Moist Banana Cake

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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.

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

Categories

More Banana Desserts to Try

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

Share a Comment

Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you and seeing what you made!

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99 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.

  4. ALICIA DANNER

    I have a wonderful banana cake recipe that I’ve always used and everyone loves. However, my husband wanted to try a sour milk version and I found your recipe. I followed the directions exactly but yet it did not rise ? As I read through earlier comments I see this is a common occurrence.

  5. Steph

    I followed the recipe but my cake came out dense like a pudding. While in the oven, it didn’t really rise. It even shrank. Any ideas on how I can improve it?

  6. Dee Oly

    I made the banana cake today using the recipient from another post. The only difference was 1/4 cup less flour. The batter was stiff enough. I forgot the 1/4 teasp. Salt. They also added 1/2 teasp.cinammon. I also used canned chocolate frosting with neufachtel cheese. In place of sour milk, the recipe calls for 1/2 cup buttermilk. I read that cakes can turn out dry if they are over mixed and overbaked. Next time I am going to add a little honey and maybe a pudding mix as well as cake flour to get a true banana cake. I like the suggestion about roasting the bananas also.

  7. Ken Kobmann

    This is my favorite cake on the planet. This is the identical recipe (the cake itself) as my Grandmother’s Banana cake recipe, which is close to 100 years old. Density of the cake is controlled by the amount of Bananas used. If you like a lighter cake go to 3/4 cup of Banana or if you like it moist and dense (Like a heavy banana bread) use 1 1/4 cups Bananas. The secret is to lightly brown the cake and to refrigerate it until it is completely cool, or your frosting will be soup or so loose the top will keep sliding. The frosting is different though. She used a simple cornstarch frosting which just took it to the next level. Butter cream frosting is good too, but cream cheese frosting competes with the cake instead of complimenting it. Being a man, I can mess up peanut butter and Jelly. But when I got married my Mom passed the torch of my annual Birthday cake to my wife. I can honestly say that her only flaw in life is her ability to make this cake, but she would tell you it was marrying me. So she passed the torch on to me. Guess I should have kept my mouth closed. Lol

  8. Christina purkall

    I made the banana cake had good flavor ,but was very dense , althouth thebatter was fluffy i was disappointed. I made this for my son s birthday i know i followed the receipe ,i have been baking for years . will keep on looking

  9. Emma coloso

    I was just looking for a banana cake recipe and i end up with yours. It would be my first time and using the basic tools i have. I am glad i endes up here. ????

  10. K. Alston

    when I made my last banana cake it turned out really dense more like a banana bread. im not sure what I did wrong. Also how much alteration for each ingredient If I want to make a 3 layer cake of this banana recipe.
    Also I had just bought my bananas that day so they wasn’t overly ripe, but I mashed them up well. Will that affect anything??

    1. Lindsay

      To make three layers, just divide the batter between three pans. You’d need to reduce the baking time, but I’m not sure exactly what it’d be. Probably around 20 minutes.

  11. Kezia

    Hi Lindsay. The cake turned out super moist. 
    However I used baking powder as I didn’t have any baking soda, and the cake wasn’t as fluffy as the one in your pictures. Turned out too dense. Could the baking powder be the reason?

  12. Novie

    Hi, Lindsay.. I’m Novie from Indonesia..
    Thank you so much.. I ‘m lucky to find your Soft and moist banana cake recipe Yes, it’s very soft,moist and delicious..’wanna practice your recipes to learn much more. Thank you, Lind.. GOD’s hand upon you..

  13. Steve

    To the author of this article—have you ever baked anything before? Or are you twelve years old? Just wondering because I am astounded that you are so inexperienced with baking practices, yet you are writing about it! And boy did you miss out by leaving the cream cheese out of the icing!

    1. Lindsay

      Well aren’t you a gem? For the record, I don’t know what recipe you’re looking at but this one doesn’t use cream cheese frosting so I didn’t leave anything out. Have a fantastic day!

    2. Maisa

      I baked this today, I used one and a half of this recipe and added a tsp of baking powder to fill an 8×12 rectangular pan. It yielded an inch and a half tall of very delicious banana cake. I used a buttermilk substitute with low-fat milk because I ran out of just the regular ones, but it still turned out great. Soft and fluffy!

      Instead of vanilla buttercream, I put a thin spread of cream cheese frosting at the top and it’s perfect!

      I’ll make this my go-to banana cake recipe. Thank you for sharing!

  14. Ini

    Wowzers!!! I had some ‘perfect to bake with’ bananas and figured I would rather make a cake than throw them out so I decided to check your blog hoping I would find a recipe because really all your recipes I have tried are tested and trusted. This is the best banana cake ever! A banana cake cake not a banana cake ‘bread’
    I’m a hobby baker and bake to earn some extra income and I must say that your RV n choc cake and vanilla cupcakes are the bomb. The few I have tried. I’m limited by ingredients now where I live but so excited about future trials because I’m moving to Europe and will have access to about any ingredient I need.
    I must say that you inspire me a lot. You have found Gods purpose and plan for your life and I believe God that makes everything beautiful in his time will make all your desires come to be

  15. Mayz

    I wish i could share to you a photo of what i just baked out from your recipe ????????????…just the perfect one ive been searching for so long for a moist banana cake recipe. Thank to you dearie ????

  16. erynn

    Hi!Im from Malaysia..tried n tested your Recipe twice n turns out superb each time!!Many thabks and plz keep it coming..;-)

  17. Rayna Ramirez

    hello i wanted to know if i can turn this cake into an ice cream cake minus the butter cream frosting since it’ll be in the freezer ?and what frosting would you recommend if possible ?
    THANK YOU

  18. Hazel

    Hi, I really like this post because of how simple the instructions are. I wanna try it this weekend as I have some banana that need to be looked after 😀 Can you tell me if 350 degree is F or Celsius ?

