Classic Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting


An easy and delicious recipe for a Classic Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting.

classic banana cake

My husband and I tend to agree on most things, but something we cannot convince each other of is the perfect stage of ripeness for a banana. I like my bananas to be somewhat ripe – no hint of green on the peel and maybe just a speckle of brown here and there to indicate that it is good for eating. Monsieur, on the other hand, likes his bananas to camouflage with the avocados in the fruit bowl; and to clarify, I am referring to the brown variety of avocados, and not the ones with the lovely smooth green skin.

In the early days of our relationship, a banana past its prime for eating was usually quickly turned into a cake or a batch of muffins. Whenever this happened, my husband would always look at me in disbelief that I could do such a thing, for he had been waiting for days (and days) for the bananas to ripen to the point where fruit flies would emerge in the midst of winter.

Where I thought I was salvaging a lost fruit by transforming it into a lovely baked product, my husband was faced with constant disappointment on missing out on his beloved bananas at breakfast.

classic banana cake

So I’ve had to learn to ignore the unsightly bananas in the fruit bowl, which means that impromptu banana cakes are no more. To compensate, I now tend to buy more bananas than we might eat, which means lots of bananas over-ripening at the same time, thus allowing me to freeze one or two for when I might want to use them in baking.

I simply freeze the bananas in pairs in ziplock freezer bags, and I often break them up beforehand to allow for quicker thawing later. Once thawed, the bananas can be mashed and then used in any recipe which calls for fresh bananas. Another benefit of having frozen bananas on hand is that they make for great smoothies, in which case, you can pop them in their frozen state straight into the blender.

classic banana cake

I wasn’t planning on making a banana cake the other day, but I discovered several bags of frozen bananas which were taking up valuable real estate in our tiny freezer (similar to those found in hotel mini-bars), and the solution to this dilemma was pretty simple.

There are a few banana cakes which I make frequently, and this classic banana cake reminds me of the ones I used to make as a child from the packet mixes, except that this is made from scratch, of course! Even though my parents ran a bakery until I left home, I never really learnt how to make any specific recipe from them (which were all made in bulk, anyway); most of my early cooking skills were acquired from home economic classes at school and inspiring myself with cake packet mixes from the supermarket. I don’t think I have touched a packet mix since I learnt to bake a cake properly from scratch (this Easy Chocolate Cake is among one of the first cakes I learnt to bake from scratch), but I still think fondly of the cakes I made when I was younger, and I think packet mixes are a great and easy way for children to learn to bake independently – it worked for me!

The banana cakes of my childhood were always plain, but I think they go really well with a simple cream cheese frosting. And whilst we rarely eat frosted cakes in our home, an iced cake does have a way of conjuring up a celebratory mood, something which is always welcome in the middle of the week when you have nothing in particular to celebrate but just want to see some happy faces at the dining table 🙂

classic banana cake

Classic Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

classic banana cake

5 from 2 reviews

  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 30 mins
  • Cook Time: 60 mins
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8


For the cake

  • 1 1/2 cups (200 g) plain flour
  • 1/2 cup (50 g) cornflour (cornstarch)
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/8 stick (125 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) caster sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 8 oz (250 g) natural yoghurt or Greek yoghurt

For the frosting

  • 2 1/4 stick (250 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (250 g) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 5 cups (600 g) icing sugar, sifted
  • 1-2 teaspoons lime juice
  • pecan nuts, chopped for decorating


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
  2. Line a 9 inch (23 cm) springform cake tin with baking paper and grease the sides with butter.
  3. Measure the flour, cornflour, salt and baking powder into a bowl.
  4. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together in the bowl of a stand mixer until it is pale and fluffy.
  5. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, alternating with a tablespoon of the dry ingredients.
  6. Gently add the rest of the dry ingredients.
  7. In a separate bowl, mash the bananas with the lemon juice. Add the yoghurt and mix to combine everything together. Add this to the batter and stir through to combine.
  8. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. Bake for about 50 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  9. Leave the cake in the tin on a wire rack for about 10 minutes before carefully removing the cake and leaving it on the wire rack to cool completely.
  10. To make the frosting, beat together the butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract until it is smooth. Add the icing sugar and beat until you have a thick and smooth consistency. Add 1-2 teaspoons of the lime juice, or to taste. If the frosting is too soft, put it in the fridge for 10 minutes or so until it has firmed up a bit.
  11. Spread the icing over the cake and decorate with chopped pecans.

Kitchen Notes

  • Frozen bananas work well in this recipe. I like to freeze ripe bananas by breaking them into small pieces and placing them into a ziplock freezer bag. Once defrosted, discard any excess water.
  • As bananas vary greatly in size, you may need to adjust the baking time depending on how small or large your bananas are.

