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Easy Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Serves 16-20     adjust servings

This extra sweet Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting is my new obsession! I love it because it actually tastes like bananas, it's super easy to throw together, and it feeds a crowd. It's super moist thanks to oil in the batter, as well as buttermilk and sour cream. I will show you just how to make it. Say no to dry cake! 

Ingredients

For the cake

  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil or light olive oil
  • 3 soft brown bananas (1 and 1/2 cups mashed)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk*
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (I like Mexican vanilla)
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple extract, optional
  • 2 and 1/2 cups flour, spooned and leveled
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon cloves, optional

For the cream cheese frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 and 1/2 packages cream cheese (12 ounces total), softened
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla (I like Mexican vanilla)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 11x17 inch jelly roll pan** (OR a 9x13 inch pan, see note) with parchment paper, or spray generously with nonstick spray.
  2. Make the cake. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat 1/2 cup butter until it is smooth and creamy and there are no lumps. Scrape the sides as necessary.
  3. Add 1 cup sugar and 1/2 cup packed brown sugar. Beat with the butter for 1 minute, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  4. Add 1/4 cup oil. You can use canola oil, vegetable oil, or light tasting olive oil. Mix it in.
  5. In another bowl or on a plate, use a fork to smash 3 large bananas (about 1 and 1/2 cups mashed). See photos. Add to the butter mixture.
  6. Add 3 eggs, 3/4 cup buttermilk*, and 1/2 cup sour cream, 2 teaspoons vanilla, and 1/2 teaspoon maple extract. The maple is optional! I like the extra flavor it adds. Beat it all together until smooth, scraping the sides as necessary.
  7. Add 2 and 1/2 cups flour to the mixture, but don't stir yet. Make sure you spoon and level the flour (don't pack it).
  8. On top of the flour, add 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt. If you would like to add spices (it's optional) add 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, and 1/8 teaspoon each cloves and nutmeg. You can of course add more spices if you want (I like to focus on the banana flavor, so I want the spices to just be an accent.) Use your teaspoon to stir the soda, powder, salt and spices into the flour a little bit.
  9. Beat the flour mixture in, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom. Once it has come together and there are no streaks, stop mixing.
  10. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes. You will know the cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with no wet batter on it. The edges will pull away from the sides of the pan. Don't over bake! No one likes dry cake.
  11. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool completely.
  12. Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat together 1/2 cup softened butter and 12 ounces total softened cream cheese. (This is one 8-ounce package, plus another half package.) Beat well, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl, until smooth and creamy. There should be no lumps at all!
  13. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Beat well.
  14. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt.
  15. Add the remaining 2 cups of powdered sugar and beat well, scraping the sides.
  16. When the cake is completely cool, spread the cream cheese frosting to the edges of the cake.
  17. Slice and serve! Store leftovers covered on the counter. You can also store it in the fridge, chilled banana cake is pretty amazing.

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