Saturday, November 12, 2011

Banana Cake With Banana Cream Frosting

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I have been looking unsuccessfully for a recipe for banana cake with cream frosting ever since I can remember.  Years ago when we came to this country and I was a very young girl I fell in love with a banana cake which  you could buy in the frozen section of any supermarket.  It was none other than Sara Lee's Banana Cake.  After awhile I sort of outgrew it and years later I tried it again and somehow it did not seem to be the same.  I don't know if Sara Lee changed the recipe or if my taste buds grew more sophisticated.  But the idea has stayed in my mind, particularly since my son loves banana cream pie.  I wonder if somehow he has inherited the banana gene from his mother.

I have looked for a good banana cake recipe in every cookbook I own and and all over the Internet.  Nothing.  So I picked out one that seemed to have the basics and proceeded to go from there.

What you want is a really light cake with a banana cream frosting that is on the creamy side and not too stiff.  I have substituted the regular flour for cake flour and followed the instructions on the box to make sure the measurements are right.  Originally the recipe called for 2 1/4 cups regular flour* which is the reason for the extra tablespoon you see in the ingredients.

The second ingredient that has been changed is the  shortening, primarily because I didn't have any on hand.  Shortening is supposed to make cakes lighter but the butter worked great in this case.

Finally, I have added a ripe banana to the frosting as I recalled that this was the game changer in the recipe of my dreams.

The recipe can also be baked in two cake pans, with frosting in the middle, for a different twist.

All in all, my best critic, who is my daughter, adored it and that is a lot coming from someone who doesn't like desserts!

Serves 16

  • 2 1/2 cups plus 1 TB. cake flour*
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 3)
  • 3/4cup buttermilk or sour milk*
  • 1/2cup shortening or butter (i used latter)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 eggs


1. Grease and lightly flour one 13x9x2-inch baking pan; set pan aside.

2. In a large mixing bowl stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Beat the butter in an electric mixer on low speed, add the sugar, mix until combined. Add the mashed bananas, and vanilla.  Add eggs, mix well, then add the buttermilk.  Add the flour mix slowly and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Pour batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake in a 350 degree F oven for about 35 minutes for 13x9-inch pan or till a wooden toothpick comes out clean. Place cake in pan on a wire rack; cool thoroughly. Frost with Banana Cream Frosting. Makes 12 to 16 servings.

Note : If you don't have buttermilk on hand, substitute sour milk in the same amount. For the 3/4 cup of sour milk needed, place 2-1/4 teaspoons lemon juice or vinegar in a glass measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 3/4 cup total liquid; stir. Let the mixture stand for 5 minutes before using it in a recipe.

Banana Cream Frosting

1/2 cup butter
1 8 oz pck. cream cheese or Neufchatel (1/3 less fat)*
1 mashed banana
1/2 tsp vanilla vanilla
3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar

First mix the butter and cream cheese.  Add the banana well mashed.  Add vanilla and sugar. If the frosting is too stiff, add 1 TB. sour cream.  I purposely used Neufchatel cheese to make the frosting lighter.

Put in the refrigerator until about an hour before ready to serve.

The cake keeps best in the refrigerator.  I have frozen half, frosting and all.  I will let you know how it turns out.


  1. A classic cake -- one of Sundays at grandmothers!

  2. Julieta, would that be one cup cream cheese in the icing?

  3. I too LOVED that Sara Lee frozen banana cake, I fooled myself into thinking it was an OK thing to eat for breakfast with coffee, which I did for years in my youth [cringe]. Remember how the cardboard top had to be pried out from between the crimped foil pan edges? But look at this, you have invented this generation's banana cake holy grail, BRAVO and thank you!


  4. Martha

    and what we are having today for dinner with the grandchildren. Can't wait to see their faces (and my son's!)


    THANK YOU! fixed. As a matter of fact I had forgotten to add the Neufchatel which I think works better.


    Not only plying the top off, but doing it without messing up the frosting! I understand they changed the recipe awhile back. It's not even close to the original. This is and, in all humility, better. enjoy!

  5. You bet it's better than Sara Lee! I made it this afternoon and I just hope there is some left for breakfast tomorrow.
    Julieta, you are the best!

    Forgot to tell you the laugh I had when you posted Two Turkeys.
    Well at least he is not running for president.

  6. Sandra,

    It freezes beautifully, frosting and all. I have yet to see somebody eat just one piece.

    1. Thank you so much for this info [some years on!]. I increased the recipe, have spare cakes on my hands, and it's LOVELY to learn that I can whack them into the freezer and they will be tip-top afterwards. Great blog! Discovered you when looking for substitutes for Sara Lee banana cake icing and took it from there! :-)

  7. Hello,
    I have been subscribing to your blog for quite some time, and think it is simply gorgeous. I was just wanting some clarification on the flour measurement. Firstly, do you add 2 1/4 cups cake flour + 5 tablespoons of cake flour? Do you have any idea what 5 tablespoons would be in cups...1/4 or 1/3 maybe?
    My daughter and I love banana cake so can't wait to try this. It comes with high recommendations.
    Thanks for sharing so much with the rest of the world. You are appreciated.
    Regards from Australia,

  8. Anonymous,

    I have adjusted the measurements to 2 1/2 cups (4 TB in 1/4 cup) plus 1 TB. Actually, I was just being lazy and didn't bother to convert to cups! now it makes more sense.

  9. It does not show in the directions where to add the buttermilk. I am assuming it is to be added to the banana mixture before the flour this added. Is this correct?

    1. Hi again..i would like to make this recipe into cupcakes. How would you suggest I bake them?

    2. Michelle, I have not made these into cupcakes but you can try it by following instructions from any cupcake recipe as to time and oven temp.

  10. Excellent dessert and thank you for sharing this with us all!


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