Moist Banana Cake

This super easy Banana Cake is incredibly soft and moist! Paired with a simple vanilla buttercream frosting and topped with fresh banana slices, you’ll instantly fall in love with this feel-good dessert.

A piece of banana cake on a plate with the remaining cake, a glass of milk and a banana in the background

Soft & Moist Banana Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

This supremely soft layer cake makes me want to add bananas to all of my cakes going forward! The texture is unreal. It has the perfect ratio of cake to frosting, and you get plenty of banana flavor in every bite.

I spent a long time searching for a banana cake that didn’t just taste like banana bread with frosting, but I ended up having to create my own. The other banana cakes I tried were either too heavy on the texture or too light in the flavor department. This simple cake is delicate, fluffy, moist, and absolutely packed with bananas! It’s exactly what I was longing for and more.

What You’ll Need

This recipe has a short and sweet list of ingredients, from the tender cake to the creamy frosting. Just gather up the following kitchen staples!

For the Banana Cake

  • Butter: Salted.
  • Sugar
  • Eggs: To bind the ingredients together.
  • Flour: Use all-purpose flour, not self-rising flour.
  • Baking Soda: Not to be confused with baking powder.
  • Mashed Bananas: The bananas should be nice and ripe with plenty of brown spots on the peels.
  • Sour Milk: If you don’t want to wait for your milk to sour, you can use fresh milk and sour it yourself by stirring in 2 teaspoons of vinegar and letting the mixture sit for about 10 minutes.
  • Vanilla Extract: To enhance the banana flavor even more.

For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • Butter: Salted or unsalted – up to you.
  • Shortening: Using shortening in addition to butter creates a wonderfully light and fluffy frosting.
  • Powdered Sugar: For structure and stability.
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Water: To bring the frosting to the proper consistnecy.

Can I Speed Up the Ripening Process?

Waiting for your bananas to ripen can be a pain, but there’s an easy way to make it happen faster! Simply place the bananas into a paper bag with additional fruits that ripen after they’re picked like peaches, plums or kiwi.

These fruits release something known as ethylene, and if you keep them in a paper bag, the ethylene builds up and causes them to ripen more quickly. You want the bananas to be nice and browned – not only do they get easier to mash up, but they also become sweeter and more flavorful!

A slice of banana cake on a purple plate made out of clay

How to Make the Best Banana Cake

You won’t believe how easy this cake is! The batter comes together in just one bowl, and the frosting is made in minutes.

Make the Cake

  1. Prep for Baking: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and set them aside.
  2. Cream Butter & Sugar: Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
  3. Add Eggs: Add the eggs and mix well.
  4. Add Flour & Baking Soda: Add the flour and baking soda. Mix until combined.
  5. Add Remaining Ingredients: Add the mashed bananas, sour milk and vanilla. Mix well.
  6. Bake: Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake the cake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.
  7. Let Cool: Cool your cake layers in the pans for 5-10 minutes, then transfer them to a cooling rack to finish cooling.

Make the Frosting & Assemble

  1. Beat Shortening & Butter: Beat the shortening and butter until the mixture is smooth.
  2. Start Adding Powdered Sugar: Slowly add half of the powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
  3. Add Vanilla & Water: Mix in the vanilla extract and 3 tablespoons of filtered water.
  4. Finish Adding Powdered Sugar: Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix until the batter is smooth.
  5. Adjust Consistency: Add more water only as needed to get the right consistency.
  6. Remove Domes: Carefully level off both cake layers with a sharp knife so that the tops and bottoms are nice and flat.
  7. Frost First Layer: Cover the top of the first layer of cake with icing.
  8. Add Second Layer: Place the other cake layer on top of the icing.
  9. Add Remaining Frosting: Use an offset spatula to fill in any gaps in the icing around the outside of the cake. Top the cake with the remaining frosting and a pile of banana slices.
A close-up shot of a slice of double-layer cake with vanilla buttercream frosting

Tips for Success

The tips and tricks below will help you make a banana cake like none other. Happy baking!

  • Use Sour Milk: Don’t be afraid to use milk that’s gone sour for baked goods like this cake – it adds fluffiness and tang, and the heat of the oven eliminates any bacteria that may be present. In a pinch, you can add 2 teaspoons of vinegar to fresh milk and let it sit for 10 minutes.
  • Flatten the Cake Layers: This cake rises beautifully and therefore develops domes that aren’t ideal for stacking. I recommend slicing off the domes so you have flat surfaces for building your cake.
  • Grease the Pans Well: Make sure you grease your cake pans generously in order to remove your layers with ease. You can also line the bottoms with a circle of parchment paper and grease the sides if preffered.
  • Let the Cake Layers Cool: If you try to assemble your cake before the layers have fully cooled, they could break and may melt the frosting. Wait until they’ve cooled completely for the best results.

