Soft & Moist Banana Cake

This Banana Cake is so soft, moist and banana-y! It’s topped with a creamy vanilla buttercream and fresh banana slices. If you love bananas, you’ll fall in love with this yummy recipe!

Soft and Moist Banana Cake

Soft & Moist Banana Cake

I’m pretty sure it’s no secret that the hubs and I are big banana fans. I’ve talked about it before when I posted this Super Moist Banana Bread and my favorite Banana Pudding. There’s no shortage of banana love around here. I even made a banana treat for the pup.

But today is all about this cake. This cake that made me oh-so-happy when I took a bite.

Here’s my thing about banana cake (I have a “thing” about most things) – I don’t want it to taste like banana bread. Now you know I love banana bread. It’s got banana in it after all. But if I wanted banana bread, I’d make it.

When I make banana cake, I want it to be lighter in color and density and even more banana-y than banana bread. It has not been easy to find a recipe that fits the bill.

I’ve tried a few and I’m thrilled to say that this one hits the mark!

It’s from Tidy Mom, but I made a few changes.

Soft and Moist Banana Cake

First, I used butter instead of shortening. It seemed preferable to me.

Secondly, the recipe calls for sour milk. I didn’t have sour milk and I wasn’t about to wait for a week or two for our milk to sour. I’m impatient and my bananas were ready to go.

The recipe suggests adding a little vinegar to the milk and letting it sit for 10 minutes to curdle (I hate that word).

Since there wasn’t a specific amount of vinegar mentioned, only “a little”, I googled. Well, the suggested amount is 1 tablespoon vinegar to 1 cup of milk. I went with 1 teaspoon to start.

It didn’t curdle.

So I added another teaspoon. Still nothing.

As I mentioned before, I’m impatient and my bananas were ready. This was no time to fool around. I tossed it all in and figured I’d see what happened.

Soft and Moist Banana Cake

Tips for Making a Soft & Moist Banana Cake

The cake came out great! My suggestion is to use sour milk if you have it. If not, add the vinegar to the milk, let it sit about 10 minutes, but don’t worry if it doesn’t actually curdle.

I will tell you that the cake gets a good sized dome on top while baking. I cut them off before stacking and icing.

The other thing I changed was the icing. I went with a vanilla icing. I considered cream cheese, but didn’t want to take away from the banana flavor.

Soft and Moist Banana Cake

Well, we loved the cake! We shared with our small group (even though the hubs really didn’t want to) and it was a hit with all who had some!

It’s just so perfectly cake-y, not bread-y. It’s dense, yet light. Soft and moist. The perfect light yellow color. And wonderfully banana! My perfect banana cake!

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Soft & Moist Banana Cake slice on purple plate
Recipe

Soft & Moist Banana Cake

  • Author: Lindsay
  • Prep Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
  • Yield: 12-14 Slices 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American

Description

This Banana Cake is so soft, moist and banana-y! It’s topped with a creamy vanilla buttercream and fresh banana slices. If you love bananas, you’ll fall in love with this yummy recipe!


Scale

Ingredients

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

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM ICING

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

Instructions

CAKE

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

VANILLA BUTTERCREAM ICING

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.

TO ASSEMBLE THE CAKE

1. Level both cakes so that they are flat on top and bottom.
2. Cover the top of the bottom layer of cake with icing.
3. Place the other cake on top of the icing.
4. Using an offset spatula, fill in any gaps in the icing around the outside.
5. Ice the outside of the cake with the remaining icing.

Notes

If you’d prefer to use a cream cheese icing, check out my recipe for cream cheese icing.

Keywords: banana cake, banana cake recipe, easy banana cake recipe, best banana cake, banana dessert, banana dessert recipe, dessert recipe with banana, vanilla buttercream recipe, vanilla buttercream

Recipe modified from Tidy Mom.

Enjoy!

This post linked to Inside BruCrew Life, Pint Sized Baker, Chef In Training, Love Bakes Good Cakes, Table For Seven, Tidy Mom, Shaken Together, Living Well Spending Less, Lady Behind The Curtain, What’s Cooking Love?, Chocolate, Chocolate and More, Buns In My Oven, Kitchen Meets Girl, The 36th Avenue, Ashley’s Dandelion Wishes, My Girlish Whims, Ginger Snap Crafts and Hungry Little Girl.

Want more banana and cake ideas? Got you covered!

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Recipe rating

96 Comments
  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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. ????

  9. 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.

  10. 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?

  11. 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..

  12. 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!

  13. 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

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