This is, hands down, the BEST banana cake I’ve ever had.  It’s soft, moist and rich all at the same time!  Once cooled this cake is topped with a totally irresistible lemon cream cheese frosting for a perfect dessert your family will love.

A piece of Banana Cake on a plate

I love a good banana cake, it just reminds me of being a kid because my Grandpa and Grandma made the BEST banana cupcakes. I can still smell them baking in my grandma’s kitchen, waiting impatiently with my sisters.

This cake is reminiscent of my favorite banana cupcakes.  It is soft and fluffy and incredibly moist and topped with my favorite ever lemony cream cheese frosting.

Banana Cake being served out of cake pan

As much as I love a fluffy banana cake, I love it even more when it’s topped with an amazing cream cheese frosting! I add in a little bit of lemon zest and lemon juice for extra flavor in my cream cheese frosting but if you prefer, you can leave out the lemon and substitute vanilla.

Regardless of how you top it, once you try this cake, it’ll be your go-to.  Every time you have overripe bananas on the counter you’ll want to make this recipe! In fact, I often buy extra bananas to ripen and make this cake!

Single serving of Banana Cake on a wooden plate

Tips to ensure a soft moist result:

  • Ensure your ingredients are at room temperature (eggs and butter)
  • You need the acidity from the lemon juice (& milk) mixture.  Subbing in just milk or cream won’t work.  (You can use buttermilk in its place if needed).
  • When mixing your butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla, beat the mixture until VERY fluffy, almost the consistency of a fluffy buttercream frosting.  This should take about 5 minutes.
  • When adding the flour mixture you want to mix until just combined.  Over-mixing will cause a dense chewy result.
  • The cooking time on this cake can vary!  Check your cake at 55 minutes, if it isn’t ready, continue cooking until a toothpick comes out clean (this can be up to an additional 20 minutes depending on your oven).  The result will be a moist and irresistible banana cake.

Happy Baking!

frosted banana cake with a banana on top on a wood plate
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The Best Banana Cake

This Banana Cake is soft, moist and rich all at the same time! Once cooled this cake is topped with a totally irresistible lemon cream cheese frosting for a perfect dessert your family will love.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 15 servings


  • 1 ½ cups milk
  • 2 ½ tablespoons lemon juice divided
  • 1 ⅓ cup mashed bananas
  • cup butter softened
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • cup butter softened
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 ½ teaspoons lemon zest from 1 lemon
  • 3-3 ½ cups powdered sugar


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Grease and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
  • Place 1 ½ tablespoons lemon juice in a measuring cup. Top to 1 ½ cups with milk. Set aside.
  • Mix together mashed banana with 1 tablespoon lemon juice, set aside.
  • Beat together butter, brown and white sugar until combined. Add in eggs one at a time and vanilla. Mix on high until light and fluffy (almost the texture of frosting).
  • Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Alternate adding flour mixture and milk to egg mixture stirring just until combined. (Do not overmix). Fold in bananas. Pour into prepared pan.
  • Put into the oven and reduce heat to 300°F. Bake 60 – 70 minutes (see note below) or just until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (do not over bake).
  • Remove from oven and place in the freezer for 45 minutes to make the cake extra moist. Cool completely before frosting.


  • Cream together butter & cream cheese until fluffy. Add in lemon zest and juice.
  • Add powdered sugar a little at a time until you reach desired consistency. Spread over cooled cake.



The cooking time on this cake can vary! Mine takes about 60 minutes. Check your cake at 55 minutes, if it isn’t ready, continue cooking until a toothpick comes out clean (this can be up to an additional 20-30 minutes depending on your oven).
4.92 from 1281 votes

Nutrition Information

Calories: 470 | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 331mg | Potassium: 178mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 48g | Vitamin A: 680IU | Vitamin C: 3.1mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 1.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

Course Dessert
Cuisine American

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Slice of Banana Cake on a plate

This recipe has been retested and updated 11/20/16.

Very slightly adapted from 



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About the author

Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!
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Recipe Rating


  1. I forgot to put in freezer & it’s still fabulously tasty & moist!! Didn’t mean too just got busy…4 stars

  2. Hi I just make this banana cake into small pans.. how do I store them for tomorrow morning? Do I keep them in the freezer or should I put them in the refrigerator? Do I need to wrap them?

