Classic Banana Cake with Vanilla Buttercream! A wonderful and classic banana sheet cake paired with a creamy and luscious vanilla infused buttercream frosting. This cake is your classic banana cake which is light and soft in texture with an absolutely delicious and smooth buttercream icing which is so easy to make with 4 ingredients. Enjoy a square of this beautiful cake for morning or afternoon tea with a cuppa, coffee or hot chocolate.
What is Classic Banana Cake?
This is your classic banana cake, not the kind that is called banana bread, nor is it the kind of recipe that mostly consists of banana which makes it extremely moist. You know the kind I’m referring too? I’ve made plenty of them in the past and yes they’re tasty but they do not last long, they sweat and go off quite quickly. This recipe here is basically a butter cake with lots of mashed banana in the batter. It even has those little dark specks in the crumb that you see with cafe style banana cakes and breads. I’m so pleased with how this turned out and I look forward to you making it as well!
When you take a look at the ingredient list, yes it’s long, there’s quite a few ingredients in this cake but it’s all very much worth it. Making the actual cake is pretty straightforward but you will spend most of your time gathering and measuring out all of your ingredients. I’m probably putting you off lol but this is what it takes to create this stunning banana cake. You might find some other recipes that are easier than this (less ingredients because as I mentioned, the method is simple) but if you’re looking for a true and authentic banana cake that you will fall in love with, this is it.
Banana Cake Ingredients
Let’s take a look at the ingredients that you’ll need to bake your banana cake:
Plain all purpose flour as the foundation to create your cake.
Baking powder to help the cake rise.
Baking soda also assists in rising the cake and works well paired with baking powder.
Ground cinnamon adds a hint of warming spice.
Salt to enhance all the flavours in this cake and balance out the sweetness.
Unsalted butter adds richness and is a great fat to bake with.
Granulated sugar adds structure, moisture and sweetness.
Brown sugar to bring depth of flavour in addition to the granulated sugar.
Eggs act as rising agents, provide structure and fullness to the cake.
Ripe bananas because it’s banana cake! Make sure your bananas are nice and ripe as they’re easier to mash, provide more flavour and blend better in the cake batter.
Vanilla extract for a splash of vanilla flavour.
Milk as one of the main liquids to incorporate all of the ingredients together. You can use your favourite milk, I use almond milk for my cake.
Greek yoghurt brings moisture and helps activate the baking soda resulting in a fluffy and light cake.
Extra virgin olive oil adds even more moisture without the additional flavour.
For the beautiful buttercream you’ll need:
Unsalted butter which you melt down to create the base for the buttercream frosting.
Icing sugar adds sweetness and structure for the frosting.
Milk to help combine the butter and sugar.
Vanilla Extract acts as the main flavour to the frosting.
As I mentioned, the cake itself is made with lots of basic cake ingredients! It’s just like a classic butter cake recipe but with mashed banana, of course! I’ll talk below about how you bring these altogether to create your cake. The buttercream frosting is my favourite frosting too, because of the method and the amount of ingredients used. I’ve included this recipe (with minor quantity changes) on my lemon biscuit slice too.
How to Make Classic Banana Cake
The method for the cake itself is simple and straightforward. I have tested this cake using a stand mixer and electric hand beaters, both worked great so you can use either!
Pre-heat your oven and line your sheet pan cake.
Peel and mash your bananas then set aside. Saves you doing this right before you add them to your batter.
First and foremost, gather and measure out your cold ingredients which is the butter, eggs, milk and yoghurt. Set these on your bench and allow them to come to room temperature. Do this first as they’ll be at room temp by the time you finish measuring out your remaining ingredients. They need to be at room temp to get the best end result for your cake because, science 😉
Add all dry ingredients into a separate mixing bowl, your flour, baking powder and soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk to combine well and set aside.
Once your butter has softened, beat it for a few seconds to break it up. This makes it easier and less messy when you start to beat through the two sugars.
Add your granulated and brown sugar to the butter and cream together by beating them for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of your bowl when necessary.
Beat one egg in at a time, there’s 3 eggs and the only need about 5-10 seconds of mixing through before your next addition.
Pour in the remaining liquid ingredients which is your mashed banana, milk, yoghurt, olive oil and vanilla. Beat through until well combined. The batter will be thin and quite liquidity!
Now add half of the dry flour mixture. Beat through until just combined, then add other half and beat until combined, ensuring not to over-beat and scraping down the sides as needed too. Just mix until you no longer see visible flour in your batter then stop beating. You can even mix some remnants of flour through with your spatula if needed, to avoid harsh over-mixing with your electric beaters.
Pour batter into your lined pan, making sure it’s even and smoothing out the top.
Bake for 30-35 minutes! Let your cake cool in the pan for 15 minutes before removing it from the pan and transfer to a wire rack so it can cool completely.
The Frosting – you’ll love this!
Grab your mixing bowl and add in your icing sugar, melted butter, milk and vanilla.
Use a hand whisk to mix it together until smooth and no lumps of icing sugar remain.
That’s it, how great! No electric hand beaters like regular buttercream frosting, which you may or may not know from reading my blog posts that I dislike to make.
Spread your frosting over your cooled cake. Allow to set.
