When you’re craving a sweet, decadent banana cake, this banana bundt cake recipe is one of the best. It’s a simple recipe with an unusual technique, making this chocolate glazed bundt cake super-moist and irresistible.
I had a cake similar to this when I was in college. A little Mom and Pop restaurant that we would frequent when we wanted a “real meal” instead of whatever was being slopped in our cafeteria.
They made a chocolate banana cake three layers high, dotted with chocolate chips, and crowned with rich chocolate frosting (and more chocolate chips). It was amazing.
This banana bundt cake recipe has the same flavors as the chocolate banana cake I remember. However, instead of dealing with multiple layers, piping rosettes of frosting and other embellishments, I use a bundt pan for this banana cake recipe and swap the thick layers of frosting for a decadent chocolate ganache.
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this recipe:
- It will use up all of the overripe bananas on your countertop.
- It’s not a big production, just cake and glaze.
- The banana cake is ultra-moist and tender with a tight crumb that’s very banana-y.
- It uses premium chocolate for the ganache and the glaze dries to what is essentially a chocolate shell.
- It’s enough to feed a crowd.
- It keeps for several days and just gets more flavorful each day.
- Kids and adults alike love this banana bundt cake recipe.
- This makes a tasty breakfast bundt cake or a sweet to serve with brunch.
- Ripe Bananas – the riper the fruit, the sweeter the cake.
- All Purpose Flour
- Baking Soda
- Iodized Salt
- Unsalted Butter
- Granulated White Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Premium Semi-Sweet Chocolate – We like Scharfenberger, Lindt or Ghirardelli
How to make the banana cake:
- Whisk the flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl.
- Mix the mashed bananas, lemon zest and lemon juice in a smaller bowl.
- Cream the butter and sugar together until very light and fluffy, about 3 minutes, with a hand mixer in a large bowl. (I used a stand mixer, but you can also use a hand mixer to beat the batter.)
- Alternate mixing in ⅓ of the flour mixture, followed by ⅓ of the buttermilk, alternating back and forth until everything is combined. Don’t over beat.
- Mix in the banana mixture and pour into the prepared bundt pan.
- Bake in a preheated 275° oven (yes, you read that right) for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
- Transfer the cake from the oven directly to the freezer for 45 minutes to 1 hour, then transfer the cake to a cooling rack (still in the pan) for 1 hour before turning the cake out.
The reasons this recipe works:
There are a lot of interesting techniques in this recipe.
First, the very low oven temperature…
It’s one of the reasons that this bundt banana cake is such a moist recipe. The batter doesn’t have an opportunity to dry out or puff up into a large dome (which can be uneven when turning out onto a cake plate.
Second, the freezer…
I agree that taking a hot cake directly from an oven and sticking it into the freezer is unorthodox. But the effect is to rapidly cool the banana bundt cake and revert the steam, which would typically evaporate, into a moistening agent that stays within the banana cake.
The further 3 hours of cooling on a rack (while it’s still in the bundt pan) and coming to room temperature allows the cake to acclimate itself.
Please make sure to cream the butter and eggs until very light and creamy, and then beat the eggs in one at a time until they’re pale yellow with a fluffy volume. About 3 minutes. This will give the batter a soft texture.
According to Mashed, it’s important not to overbeat the batter when adding the flour and other dry ingredients because it aerates the batter, making for a dry, crumbly cake.
Overbeating the batter once the flour is added can enhance gluten development, resulting in a gummy or chewy crumb.
- Add 1½ chopped toasted pecans, walnuts or almonds to the bundt cake batter for texture and crunch. Reserve a half cup for sprinkling over the chocolate ganache later.
- Add 1 cup of mini chocolate chips (tossed in flour to prevent them from sinking to the bottom of the cake).
- Skip the ganache and sprinkle the moist banana cake with powdered sugar or serve each slice with whipped cream or vanilla ice cream.
- Another option instead of ganache is to frost the bundt cake with cream cheese frosting or this incredible whipped ermine frosting.
- Add a teaspoon of cinnamon to the dry ingredients for a light spice that complements the banana flavor.
No, not different, but because the banana cake recipe is baked in a bundt pan, the baking time needs to be adjusted.
Yes. You can separate the batter into 9″ cake pans, loaf pans, mini banana bundt cakes or banana cupcakes.
Be sure to fill the baking tins no more than ⅔ high to avoid an over-flow, and adjust the cooking temperature to 350°.
Bake according to the regular baking times for the baking tin you’re using, and be sure to test with a toothpick about 5 minutes before it “should” be ready.
When the cake is finished baking, the toothpick will come out clean, with just a few crumbs sticking to it and no wet batter.
