Remember that time you ate something really great … like really great? And then you ate five more pieces of whatever it was in the name of self-love? I did that yesterday. And then I ate more for breakfast, and then I ate another piece for lunch, and then absolutely had to give the rest away to my neighbors … again for self-love! What is this glorious recipe you ask? Let me share with you the BEST EVER Banana Cake with Coconut frosting!
Can’t you just see it sitting there making eyes at you acting all bashful, quietly calling your name? Feeling love with every bite. Now, don’t be fooled, this banana cake may look humble … but I’m telling you, you are getting more than you bargained for with this one!
If we are getting really technical this is my mom’s recipe, but I’ve made some key changes…especially to the frosting that just send this dessert over the top. A banana cake like no other you have tasted before.
HOW TO MAKE BANANA CAKE
All right, we all know the most important key to any good banana dessert is the bananas! For the best flavor, you will want to make sure your bananas are nice and spotty. If you need more help choosing the perfect bananas look right here! So many fantastic banana tips and tricks.
Trust me, it’s worth it to let them sit on the counter an extra day or two in a brown paper sack to speed up the ripening process. But if you can’t handle waiting one more day to taste this deliciousness (and I don’t blame you for a split second, this goodness is heavenly), I’m going to share with you a little baking secret to ripen your bananas in seven minutes or less.
Take your firm, green, not so spotty bananas and place them directly on a baking sheet. Place them in a preheated oven at 350º for 5 to 7 minutes until they are a shiny black and soft to the touch. Once cooled cut the banana length wise and scoop out the sweetened, mushy banana. It’s not quite as effective as letting your bananas ripen on their own naturally but it will get the job done so you can get on with the show.
LET’S GET MIXING
Peel your two bananas and blend in a bowl with a hand mixer. In another bowl, cream your butter and sugar together. The longer you cream these two the more air you allow into your batter, which will make for a fluffier cake later. I have learned the hard way over the years to never skip this step, it is crucial. Learn from my mistakes.
Add the eggs to your creamed butter and sugar and again, mix really well. Finally, fold in the mashed bananas, flour, sour milk, vanilla, and baking soda until just incorporated. Be careful here not to put all that creaming of the butter and sugar to waste. You do not want to over mix your batter and lose all the air you have just added to your mixture. Less mixing at this step means a more tender cake later.
SOURING MILK WITH LEMON JUICE
Now if you are anything like me you are wondering where on earth am I supposed to get soured milk from? Some bakers may choose to use buttermilk here but I never have that on hand … because who does? I usually opt for the self-souring technique myself.
Because this recipe calls for 2/3 cup sour milk we will want to pour 2/3 of a cup of whole milk, or whatever you have on hand, into a small bowl. I definitely recommend going with whole milk over 2% or skim, but if you are in a pinch, it’s not a deal breaker to use either option. Then add 2 tablespoons of lemon juice to your bowl. Stir together and allow to sit for 5 minutes. And voilà! Homemade buttermilk or sour milk in just minutes.
TIME TO BAKE
Line a 9×13 casserole dish with parchment or butcher paper, pour in your banana cake mixture, and bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
BE SO CAREFUL not to overcook your banana cake. Banana cakes are meant to be moist, so keep a close eye on it while in the oven. When finished it will appear golden brown with small browned or darker spots on top. You should be able to insert and remove a toothpick cleanly if finished.
COOLING AND FROSTING
Next comes the hard part … waiting until the cake is COMPLETELY cooled before frosting. I know the aroma is going to be overwhelming and you will be tempted to ice your cake before it is entirely cooled, but resist! Hot cakes are not a friend to frosting.
While the cake is cooling let us prepare the frosting. In a large bowl mix together the cream cheese, butter, and powdered sugar. Making frosting is more messy then complicated. For the purpose of keeping things cleaner, add powdered sugar one cup at a time.
Add the vanilla and coconut extract. You can get creative here, if you want a lighter coconut taste, only use half of the coconut extract called for. If you don’t love the coconut flavor, you could sub it for lemon or almond extract instead. Or if you prefer a classic cream cheese frosting, double the vanilla, and skip the coconut extract.
Once the cake is cooled it is time to get frosting.
While not essential, garnishing definitely takes any baked good or dish to the next level. Garnish with your choice of toppings. Some of our favorites are coconut flakes, fresh banana slices, raspberries, drizzled caramel sauce, almond slices, crushed or candied pecans. Bon appétit!
For the full ingredient list and recipe of our best ever banana cake with coconut cream cheese frosting, see the recipe card below. And we would love to hear your feedback right here on our website of this recipe as well as on our Pinterest! Let us know if you loved it!
- ½ cup butter
- ⅔ cup sour milk or buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups flour
- 2 large mashed bananas
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- ½ cup butter
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons coconut extract
- Preheat oven to 350º and line a 9x13 baking dish with butcher paper and set aside.
- Mash ripened bananas in a bowl and set aside.
- With a hand or stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until thoroughly mixed roughly 2-3 minutes. (Scrape the bottom and edges of your mixing bowl with a spatula to make sure all butter and sugar are being incorporated.)
- Add eggs and vanilla then beat together on medium until just combined.
- Fold in mashed bananas to batter. Less mixing the better.
- In a seperate bowl prepare your soured milk if you do not have buttermilk on hand.
- With the mixer on low, add dry ingredients one cup at a time. Alternating between a cup of dry mixture and a portion of the soured whole milk.
- Pour batter into lined baking dish and bake for 20-25 minutes. Do not over bake. Banana cakes are meant to be moist.
- At the 20 minute mark, insert a tooth pick or butter knife into the center of your cake. If it comes out clean, remove the banana cake from oven. If batter is still present, cook an additional 3 minutes and recheck with a tooth pick.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.
- In a large bowl, mix together cream cheese, butter and powdered sugar, adding powdered sugar one cup at a time.
- Mix in the vanilla and coconut extract to your frosting.
- Once cake is completely ... COMPLETELY ... cooled, top with coconut cream cheese frosting, and your choice of garnish toppings. Our favorites include coconut flakes, banana slices, raspberries, drizzled caramel sauce, walnuts or sliced almonds.
- Use ripened spotty bananas for full flavor. (Check out the speed ripening process detailed above if you are in a bind and have only green bananas on hand.)
- Cream the butter and sugar really well. The more air you can get into the batter at this step, the lighter and more tender your cake will be.
- Don't know what soured milk is? Have no fear, I walk you through the steps to making soured milk here on this blog post.
- Do NOT over mix the batter after adding the flour and soured milk. You want to maintain as much of the air from the creaming process as possible. Less is more at this point. Clumps are OK. Embrace them.
- If the top of your banana cake is browning too quickly, loosely cover it with a sheet of aluminum foil while it finishes baking.
- With the frosting if you desire a lighter coconut taste, use half the coconut extract. If you don't like coconut, try lemon or almond extract in place of the coconut. For a more classic cream cheese frosting flavor, skip the coconut extract and instead nix the coconut extract and use only vanilla, but be sure to add 2 teaspoons instead of just the one.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 324Total Fat: 15gSaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 5gCholesterol: 56mgSodium: 150mgCarbohydrates: 45gFiber: 1gSugar: 34gProtein: 4g
Dinner Menu Made Easy
This cake alone is reason to host a dinner party! And may we offer some dinner menu suggestions? Give our Ground Beef Stroganoff recipe a try. It is a definite crowd pleaser! Or a family favorite, Cheesy Funeral Potatoes made with real potatoes. It will be a night of delicious feasting!