Slice cake into squares and enjoy!
This cake is sturdy, which means it will last for the week (if not slightly longer) in an airtight container in the pantry or fridge, depending on where you live and how humid your home is. Just watch the frosting doesn’t melt. You can always keep it in your pantry initially then transfer it to the fridge if you suspect it getting too soft or the icing is starting to melt off if it’s too warm in the house.
Recipe Tips & Substitutions
This cake is made in a large sheet pan, which is a large rectangle baking dish, a bit bigger than your regular rectangle pans. I’ve shared some images of mine and how I line it to bake the cake. This is a big cake, it uses 3 cups of flour so be sure to have the same size baking pan as stated in the recipe. Although, when I first tested this recipe, I accidentally baked it in a regular rectangle pan and it rised well above the pan, I thought it was going to overflow but thankfully it didn’t and it could still be enjoyed once it finished baking. So, if you really cannot get a large sheet pan cake, I can tell you it also bakes in a 9-inch x 12-inch (22cm x 30cm) rectangle baking pan. Just know that it will rise in the oven well above the top of the pan.
I’m sure this banana cake recipe will be on rotation from here on out for you and anyone you share it with. The size of this cake is so good as it lasts a while. I haven’t tried this yet for myself but you can try freezing slices of the cake for the future too, icing and all. I’ll certainly test this as well because when you’re in need of a snack and you don’t have the time to make anything or rush off to the shops, defrosting this cake will save you a lot of time!
Pop on the kettle and make yourself a cuppa, coffee or hot chocolate because this banana cake is fabulous to serve for an afternoon tea with friends and family or in solitude by yourself, is there anything better? This cake is also great to slice, wrap up and take with you to work or school for your sweet snack. You can even make it for a picnic date! Even better, a special occasion to wow your guests or fellow partygoers.
Looking for more easy cake recipes? Here are some favourites:
If you make this recipe please be sure to let me know how you go in the comments below and tag me on Instagram with your delicious photos & video! I love to see what you guys are making from the blog and enjoying with your loved ones.Print
A wonderful and classic banana sheet cake paired with a creamy and luscious vanilla infused buttercream frosting. This cake is your classic banana cake which is light and soft in texture with an absolutely delicious and smooth buttercream icing which is so easy to make with 4 ingredients. Enjoy a square of this beautiful cake for morning or afternoon tea with a cuppa, coffee or hot chocolate.
- Banana Cake
- 3 cups (450g) plain all purpose flour
- 2 tsp (10g) baking powder
- 1/2 tsp (4g) baking soda
- 1 tsp (2g) ground cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 medium-large ripe bananas (400g with skin on) mashed, each banana weighing (skin on) between 130g-135g & altogether weighing between 390g-400g (skin on)
- 100g (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) raw granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup (110g) packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature (each egg weighing approx. 55g in shell)
- 2/3 cup (160ml) milk
- 1/2 cup (130g) plain greek yoghurt
- 1/4 cup (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla bean extract
- Vanilla Buttercream
- 2 1/4 cups (340g) icing/powdered sugar
- 60g unsalted butter, melted
- 3 Tbsp milk
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Banana Cake
- Preheat oven to 180ºC (350ºF). Grease and line a large rectangle sheet cake pan measuring 35cm length x 25cm width (13 inch length x 9 inch width), set aside.
- First bring cold ingredients to room temperature; butter, eggs, milk and yoghurt.
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, peel and break up bananas. Using a fork or potato masher, mash bananas until creamy, it’s ok if theres still some lumps. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl using electric hand beaters, or using the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attached, add softened butter to the bowl.
- Beat for a few seconds to break up the butter and it’s turned slightly creamy, about 5-10 seconds.
- Add both sugars and cream together by beating for 2 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just incorporated, about 5-8 seconds. Scraping down the sides as needed.
- Pour in mashed banana, milk, yoghurt, olive oil and vanilla. Beat until well combined.
- Add half the flour and beat until just combined but not fully, some flour will still be visible and not mixed in. Scrape down sides of bowl.
- Add remaining flour and beat until incorporated, ensuring not to over-mix, just until it’s incorporated and no visible flour remains. If some flour is still on the sides of the bowl, simply scrape it down and gently mix it through with a spatula.
- Pour batter into lined pan. Smoothing it out evenly with your spatula.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean and cake is lightly golden all over.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes.
- Carefully remove it from the pan by placing a wire rack or chopping board on top of the cake. Then flip over both the cake pan and rack/board together so the rack/board is now on the bottom. Gently lift the pan up and the cake should fall out onto the rack/board underneath. Then place another rack/board on top of the cake and flip both back over so the cake is now upright with the rack/board underneath.
- Allow cake to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Vanilla Buttercream
- In a medium sized mixing bowl, add icing sugar, melted butter, milk and vanilla. Use a hand whisk to mix it altogether until well combined, it will turn thick. Continue to whisk until smooth and no lumps of sugar remain.
- Dollop and spread icing over cooled cake.
- Allow icing to set for 15-30 minutes before slicing.
- Cut into squares and enjoy!
- Store in an airtight container, in a dry dark pantry for 3-4 days. Then move to refrigerator for a further 2-3 days to keep it fresh and if there is any left.