Here’s a wonderful old recipe for Banana Sheet Cake that’s super moist and easy to make, with a wonderful, deep banana flavor and tangy cream cheese frosting.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
When it comes to cake, the size and shape of the pan makes all the difference. This moderate size and simple banana sheet cake comes with a very good cream frosting, and it bakes up nicely in a 13 x 9″ (quarter-sheet size) pan.
File this recipe under “things to bake” because it’s everything you want in a homemade dessert, and the it’s one of the best banana cakes I’ve tasted.
Here are a few things I absolutely love about this wonderful snack cake:
- It’s an easy cake that’s tender and delicious with big flavor and a slightly chewy, melt-in-your-mouth texture thanks to some oatmeal in the batter.
- Banana recipes are popular, and this one has a strong banana flavor throughout the cake that comes through on the every delicious bite.
- The gorgeous caramelized nuts on top are optional, but so worth it.
- This is the perfect dessert for anytime, or after a dinner of Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage or a Shredded Chicken Burrito Bowl.
Love nostalgic desserts? Next time, try these Apple Hand Pies with Pillsbury Pie Crust!
Ingredients for this Recipe
For the full recipe and list of ingredients, please scroll to the recipe card below.
- Ripe Bananas: A full cup, mashed with a fork in a medium bowl. Overripe bananas are ideal.
- Butter: Unsalted, and slightly softened at room temperature.
- Brown sugar: A full cup sugar, plus a little more.
- Large Eggs, Buttermilk: To guarantee moisture.
- Pure Vanilla Extract: A teaspoon vanilla extract for extra flavor.
- Oatmeal: For the slightly chewy texture we’re after.
- All-Purpose Flour, Baking Soda, Powder, Salt, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon. All the essential dry ingredients for cake recipes.
- Pecans, Cream Cheese, Powdered Sugar: The pecans will be toasted and caramelized for the top of the cake. Delicious!
Tips to Prep the Cake Pan
- The best pan for this recipe is a 9 x 13″ sized pan lined with natural parchment paper.
Pan Prep Tip: Spray the baking pan with a little non-stick baking spray, then place a large enough piece of parchment paper inside so it hangs off the sides of the pan – this little amount of spray in the pan first helps the parchment stick, and makes it super easy to lift the cake out after its cooled.
- Spray more baking spray on top of the parchment paper just before adding the cake batter to bake. At this point, be sure to heat oven to 350.
- Try using two 8″ non-stick cake pans for two-layers, and check to see if its done at 22 minutes instead of 25.
- Cream the butter and both sugars in a medium sized mixing bowl, using an electric mixer.
- Add the large eggs, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla and buttermilk and mix to combine.
- Combine flour mixture and the mashed bananas and oatmeal on medium low speed, be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake in a pre-heated oven.
- Cool the cake completely on a wire rack.
- Frost the cake after it’s completely cool and serve!
Tips to Make Candied Nuts
Make your own candied nuts and you won’t regret it. Warning, though, they taste fabulous on their own and are totally addicting – don’t forget to save some for the cake!
- 1 tablespoon of butter.
- 1 cup raw pecans or walnuts.
- 1/4 cup superfine or regular sugar.
- Melt the butter in a non-stick saute pan on medium heat, add the sugar and the nuts and stir gently to combine using a non-stick spatula.
- Cook and gently stir, adjusting the heat lower if needed to avoid burning. The mixture should be dark and syrupy, so continue to toss to evenly coat all the nuts, about 5 minutes total.
- Don’t walk away while the nuts are cooking, this mixture will burn very easily, so you’ll need to watch it closely.
- Transfer the nuts to a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and let them cool until ready to use.
SHORTCUT TIP: No time to make candied nuts? Buy candied nuts at the grocery store instead of making them yourself!
Serving Ideas & Variations
- This cake tastes even better the next day, so it’s great dessert choice to make a day ahead of time.
- I frost the cake the day I’m going to use it – baking the cake the day before so it completely cools.
- This cake is portable enough for potlucks, cookouts, after school snacks, casual dinners and birthday parties.
- Take extra slices to the office, your co-workers will love you!
Tips for Success
- Make a sling by letting a couple inches of the parchment paper hang over the sides of your baking pan before filling it with the banana mixture. When the cake is totally cool, easily remove it by lifting it out with both hands to a cooling rack.
- Shortcut tip: If you don’t feel like making candied nuts, chop up some store-bought candied pecans (found in most grocery stores) instead.
Frequently Asked Questions
Not much! Both are technically cake, and this recipe is basically a butter cake with mashed banana.
Banana bread is considered a “quick bread” but there’s no yeast involved. Quick breads have a firmer crumb than cake, which makes them ideal for slicing. Here’s a really delicious banana bread recipe to try sometime.
Cover it well with plastic wrap, foil or an airtight container. the store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Why yes you can. The dark brown sugar gives off a little bit deeper flavor, but if you don’t have it, just use regular golden brown sugar.