It’s not the cake recipe that makes it a bundt; it’s the pan the cake is baked in. A bundt cake is baked in a bundt pan. A pound cake can be a bundt cake if baked in a bundt pan.
What is the secret to getting a bundt cake out?
- Very generously grease and flour the bundt pan – there should be no bare spots where you can see the pan. Please don’t use cooking spray.
- Make sure the oven is fully preheated.
- Run a knife or thin rubber spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen it.
- Shake and rap the sides of the pan on all sides to help loosen the cake.
- Let this bundt banana cake cool at room temperature for one hour before turning it onto the wire rack. Letting it rest longer in the pan can make it tougher to get out because of how moist it is.
- Turn the cake onto the wire rack and wait. If the cake falls automatically, perfect.
- If it doesn’t, give several firm raps to the top and sides of the pan or conversely, hold the inverted pan on the rack with both hands and shake vigorously. You’ll feel the cake start to release, and the pan gives up its prize.
I’ll admit that there have been several times that I’ve had bundt cakes stubbornly refuse to release from their pans, but I don’t fret about it.
Just use a spatula to peel any larger chunks and replace the divots in the cake with those errant bits.
Besides, that’s what the chocolate ganache is for; covering up imperfections.
Making chocolate ganache:
- Finely chop the chocolate and set aside.
- Heat the cream in a small pan over medium heat until hot. Do not boil.
- Remove the cream from the heat and add the chocolate. Let it sit for a few minutes for the chocolate to soften.
- Whisk together the cream and chocolate until it’s a smooth, glistening, creamy ganache.
- Spoon the chocolate ganache liberally over the banana bundt cake and set aside for the ganache to set.
Storage and freezing:
If you plan on freezing the cake, I recommend not adding the ganache, as chocolate blooms (gets white splotches) when it’s chilled.
You can wrap the cake whole, in plastic wrap, foil and freezer paper or individual slices and freeze it for up to 2-3 months. Thaw to room temperature to enjoy.
Frost the cake with ganache after defrosting completely.
What to serve with:
We love sipping a hot coffee or cafe au lait with this banana bundt cake recipe. The coffee almost melts the ganache, making each bite delicious and satisfying. Here are some other options:
- Serve with sliced strawberries or raspberries for a pop of color and tart contrast to the cake.
- Make fresh whipped cream with 1 cup of heavy cream, 1-2 tablespoons of powdered sugar, and one teaspoon of banana liqueur or dark rum.
- Add a scoop of vanilla, butter pecan or pralines and cream ice cream.
- Ladle extra chocolate ganache over each slice.
More bundt cake recipes you’ll love:
- Rum Passion Fruit Cake
- Apricot Sour Cream Bundt Cake
- Irish Whiskey Cake
- Cranberry Coffee Cake
- Moist Apple Walnut Cake
- Key Lime Rum Cake
More banana cake recipes (and bread recipes) you’ll love:
- Easy banana cake recipe
- Coconut-Macadamia Banana Bread
- Moist Brown Sugar Banana Bread
- Banana Pudding Parfait
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Blueberry Banana Bread
- Banana Pumpkin Streusel Quick Bread
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Banana Bundt Cake
- 4 over ripe bananas mashed
- 1 lemon zested, 2 teaspoons juice
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup unsalted butter 1 1/2 sticks, softened
- 1 ¾ cups sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups buttermilk
For the ganache
- 4 ounces semisweet premium chocolate – ideally Scharfenberger Ghirardelli or Lindt
- ½ cup heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 275 degrees. Thoroughly grease and flour a 12 cup non-stick bundt pan – or spray with nonstick baking spray.
- In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas, lemon zest and lemon juice, set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mix dry ingredients: flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, incorporating each before adding the next. Stir in vanilla.
- Blend ⅓ of flour mixture and then add 1/3 buttermilk until just blended. Alternate flour and buttermilk until batter is just combined, but be careful not to over-beat.
- Add banana mixture to batter and mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into prepared pan and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour and 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of cake comes out clean.
- Transfer the cake from the oven directly to the freezer (still in the pan) for 45-60 minutes. After cooling in the freezer, transfer the cake to a cooling rack for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, prepare the ganache. Heat cream in a small saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. While the cream is heating, finely chop the chocolate on a cutting board and transfer it to a small bowl. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and let it set for a few minutes until the chocolate softens. Use a whisk to carefully incorporate the cream into the chocolate until glistening and smooth.
- Invert the cake onto a cake plate or pedestal.
- Spoon ganache over the cooled cake, so that it runs over the ridges.
- Store cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Good luck getting it to last that long.
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