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Easy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe

If the bananas on your counter are getting a little too ripe to eat on their own, it’s time to make our easy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. This old-fashioned banana dessert is soft, tender, and incredibly moist.

Close up view of a single slice of bannana cake topped with frosting and chopped nuts.
Banana Cake With Cream Cheese Frosting

A simple, old-fashioned banana cake cream cheese frosting tops our moist and tasty cake recipe, and it’s all finished off with a sprinkling of chopped walnuts to pull everything together. Keep reading and learn how to make banana cake from scratch.

Tools You’ll Need For Our Easy Recipe for Banana Cake

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  • 9×13 cake pan or baking dish. Not only for baking, I use them to store cupcakes or make our favorite no-bake desserts too.
  • Mixing Bowls – I’ve got this one and love it. It comes with a lid that makes taking and refrigerating my treats a lot easier.
  • Potato Masher (optional). My favorite tool for mashing bananas.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe Ingredients

Ingredients for the Easy Recipe for Banana Cake: flour, vanilla, salt, baking soda, nuts, bananas, butter, egg, buttermilk, sugar, lemon. Hostess At Heart
Banana Cake Cream Cheese Ingredients
  • Ripe Bananas. The bananas should have no green on the peel and have the beginnings of at least a few spots on the skin.
  • Lemon Zest.
  • Lemon Juice. Don’t skip the lemon juice or buttermilk. The acidity of these ingredients combined with the baking soda is one of the reasons this cake rises soft and fluffy. It also ensures a moist crumb.
  • All-Purpose Flour You can use bleached or unbleached flour. One doesn’t act or taste any differently from the other. Unbleached flour is just less processed since it doesn’t go through the step of bleaching it.
  • Baking Soda – Reacts to the liquid in your recipe by creating bubbles that allow baked goods to rise and become light and fluffy.
  • Salt You can use any salt. Our preferences are Kosher salt or Fine sea salt which we feel dissolves better with a less likely chance of salt pockets in our baked goods.
  • Unsalted ButterWe use real butter but you can substitute it with a butter substitute. That may affect the flavor, however. If you use salted butter, you’ll want to reduce the salt to 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Sugar – Granulated white sugar.
  • Large Eggs – Grade A large eggs are what I use for consistency in my recipes.
  • Vanilla – We use pure vanilla extract. However, you can use imitation vanilla extract if that’s what you have.
  • Buttermilk– Makes your cake moist and works as an acid with the baking soda making your cake rise soft and tender. If you don’t have buttermilk, you can make your own or substitute it with yogurt or sour cream.

Cream Cheese Frosting Ingredients

  • Butter – Salted butter or Unsalted butter. If you use unsalted butter, add a pinch (1/8 tsp) of salt.
  • Cream Cheese – We prefer to use full-fat dairy in our baked goods. They’re rich and the added fat makes them creamy.
  • Vanilla – Pure vanilla gives frosting a rich delicious flavor.
  • Powdered Sugar – Also known as confectioners sugar. Did you know you can make your own?
  • Walnuts. Did you know you can freeze nuts? Stock up when they are on sale for the holidays and then freeze them to use in baking all year long.
A sideview of a single piece of Banana Cake frosted and garnished with chopped walnuts - Hostess At Heart

What if I don’t have ripe bananas?

Ripen your banans in the oven! Peel the bananas, place them on a baking sheet, and put them in your oven at 300ºF for 10-15 minutes. This deepens the flavor. Unripe bananas are not good for this recipe for our homemade banana cake recipe.

How do I know if my bananas are ripe?

A good ripe banana has no green on the peel and only a sprinkling of brown spots on the skin. Once it is covered in spots, it is overripe. Overripe bananas are delicious in baking. Just don’t use them if they show signs of mold.

I always have frozen bananas in my freezer. I just throw them in peel and all. When I need them I let them sit a bit to thaw and then remove the peel. The peel turns brown but the banana is perfect for bread or smoothies.

Pro Tip: It’s even easier to make our favorite banana cake recipe anytime if I mash and freeze bananas in freezer-quality bags as soon as they start to get overripe. This allows me to have a steady supply of bananas on hand for this cake or our Banana Bread Recipe with Applesauce, Bananas Foster Cake, or these delicious Banana Blueberry Muffins.

I will even freeze the bananas in the exact amounts (usually 3 medium-sized bananas) I need for my favorite recipes and then label the bags accordingly. I put the banana right in the bag and then mashed it in the bag for zero mess.

Please note, that the printable recipe card has ingredient quantities, complete instructions, and nutritional information. The following is a quick overview of the recipe.

How To Make Banana Cake Recipe with Cream Cheese Frosting

Step 1: Get everything ready to make homemade banana cake.

Preheat your oven and get the pan ready. Pull out all of your ingredients.

Step 2: Mash the bananas.

Top down view of a cup filled with mashed bananas, lemon zest, and lemon juice. Hostess At Heart

In a small bowl, mix the mashed bananas with the lemon juice and zest. Set aside.

Step 3: Mix the dry ingredients in the recipe for banana cake.

A mixing bowl containing flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Hostess At Heart

In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt, and set aside.

Step 4: Cream the butter and sugar.

A mixing bowl filled with creamed butter and sugar

An electric mixer works best for creaming the butter and sugar together. Once light and fluffy beat in the eggs, one at a time, then mix in 2 tsp vanilla.

Step 5: Combine.

Mix the dry ingredients with the buttermilk, then mix that with the banana mixture. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

Step 6: Bake your Banana Cake from Scratch.

Bake and then freeze the cake for 45 minutes. This cools it very quickly.

Step 7: Frost your cooled cake.

