Old Fashioned Banana Cake Recipe

Old Fashioned Banana Cake, a delicious traditional banana cake everyone will love

I love banana breads, loaves, muffins and cakes, and this Old Fashioned Banana Cake is one of my absolute favourites. It takes hardly any time to make and I always get compliments on how pretty it looks. I started with some inspiration and a recipe from Ina Garten, but as usual I’ve played around with a bit. Also, as I first blogged this recipe back in 2011, I’ve added some new photographs (like the one at the top) just to bring the post a bit more up to date!

Old Fashioned Banana Cake

This cake really is easy to throw together and it’s easy to decorate too. I like to use a Cream Cheese Frosting for this cake, and I sometimes grate a little orange rind into it to echo the orange rind in the cake. I have to add that although it not as beautiful without the frosting, this cake tastes great naked too.

I love to keep this cake on hand for impromptu entertaining. People’s faces always light up when you offer them a piece of cake with a cup of tea or coffee, and this particular cake seems to have an even more pronounced effect!

Old Fashioned Banana Cake, a delicious traditional banana nut cake everyone will love

Top Tips for Making Old Fashioned Banana Cake

I almost always reduce the sugar in banana breads and cakes, and this recipe is no exception. Bananas are pretty sweet as it is, and half a cup of white sugar is plenty.

I prefer to use mild olive oil in this cake but any mild vegetable oil will work in a pinch.

Feel free to swap the nuts around, depending on what you have on hand. While bananas and walnuts are a classic combination, pecans are lovely with banana too.

Did you know you can ‘mash’ bananas in an electric mixer? The last time I made Old Fashioned Banana Cake I was in a real hurry, so I just broke the bananas up a bit and put them in my KitchenAid mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. It mashed the bananas beautifully.

Slice of Old Fashioned Banana Cake

Definitely an oldie but a goodie, this Old Fashioned Banana Cake is one of the best go-to cakes for last minute entertaining I know. Quick to put together, easy to decorate and oh-so-delicious, I’m sure it will become as much of a staple in your home as it has in mine!

Printable Old Fashioned Banana Cake Recipe

Old Fashioned Banana Cake
Serves: 8 to 10 slices
  • 2 cups all purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 3 very ripe bananas
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • ½ cup mild olive oil
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • ½ cup sour cream or crème fraîche
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla
  • grated zest of one orange
  • ½ cup walnuts or pecans, chopped, plus extra nut halves for garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Grease and flour or line a 9 x 2 inch round cake pan.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  4. Break up the bananas and put them in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Turn the mixer on low to 'mash' the bananas.
  5. Add the white and brown sugars and blend well.
  6. Add the oil, eggs, sour cream or crème fraîche, vanilla and orange zest. Blend thoroughly.
  7. Add the sifted flour, baking soda and salt. Mix just until combined.
  8. Stir in the chopped nuts.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
  10. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes until the top of the cake springs back when touched lightly and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  11. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for ten minutes, before turning out to cool completely on a rack.
  12. When the cake is completely cool, frost with your favourite cream cheese icing and decorate with walnut or pecan halves.
Adapted from Ina Garten's The Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That

More Banana Cake and Loaf Recipes

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Banana Rum Raisin Cake

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Article by April Harris

April has written 1282 great articles for us.

April is a writer, recipe developer, frequent traveller and blogger sharing travel, food, and style. Based in the south of England, April is a British Canadian who is passionate about family, hearth and home, healthy living (with treats!) and the transformative power of travel.

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  1. That is one of delicious cake Love it. I am in love as it is banana cake .

  2. This looks beautiful! I love a gorgeous banana cake and I have some bananas on the counter that were just about to go in the freezer. Now I think they’ll wind up in a cake. Thanks for the inspiration! 🙂

  3. Yum- I want to convert this recipe to gluten free (and I wish it was ready right now!) It looks like a lovely cake April!

