Best Banana Cake

Sunday 24 January 2021

My sister had printed out a recipe from Sally's Baking Addiction earlier this week for "The Best Banana Cake I've Ever Had." We had some ripe bananas that needed using up.

They were well freckled. I don't know about you, but I am not overly fond of eating really ripe bananas as they are. I am also not fond of under ripe bananas. In order for me to enjoy a raw banana, it has to be just so. 

Best Banana Cake 
And even then I am not overly fond of eating them raw. I do enjoy them with ice cream, custard or on top of crisp rice cereal.  That is pretty much the only way I will eat them.

When I was a child I wouldn't eat them at all. I had heard about big spiders living in them on the banana trees and I had some crazy idea in my head that the little brown specks in their centres were spider eggs. I know! Kids! Crazy!

Best Banana Cake 
I decided to bake it on Friday when my sister was at work.  She didn't mind. I think she was happy just to have cake in the house!

Her daughter Crystal had baked the cake and recommended it to us.  I always admit to being a bit dubious when someone calls their recipe the best ever, but I suppose it is all relative to taste. One man's meat being another man's poison after all.

Best Banana Cake 
Her  metric measurements were a bit off. I can speak with authority on that, having lived and baked in the UK for 20 years, and only ever baking by weight the whole time I was there.

I have corrected them in the recipe for you below.  Those are the only adaptations I made to her recipe, and I pretty much made it exactly as per hers in every other way.

Best Banana Cake 
I apologize for the poor photos. Kitchen light, wrong time of day, but I couldn't really cut into it until after supper. I know you will forgive me.

The smell when this was baking was pretty A M A Z I N G!  I seriously was drooling the whole time. It smelled sweet and very banana-like! I could hardly wait to dig in.

Best Banana Cake 
It uses ground cinnamon in the batter.  To be honest I can't really taste it in the finished cake. If you want to taste the cinnamon, I would suggest upping the amount to at least 3/4 tsp if not 1 tsp.  

Otherwise I would leave it out altogether. With two teaspoons of vanilla in the batter, it probably overpowers the cinnamon, so you really need to amp it up a bit if you want to taste it.

Best Banana Cake 
It has a moist and delicious crumb as you can see. Nice and dense like a good snacking cake should be. 

The use of  buttermilk helps to insure that it is moist as does the use of brown sugar.  She suggested either dark or light soft brown sugar. I used light.

Best Banana Cake 
It was baked in a 9 X 13 inch Pyrex baking dish. My sister does not have any metal baking tins. I allowed it to cool entirely in the dish which also enhanced its moist texture.

I cut the quantities for the icing in half as I knew we would only be frosting the top of the cake.  This was a smart decision and allowed for plenty of icing.  Any more than what I made would have been too much.

Best Banana Cake 
I do like frosting on cakes, but I don't like to overdo it.  Half a recipe was the right amount for this cake. If you are doing a layer cake (and you can) I would double the amounts below as you will need to fill and frost the sides.

I have also shown you the adapted bake times, etc. in the Notes for the recipe.

Best Banana Cake 
You can also bake it as cupcakes or as a Bundt Cake.  See notes.  I am not sure how to frost it as a Bundt cake.  Perhaps just make a drizzle frosting instead of a cream cheese frosting. Or make a drizzle frosting using 1 TBS each softened butter and cream cheese, icing sugar, vanilla and then milk to give you the right consistency. 

I think this would be lovely with the addition of toasted walnuts or chocolate chips, or both. I was very tempted to sprinkle some toasted walnuts over the top of the finished cake, but it wasn't my cake!

Best Banana Cake 

As you can see, it cuts beautifully into nice squares and the texture is spot on.  This is everything that you would expect in a good banana cake. It has a lovely texture and a "spot on" banana flavour without having to use any kind of banana extract.

I confess that I am not overly fond of anything using an artificial banana flavour. If you can do it with real flavours, that's perfect to me.