Top down view of a baked cake topped with frosting and chopped walnuts - Hostess At Heart

Mix up the frosting and frost the cake. Mix up the frosting and frost the cake. Sprinkle the top of the cake with chopped walnuts.

Popular Variations, Substitutions & Additions

  • Use different cake pans and make a banana layer cake or a beautiful bundt cake. I’ve got a free printable Baking Pan Conversion Sheet.
  • Add chocolate chips for a banana chocolate chip cake.
  • Blueberries are beautiful in this recipe.
  • Add 1⁄2 cup of nuts to the batter for a banana walnut cake.
  • Change up the walnuts for pecans.
  • Our decadent cream cheese frosting is delicious but can be replaced with vanilla frosting or peanut butter frosting is a family favorite.
Side close-up view of a single slice of frosted banana cake garnished with nuts. Hostess At Heart

How To Store This Recipe for Banana Cake

Best Way To Store a From-Scratch Banana Cake

I store this cake in the refrigerator. Let it come to room temperature so the frosting is creamier, and then serve.

Can I Freeze Banana Cake

Freeze frosted or unfrosted. Thaw in the refrigerator. Allow cake to come to room temperature and serve.

Tableview closeup of a single slice of bananna cake. Hostess At Heart

Easy Banana Cake Recipe FAQs

What is the secret of a so and fluffy cake?

Eggs, butter, and buttermilk should be at room temperature; the butter should be spreadable but not melted. Creaming the butter and sugar together keeps the crumb light and tender. Be patient and wait for it to become lighter in color with a fluffy appearance.

Do I have to freeze the cake before frosting it?

No, you don’t. It just speeds up the process by cooling the cake quickly. You can let the cake cool completely before frosting it. Allow 3 hours at room temperature or frost it the next day.

Freezing the cake before frosting it firms the cake making it easier to frost. You can also apply a thin coat of the frosting and then freeze it for 15 minutes, also known as the crumb coat, which helps keep the cake crumbs from getting into the second and final layer of frosting.

Top down view of a slice of cake frosted and garnished with chopped walnuts - Hostess At Heart

Tips for Our Perfect Easy Recipe for Banana Cake

  • Mash bananas with a fork, mixer, or, my favorite, a potato masher. Mash until creamy or keep it chunky. It’s your preference.
  • Slightly beat the eggs before mixing them into the batter. This will help you keep from overmixing the cake batter which will result in a dense cake. 
  • Don’t overbake. Preheat your oven to the right temperature and bake your cake for the shortest time given on the recipe card. Remove the cake when a toothpick or cake tester inserted in the middle of the cake comes out with light crumbs.

I hope you’ll try this incredible banana cake recipe with cream cheese frosting. We truly believe it’s one of the best cakes we’ve ever eaten. You may enjoy our Bananas Foster CakeCuban Rum Cake, and Peanut Butter Bundt Cake recipes too.

I hope you enjoyed this delicious recipe as much as we do. Drop me a comment below, and don’t forget to give it a star rating. ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐. Your comments and ratings help others decide if this recipe is for them too.

Angled view of a single piece of banana cake frosted with cream cheese frosting and garnished with chopped walnuts - Hostess At Heart

Banana Cake w Cream Cheese Frosting

Author: Julie Menghini
Easy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is an old-fashioned banana dessert that's so moist, incredibly soft and tender.
No ratings yet
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Chill time 45 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 5 minutes
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Keyword: Banana Cake, Cake Recipe, Cream Cheese Frosting
Servings: 12 Servings


  • 1 ¾ cups ripe bananas mashed
  • 1 tbsp lemon zest fresh
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking soda
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¾ cups unsalted butter softened
  • 2 ¼ cups sugar
  • 3 eggs large
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 ½ cups buttermilk


  • ½ cup butter softened
  • 8 oz cream cheese softened
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 ½ cups powdered sugar
  • walnuts chopped for garnish, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350 °F.
  • Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
  • In a small bowl, mix the mashed banana with the lemon juice and zest. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt, set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, cream ¾ cup butter and 2 1/8 cups of sugar until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time, then mix in 2 tsp vanilla.
  • Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
  • Stir in banana mixture. Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for one hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes.


  • Cream the butter and cream cheese together until smooth. Beat in 1 teaspoon of vanilla. Add powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high speed until the frosting is smooth. Spread on cooled cake.
  • Sprinkle chopped walnuts over top of the frosting, if desired.


Calories: 687kcalCarbohydrates: 104gProtein: 7gFat: 28gSaturated Fat: 17gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 114mgSodium: 356mgPotassium: 203mgFiber: 1gSugar: 77gVitamin A: 968IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 72mgIron: 2mg

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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An image for Pinterest of a single slice of banana cake frosted and then garnished with walnuts - Hostess At Heart
Recipe Rating

Laura Ashley Johnson

Friday 31st of May 2024

This cake was AMAZING! I had never had a banana cake til’ today and I’m so sad I just discovered how yummy it is! Thank you!!

Julie Menghini

Monday 3rd of June 2024

Thank you! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this recipe as much as I enjoyed sharing it with you.


Tuesday 28th of May 2024

This was a hit at our cookout. An easy recipe but so impressive and delicious. Thanks!

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 28th of May 2024

I'm so glad that it worked for you, Ellen!


Saturday 25th of May 2024

Oh lala... What a great recipe! So rich!.... However, it's so expensive now to get all the ingredients, for Me! But will make it nevertheless...... Sometimes there are no bananas available!... And buy only 1-2... Thank you for the great recipe; love it a lot☘️

Julie Menghini

Tuesday 28th of May 2024

Thank you, Marlyse! I can't imagine not having bananas available! We're truly blessed!

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