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Banana Cake with Chocolate Frosting

I always requested banana cake with fudge frosting for my birthday. Mom’s recipe is attached to my fridge—and my heart. It’s funny how many memories live on in a stained handwritten recipe card. On a more practical note: It's important to make sure the whipped cream cheese is truly at room temperature before you use it. If not, it chills the softened butter and makes for lumpy frosting. —Jeanne Ambrose, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Total Time
    Prep: 45 min. Bake: 45 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    16 servings


  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (2 to 3 large)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup chopped unsalted pistachios, toasted
  • 2 containers (8 ounces each) whipped cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup baking cocoa
  • 4-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • Additional chopped unsalted pistachios, toasted, optional


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in bananas and vanilla. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, beating well after each addition. Fold in 3/4 cup pistachios.
  • Transfer to two greased and floured 8-in. round baking pans. Bake 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • For frosting, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add cocoa; mix until blended. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla; beat until creamy.
  • Place one cake layer on a serving plate; spread top with 1 cup frosting. Top with remaining cake. Spread top and sides with 2 cups frosting. Press pistachios into sides of cake if desired.
  • Cut a small hole in the corner of a large pastry or plastic bag; insert #127 petal pastry tip. Fill the bag with remaining frosting. Pipe concentric circles of frosting over top of cake. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until frosting is set.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 606 calories, 28g fat (16g saturated fat), 111mg cholesterol, 510mg sodium, 85g carbohydrate (62g sugars, 2g fiber), 7g protein.

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  • tiffanykorn
    Aug 25, 2015

    It was more like banana bread with chocolate frosting. People at work enjoyed it, but it is not a recipe I will plan to make again. Easy to make, but I would rather have made a really good banana bread.I made this in a 9x13 which messed up the frosting to cake ratio. So that may be a factor why it tasted more like banana bread.

  • michelletheprincess
    Aug 4, 2013

    No comment left

  • peacharmadillo
    Jun 8, 2013

    We only made the cake, not the frosting out of ease and we left off the pistachios for personal preference. We also just about doubled the bananas to ensure that they were the highlight. Everyone really enjoyed it. I enjoyed taking credit for it.

  • poulaki
    Mar 12, 2013

    I followed this recipe excactly. The cake turned out o.k. but the frosting was horrible. Way too sweet and the color was not like the picture. We couldnt even taste the cream cheese.

  • tgivivs
    Jan 15, 2013

    Made this cake for my son's birthday and he loved it! Next time will bake less than the time required because 45 minutes was a bit much but that could be my oven. Frosting was amazing too!!!

  • rlhuebner
    Dec 13, 2012

    No comment left

  • jenny7673
    Nov 4, 2012

    No comment left

  • katyh777
    Oct 19, 2012

    This is the BEST banana cake and the BEST chocolate frosting I have ever had! I've made this several times and have always had rave reviews! This is a keeper!

  • tlbrod
    Oct 6, 2012

    I am rating the cake alone. I used a different frosting. I was making the cake for a friend's wedding. She wanted just a regular chocolate buttercream. But the cake alone is fabulous.I have made this twice now. The first time for her tasting I made the recipe as listed. But thought it needed more of a banana flavor. So thought I would add more bananas for the official wedding cake.Both times I omitted the nuts because of possible nut allergies with guests at the wedding. She didn't want to take a chance.I doubled the recipe for the wedding cake. It made 2 perfect 10" square layers. I had 4 cups of mashed bananas. Double the recipe would have been 3 cups. But the 4 cups was the perfect amount. Cake was so moist & flavor was excellent!!! Lowered the oven temp to 325 since the cakes were so large.Turned out perfect!!Thanks for sharing and will definitely use this recipe again and again!!!

  • jmccrea
    Oct 3, 2012

    No comment left