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Best Banana Cake with Chocolate Icing

This is the best banana cake we’ve ever eaten!  Super moist and scrumptious. And the chocolate buttercream icing is perfect with this cake.

I made this cake for a group of friends last week and it was a huge hit.  After giving away a [stingy] piece to one of our guests, I froze some of the leftovers, ate the rest and then promptly took out the part I froze and ate that too. So good.

Best Banana Cake with Chocolate Icing

I found this highly rated recipe on two different websites – food.com and allrecipes.com.  They both had instructions to freeze the cake for 45 minutes right after removing it from the oven.  They claimed it made the cake super moist.

I don’t know if that’s true, but I followed the directions and the cake was indeed super moist and the best banana cake EVER. So I’m sticking with that.

The only changes I made to the recipe were to reduce the sugar a bit and replace the icing.  They used cream cheese icing (typical for a banana cake) and I used my own chocolate buttercream icing which I love dearly. Chocolate and banana is a fantastic combination I think.

This cake feeds a lot of people.  It’s quite substantial, making it perfect for potlucks and parties.  All in all, a real winner.

Make Ahead

  • This  cake freezes very well, covered with plastic wrap.

Other delicious cake recipes you might enjoy

How to make the best banana cake with chocolate icing

bananas, butter, eggs, flour, sugar, vanilla, milk, lemon
banana cake ingredients
3 separate bowls of mashed bananas, wet and dry ingredients
set aside bowls of ingredients
banana cake batter
cream butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla
adding dry ingredients through sieve to wet ingredients
add dry ingredients, alternating with buttermilk
bananas cake batter 2
banana cake batter
mashed bananas added to batter in bowl
stir mashed bananas into batter
baked banana cake in freezer
Bake cake then place it immediately in freezer

 Banana Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing

piece of banana cake with chocolate icing on plate

Best Banana Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Icing
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4.41 from 32 votes

Best Banana Cake with Chocolate Icing Recipe

This is the best banana cake we've ever eaten! The chocolate buttercream icing is perfect with this cake. Super moist and scrumptious - a real winner!
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time2 hrs 20 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 15 generous servings
Author: Cheryl


  • 1 1/2 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
  • 2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk (or add 1 tablespoon lemon to milk to make 1 1/2 cups)
  • 3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter (1 1/2 sticks)
  • 2 cup white sugar (or a bit less)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla

Chocolate Buttercream Icing

  • 1/2 cup softened butter (1 stick)
  • 1 3/4 cup icing (confectioners) sugar
  • 1/3 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-2 tablespoons milk


  • Preheat oven to 275F. Grease (or spray with oil) and flour a 9 x 13 pan.
  • PREPARE BANANAS: In a small bowl, mash bananas, mix with 2 teaspoons lemon juice and set aside.
  • PREPARE BUTTERMILK: Measure out the buttermilk (or milk plus lemon) in a measuring cup. Set aside.
  • PREPARE DRY INGREDIENTS: In another bowl, stir together flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • MAKE BATTER: In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk a bit at a time - and beat until smooth. Stir in banana mixture. Pour batter into prepared pan.
  • BAKE AND FREEZE: Bake the cake for an hour or just until a toothpick comes out clean. As ovens vary, start checking after 55 minutes. Remove cake from oven and place it directly in the freezer, uncovered, on a towel for 45 minutes. This apparently makes the cake very moist - and it does!
  • MAKE ICING: Using a food processor: Add all icing ingredients into the processor and process until smooth, about 2 minutes. If too dry, add a tablespoon more milk or, if too thin, add a bit more icing sugar - until you get the consistency you want. (Alternatively, use an electric mixer, beating butter first, adding icing sugar and cocoa next, then vanilla and milk.) When the cake is fully cooled, ice the cake.


Make Ahead: This  cake freezes very well for up to 3 months. Cool, cover with plastic wrap and freeze. 
Nutrition values are estimates for generous portions with buttercream icing. 


