This 'Best Banana Cake' recipe gets its tang from buttermilk and lemon juice

Tina Bennett
This banana cake is easy to make and frost

About the recipe

Buttermilk and lemon juice add a little tang to mellow bananas, creating a very moist and flavorful cake. 

Because this cake is served in its baking pan, it’s easy to frost. Use a large spoon to drop the frosting in two or three big dollops over the cake, then use an offset spatula to spread — always pushing the frosting forward and never letting the spatula come in direct contact with the cake (to prevent pulling crumbs into the frosting). If you do get some crumbs in your frosting, don’t panic — it will still get eaten.

Serves: 15

Hands On Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours and 15 minutes



1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

3 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature

2 cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

3 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

Cream Cheese Frosting:

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, room temperature

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1 tablespoon milk (optional)


To make the cake: Heat oven to 300 degrees. Grease and flour a 9-by-13 inch pan.

In a small bowl, mix mashed bananas with lemon juice and set aside. In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.

With an electric mixer or a hand-mixer in a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the vanilla. Beat in the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in the banana mixture.

Pour batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place directly into the freezer for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the frosting: With an electric mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the vanilla. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar and beat on low speed until combined, then on high until frosting is smooth. If the frosting is too stiff to spread, beat in milk. Spread on the cooled cake.

When the cake is cool, place on a serving platter and frost with frosting.


Per serving (including frosting): 546 calories (percent of calories from fat, 36), 6 grams protein, 83 grams carbohydrates, 1 gram fiber, 22 grams fat (13 grams saturated), 101 milligrams cholesterol, 123 milligrams sodium.