Turn those super-ripe bananas into something truly special with our delicious one-layer Banana Cake topped with a Chocolate Glaze. This easy and tasty dessert is packed with banana flavor and is perfect for any occasion. Whether you're celebrating a special event or just looking for a sweet treat, you can make this cake at home without any fuss. Enjoy the goodness of this homemade delight, made even better with a decadent chocolate topping. Don't let those extra ripe bananas go to waste – make something amazing out of them!😉
What is Banana Cake?
Banana Cake Ingredients
Note: The full ingredients list is provided in the recipe card below.
For the Banana Cake:
- Flour: The main dry ingredient in the cake. Sifting it helps remove lumps and aerates it for a smoother texture.
- Granulated Sugar: Sweetens the cake and also helps tenderize it by interacting with the other ingredients during mixing.
- Light Brown Sugar: Adds a caramel-like flavor and moisture to the cake.
- Avocado oil or grapeseed oil: This is the fat component of the cake, providing moisture and flavor. Avocado oil or butter contributes to the cake's richness.
- Eggs: Provide structure, moisture, and help bind the ingredients together.
- Baking powder: Helps the cake rise and become fluffy.
- Baking Soda: It acts as a leavening agent and reacts with acidic ingredients to create carbon dioxide gas, which helps the cake rise.
- Fresh lemon juice: Lemon juice adds acidity, which helps activate the baking soda and contributes to the cake's rise.
- Kosher Salt: Balances the sweetness and enhances the overall flavor of the cake.
- Pure vanilla extract: Enhances the overall flavor of the cake.
For the Chocolate Icing:
- Milk or water: Milk or water is used to adjust the consistency of the icing to make it spreadable.
- Vanilla extract: Vanilla extract adds flavor to the icing.
- Light Corn Syrup: Provides a glossy appearance in chocolate icing.
- Brown sugar: Brown sugar contributes sweetness and flavor to the icing.
- Bittersweet or dark chocolate, finely chopped: Chocolate is the main flavor component of the icing. Bittersweet or dark chocolate adds depth and richness.
- Sprinkles, to decorate: Sprinkles are used for decoration to add color and a fun element to the cake.
Tools you'll need
- Hand Mixer
- 11-inch round pan
- Silicone Spatula
- Mitten Oven
- Liquid Measuring Cups
- Dry Measuring Cups
- Fine-mesh strainer
How to Make Banana Cake
Note: The full instructions are provided in the recipe card below.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Grease an 11-inch round pan with shortening or butter and lightly flour it. In a small bowl, mash the bananas and combine them with the lemon juice. Set this mixture aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, eggs, salt, vanilla extract, and both sugars until well combined. Add the mashed banana mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Gently fold or whisk the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until everything is just combined and no dry flour remains; do not overmix!
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the Banana Cake in the preheated oven for about 35 to 45 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully turn the cake out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely before serving.
How to Make the Chocolate Icing
In a small saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve before putting over low heat. Don't stir once it's on the heat. Instead, let it boil, and then take it off the heat. Add the chocolate and the vanilla extract to the pan, swirling them around so that the hot liquid covers the chocolate. Leave to melt for a few minutes, then whisk to combine until smooth and shiny.
Pour over the cooled banana cake, letting it drip down the sides, and then immediately cover it with your chosen sprinkles or leave the chocolate surface as it is. Enjoy our Banana Cake with Chocolate Icing!
- All-purpose flour: You can use whole wheat flour or a gluten-free flour blend instead of all-purpose flour, but the texture and taste of the cake may be slightly different.
- Non-aluminum baking powder: If you don't have non-aluminum baking powder, you can use regular baking powder instead.
- Avocado oil or unsalted butter: You can use another neutral-flavored oil, such as canola or vegetable oil, instead of avocado oil. Alternatively, you can use salted butter instead of unsalted butter, but you may need to adjust the amount of kosher salt in the recipe.
- Granulated sugar and brown sugar: You can use coconut sugar or honey instead of granulated sugar and molasses instead of brown sugar. Remember that using a different sweetener may affect the texture and taste of the cake.
- Overripe bananas: If you don't have overripe bananas, you can use applesauce or mashed sweet potatoes instead. This may also alter the flavor and texture of the cake.
- Eggs: You can use a flax egg (1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons of water) or applesauce as a vegan alternative to eggs. However, this may also affect the texture of the cake.
- Milk or water: You can use any type of milk, including dairy-free milk, instead of regular milk or water.
- Light corn syrup: You can use honey or maple syrup instead of light corn syrup.
- Bittersweet or dark chocolate: You can use milk or white chocolate instead of bittersweet or dark chocolate. Remember that the chocolate's sweetness and flavor will affect the taste of the icing.
- Sprinkles: You can use any toppings you like, such as chopped nuts or fresh fruit, instead of sprinkles.
- Banana Nut Cake: Add 1 cup of chopped walnuts, pecans, or almonds to the batter before baking. This will add a nutty crunch to the cake and pair well with the banana flavor.