If you are looking for a great family style Banana cake, a wonderful snacking cake, well flavoured, dense and not overly sweet look no further. This is your cake.

  Best Banana Cake

Best Banana Cake
Yield: one 9 X 13 cake
Author: Marie Rayner
Prep time: 10 MinCook time: 45 MinTotal time: 55 Min
This banana cake is moist and deliciously filled with plenty of banana flavor! Make sure all of your ingredients are at room temperature before beginning.


  • 3 large ripe bananas, peeled and mashed
  • 3 cups (420g) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 3/4 cup (180g) lightly salted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (195g) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100g) soft light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 large free range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp pure vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) dairy buttermilk
For the frosting:
  • 4 ounces (110g) of cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup (120g) butter
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla
  • 2 cups (260g) icing sugar, sifted
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 TBS milk or cream (may or may not be needed)


  1. Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/gas mark 4.  Butter a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with butter and dust the bottom only with flour.
  2. Sift together all of the dry ingredients for the cake.  Set aside.
  3. Cream together the butter for the cake and both sugars until light and fluffy.  Beat in the vanilla and then the eggs a little at a time until thoroughly incorporated. Beat in the mashed bananas.
  4. Add the flour mixture, alternately with the buttermilk, making three dry and two wet additions. Try not to overbeat it. A few lumps are quite acceptable.
  5. Pour into the prepared baking dish.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 50 minutes, until well risen and the top springs back when lightly touched.  A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean.
  7. Allow to cool completely in the pan.
  8. To make the icing beat together all of the ingredients until smooth and creamy, only adding milk as necessary to give you the proper consistency.
  9. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake, swirling the top a bit. Cut into squares to serve.


You may bake this as a layer cake if you wish, but double the recipe ingredients. Two 9-inch round pans, 26 to 30 minutes.

You may also bake this in a Bundt tin, 10 to 12 cup tin, 50 to 65 minutes.

Can also be baked as cupcakes. Makes two dozen, bake for 20 - 22 minutes.

Did you make this recipe?
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Best Banana Cake

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  1. Hee, hee ... I'm the person who only eats under ripe bananas. I can't bear the smell of ripening banana, so I rarely have them in the house long enough to get them to the stage where you can make banana cake. I eat them under ripe and my husband eats the "just so". I buy them quite green and then wait a couple of days until I like the look of them. Then my husband knows he has to eat the others within a few days. I can't even have the peel in my kitchen compost - I have to immediately take it outside. Talk about a drama queen :)

    That said, I love banana cake, especially with cream cheese frosting! I'd have to wait until the weather is above freezing so I can store the bananas outside to ripen. I've never put cinnamon in it, but think I'd like that rather than vanilla. And I also like the idea of adding toasted walnuts - yum!

    1. Bananas are funny things, right? A bit like eggs. We all like them certain ways. It doesn’t take much for them to make me feel a bit queasy! I would leave the cinnamon out of this cake altogether. Even my sister agreed we could not taste it. No point in adding it really! Xoxo

  2. Ohhh, looks delicious, but I'm going all out and adding the toasted walnuts and chocolate chips...I LOVE walnuts and chocolate with banana bread so I'm sure it will work in the cake!

    1. I really hope you enjoy this! Yay! Let me know how you get on! Xoxo

  3. Marie, this looks so good! I also eat under ripe bananas!! Never have cared for ripe bananas except to bake with. This recipe is only must make list! Thank you!

    1. I really hope that you enjoy it as much as we did! xo

  4. Good morning, Marie. As a fellow lemon lover, I can safely say that the icing on the cake (Ha!) for this banana delight would be a lemon buttercream - an amazing combo. I do love cream cheese icing, but for those times when you have none in the house but do have that half lemon in your crisper begging to be used... Have a great day!! Lois

    1. Mmmm . . . that does sound delicious! Love LOVE lemon anything! Thank you! xo


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