Variation Ideas

I know you’re already itching for a helping of this cake, but I have a few potential alterations that might interest you. Go ahead and make the dessert of your dreams!

  • Banana Nut Cake: Try adding toasted nuts to your cake if you’re craving some crunch. Pecans and walnuts both go great with the banana flavor!
  • Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting: I usually go for a classic vanilla buttercream since I like to let the banana flavor shine, but Cream Cheese Frosting tastes amazing on this cake as well.
  • Chocolate Chip Banana Cake: Feel free to fold your favorite chocolate chips into this cake batter if you’d like. You can add even more chocolate by frosting it with this Chocolate Buttercream!
  • Banana Coconut Cake: I’m a huge fan of incorporating toasted coconut into my banana cake batter. I encourage you to try it if you enjoy coconut flavor. And maybe sprinkle some above the first layer of frosting while you’re at it!
A piece of banana cake on a clay plate with the remaining cake behind it

How to Store Homemade Banana Cake

This cake will stay fresh for up to 3 days in the fridge. Keep it well covered and bring it to room temperature before enjoying it.

Can I Freeze This?

You can freeze your banana cake by wrapping the whole thing or individual slices in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of heavy-duty foil. It will last for up to 3 months in the freezer, whether it’s frosted or unfrosted. Thaw it out in the fridge and let it come to room temperature before digging in.

Print
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A piece of banana cake on a clay plate with the remaining cake behind it
Recipe

Moist Banana Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 13
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This super easy Banana Cake is incredibly soft and moist! Paired with a simple vanilla buttercream frosting and topped with fresh banana slices, you’ll instantly fall in love with this feel-good dessert.


Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1/2 cup salted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (23 bananas)
  • 1/4 cup sour milk (you can make sour milk by adding 2 tsp vinegar to milk and let it sit about 10 minutes)
  • 1 tsp vanilla

For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup shortening
  • 8 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 35 tbsp water

Instructions

Make the Cake

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 8-inch cake pans and set them aside.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together in a large bowl.
  3. Add eggs and mix well.
  4. Add flour and baking soda and mix until combined.
  5. Add bananas, milk and vanilla and mix well.
  6. Pour batter into prepared pans.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out with just a few crumbs.
  8. Cool in pan for 5-10 minutes, then remove to cooling rack to finish cooling.

Make the Frosting & Assemble

  1. Beat the shortening and butter until smooth.
  2. Slowly add half the powdered sugar. Mix until combined.
  3. Mix in the vanilla extract and 3 tbsp water.
  4. Add the rest of the powdered sugar and mix until smooth. Add more water to get the right consistency.
  5. Level both cakes so that they are flat on top and bottom.
  6. Cover the top of the bottom layer of cake with icing.
  7. Place the other cake on top of the icing.
  8. Using an offset spatula, fill in any gaps in the icing around the outside.
  9. Ice the outside of the cake with the remaining frosting and top with banana slices.

Notes

  • Makes 12-14 slices.
  • Recipe modified from Tidy Mom.
  • To Store: Keep well covered in the fridge and enjoy within 3 days. Bring to room temperature before enjoying.
  • To Freeze: Wrap unfrosted layers, entire cake or individual slices in a layer of plastic wrap and a layer of heavy-duty foil. Defrost within 3 months. Thaw in the fridge and bring to room temperature before serving.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 Slice
  • Calories: 683
  • Sugar: 72.5 g
  • Sodium: 113.4 mg
  • Fat: 35.3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 90.7 g
  • Protein: 3.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 79 mg

Keywords: cake banana, best cake, buttercream frosting for cake

More Banana Desserts to Try

Hungry for more banana treats to make at home? Check out these easy recipes next!

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Recipe rating

97 Comments
  1. GC

    I don’t know what people who don’t like this recipe are doing wrong but they’re definitely doing something wrong. This is a nice fluffy cake, I’ve used it for years now.

  2. Janet

    I’m sorry, but this recipe just doesn’t work. As I put it in the oven the batter just didn’t look right. It didn’t rise because the recipe has no baking powder. The small amount of soda and soured milk was not enough to make it rise. It had good flavor but each layer was about one inch high and very, very dense.

  3. Shannon Villeneuve Shulman

    DELICIOUS! I think the comments on here of people saying it is too dense – it’s a cake! It should be dense. I think it’s incredibly delicious. The buttercream frosting was fantastic and the cake was very moist. I made this today for Easter and everyone loved it. Not only was it very simple, it required very few steps and everything was done in my mixer so the clean up was very easy.

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and mom to twin boys, a baby girl and a sweet black lab with a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the sugar!

Scripture I’m Loving

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12