You can use sprinkles or chocolate chips for sure, these are always appropriate 🙂 You could also add fresh banana slices to the top of the cake right before serving… delicious!
Nothing but the size of the cake pan. In this recipe, the size is a quarter sheet pan, or 13 x 9″ (sometimes referred to as 9 x 13″ which is the same size.)
More Recipes To Try:
- Sweet and Spicy Almonds: Addictive because they’re amazing.
- Cute and Easy Mini Cupcakes: These are for Halloween, but customize for any holiday!
- Soft Triple Chocolate Cookies: A favorite cookie recipe!
- Decorated Chocolate Covered Strawberries: A pretty dessert.
- Ice Cream Cake with Peanut Butter Ganache: Lots of shortcuts in this one!
- Summer Fruit Crisp: Decadent with ice cream!
- Coconut Milk Rice Pudding with Rose Rhubarb: Nostalgic and delicious.
- Strawberry Cheesecake in a Jar: One of my most popular recipes.
- Triple Chocolate Cookies: Fudgy, brownie-like wonders.
- Apple Upside Down Cake: Classic and yummy.
- Fresh Tangerine Sorbet: Tastes like a frozen tangerine.
- Peanut Butter Banana Pancakes: Wonderful peanut flavor, really tender, too!
- Rice Pudding with Rhubarb: A comfort food classic.
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Banana Sheet Cake Recipe
- 1 stick Butter, unsalted, room temperature
- 1 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed, dark brown
- ½ cup Sugar, granulated
- 2 Eggs, large at room temperature
- ¾ teaspoon Baking Soda
- ½ teaspoon Baking Powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- ⅓ cup Buttermilk
- 1 ½ cups Flour, all-purpose
- ½ tsp Cinnamon, ground
- ¾ cup Oats, rolled, not instant
- 1 cup Bananas, ripe, mashed with a fork
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 1 stick Butter, unsalted, softened
- 1 8oz Cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- Pinch Salt
- 1 teaspoon Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Zest, freshly grated
- 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed
- Pecans, toasted, chopped for dusting on the frosted cake (about 1/3 cup)
- CANDIED PECANS
- 1 tablespoon Butter, unsalted
- 1 cup Pecans, raw Or walnuts
- ¼ cup Sugar
- Heat oven to 350F degrees. Prepare a 13 x 9" pan with baking spray, then line it with parchment paper allowing a couple of inches overhang on the two longest sides (use a little baking spray on the bottom of the pan to "glue" the paper in place.) Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl using an electric hand held mixer for four minutes until fluffy and light-colored. Alternatively, use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Next, add the eggs one at a time, blending each time just until incorporated. In a small bowl, dissolve the baking soda, baking powder, salt and vanilla into the buttermilk and stir to combine. Add this to the egg/butter/sugar mixture. Add the flour a half cup at a time, and stir gently just to combine. Add the cinnamon too, and stir to combine. In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine the oats with the mashed bananas together, and beat on low with the electric hand mixer until combined, about thirty seconds. Add the oats and mashed bananas to the cake mixture and mix on low for another thirty seconds just to combine all the ingredients. Spray the top of the parchment paper with baking spray, then pour the batter into the prepared pan, bake until the top is golden brown and a toothpick in center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTINGIn a medium-sized bowl with electric hand mixer (or stand mixer with paddle attachment) beat the butter and cream cheese until very smooth, about three minutes on high. Scrape down the sides occasionally with a rubber spatula. Sift the confectioners sugar into the bowl, and continue mixing for another three minutes or until smooth. Add the lemon zest and juice and vanilla extract, mix for another minute or so until completely smooth. Chill the frosting in fridge until cake is completely cool, then frost the cake, top with candied nuts and serve.
- FOR THE CANDIED PECANS Melt the butter in a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add the sugar and stir gently to combine, it will start to melt a little. Add the nuts and stir to combine, adjusting the heat to medium low to avoid burning. The mixture will be dark and syrupy. Gently toss and evenly coat all the nuts, about 4-5 minutes. This mixture will burn very easily, so watch it closely, keep the temperature on the low side, and gently toss it with a spatula often. Transfer the nuts to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and let them cool until ready to use.
- Let the parchment paper hang off the sides of your baking pan before filling it with the batter. When the cake is totally cool, remove by lifting it right out with both hands.
- Use raw walnuts instead of pecans if you’d like.
- If you don’t feel like making the caramelized nuts, you can buy candied nuts at the grocery store and chop them for similar delicious results.
- Super important to read the whole recipe before you begin
- Pay attention to the ingredient list and photos for the recipe
- If possible, prep your ingredients a little before you start
- Always use a sharp knife for safety
- Use the size of pan called for in the recipe
- For savory recipes, taste and season as you go
- Buy fresh, organic ingredients, locally sourced whenever possible
Source: Studio Delicious, adapted from Sweet Home
This recipe was updated with new tips and content in February, 2021