Make this easy banana cake recipe when you’re craving a sweet treat. It uses everyday ingredients and makes a manageably-sized banana snack cake that’s soft, moist, and banana-y. Enjoy it directly from the pan with powdered sugar, or spread it with icing for the ultimate banana cake with cream cheese frosting.
They say being one day older doesn’t matter, unless you’re a banana. So true. One day they’re perfect and the next day this ??.
Don’t fret. Those brown-spotted past-their-prime bananas are a jumping-off point for many good things.
Table of Contents
Why you’ll love this easy banana cake recipe
- At its most basic, this is a lop-off-a-piece-and-shove-it-into-your-mouth snack cake.
- It’s a great way to use those ripe bananas no one wants to eat.
- The recipe is easy to make, with ingredients you probably have on hand.
- Takes only 15 minutes of hands-on prep.
- The recipe makes a small, single layer banana cake that stays moist, tender and delicious for days.
- You can eat it directly from the cake pan (the way we did as kids) or put it on a cake plate (if you want to be fancy).
- It doesn’t need frosting, but adding cream cheese frosting to this banana cake makes it positively glorious.
Ingredients for banana snack cake
- Ripe bananas
- Granulated Sugar
- Unsalted Butter
- Iodized Salt
- Baking Powder
- Baking Soda
- Greek Yogurt
How many bananas make do you need to make this banana cake recipe?
This recipe uses 1 cup of mashed bananas, which is usually about two medium fruit, give or take. To be sure you’ve got the correct amount, smush the fruit with a fork in a glass measuring cup and look at the line gradients. Add or subtract as needed.
How to make banana cake
- Cream the room-temperature butter and sugar together until fluffy. (I use a hand mixer for this.)
- Beat in the eggs.
- Add the mashed banana and vanilla and mix well.
- Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a separate bowl.
- Add half of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and mix until the ingredients are combined, but don’t over-mix.
- Add half of the Greek yogurt and blend together.
- In two more additions, add the rest of the flour and yogurt until just combined.
- Pour the banana cake batter into the prepared baking pan and bake.
Use a sturdy baking pan with sides that are at least 2″ high.
This easy banana cake recipe makes a lot of batter, which will rise as it bakes. A heavier gauge cake pan with high sides will ensure even baking and prevent overflow accidents.
I used an 8-inch square cake pan with 2″ sides and watched with equal parts dread and prayer as the banana snack cake puffed over the very top of the pan — and stopped without spilling. Phew.
- Add chopped toasted nuts to the banana cake batter for a bit of texture and crunch. I recommend pecans or walnuts.
- Make a chocolate chip banana cake with mini chocolate chips. Toss one cup of the chocolate chips in a little flour before adding them to the banana cake batter (so they don’t sink to the bottom). Sprinkle a handful of chocolate chips on top before baking.
- Try this recipe with apple bananas. These specialty fruits are half the size of regular bananas and have a distinct apple flavor. To make this banana snack cake recipe with them, you’ll likely need 3 or 4 apple bananas.
- Want a banana coffee cake? Add a simple streusel topping before baking.
To frost or not to frost
This is entirely up to you and your mood.
At its most elemental, this recipe is for a banana snack cake. It’s meant to be easy. Sprinkle some powdered sugar over the top and cut a thick wedge. Done.
However, if you’ve got the time, ingredients and inclination, there is nothing better than adding a swirly layer of cream cheese frosting over the banana cake (below).
More garnishing options
Another option is this not-too-sweet but ultra-light and fluffy, ermine frosting.
There is no wrong way to enjoy this easy banana dessert.
Swap an equal measure of sour cream for the yogurt.
Yes — they work great. Just thaw the bananas and strain any watery liquid from them before mashing.
Cover with a bit of plastic wrap or in a resealable cake keeper and store at room temperature for 2-3 days.
Yes. It’s easy to freeze a whole banana cake (or individual portions). Wrap them in plastic wrap, followed by freezer paper wrap. The cake will last for 2-3 months in the freezer. Defrost before enjoying.
Yes. Bake it in a 13 x 9 inch pan and start testing for doneness at the 40-45 minute point. It makes a tasty banana sheet cake that would be great for birthday parties.
We love how high the banana cake rises in the pan. When you dig your fork into a slice, you’ll notice the substantial crumb it has.
This banana cake is moist and fluffy with a delicious banana flavor. I find it’s even better the next day. The snack cake is even moister, and the banana flavor is more intense. Not that I ever have restraint enough to wait that long.
My tasters loved the taste and soft texture of the banana cake on its own. Just an easy sprinkle of powdered sugar is a perfectly acceptable garnish.
The banana cake with cream cheese frosting took it to an entirely new level.
So, it’s up to you. With or without frosting, you’re going to love it.
More easy banana cake recipes (and a few breads) you’ll love:
- Banana Bundt Cake Recipe
- Moist Brown Sugar Banana Bread
- Crunchy Banana Chip Mini Muffins
- Banana Pudding Parfait
- Best Blueberry Banana Bread Recipe
- Coconut-Macadamia Banana Bread
- Gluten-Free Banana Coconut Bread
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Easy Banana Cake Recipe
- 1 electric hand mixer
- 1 8 or 9″ baking pan a sturdy pan with 2″-3″ sides
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 rubber spatula for scraping down the sides of the bowl
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup mashed overripe bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 cup greek yogurt
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Spray a 9″ round baking pan or 8″ square baking pan liberally with vegetable spray.
- Cut a piece of parchment paper to rest evenly in the bottom of the pan with about 6″ of overhang on each side (this creates a sling which makes it easy to remove the cake when baked). Place the parchment into the prepared pan and press it lightly to the bottom and sides. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Whisk until blended and set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine the butter and sugar. Use a hand mixer on medium high speed to beat until the mixture is very light and fluffy, about 2 minutes.
- Add the eggs and beat to combine. Add the mashed bananas and vanilla and mix well.
- In two additions, alternate adding half of the flour mixture followed by half of the greek. yogurt, mixing on medium speed just until combined. Finish with the remaining dry ingredients followed by the remainder of the greek yogurt.
- Spread the cake batter evenly into the prepared cake pan.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let the cake cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Run a sharp knife around the sides to loosen the banana cake from the pan and lift the two overhanging pieces of parchment paper to transfer the banana cake to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Sprinkle the banana cake with powdered sugar or serve with a dollop of whipped cream.