Nutrition Facts
Best Banana Cake with Chocolate Icing Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 440 Calories from Fat 162
% Daily Value*
Fat 18g28%
Saturated Fat 11g69%
Cholesterol 76mg25%
Sodium 340mg15%
Potassium 184mg5%
Carbohydrates 67g22%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 45g50%
Protein 5g10%
Vitamin A 574IU11%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 46mg5%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tried this recipe?We'd love you to rate it above under 'rate this recipe' or in the comment section below. Thanks!

Best Banana Cake with Chocolate Icing was originally published on Two Kooks In The Kitchen in Feb 2017.



  1. I have made this cake several times now as my friends and neighbours who have tried it keep asking for more, even my local corner shop owner gives me, free of charge, his ripe bananas that he can not sell to ensure he has a slice. I am making two of these cakes today to make sure there is enough for everyone, or my life won’t be worth living. I also find that mine takes longer to cook. The only question I have is, when you put it in the freezer, can you leave it in the cake tin. I remove mine (with great difficulty) as you state to put it on a towel? Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

    1. Hi Jacqui. So fun about your neighbours and corner store! Glad it is a hit! As for the freezing part, yes, leave the cake right in the baking dish/tin while you do that. I set it on a towel on top of other food in the freezer just so I don’t defrost the other food. Not necessary if you have a free spot in your freezer. As for the cake taking longer to bake, everyone’s oven is different unfortunately. If you like to bake, you might want to get a cheap oven thermometer to place in the oven to test its accuracy. Baking tins also make a difference. You mentioned tin which bakes faster than glass. Aluminum is a good choice. Here’s a good article from Bon Appetit on baking equipment. But, no worries, you can use what you have and adjust. Hope that helps.

    2. 5 stars
      Hi. The first time I made it I left it in the kitchen and put it on a towel in the freezer. I wonder though, if the cold on the bottom of the warm 10 caused moisture as my cake had a slightly soggy bottom. This time I lined my cake pan with parchment. I put a towel on top of a baking sheet, then grabbed the parchment paper and lifted the cake up and put it on the towel and put the baking sheet in the freezer. Problem solved!! Turned out perfectly!

  2. I love finding new recipe pages and this looks great – but oh the overload of ads 🙁
    I know you need revenue but it’s impossible to view, such a shame

    1. Sorry about all the ads Anne. I know they are intrusive but you’re right. That’s how we make income to be able to provide free recipes. I hope you’ll still try the banana cake. I promise it’s really good! 😊

  3. 5 stars
    Banana Cake with Chocolate frosting was the best ever! My mom wanted this cake from Magnolia for her 69th bday but due to COVID….so I researched recipes and decided on this one as I would drive 10 hours to Maine with it for her bday. Everyone decided it was the BEST cake ever–even my brother who is total foodie and VERY particular. We ate it over the course of 4 days and it stayed incredibly moist the whole time. I was nervous it was going to be too sweet but it was subtle and perfect and not like banana bread. Only change I made was double the frosting recipe just to be safe!

    It was also my 1st cake from scratch (I don’t even own a mixer so didn’t use) and will be my go to forever more!

    1. Oh my. What a lovely story Alissa. I’m honoured that you chose our recipe for your mom’s special event. And that it was a hit! Thanks very much for taking the time to leave us a comment. And congrats for making your first cake a great one!

  4. I made this cake and it was absolutely amazing. Thank you for the recipe. It took a lot longer to cook for me, may have been my oven. But highly recommend! I also added choc chips

    1. So glad you liked it. It’s one of my faves. I agree about your oven temp. You may have to increase it a bit next time. Or just know it will take longer in your oven. Thanks for leaving a comment. We love to hear from readers.

  5. 5 stars
    This is da bomb. Making it as a birthday cake. I used less sugar as suggested (maybe closer to 1.5 cups) and it for some reason took a lot longer to bake but still fabulous and moist.

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