This Old Fashioned Banana Cake recipe is easy to make, a cinch to decorate, and it tastes amazing. You probably have all the ingredients on hand right now!
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.
I first blogged the recipe 8 years ago in 2011. In the photo from 2016 below, you can see I’ve used pecans instead of walnuts for the cake. They both work really well.
Easy To Make Old Fashioned Banana Cake
This Old Fashioned Banana Cake really is easy to throw together, but what I like best is that it’s easy to decorate too. I often use a Cream Cheese Frosting for this cake, but Buttercream Icing flavoured with either vanilla or almond extract also works really well. Whichever frosting I choose, I sometimes grate a little orange rind into it to echo the orange rind in the cake.
Although it not as beautiful without the frosting, this cake tastes great naked too, so don’t feel obliged to make icing for it if you are in a hurry.
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.
Of course, you can just mash the bananas with a fork and use a bowl and wooden spoon to make this easy Old Fashioned Banana Cake recipe as well.
Great For Last Minute Entertaining
I love to keep an Old Fashioned Banana Cake on hand for impromptu entertaining. It keeps really well at room temperature for up to 3 days, and it’s so nice to be able to offer unexpected guests a slice of cake with their cup of tea or coffee.
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!
Old Fashioned Banana Cake – Printable Recipe
- 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
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
- Grease and flour or line a 9 x 2 inch round cake pan.
- Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- 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.
- Add the white and brown sugars and blend well.
- Add the oil, eggs, sour cream or crème fraîche, vanilla and orange zest. Blend thoroughly.
- Add the sifted flour, baking soda and salt. Mix just until combined.
- Stir in the chopped nuts.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- 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.
- Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for ten minutes, before turning out to cool completely on a rack.
- When the cake is completely cool, frost with your favourite cream cheese icing and decorate with walnut or pecan halves.