    • Thank you, Andrea. Barb from Frugal Local Kitchen is thinking of converting the recipe to gluten free as well. (Her comment is below.) Please let me know how it goes if you do 🙂

  4. This looks delicious!

  5. That looks decidedly delicious! Off the top of my head, I might go with a combination of almond flour and coconut flour to make it gluten free plus use unflavored coconut oil. I would hate to turn the cake into a more tropical dessert with the coconut flavor.

    • I’d love to hear how you get on converting the recipe to gluten free, Barb. Although my family can eat gluten, I am very interested in gluten free recipes 🙂

  6. Rattlebridge Farm says:

    April, your cake is beautiful. And it’s diet friendly since it uses less sugar. Thank you for including it! Foodie Friday will celebrate its 4th anniversary on April 11th (hard to believe we’ve been around that long, isn’t it?!), so please join us!

  7. That sounds absolutely delicious! My mom makes a fabulous banana bread that contains sour cream. I wonder if this is more desserty version, especially with the frosting. Yum! Definitely going onto my Pinterest food board-Thanks!

  8. Oh your pictures are great and your this banana cake delicious. New follower from Michelle’s, See ya at the Gumbo. I would love for you to link up to my party Tuesday Trivia tomorrow @ http://www.memoriesbythemile.com/
    Wanda Ann @ Memories by the Mile

  9. What are you doing to me with all of these irresistible desserts?!
    My MIL always made banana cake for my husband’s birthday. Don’t tell, but yours looks loads better. His birthday is coming up at the end of the month–I’ll make this for him. Thanks for linking…and for the birthday cake.

  10. I saw this on Tempt my tummy, it has been a long time since I have seen banana cake, I had to pop over! Yours looks delicious ! Thank you for sharing! I am going to pin this on my cake board!
    Have a great week.

  11. Saw this cake on Recipe Critic and it caught my eye. What a great way to use up those super ripe bananas! Sounds wonderful!

  12. It’s so pretty! I’ve never made banana cake, lot of banana bread, but not cake.

    • Thank you, Esther. I find banana bread and cake very similar, banana bread is just a bit heavier and I always feel a bit less guilty when I eat it 😉 Banana cake is my favourite though.

  13. Ooh! It has been awhile since I’ve visited you, April! Love your new look 🙂

    Your cake sounds so wonderful – my boys will purposely let the bananas turn brown – because they know those ones are for baking 😉 Thanks so much for linking up to All My Bloggy Friends!

    • Thank you, Jamie! I’m really excited about the new look 🙂 I’m glad you like the sound of my banana cake. I always like to have bananas ready for baking too!

  14. I was just thinking about all the ripe bananas in my freezer. This would be perfect! I appreciate your tip about using the mixer to mash the bananas.

  15. I think I’ll choose the cake with the pecans! What a tasty sounding, beautiful cake!

  16. I love Banana Cake and this looks so delish!! Can’t wait to try.

  17. I haven’t had banana cake since my nieces were down to visit two years ago — they inhaled it — now I want another one!

  18. That looks so yummy! I’ve never made a banana cake, but this would definitely be worth trying out!

  19. This looks delicious. I’ve never had banana cake. I’d have to convert it to gluten free, too, but that orange rind in it sounds wonderful!

    • I’m not doing as much gluten free baking as I should, Amanda, but I’m sure you would be able to convert this recipe. I hope you give it a try! Please do let me know what you think if you do.

  20. Oh wow this cake! I need need need it! Love bananas especially in baking applications.

  21. Wow! Love your tips and I just happen to have 3 ripe bananas which are headed for the KitchenAid =)

  22. I’m a HUGE banana cake AND Ina Garten fan, so I’m all over this cake!

  23. Hi April,
    Your Old Fashioned Banana Cake looks amazing, we will love it! Thanks so much for sharing this awesome post with us at Full Plate Thursday. Hope you are having a great week and come back to see us real soon!
    Miz Helen

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