Who else feels a little nostalgic about a homemade cake? This Fresh Banana Cake is super moist and easy to prepare, with a wonderful, deep banana flavor. The oats in this recipe give the crumb a little chewiness that tastes delicious, especially paired with an old-fashioned cream cheese frosting.
File this fresh banana cake recipe under “things to bake next weekend” because it is everything you want in a homemade dessert. Here are a few things I absolutely love about this cake:
- This is a super moist cake recipe with a great big banana flavor, and a slightly chewy, melt-in-your-mouth texture
- Lemon juice spiked cream cheese frosting makes this cake extra delicious
- The gorgeous caramelized nuts on top are optional, but so worth it. You can easily make them yourself, or see my shortcut tip below.
- This is a nice dessert after a dinner of Baked Pasta with Chicken Sausage or a Shredded Chicken Burrito Bowl.
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.
- Butter: Unsalted, and slightly softened at room temperature
- Brown sugar: (dark, please) plus a little regular sugar
- Eggs, Buttermilk, Vanilla: To guarantee moisture and flavor
- Oatmeal: For the slightly chewy texture we’re after.
- All-Purpose Flour, Baking Soda, Powder, Salt, Vanilla Extract, Cinnamon: Essential ingredients for cake-making
- Pecans, Cream Cheese, Powdered Sugar: The pecans will be toasted and caramelized, the cream cheese put in a large bowl with the sugar and whipped into a creamy, delicious frosting.
How to Prep the Cake Pan
- My favorite 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.
- Try using two 8″ non-stick cake pans for two-layers, and check for doneness at 22 minutes instead of 25.
- Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl with an electric mixer
- Add the eggs, baking soda, baking powder, salt, vanilla and buttermilk and mix to combine
- Mix together with the flour, mashed banana and oatmeal
- Pour into the prepared pan and bake
- Frost the cake after it’s completely cool and serve!
How to Make Candied Nuts
Make your own candied nuts and you won’t regret it. WARNING: These nuts taste fabulous on their own and are totally addicting – be sure to save some for your 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 and roughly chop instead.
Serving Ideas & Variations
- This cake tastes even better the next day, so it’s great dessert choice to make a day ahead, including the frosting.
- TIP! I usually frost the cake the day I’m going to use it, and stir the refrigerated frosting really well so it’s smooth.
- This cake is portable enough for potlucks, cookouts, after school snacks, casual dinners and birthday parties.
- Take extra slices to the office and your co-workers will love you 🙂
Expert Tips and FAQ’s
- I almost always use superfine sugar for baking, called Baker’s Sugar.
- Let the parchment paper hang off the sides of your baking pan before filling it with batter. When the cake is totally cool, 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.
What’s the difference between a Banana Bread recipe and Fresh Banana Cake?
Not much. Both are cake, really, but banana cake is basically a butter cake with mashed banana and a traditional cake texture. Banana bread is a quick bread (that doesn’t need to rise) with a firmer, dense texture that makes it good for slicing and toasting. This California Fig Banana Bread is a good example of a great banana bread recipe.
How do I store this cake?
Keep it in the refrigerator to store it, covered with parchment paper, aluminum foil, or both (I put the parchment paper down first, then aluminum foil loosely over the top.)
Take the cake out of the refrigerator an hour or two before serving to let the frosting come up to room temperature first.
More Dessert Recipes To Try:
If you’ve tried this Fresh Banana Cake or any recipe on Studio Delicious, leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you.
Fresh Banana Cake
- 1 stick Butter, unsalted, room temperature
- 1 cup Brown Sugar, firmly packed, dark brown
- 1/2 cup granulated Sugar
- 2 Eggs, large at room temperature
- 3/4 tsp. Baking Soda
- 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1/3 cup Buttermilk
- 1 1/2 cups Flour, all-purpose
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon, ground
- 3/4 cup Oats, rolled, not instant
- 1 cup Bananas, ripe, mashed
- CREAM CHEESE FROSTING
- 1 stick Butter, unsalted, softened
- 1 8 oz Cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups Powdered Sugar
- Pinch Salt
- 1 tsp. Pure Vanilla Extract
- 1 tsp. Lemon Zest, freshly grated
- 1 tsp. 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
- 1/4 cup Sugar
- Heat oven to 350 degreesPrepare a 13 x 9" pan with baking spray, line with natural parchment paper, then spray with more baking spray just before adding the cake batter. Cream the butter and both sugars in a large bowl using an electric hand held mixer for 4 minutes until fluffy. Alternatively, use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the eggs one at a time, blending each time just until incorporatedIn a small side 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 1/2 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 30 seconds. Add the oats and mashed bananas to the cake mixture and mix on low for another 30 seconds just to combine all the ingredients. 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 3 minutes on high. Scrape down the sides occasionally with a rubber spatula. Sift the confectioners sugar into the bowl, continue mixing for another 3 minutes or so until smooth. Add the lemon zest and juice and vanilla extract, beat for another minute or so until completely smooth.Chill the frosting in fridge until cake is completely coolFrost the cake and serveTop with Candied Nuts if desired - see recipe notes
- FOR THE CANDIED PECANS Melt the butter in a non-stick saute pan on medium heatAdd the sugar and stir gently to combine and it starts to melt a little Add the nuts and stir to combine, adjusting the heat lower if needed to avoid burning. The mixture should be dark and syrupy, so continue to gently 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 closelyTransfer the nuts to a baking sheet lined with parchment or wax paper and let them cool until ready to use.
- This recipe can also be made in two 8" cake pans or an 8 x 13" square pan
- You can find superfine sugar in most grocery stores, it's in a milk carton container called "Bakers Sugar"
- 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