There’s something magical about the aroma of freshly baked banana bread wafting through the house. What if I told you that I found a way to elevate that beloved classic? Enter the Best Banana Nut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting you'll ever taste! Our easy banana cake recipe includes the sweet, natural banana flavor, the crunch of nuts, and a tangy cream cheese frosting that's simply divine. If you have some overripe bananas sitting around from last week, this is the perfect way to use them!
WHY THIS CAKE IS THE "BEST" BANANA CAKE
It’s not just another banana bread or banana muffin. It's the best banana nut cake topped with luxurious cream cheese frosting.
With every bite, you get moist cake layers bursting with banana flavor, contrasted with the crunch of nuts. Every bite is like a mini adventure – you get the sweet cake vibes, a hit of tangy cream cheese, and then that nutty crunch to top it off.
And with our easy banana cake recipe and step-by-step photo instructions, even baking novices can achieve the best results.
FOR THE BANANA CAKE
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
See the recipe card for exact quantities.
- Bananas: The soul of any banana recipe, especially our banana nut cake. Overripe bananas are best – they infuse the cake with a more robust banana flavor and add natural sweetness. You can freeze overripe bananas and have them ready if you have a craving.
- Cream Cheese: Ensure it’s at room temperature to achieve that smooth, creamy consistency when making the frosting. Use cream cheese, not Neufchâtel. Neufchâtel always contains less fat and usually has a higher moisture content than cream cheese, making it less desirable for this frosting.
- Nuts: They add a delightful crunch. Opt for walnuts or pecans, but any nuts of your choice will work.
Can I make this into banana muffins?
Absolutely! Use the same batter and adjust the baking time.
How do I store the frosted cake?
Keep it covered, in the refrigerator, especially during warmer months.
VARIATIONS OF BEST BANANA NUT CAKE WITH CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- Chocolate Overload Banana Cake: Mix chocolate chips into the cake batter for a sweet cake with bits of creamy chocolate.
- Peanut Butter Dream Cake: Add a dollop of peanut butter to the cream cheese frosting for a delightful spin. Chocolate and banana just go together.
- Substitute brown sugar for white sugar for a deeper, richer sweetness.
- No buttermilk on hand? Add a tablespoon of vinegar to ¾ of a cup of heavy cream. Let it sit and the vinegar will cause the cream to curdle and it will act as buttermilk in the recipe.
- If you’re out of purpose flour, whole wheat flour can be used, but expect a slightly denser texture. My choice of substitution is to use pastry flour if you happen to have it on hand.
FOR THE BANANA CAKE
Grease and flour an 8x8-inch cake pan. You can use an 8-9" round pan as well.
Mash the bananas with a fork and mix with the lemon juice. Set aside.
Mix flour, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, then stir in the teaspoon of vanilla.
Beat in the buttermilk, alternating with the flour. I add mine in thirds.
Continue alternating until the flour and buttermilk have been used.
Mix until the batter is smooth. Do not overmix or your cake will be too dense.
Add the banana mixture and fold it into the batter.
Fold in the nuts until they are evenly dispersed throughout the cake batter.
Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in the oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Start checking at 35-40 minutes.
Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes or until cooled. This will make the cake very moist.
FOR THE CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Add the vanilla.
Add confectioner's sugar and beat on low speed until combined.
Beat on high speed until the frosting is smooth.
Spread the frosting on the completely cooled cake.
TOP TIPS FOR BANANA CAKE SUCCESS
- Always use bananas that are overripe. The brown spots on the skin mean they are packed full of sweetness.
- When combining dry ingredients and wet ingredients, do so in a large mixing bowl to prevent any spilling.
- For a fluffy and light cake, sift your dry ingredients, including baking soda and purpose flour.
- Before frosting, ensure your cake cools entirely. Do not skip the step of placing the hot cake in the freezer for 45 minutes. It will keep your cake moist while it cools.
- Make sure the cake is completely cool before frosting. This prevents the frosting from melting off.
- Cover the Best Banana Nut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting in plastic wrap before storing it. This keeps the moistness locked in.
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8"x8" baking pan
- Small bowl
- Medium bowl
- Large bowl
- Electric mixer
For the cake:
- ¾ cups bananas mashed, ripe
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 ½ cups flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 7 tablespoons butter softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ¾ cup buttermilk
For the frosting:
- ¼ cup butter softened
- 4 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- 1 ¾ cups confectioner's sugar
For the cake:
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- Grease and flour an 8x8-inch baking pan.
- In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy.
- Beat in the eggs, then stir in 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Beat in the flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk.
- Stir in banana mixture.
- Pour batter into the prepared pan and bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, approximately 45 minutes.
- Your baking time could vary. Check for doneness at 35-40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes or until cooled. This will make the cake very moist.
For the Frosting:
- For the frosting, cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.
- Beat in ½ teaspoon vanilla.
- Add confectioner's sugar and beat on low-speed until combined, then on high-speed until frosting is smooth.
- Spread on cooled cake.
Approximate nutrition information is provided as a convenience and courtesy only. You are encouraged to do your own calculations if precise data is required.
We take every effort to ensure that the estimated meal cost per serving is accurate. We use a meal cost analysis application that estimates the cost of a recipe based on groceries purchased at a Walmart store in my geographical area, northern California.
Next time you’re in the mood for baking, or you have some extra bananas lying around, whip out your square or round cake pans, a hand mixer, and a large bowl – and get ready to bake your new favorite banana cake recipe, Best Banana Nut Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting. If it's your first time, remember to take a snapshot because, by the end of the day, only crumbs will remain. We would love to hear how yours came out! Happy baking!
If you love banana cake you simply must try my Bavarian Cream Banana Ca