Share your photos!

If you have used this recipe, I would love to hear how it turned out! Please leave a comment below and share your photos on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using #eatlittlebird




  1. This looks so good! I love banana cake and I agree with your husband I like my bananas quite brown, but at the same time they have to be completely bruise free.

    I don’t understand how some people can eat them green.

    Fantastic cake!

    • Eat, Little Bird 28 March 2017

      Hi Angela! You’ve made my husband very happy to know that there is someone else out there like him 😉 And I agree – green bananas are awful! 😉

    • HILDA 2 June 2017

      My household loves banana cake. Your cake looks perfect. I need to know what corn flour is in American. Lol is it what I’d use for corn bread or is it corn starch? Thank you.

      • Eat, Little Bird 2 June 2017

        If you are using the American term, you should use “cornstarch” in this recipe. Hope you will enjoy this recipe!

  2. Stephanie@ApplesforCJ 28 March 2017

    I’ve never actually had banana cake but what a wonderful idea to use up bananas. Love the cream cheese frosting on this.

    • Eat, Little Bird 28 March 2017

      Oh my goodness – you’ve never tried banana cake?! I wish you could come over for afternoon tea so I could share a slice with you 🙂

  3. Debra C. 28 March 2017

    I think it was a great sacrifice to make! 😀 I’d love a slice of this yummy cake!

  4. Brandi Crawford 28 March 2017

    What a gorgeous cake. Cream cheese frosting is my favorite because it isn’t too sweet.

    • Eat, Little Bird 28 March 2017

      Thanks, Brandi! I agree – I love cream cheese frosting on most cakes for the same reason. You can adjust the sweetness of course, but I also love to add lemon or lime juice for a bit of tang.

  5. This cake is gorgeous! I like my bananas still a tiny bit green. I can’t imagine eating them all black and mushy! When they start to get black spots, I peel, chop and throw in the freezer for nice cream and smoothies 🙂

    • Eat, Little Bird 28 March 2017

      Thanks, Michelle 🙂 My husband doesn’t eat his bananas bruised or mushy, but the skin definitely has to be brown all over! I love bananas in nice cream and smoothies too 🙂

  6. Hope 28 March 2017

    This looks like a delicious cake! We are lucky to have a banana tree in our garden which produces very small but sweet bananas. I’m not too fond of over ripe banana’s either, I like them still a bit green! 🙂

    • Eat, Little Bird 28 March 2017

      Oh how lucky you are to have a banana tree in your garden! I grew up in Australia and we had a banana tree in some of the places where we lived. It was always exciting when they came into season, and I remember my mum making lots of banana desserts and banana fritters with them. Yum!

  7. sammy from BloomingBites 30 March 2017

    Awesome trick about freezing the bananas in ziplock bags. The photos you took for this post are beautiful love the light.

    • Eat, Little Bird 22 April 2017

      Thank you so much! Like frozen peas, I’ve always found frozen bananas to come in handy 🙂

  8. Fabulous cake!!!! There was an anniversary party of my friend’s sister, We amused our party with this awesome cake, Thanks for
    sharing this recipe. Thanks alot!!!!!!!

  9. Suzie 31 May 2017

    Hi Thanh,
    I couldn’t help but smile when I read that you learnt baking as a child through packet cake mixes and home economics classes in high school! That certainly brings back memories, I think I learnt more ‘life skills’ in those classes than any other subject. I’m also an Aussie who moved across the globe, to Germany ( a couple of hours drive north of Zürich actually!) nearly 18 years ago, married a Dutchman and stayed. Love searching for recipes on your blog and looking forward to trying your banana cake that just came out of the oven! 🙂

    • Eat, Little Bird 31 May 2017

      Hi Suzie!
      How lovely to hear from another Aussie 🙂 I look back fondly on my “home ec” classes and I certainly took away a lot, more than I would have imagined at the time. I don’t even know if such classes or similar are taught in Switzerland, but I certainly hope so for my children’s sake. Wow, 18 years is a long time … but that must mean you are enjoying the beautiful landscape and lifestyle in Germany 🙂 I hope you will enjoy the banana cake! Grüss aus Zürich, Thanh xx

  10. Pat 3 June 2017

    Thanks for showing the ingredients in sensible units! It drives me bananas having to decipher “sticks” or “cups”of butter (really?), and other weird units when grammes and millilitres work so well with a kitchen scales. And degrees Fahrenheit? lol!

    • Eat, Little Bird 9 June 2017

      Hi Pat, I’m from Australia so I’m more familiar with using the metric system as well. It’s so much easier to weigh ingredients most of the time, but there are times when I appreciate using cups as well. But I’ve also seen recipes for cups of butter – too fiddly in my opinion! 😉


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