Easy Banana Cake

 Wondering how to use up brown bananas? Try this Easy Banana Cake with cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of walnuts. It’s a moist, flavorful from scratch cake recipe!

9x13 banana cake recipe in a pan

Easy Banana Cake

Bananas are a hot item in our house. I bring home at least two bunches of bananas anytime I go grocery shopping. I try to buy one bunch that is fairly yellow and at least one bunch that is still green. There have been so many times when I’ve wanted to make a banana cake, but found that the bananas had been gobbled up before they were anything near brown. Three teenagers in the house? Yeah…we go through food pretty quickly.

This easy banana cake recipe is one you’re going to want to hide some bananas for. Not only is it easy, but it is a moist banana cake with a simply delicious flavor.

A piece of cake on a plate with bananas and nuts

How to Make Banana Cake

This banana cake calls for several ingredients that make it soft and flavorful.

  • Butter. This is an old fashioned recipe taken from my most-loved Amish cookbook. Many times older recipes call for shortening, but we used butter here. Because butter increases the flavor all the more!
  • Buttermilk. Originally the old recipe called for sour milk which is not the same as buttermilk. But since we generally don’t have sour milk on hand, buttermilk works just fine. Don’t have buttermilk? Simply add a tablespoon of white vinegar to the bottom of the measuring cup and fill it the rest of the way with milk. Allow it to sit for 5 minutes and voila…buttermilk!
  • Cream of Tartar. What is cream of tartar? It’s actually an “acidic by-product from the process of making wine“.  It’s the sediment left in the wine barrels after the wine ferments. Isn’t that so strange? Science is fascinating. Cream of tartar can act as a stabilizer and also helps to keep baked goods soft.
  • Mashed Bananas. Because this is banana cake, after all. Over-ripe bananas add moisture and flavor to this cake!

How to Ripen Bananas

If you are craving banana cake and don’t have any browned bananas, here’s a trick. Place the unpeeled bananas in the oven preheated to 300 degrees. Bake for about 30 minutes, checking the bananas every 10 minutes or so. The exact time the bananas need in the oven will depend on how ripe they were to start. The peels will turn black as they bake, but the insides will turn soft and mushy…yucky for eating raw, but perfect for all things banana cake and banana bread.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana cake is delicious with many different toppings. A dollop of whipped cream, a sprinkling of sugar, even caramel frosting (which reminds me of bananas foster!). But what we really love is a light layer of cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of nuts. This cream cheese frosting is easy to whip up and will literally melt in your mouth. It’s that good.

pieces of cake on a table

Tools Needed to Make This Cake

  • Buttermilk: If you don’t keep buttermilk on hand, use this dry buttermilk powder. It keeps longer!
  • 9”x13” Baking Pan: One of my most used kitchen pans.
  • Stand Mixer: A hand mixer will work, but I always find it easier to make frostings with a stand mixer.
  • Beater Blade with Scraper: The best invention ever!
  • Ninja Express Chop: Mini food processor…this is one of my most-used kitchen tools and perfect for chopping the walnuts for this cake.
the best banana cake recipe
the best banana cake recipe

Easy Banana Cake

4.60 from 5 votes
Wondering how to use up brown bananas? Try this Easy Banana Cake with cream cheese frosting and a sprinkling of walnuts. It's a moist, flavorful from scratch cake recipe!
Servings 15
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes


For the Cake:

For the Frosting:


  • Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
  • Grease and flour a 9x13 cake pan.
  • In a large bowl, cream together the sugar and butter.
  • Add the eggs, milk and vanilla. Set aside.
  • In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cream of tartar. Mix well. 
  • Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix well, then fold in the bananas and walnuts.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake pan and smooth it to cover the bottom of the pan evenly.
  • Bake for 40 minutes, or until the middle of the cake springs back when you touch it.
  • Allow the cake to cool while you prepare the frosting.
  • Using an electric mixer, mix the butter and cream cheese, scraping down the sides as needed, until the mixture is light and fluffy. This will take about 3 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar, ½ a cup at a time, until it is thoroughly mixed.
  • Add the vanilla and beat the frosting on medium speed for about 2 minutes.
  • Spread the frosting on the cooled cake, then top with chopped walnuts.



The calories shown are based on the cake being cut into 15 pieces, with 1 serving being 1 slice of cake. Since different brands of ingredients have different nutritional information, the calories shown are just an estimate.


Calories: 489kcal | Carbohydrates: 59g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 26g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 269mg | Potassium: 230mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 43g | Vitamin A: 730IU | Vitamin C: 1.3mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1.3mg
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Calories 489

About Julie Clark

We are Julie, Maddie, and Kinslee – a mother and daughter team sharing with you the best cakes to satisfy any need or sweet craving that you may have. Welcome to our family’s kitchen!

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4.60 from 5 votes (3 ratings without comment)
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5 stars
I made this recipe today but instead of making as a cake I made it into cupcakes. I find it easier to take cupcakes to a gathering in public I go to, This recipe made 18 cupcakes. I only modified the cooking time and oven temperature. I baked them at 350 for 20 minutes. The cupcakes turned out wonderful.

5 stars
I made this recipe and it is absolutely delicious. My family and friends loved it. So, now this is another great cake that I will be making quiet often.