    Thanks,
    Hazel

  19. melissa

    Making this for our small group today. I am going to frost it with a whipped peanut butter frosting recipe. Can’t wait to try it!

  20. Bill Legg

    I made my first banana cake the other day and it was good, but like you I fealt that it was more like a banana bread than cake, and I wanted cake. I did make a banana icing made with two old bananas, a half stick of butter and powdered sugar that was fantastic which made it feel more like cake but still not exactly what I was going for. I am going to try your recipe with my icing but am wondering whether you tried the recipe with all-purpose flour and/or cake flour, and whether you tried it with over-ripe bananas and/or yellow fruit. Thanks, great blog!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      I don’t actually think that would work very well. There’s a lot more liquid in strawberry puree.

  21. Marilyn+Fields

    This looks awesome, Lindsey. I will be making this soon. To pump up the banana flavor, try this trick. Prick the skin on your bananas with a fork and roast them on a foil lined baking pan 20 minutes and cool. Super sweet banana flavor and no mashing. Just gently squeeze out of the skin which is black after roasting.

  22. Kobie

    Hi… I just tried this cake as it looks delicious and fluffy, only mine seemed a little ‘gluggy’, dense and did not rise enough. I thought to put more baking soda next time, as 1/2 tsp does not seem like a lot. What do you think? Also I used keffir in place of sour milk…

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Hmm, I’m not sure. I really don’t know anything about keffir. The baking soda might help.

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Did you mean 1 inch? It’s been a while since I made the cake and I don’t remember exactly how tall the layers were, but I don’t remember it being one of my taller cakes. It’s possible it’s the photo – sometimes things look bigger in pictures.

    2. Arien

      Mine did, too. Followed it all. No, we don’t mean one inch, it really is one cm. I made the one you based this off of, too and still came out flat. Tasted nice but more like banana bread. Wasted some bananas ☹☹☹

  23. Joy

    Hi. I chanced upon your site and was super impressed on how moist and fluffy your banana cake looks. I want to try and bake it but I only have a 8-inch springform pan. How long would I need to bake it?

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Hi Joy! I’m glad you found the site! The recipe calls for two 8 inch pans. Do you only have one? I’m really not sure how long it’d take to bake all the batter in one pan. I’m not sure a single pan would be tall enough. You’d have to watch and check it. Just be careful to not open to oven too soon (wait at least 30 minutes, I’d think), as letting heat out of the oven too soon can cause cakes to deflate in the center.

  24. Jannette

    I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was great.
    I do not know who you are but definitely you are
    going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

    1. lifeloveandsugar@gmail.com

      Hmm, I haven’t tried it in this cake. It might change the texture a bit, but it’d probably bake fine.

      1. pixieitch

        I just baked the cake using all purpose flour, and it’s barely risen at all. 🙁 It does seem springy and light though. taste test has to wait till teatime but the batter was delicious! I have another banana cake recipe i normally make which uses self raising, and it does raise much more. (Didn’t think i had any self raising in the cupboard which is why i sought out your recipe, and fancied a slight change, as i only made a banana cake 2 weeks ago!) 
        I’m also making a buttercream icing, with a bit of added banana puree and it’s super yummy! Can’t wait to eat this. (For UK mother’s day and my mum’s birthday cake)

  25. rea

    Hai Lindsay, yummy posting… if u hv a problem with curdling milk process… try to warm the milk before u add the vinegar or in my case..i prefer lemon juice. Use fresh milk. Never skimmed milk. Good luck

  26. Melody

    Making this today! I live in Brazil & the cakes here are dry and not very good. I was just looking for a banana cake, not bread! And stumbled upon your site! Can wait to try it!! Thanks for sharing!

  27. Brandi Scardina

    Just finished making this! so yummy. I didn’t have ingredients on hand for the icing so i just drizzled some caramel sauce on top and its great. thanks for sharing!

  28. Jolynda

    Can. Not. Wait!!!! Have some bananas screaming to be turned into something fabulous like this cake! Can you confirm that the flour is all purpose? Don’t want to assume and screw the cake up! Thank you!!

      1. Jen Laing

        Hi Julie I know I’m being slow but do you use plain or self raising flour for the banana came? Thanks Jen

  29. Erin @ Table for 7

    such a beautiful cake Lindsay..it looks delicious! Thank you for sharing at Share Your Stuff Tuesdays! Have a great weekend 🙂

  30. Jocelyn @ BruCrew Life

    I know exactly what you mean about having a “thing” with most things! Haha! Love this beautiful banana cake!!

  31. Donna

    This looks awesome. I always make the one from the Confetti Cakes cookbook but I think I am going to give this one a try. It looks “prettier” on the inside 🙂

  32. Tina @ Tina's Chic Corner

    I’ve been looking for an awesome banana cake recipe. You hit it right on…I want it to taste like cake, not bread, otherwise I’d just make banana bread! Pinning to make. 🙂

  33. Heather @ French Press

    your cake looks delicious, and I’m not really a cake person 🙂 thanks for linking up to wake up wednesdays

  34. Cathy Pollak ~ Noble Pig

    Banana cake is one of my faves, especially with the right frosting. Love what you’ve done here and would love to try your recipe!

      1. Clell

        I preferred the original, this version was quite bland and the texture was not good. I tried it three times before going to the original… The frosting is fantastic though! 

Lindsay
About Lindsay

I'm a wife and a mom to twin boys and a baby girl! And I've got a serious sweets addiction! Bring on the treats!

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