Deprecated: preg_replace(): Passing null to parameter #3 ($subject) of type array|string is deprecated in /www/newpanhandlemilling_497/public/wp-includes/kses.php on line 1805

The Best Ultimate Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

This Banana cake tastes just like irresistible banana bread in layer-cake form. Paired with a thick and luscious cream cheese frosting, it is perfection.

This cake is Grandma’s comfort dessert. This is the one. The epitome of an ideal banana cake that is tender and flavorful.  It is one of life’s simple pleasures, covered with decadent cream cheese frosting. Our chef’s bakery recipe for old-school banana cake is extra-rich and moist, made most exquisite in taste using the ripest bananas. Don’t omit the instant pudding mix (it must be instant). This ingredient adds stability to the incredible sponge texture of the cake

Yields: one 8″ three-layer cake

SERVINGS: 16 slices
PREP TIME: 30 minutes mins
Bake TIME: 26 minutes mins

Moist Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting 

Dry Ingredients

  • 400 grams (3 cups) Panhandle Milling All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 ½ tsp Baking Powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. Baking Soda
  • 1 ½ tsp Salt
  • 1/3 cup Vanilla Instant Pudding
  • 400 grams (2 cups) Sugar

Wet Ingredients

  • 6 small Overly-ripe Fresh Mashed Bananas 260 grams (1 ¼ cup)
  • ¼ cup Water
  • 4 large Eggs
  • 1 1/3 cup Buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup Vegetable Oil
  • 1Tbsp. Vanilla Extract
  • 2 sticks (s) (8 ounces) of Salted Butter, melted

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 cups Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 7 cups confectioners’ sugar (2 lb. or 907g)
  • 16 ounces Cream Cheese, cut into 8 pieces, softened
  • ¾ cup Hot Water
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla Bean Paste
  • Pinch of Salt
  • Toasted finely chopped nuts and/or toasted coconut for garnish


  • Mash the bananas until a fine puree without any chunks. A wire pastry blender works best when mashing them in a bowl. One could also use a fork and mash them on a plate. Measure out 260 g (around 1 ¼ cup) banana puree.

Make Banana Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 325°F. Line 3 8-inch by 2-inch round cake pans with parchment paper, then spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  • Combine water, banana puree, eggs, buttermilk, vegetable oil, vanilla extract, and melted butter in a large bowl and whisk until smooth and well-blended.
  • Sift the Dry Ingredients into a separate large bowl using a sifter or fine-mesh strainer. Whisk until well blended.
  • Pour the Wet Ingredients into the Dry Ingredients and whisk until incorporated.
  • Divide the banana cake batter evenly between the three prepared pans and smooth the batter until even.
  • Bake in the middle or top rack (avoid the bottom rack) of a preheated 325°F oven for 22-26 minutes. The internal temperature should be over 210°F for optimal baking. Check the cake is done when a toothpick comes out clean when quickly stuck in the cake.
  • The delicate cake will be easiest to layer from cold or frozen- allow it to cool for at least an hour before removing it from the pan. Wrap and freeze the cake on cake circles for at least two hours (up to 2 weeks ahead of time) before decorating. 

For the frosting:

  • With an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar on medium-high speed until fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  • Add cream cheese, one piece at a time, and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Beat in water, vanilla, and salt. Refrigerate until ready to use if it feels too soft.
  • Reserve the nuts for decorating.

Layer, Decorate, and Serve:

  • We have found that the simplest way to layer the cake is to layer and decorate it from frozen the day before it is served. If serving the cake on the same layering day, use refrigerated cake layers instead of frozen.
  • Fill each cake layer with prepared Cream Cheese Frosting. An offset icing spatula helps with this.
  • We recommend frosting a thin crumb coat of buttercream on the outside of the cake, which will catch all the crumby edges, then allowing it to set up in the freezer for about 10 minutes until the frosting is firm.
  • Spread a final layer of Cream Cheese Frosting over your set-up crumbed cake and decorate as desired. We used a small offset icing spatula to make a homestyle texture, then topped the cake with toasted nut pieces or coconut.
  • We recommend letting the cake set up in the fridge, being sure to come to room temperature before serving. This cake has the best texture at room temperature. Enjoy!