    1. I usually store it in the refrigerator and try to leave it at room temp at least 30 min before serving. Enjoy Crystal!

  3. Found that baking time was too long, listed at 60 to 70 min I did 60 min. Was too long to well done. Very disappointed. Also for a 9×13 pan, the frosting amount was way too much.

  4. I don’t have much freezer space. Can I stick the cake in the fridge for 45 minutes instead of the freezer? Hopefully with similar results?

    1. Hi Heidi, it should still work well if you put it in the fridge instead of the freezer. Hope you enjoy it!

  5. I am excited to try this recipe, however, I only have oat milk. Will that work as a substitute with the lemon juice?

  6. Made this cake yesterday for a neighborhood bbq hangout. Everyone loved it! Got a lot of comments about the lemon in the frosting. Will omit next time, fabulous cake, not too sweet. Great to serve a crowd…

  7. Hi Holly,
    Have you ever halved this recipe? I only need a cake for a couple of people so wondered if this had been done sucessfully, obviously with shorter cooking time.

    1. Hi Laurie, I haven’t tried it, but I know readers have successfully made this in different pan sizes. I would half the recipe and start checking the cake around 30 minutes for doneness with a toothpick. It should still go in the freezer out of the oven though. Let us know how it goes!

  8. Just made this banana cake on a whim to bring for dessert after Easter dinner. I wasn’t able to try it prior to serving so I was a tad nervous, but there was clearly no need to feel that way because as fast as the cake was cut, the cake was gone! I think each and every person made it a point to compliment how wonderful it was. My daughter hates cream cheese anything and that girl spooned EXTRA frosting onto her plate! That should say something!
    (I did omit the lemon in the frosting…this time.)5 stars

  9. Hey Holly, It appears in this recipe that you are souring the milk with lemon juice. Was that the idea?
    If so, could you just use buttermilk instead of milk & lemon juice ?

      1. Okay Holly, I made this banana cake using buttermilk instead of the milk/lemon juice mixture AND added roasted black walnuts to the batter. I added a few drops of Boyajian lemon oil and some fresh lemon zest to the cream cheese frosting. The resulting banana cake was delicious!
        You always come up with delicious and simple recipes for your home cooks to try. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Holly, you’re the BEST !5 stars

  10. I have been using this recipe for years now
    Really lives up to it’s name. I even make it into muffins sometimes5 stars

  11. Hi Holly! I haven’t made the cake yet, but I want to try it very soon. I have a question: when I remove the cake from the oven, do I need to cool it first and then put it in the freezer for 45 minutes? Or should I put it in the freezer while it’s still hot?

    1. I put it directly in the freezer, but you can cool it for a little bit first if you are worried about your glass pan. Enjoy Larissa!

  12. Absolutely the best banana cake I have ever made – thank you for this delicious recipe! My husband loved it!5 stars

  13. So for a denser cake you just have to mix it longer?
    I prefer more dense cakes like some places in the Caribbean.

    1. I haven’t tried to make this cake more dense Kate so I can’t say for sure. Often overmixing cakes causes them to be dense so this may work. If you try it I would love to hear how it turns out!

  14. This is the very best banana cake I have ever baked, served to guests and they raved about the cake.( they even had seconds!!) I followed the directions as written, baking time 65 minutes. I did use a different cream cheese frosting, one that I have used for years.
    My rating ++5.5 stars

  15. We absolutely love this cake. I’ve made it many times in an 13×11. I’d like to make it into a two layer this time. Does it work well that way and what should I just my baking to?5 stars

    1. I haven’t made it as a two layer cake Stacey, so I can’t say for sure. I know readers have successfully made this in different pan sizes. I would suggest two 8×8 pans and to start checking the cake around 30 minutes for doneness with a toothpick. They should still go in the freezer out of the oven. Some readers have successfully put this into 2 9″ pans. Let us know how it goes!

    1. We haven’t tried this recipe in a bundt pan, but other readers have with success. It appears it would need additional cooking time. We would love to hear how it turns out for you!