This Chocolate Banana Cake is super easy to make. It's a gorgeous layered cake made with moist and fluffy layers of banana cake and super creamy chocolate cream cheese frosting. It's the perfect cake for any occasion, whether it's an afternoon treat on a lazy weekend or a potluck. By the way, have you tried my bananas foster upside down cake yet?
Step-by-step video tutorial
Very ripe bananas with lots of dark spots work best in cake because they add an intense, sweet banana flavor to the cake. Brown bananas like those used in banana bread also work.
If you only have fresh yellow bananas, you can quickly ripen them by baking them in the oven at 300°F (149°C) for about 30-40 minutes until black and soft. Let them cool to room temperature before using them in this recipe.
Expert tips for success
- I strongly recommend measuring the mashed bananas and not orienting yourself on a set number of bananas. It is impossible to tell how much banana puree will end up in the cake if it is not measured, as bananas vary greatly in weight and size.
- Line the baking pans with parchment paper instead of just using baking spray since the cake layers will be easier to remove from the pans after baking.
- If your cake layers aren't flat after baking, slice off a thin layer from the top to create an even surface. This helps the cake to hold up, makes icing easier, and just looks better.
Notes on frosting
As seen in the photos, there is just enough frosting to fill the cake layers and lightly frost the outside of the cake (it's a naked cake on purpose). If you want to cover the whole cake in frosting, I recommend doubling the recipe.
How long does it last
Store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days. Let come to room temperature before serving if desired.
Make ahead and freezing instructions
- Cake layers: After baking the cake layers, let cool completely. Then tightly wrap each cake layer in plastic wrap twice. Place in freezer bags or containers and freeze for up to 1 month. To thaw, unwrap the cake layers and let sit on the counter for about 1-2 hours. Once it is at room temperature, make the frosting and assemble the cake as instructed.
- Whole cake: After chilling for 3 hours, place the cake in the freezer until it is firm, for about 2 hours. Remove the cake from the freezer and tightly wrap in plastic wrap twice. Make sure that everything is covered. Then wrap in aluminum foil twice until completely covered or place in a freezer container. It freezes well for up to 2 months. Unwrap the cake and thaw in the fridge overnight.
- Single slices: Place the slices in the freezer for about 1 hour. Then remove from the freezer and tightly wrap in plastic wrap twice until fully covered. Place in a freezer bag or container and freeze for up to 2 months. To thaw, unwrap the cake and place on the kitchen counter for 1 hour.
More banana recipes to try
- Banana Walnut Muffins
- Chocolate Banana Muffins
- Banana Cream Pie
- Sourdough Banana Bread
- Banana Cupcakes
- Banana Bundt Cake
Banana Chocolate Cake
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup packed light brown sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 1 ¾ cups mashed bananas
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour, spooned and leveled
- 4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup cream cheese, softened
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups powdered sugar sifted
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder, spooned and leveled
- pinch of salt
- 1-2 tablespoon milk (if needed)
- Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line the bottom and the sides of three 8" (20cm) spring pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Make the cake: In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, mix eggs, brown sugar, oil, mashed bananas, and vanilla on medium speed until smooth and well combined for about 2 minutes. Stir in flour, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon just to combine. Divide the batter evenly among the three prepared pans. Bake for about 16-18 minutes or until a toothpick centered in the middle comes out clean. Let cool to room temperature.
- Make the frosting: In a large mixing bowl, using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, whisk butter, cream cheese, and vanilla on medium speed until creamy about 2-3 minutes. Sift in powdered sugar and cocoa and stir until well combined and creamy. Add salt to your taste and stir to combine. If the frosting is too firm, add 1 tablespoon milk at the time until you reach a smooth and creamy consistency. If the frosting is too soft, add more powdered sugar.
- Cut a thin layer off the tops of your cakes to create a flat surface. Place one cake layer on a cake stand, turner, or serving plate. Spread ⅓ of the frosting over the cake. Repeat one more time. Place last cake layer on top and lightly frost the top and the sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Chill for 4 hours in the fridge or overnight. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.
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