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banana layer cake
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5 from 2 votes

Banana Layer Cake

Banana Layer Cake is baked in a 9x13 pan and then sliced down the middle and frosted. The result is an unfussy dessert with two layers of tender banana cake, a center filling of cream cheese frosting, and chocolate frosting around the outside.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Dessert
Keyword: banana, cake, layer cake
Servings: 14
Calories: 592kcal
Author: Jess Smith via Inquiring Chef

Equipment

  • Stand or Handheld Mixer
  • Mixing Bowls
  • 9 x 13 Baking Dish

Ingredients

Banana Cake:

  • 3 cups All-Purpose Flour (375g)
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 cup Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature (1 1/2 sticks; 12 Tbsp; 170g)
  • 1 1/2 cups White Sugar (300g)
  • 3 Eggs, whisked
  • 2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 1 1/2 cups Lowfat Buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups Mashed Bananas (3-4 medium bananas)

Chocolate Frosting:

  • 1 cup Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature (2 sticks; 16 Tbsp; 226g)
  • 1/2 cup Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 1/2 cups Powdered Sugar
  • 2-4 Tbsp Milk

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 2 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, softened to room temperature (1/4 stick; 28g)
  • 2 oz Cream Cheese, softened to room temperature (be sure to use block cream cheese, not the kind that comes in a tub) (56g)
  • 1 Tbsp Milk, any type, more as needed
  • 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
  • 2 cups Powdered Sugar (250g)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F / 177°C. Lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan.
  • Make cake: In a small bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • Using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or a handheld mixer, beat together the butter (for the cake) and white sugar until very light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until evenly combined.
  • Alternate adding the half the dry ingredients and half the buttermilk, mixing after each addition, until everything is evenly combined. Add mashed bananas and mix on low just until even. (Do not over mix.)
  • Spread cake batter out in prepared baking pan.
  • Bake until cake is set in the middle, 55 to 65 minutes. (If using a metal pan, it should finish on the lower end of the range; if using a glass or ceramic pan, it will need closer to the higher end.)
  • Make cream cheese frosting: Using a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or handheld mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese on high until smooth and even, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 2 Tbsp milk, vanilla, and powdered sugar and mix on low to combine everything. Switch to high and beat until very smooth, 2 minutes more. If the frosting is too thick to spread, add additional milk a little at a time. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Make chocolate frosting: Wipe out the bowl used to make the cream cheese frosting. Combine butter, cocoa powder, honey, and vanilla. Beat on high until very smooth and creamy. Add powdered sugar and 2 Tbsp milk. Continue mixing until evenly combined. Continue beating, adding extra milk as needed, until the frosting is a smooth, thick but spreadable consistency.
  • Wait until cake is completely cool to slice it in half across the shortest side, dividing it into two even pieces. (Do not frost the cake if it is warm or the frosting will melt.)
  • If the top of the cake is rounded, use a serrated knife to even it out.
  • Place one of the cake squares on a serving platter or cake stand. Spread a layer of cream cheese frosting on top.
  • Place the second square of cake on top of the cream cheese frosting. Frost the entire outside of the cake with an even layer of chocolate frosting. Refrigerate for up to 12 hours.
  • Slice and serve!

Notes

Frosting - Both types of frosting can be made up to 3 days ahead and refrigerated. Let them come to room temperature before using to make them easier to spread.
Make ahead - You can bake the cake up to a day ahead and frost before serving.
Method adapted from Lemon Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting (Food and Wine, Jan 2021) 

Nutrition

Serving: 1slice | Calories: 592kcal | Carbohydrates: 84g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 17g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 105mg | Sodium: 234mg | Potassium: 109mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 870IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 29mg | Iron: 2mg