This banana nut cake is my absolute favorite go-to banana recipe for ripe bananas. A super moist and decadent banana cake that is topped with cream cheese frosting and a sprinkle of walnuts.
This banana recipe is great for parties, summer cookouts, or the occasional weeknight dessert to treat yourself with after a long week. The cream cheese frosting will blow you away in the flavor department.
- Granulated Sugar – This is going to be the sweetening agent in the banana cake.
- Ripe Bananas – Brown spotted bananas are best as it will enhance the flavor of the cake tremendously.
- Oil – Vegetable or canola oil work great for this.
- All Purpose Flour – Make sure to scoop the flour into the measuring cup with a spoon and level it off for accurate measuring.
- Baking Powder and Baking Soda
- Ground Cinnamon – The cinnamon enhances the flavor of the cake and gives a nice warm undertone to the bread.
- Walnuts – Crushed walnuts is what I prefer. It offers the perfect crunch to the soft fluffy cake and frosting.
- Cream Cheese – Make sure your cream cheese is softened, or it will not create a creamy base for the frosting.
- Butter – Unsalted room temperature butter is needed. Do not use margarine.
- Vanilla – Just a little goes a long way to elevate the flavor of the frosting.
- Powdered Sugar – If you find your powdered sugar has lumps you can always sift it to remove lumps first.
For the full ingredient amount and full instructions on how to make banana nut cake see the recipe card below.
Preheat your oven and prepare your 9×13 pan as directed.
Next in a large mixing bowl you will want to add the sugar, eggs, and banana along with the oil.
Mix until the banana mixture is well combined and no large clumps of the bananas are in the mixture.
Then you will begin to add in the dry ingredients. When you are mixing make sure to scrape down the sides to remove any stuck on ingredients.
Make sure to fully incorporate the batter, it will be bubbly on the top after you have mixed it for a bit.
Fold in the crushed walnuts and mix it in the batter with a spatula. Just mix enough to ensure the nuts are incorporated into the batter.
Pour into your baking pan and toss in the oven to bake as directed. Once done, remove from the oven and allow the banana cake to cool completely.
Next you will add your frosting ingredients into a bowl and mix until nice and creamy. Then add dollops over the cooled cake.
Spread the frosting out into an even layer.
Garnish with additional crushed walnuts if you would like. I find it adds a nice presentation value to the cake.
Recipe tips and variations
- Make sure to use ripe bananas otherwise your flavor will lack. You want the bananas to have a nice brown freckle look to them.
- When you mash up the banana remove large chunks, as that can create a mushy texture when you bite into the cake.
- The frosting is optional. You could always swap with a buttercream, vanilla frosting, etc.
- Nuts are optional but add great texture.
- Consider adding in some chocolate chips for a kick of sweetness in the cake.
Storage and reheating tips
- Refrigerate: Store any banana nut cake leftovers in an air-tight container in the refrigerator and enjoy within 3 days.
- Freeze: To freeze leftover cake, simply place it in an airtight freezer safe container and freeze for 3-4 months.
How to serve
This cake is a perfect dessert to serve up all year round. Slice and serve alone or pair with a scoop of ice cream on the side.
Frequently asked questions
Banana bread is a firmer texture where cake is lighter and fluffier. You will find both desserts offer similar flavoring.
You might have either overbaked the cake or you added too much flour and the dry ingredients overtook the wet ingredients in the batter.
Place foil on a baking sheet and place unripe bananas in a single layer. Bake at 275 degrees for 30 minutes or until the skins of the bananas are black and the bananas are soft. Allow the bananas to cool a bit then peel and use in any recipe you would like.
Banana Nut Cake
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- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 3 medium ripe bananas
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup crushed walnuts
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 3 oz cream cheese softened
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with non-stick spray.
- In a large bowl, mix together the sugar, bananas, oil and eggs until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stir in the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir in 1/2 cup of the walnuts.
- Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.
- Cream together the cream cheese, butter and vanilla. Slowly add in the powdered sugar and mix until a thick frosting forms.
- Dollop the frosting all over the banana bars and carefully spread it to the edges. Top with the remaining 1/4 cup walnuts, cut and enjoy!
The nutritional information is automatically calculated and can vary based ingredients and products used. If the nutrition numbers are important for you we recommend calculating them yourself.
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