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Updated: Oct 21, 2023

Moist banana cake layered with decadent yet simple brown butter cream cheese frosting. This bakery-inspired Banana Layer Cake recipe is simple and basic, making it perfect for beginning bakers, but is sure to impress any guest!

Course: Dessert
Servings: 1, 8-inch cake
Prep time: 30 mins
Cuisine: American



  • 2 large bananas mashed

  • 2/3 cup buttermilk

  • 2 eggs

  • 2/3 cup canola oil

  • 1 2/3 cups sugar

  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

  • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • 1 cup walnuts (optional)


  • 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp; 113g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

  • 12 ounces (339g) full-fat brick cream cheese, softened to room temperature

  • 4 cups (480g) confectioners’ sugar

  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


Make The Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 8" round cake pans and set them aside.

  2. To a large bowl add the mashed bananas, the buttermilk, and the eggs, and whisk them together until they're combined. Stir in the canola oil and then the sugar.

  3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt to a separate bowl and whisk until combined. Add the dry ingredients into the banana mixture and fold them together with a rubber spatula just until no more streaks of flour remain. Do not over-mix or you'll create too many air bubbles in your batter which causes a problem called tunnelling (if you can see long, gaping holes in your baked cake, it means you have over-mixed!).

  4. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean.

  5. Let the cakes cool in their pans for about 5 minutes and then gently turn them out upside down onto wire racks to cool.

Make The Frosting

  1. Slice the butter up into pieces and place in a light-colored skillet. (Light colored helps you determine when the butter begins browning.) Melt the butter over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Once melted, the butter will begin to foam. Keep stirring occasionally. After 5-8 minutes, the butter will begin browning—you’ll notice lightly browned specks begin to form at the bottom of the pan and it will have a nutty aroma. See photo above for a visual. Once browned, remove from heat, and immediately pour into a heat-proof bowl. Refrigerate until solid.

  2. In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the solid brown butter on high speed until creamed. Add the cream cheese and beat on high speed until combined, smooth, and creamy. Add 4 cups confectioners’ sugar, vanilla, and salt. Beat on low speed for 30 seconds, then switch to high speed and beat for 2 minutes. If you want the frosting a little thicker, add the extra 1/4 cup of confectioners sugar.

To Assemble

  1. Once the cake has cooled, cut each layer in half horizontally using a sharp serrated knife, making sure to turn the cake layer as you cut to create layers as even as possible. If cutting cake layers freaks you out, I guarantee this cake will taste just as amazing as a two-layer cake, so feel free to skip this part altogether!

  2. Frost the cake, making sure to spread a nice thick, even layer of frosting between each of the layers. When making layer cakes I like to add my layers upside down so the flat end is facing upward. This creates a more even top and helps the cake stay straight.

  3. Frost the top and sides of the cake, creating a simple swirl pattern if you wish.

  4. Add crushed nuts to the top of the banana layer cake if you like and press them into the frosting just slightly with your palm.


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