Old Fashioned Banana Cake

slice of banana cake

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This easy banana cake recipe is a great alternative to banana bread for using up those ripe bananas. You can serve it plain, or dress it up with whipped cream or icing. 


Units Scale
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
  • 1 cup ripe mashed bananas
  • 1/2 cup cultured buttermilk OR 1/2 cup plain milk kefir OR 1/2 cup soured milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg


  1. Heat oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour a nine inch round pan or 9×9 square pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine dry ingredients – sugar, flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In a small bowl combine wet ingredients – melted butter, mashed bananas, buttermilk, vanilla, and egg.
  3. Add the banana mixture to the dry ingredients and mix until blended. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  4. Bake the cake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until it tests done with a toothpick. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely. (You can remove the cake from the pan before cooling if you prefer, or serve it directly from the pan.)
  5. The plain cake will keep at room temperature for several days, or wrap and freeze for up to a month. Once the cake is decorated, it’s best to store it in the refrigerator and use within a few days.


To make soured milk, simply add 1/2 teaspoon of vinegar or lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk and let stand for 5 minutes before using.

Topping Ideas

We like our banana cake with lightly sweetened whipped and banana slices for extra banana flavor. Cream cheese frosting, chocolate and peanut butter are other classic combinations.

Sweetened Whipped Cream

  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/4 powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine the whipping cream and vanilla in a bowl and whip until it starts to thicken. Add in the powdered sugar, and continue whipping until firm peaks form. Spread on the top of the cake and dot with banana slices.

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 ½ cups powdered sugar sifted

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, softened butter, and vanilla extract. Beat with a mixer until creamy and smooth. Add the sifted powdered sugar and mix until fluffy. Scape down the sides of the bowl as needed to make sure all the sugar is mixed in.

Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened (2 sticks)
  • 3/4 creamy peanut butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a medium mixing bowl, beat butter and peanut butter for 60-90 seconds, until fluffy. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Add vanilla and mix well.
Gradually mix in the powdered sugar, mixing for 1-2 minutes until well blended.
Add heavy cream and mix for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy.

This recipe makes enough frosting to coat the entire 9 inch cake turned out on a platter.

For a chocolate/peanut butter/banana combination:

Cover the banana cake with peanut butter frosting, and then drizzles with chocolate sauce or sprinkle with mini chocolate chips.

Keywords: cake, banana