small bowl and mix in the lemon juice to keep them from turning brown.
In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt and set that aside.
Cream together butter and sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer or a stand mixer. Keep mixing on medium-high speed until it is nice and fluffy without lumps.
Add the eggs, one at a time, as well as the vanilla extract. Then beat in small amounts of the flour and buttermilk at a time, alternating between the two, followed by the mashed bananas.
Pour the batter into your cake pan(s) and bake for at least one hour, until a toothpick comes out clean. My cakes took closer to an hour and a half until they were done, so make sure to keep a close eye on their progress.
Remove the cakes from the oven and cool on a wire rack until they are completely cooled.
When you are ready to frost the cakes, combine the butter and cream cheese in a large bowl and use an electric mixer or stand mixer to beat until they are smooth and creamy. Add in the vanilla extract.
Slowly add the powdered sugar to the bowl on low speed until it is all combined, then turn up the speed to mix until the frosting is smooth. If you want to add any color (I suggest yellow since it is a banana cake), then add it in before turning up the speed.
Frost your cakes, putting some in between the layers if you made multiple cakes. I only used a little to hold the layers together, but I ended up with a decent amount of leftover frosting, so would put more in the middle next time, so you get a nice layer of frosting. Then frost the outsides fo the cake.
A trick I’ve found to keep your serving plate clean is to cut up pieces of parchment paper and slide them slightly under the edges of the cake all the way around. Frost your cake, then once it’s done you can gently pull the pieces of parchment paper away and your serving plate it clean of stray frosting.
Slice up enough bananas to go around the outside on the bottom and to put a few on the top. I used two bananas for this but didn’t have them touching. If you want a solid line of bananas, you will probably need three. Last, I sprinkled the cake with some yellow sugar sprinkles. If you put color in the frosting, you probably don’t need the sprinkles as well.
Elegant and Creamy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 bananas (overripe)
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 3 cups flour
- 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 12 tbsp butter (softened)
- 2 1/8 cups sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
- 8 tbsp butter (softened)
- 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 275F
- Grease and flour your cake pan(s)
- Mash bananas in a small bowl and mix with lemon juice
- Sift flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl and set aside
- Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer or stand mixer
- Add in eggs, one at a time, then the vanilla extract
- A little at a time, mix in the flour and buttermilk, alternating between the two
- Stir in the mashed bananas
- Pour the batter into the cake pan(s) and bake for about one hour, until a toothpick comes out clean (cook time will vary based on size of cake pan used)
- Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack
- When cakes are completely cool and ready to frost, cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer or stand mixer
- Beat in vanilla extract
- Slowly add powdered sugar while mixing on low speed
- Set mixer to high speed and mix until the frosting is smooth, scraping the sides of the bowl as needed
- Frost the cake as desired