- Banana Chocolate Chip Cake: Fold 1 cup of chocolate chips into the batter before baking. The melted chocolate will add a rich and indulgent flavor to the cake.
- Banana Cinnamon Cake: Add 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon to the dry ingredients and mix well. This will add a warm and comforting spice to the cake and complement the banana flavor.
- Banana Coconut Cake: Add 1 cup of shredded coconut to the batter before baking. This will add a tropical twist to the cake and make it even moister.
- Banana Cream Cheese Cake: Mix 8 oz of softened cream cheese with ¼ cup of granulated sugar and 1 egg until smooth. Pour half of the banana cake batter into the pan, add the cream cheese mixture, and top with the remaining batter. Swirl with a knife to create a marbled effect. This will add a tangy and creamy texture to the cake.
- Banana Foster Cake: Add ½ cup of dark rum to the mashed bananas before adding them to the batter. Bake the cake and serve it with a warm banana foster sauce made with butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, and more rum. This will add a boozy and sophisticated flavor to the cake.
- Vegan Banana Cake: Replace the eggs with 2 mashed ripe bananas and use a vegan substitute instead of regular butter. This will make the cake vegan-friendly and just as delicious.
How to Serve
Banana cake is a versatile dessert that can be served in many ways. You can serve it plain or with a dusting of powdered sugar for a simple yet delicious treat. For a more decadent dessert, you can also top it with frosting or icing, such as cream cheese or chocolate ganache. Another popular way to enjoy banana cake is to serve it with whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream.
You can also cut the cake into squares or slices and pack it as a sweet snack for a picnic or a lunchbox. Whatever you choose to serve it, banana cake is sure to be a crowd-pleaser and a perfect way to use up those overripe bananas.
How to Store & Re-Heat
To store: The Banana Cake, let it cool completely and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container. Store it at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
To reheat: The cake, you can microwave individual slices for 10-15 seconds or until warm, or place the whole cake in a preheated oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 10-15 minutes or until warm. Be careful not to overheat it, as this can dry out the cake.
It's important to note that the Chocolate Icing may melt or become runny if exposed to heat, so it's best to store the cake without the icing and add it just before serving. Alternatively, you can store the cake and icing separately and frost the cake just before serving.
You can make the Banana Cake a day ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator, wrapped in plastic wrap or an airtight container, until ready to serve. This can save you time on the day of serving and also allows the flavors of the cake to develop and deepen over time. If you're making the Chocolate Icing ahead of time, let it cool completely before storing it in the refrigerator in an airtight container.
Then, when you're ready to serve, gently reheat the icing in a double boiler or the microwave, occasionally stirring, until it's smooth and spreadable. To assemble the cake, frost the cooled cake with the warmed Chocolate Icing and decorate with sprinkles, if desired. You can let the cake come to room temperature before serving or serve it chilled, depending on your preference. Making the cake and icing ahead of time can make hosting a special occasion or party much easier and stress-free.
How to Freeze
To freeze Banana Cake, let it cool completely and wrap it tightly in plastic or aluminum foil. Then, please place it in a resealable plastic freezer bag and label it with the date. It can be stored in the freezer for 2-3 months. To thaw the frozen cake, remove it from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for about 1-2 hours or until completely thawed. Alternatively, you can thaw it in the refrigerator overnight.
It's important to note that the texture and flavor of the cake may change slightly after freezing and thawing, so it's best to decorate the cake with Chocolate Icing and toppings after it has been thawed. For the Chocolate Icing, you can freeze it in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to 2-3 months.
Then, thaw the icing in the refrigerator overnight, and gently reheat it in a double boiler or the microwave, occasionally stirring, until it's smooth and spreadable. Freezing the Banana Cake can be a great option if you have leftover cake or want to make it ahead of time. It's also a great way to save time and reduce waste.
Tips for Making The Best Banana Cake
- Follow the recipe: Follow the recipe directions precisely.
- Measure Properly: Measure the flour by spooning it into the measuring cup, then level it with a knife or use the weight measurements. ( I use a 240 ml Dry Measuring cup, every cup is 125g of flour).
- Use room temperature ingredients: Ensure all your ingredients are at room temperature (this helps ensure everything gets incorporated properly; not doing this can result in poor emulsification).
- Butter and Flour the Pan: Butter an 11-inch round cake pan, add a few tablespoons of flour, then shake, turn, and tap the pan so that the flour lightly and evenly coats the bottom and sides. Finally, tap excess flour out of the buttered and floured pan.
- Sift Dry Ingredients: Sift dry ingredients but not sugar to combine and aerate, making a fluffier cake. Then, place it in a fine-mesh strainer over a piece of parchment paper, and shake the strainer until everything's on the paper: When it's time to add, pick up the paper and let the ingredients slide out into the mixing bowl. However, if you don't have one, whisk the dry ingredients for 30 seconds to combine.
- Creaming: Beating the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy creates tiny air pockets in the butter, which helps the cake keep its texture light and rise.
