The Best Banana Spice Cake Recipe
This post contains affiliate links. See full disclosure here.
Banana Cake vs Banana Bread
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
This easy spiced banana cake is one of the quickest and easiest cakes to make. Here are a few reasons this will be your new go-to recipe:
- It’s a one pan wonder. You can bake, frost, and serve this cake in the sheet pan, making it super easy to share.
- You can feed a crowd. This recipe yields 24 servings, so it’s great for parties and events.
- Make the entire cake from start to finish in under an hour.
- Enjoy this dessert year round. The flavors are perfect for any time of year.
- It tastes AMAZING. With the perfect amount of sweetness and great flavor, this cake will leave you wanting more.
Each of these key ingredients contributes to the perfect flavor and texture of this moist banana spice cake.
For the spice cake
- Ripe bananas: The riper the better! The best bananas for this recipe are the ones that have turned totally brown because they have so much flavor. Overripe bananas are also the easiest to mash.
- Side note: Freezing bananas is also a great option if you want to make the cake later! (Yes, they will probably turn black in the freezer. And yes, it’s fine. We promise!)
- Pure vanilla extract: Vanilla adds another layer of flavor to the cake and compliments the sweet banana flavor.
- Eggs: Room temperature eggs are an important ingredient that helps provide structure to the cake and bind all of the ingredients together.
- Flour: We love this banana spice cake with whole-wheat or all-purpose flour. Flour also provides structure and assists with leavening in baked goods.
- Baking soda/baking powder: Both baking soda and baking powder are leavening agents that make the cake rise, giving it a light and fluffy texture.
- Cinnamon/allspice/nutmeg/cloves: These spices provide additional warm, rich flavors to the cake, enhancing the overall taste.
- Salt: Salt provides additional flavor and brings out the sweetness from the sugar.
- Granulated sugar: Sugar is the main source of sweetness in this recipe but it also keeps the cake soft and moist.
- Oil: Not only does the oil keep your cake extra moist, but it also traps in air to give it a soft and fluffy texture.
- Milk: Milk adds moisture to the cake as well as contributes to the color and flavor.
For the Frosting
- Cream cheese: Cream cheese adds the perfect amount of creaminess and tang that pairs well with this banana spice cake.
- Butter: We like to use salted butter here but unsalted also works too. Just add a dash of salt to balance out the sweetness if you use unsalted butter.
- Pure vanilla extract: Vanilla extract adds another layer of flavor to the cream cheese frosting.
- Powdered sugar: Powdered sugar adds sweetness to the frosting and balances out the flavor of the cream cheese. Sift the powdered sugar to avoid any lumps in the frosting.
- Chopped walnuts: Chopped walnuts add a nutty crunch to this sheet cake. Chopped pecans are also a delicious option. You can omit the nuts if desired.
- Evaporated milk: Evaporated milk creates a super smooth, rich, and creamy frosting. You can substitute it with regular milk or heavy cream if desired.
How To Make This Recipe
Finally, pour the cake batter into a greased 18” x 13” sheet pan (we recommend Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet) and bake at 350°F for 25 minutes. Let the unfrosted cake cool to room temperature.
Prepare the cream cheese frosting by adding the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla extract to a medium mixing bowl. Cream together for about 3 minutes until light and fluffy.
Add the sifted powdered sugar to the cream cheese mixture one cup at a time, mixing between each addition until it is fully incorporated. Add the evaporated milk as needed until the frosting is smooth and creamy.
Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly across the top of the cooled banana spice cake and top with chopped walnuts (if desired). Cut into 3” x 3” squares and serve.
Recipe Tips and Tricks
Follow these baking tips to get the best banana spice cake every time.
Use room temperature ingredients to ensure they are fully incorporated and evenly mixed into the batter.
Use overripe bananas. These have the sweetest flavor and are best for baking cakes.
Mash the bananas using a stand mixer or hand mixer for quick and easy mashing. If needed, you can also use a fork to prep your mashed bananas.
Prevent overmixing by mixing the ingredients just until combined. Overmixing can create a dense, tough texture.
Bake in an 18” x 13” half sheet pan. Altering the pan size can affect the bake time and how your cake turns out.
Let the cake cool to room temperature before frosting to keep the frosting from melting off.
Cake Tools You'll Need
Get Free Recipes and Discount Codes Sent Right to Your Inbox!
As a subscriber of The Curly Spoon, you’ll get new recipes sent right to your inbox along with discount codes for some of our favorite products. Sign up now!
How To Store Leftovers
Banana Spice Cake With Walnuts & Cream Cheese FrostingJanuary 5, 2024
FOR THE CAKE
FOR THE FROSTING
- 8 oz cream cheese softened
- ½ cup butter softened
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 cups powdered sugar sifted
- 2-3 tablespoon evaporated milk
- 1 cup chopped walnuts for topping (optional)
FOR THE CAKE
- Preheat the oven to 350°F and grease an 18×13 inch sheet pan. (We like Nordic Ware Baker’s Half Sheet).
- Mash the bananas in a large mixing bowl. ( We like to use our KitchenAid mixer and paddle attachment for this). Mix in the vanilla and eggs.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, sugar, and spices. Mix into the banana mixture. Add the oil and milk and mix until fully combined.
- Pour batter into greased sheet pan and bake for 25 minutes. Let cool before frosting.
FOR THE FROSTING
- Cream together the butter, cream cheese, and vanilla using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment. Mix in the powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until fully combined. Add the evaporated milk as needed for desired consistency.
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
- Once the banana cake is cooled completely, spread the cream cheese frosting evenly across the top. If desired, sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
- Cut into 3×3 inch squares to yield 24 servings.
- I recommend using a half-sheet pan (18"x13") for this recipe. Bake time may vary if a different size pan is used.
- Store well-covered at room temperature for up to 3 days or in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.