- Beat in Eggs: One at a time, add the eggs, ensuring that they emulsify or blend completely with the butter mixture. Then, if desired, flavor with vanilla extract or other flavorings. It's easier to incorporate eggs that are at room temperature. To get the eggs to warm up faster. For a few minutes, place them in a bowl of warm water.
- Alternate the Wet and Dry Ingredients: Often, a recipe calls for adding wet and dry ingredients in alternating batches. This helps prevent the gluten in the flour from developing too much, which causes heavier and not-so-fluffy flag cake. Also, do not overmix — overworking the flour makes for tough results.
- Pour cake batter into prepared pan: Pour the batter into an 11-inch round cake pan and smooth the top.
- Bake and Test for Doneness: Insert a wooden skewer or a toothpick into the center of a cake and see if it comes out clean; if it does, the cake is done. You may also notice the banana cake pulling away from the pan's sides. When you get more practice, you can tell if the cake is done when you lightly press on the top and feel a slight spring back.
- Cool the cake: Remove the banana cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan on a wire rack until completely cool.
My banana cake turned out too dense and heavy. How can I make it lighter and fluffier?
If your banana cake turned out dense and heavy, it might be due to overmixing the batter. Overmixing can lead to the development of too much gluten, resulting in a denser texture. To make it lighter and fluffier, mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined, avoiding overmixing.
The cake didn't rise properly. What could be the issue?
If your banana cake didn't rise properly, there could be a few reasons. Make sure your leavening agents (baking powder and baking soda) are fresh and not expired. Additionally, ensure that the oven is preheated to the correct temperature and that you don't open the oven door too frequently while baking, as this can cause the cake to sink.
My banana cake is too sweet. Can I reduce the sugar in the recipe?
You can reduce the sugar in the recipe if you prefer a less sweet cake. Keep in mind that sugar not only adds sweetness but also affects the texture and moisture of the cake. Adjust to your taste, but be cautious not to reduce it too much to maintain the cake's desired texture.
The cake stuck to the pan when I tried to remove it. How can I prevent this next time?
To prevent the cake from sticking to the pan, make sure to thoroughly grease the pan with shortening or butter and lightly flour it. Additionally, allow the cake to cool in the pan for about 10 minutes before attempting to turn it out onto a wire rack. This can help the cake release more easily.
The chocolate icing is too thick. How can I thin it out?
If your chocolate icing is too thick, you can add a small amount of milk or water to it and whisk until it reaches your desired consistency. Add liquid gradually, as a little can go a long way in thinning out the icing.
My chocolate icing turned grainy. How can I fix it?
If your chocolate icing has turned grainy, it may have overheated or had contact with moisture during preparation. To fix it, you can try gently reheating it over low heat while stirring continuously until it becomes smooth again. Be careful not to overheat it.
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Easy Banana Cake with Chocolate Icing
For the Banana Cake:
- 375 g (3 cups) all-purpose flour sifted
- 1 teaspoon Non-Aluminum baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 cup avocado oil or unsalted butter, softened
- 200 g (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 200 g (1 cup) light brown sugar or brown sugar
- 1-½ cups (about 3 medium) overripe bananas, mashed
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 large eggs , room temperature
For the Chocolate Icing:
- 30 ml (2 tablespoons) milk or water
- 15 ml ( 1 tablespoon) vanilla extract
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- 50 g (¼) brown sugar
- 175 grams (6 ounces) bittersweet or dark chocolate, finely chopped sprinkles, to decorate
For the Banana Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF (175ºC). Grease an 11-inch round pan with shortening or butter and lightly flour it. In a small bowl, mash the bananas and combine them with the lemon juice. Set this mixture aside. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, whisk together the avocado oil, eggs, salt, vanilla extract, and both sugars until well combined. Add the mashed banana mixture to the wet ingredients and mix until fully incorporated. Gently fold or whisk the dry ingredients into the wet mixture until everything is just combined and no dry flour remains; do not overmix!
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Bake the Banana Cake in the preheated oven for about 35 to 45 minutes or until the cake is golden brown and a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean. Once baked, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Carefully turn the cake out onto a wire rack and allow it to cool completely before serving.
How to Make the Chocolate Icing:
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, corn syrup, and brown sugar, stirring to dissolve before putting over low heat. Don't stir once it's on the heat. Instead, let it boil, and then take it off the heat. Add the chocolate and the vanilla extract to the pan, swirling them around so that the hot liquid covers the chocolate. Leave to melt for a few minutes, then whisk to combine until smooth and shiny.
- Pour over the cooled banana cake, letting it drip down the sides, and then immediately cover, as you like, with your chosen sprinkles or leave the chocolate surface as it is. Enjoy our Banana Cake with Chocolate Icing!
- Cover and refrigerate any leftovers for up to 5 days, bringing the cake back to room temperature before serving.
- 1 tablespoon of light corn syrup makes the cream cheese frosting glossy. You can leave it out if you'd like.
All nutritional information is based on third-party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe and nutritional value will vary depending on the brands you use, measuring methods, and portion sizes per household.