I enjoyed obsessed over it at a family reunion the other weekend. My cousin made it and I stalked her down like a dessert creep and proceeded to talk her ear off about cream cheese frosting and spotty bananas for 35 minutes straight.
It was the moistest cake I’ve ever eaten. Stick-to-the-back of your fork moist. The perfect cream cheese frosting, both sweet and tangy, sinking into the top of the cake made it even moister. Sweet, but not overpowering. Mega banana flavor, certainly more banana flavor than any banana bread I’ve ever eaten. Very buttery and cakey from creaming the butter and sugars. Ridiculously rich, decadent.
The banana cake was dense, but not heavy. If that makes any sense? (Coming from the lady who talks about rotting bananas at social gatherings, but stick with me here.) The crumb was very soft, but they were tight crumbs. The cake didn’t fall apart when you took a forkful.
She told me this cake comes out perfect every time she makes it. And such perfection is reinforced, she told me, when absolutely everyone who has a slice begs her for the recipe. It is, hands down, the best banana cake I’ve ever had.
And I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.
For the Cake:
3 Large mashed bananas
3 cups flour
1 ½ c. Whole milk
2 ½ tbsp. Lemon juice
½ tbsp. Baking soda
½ tsp. Salt
⅔ c. Butter at room temperature
3 Large eggs at room temperature
1 c. Granulated sugar
½ c. Brown sugar
1 tsp. Vanilla
For the Icing:
⅓ c. Butter
8 oz. Cream cheese
1 ½ tsp. Lemon zest
1 tsp. Lemon juice
3 c. Powdered sugar
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mash up 3 large bananas, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice to them, and set aside.
Pour 1 ½ tablespoons of lemon juice into a measuring cup, and add in 1 ½ cups of milk. Set the milk mixture aside for later use.
Using a stand mixer, beat together ⅔ cup room temperature butter, 1 cup granulated sugar and ½ cup brown sugar.
Slowly add in 3 eggs a little at a time to the butter mixture.
Pour in 1 teaspoon of vanilla, and beat the butter and sugar mixture until it is fluffy and creamy.
In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.
Add the flour mixture a little at a time to the butter mixture, alternating with a bit of the milk and lemon mixture. Be sure not to overmix the batter at this time.
Once all of the flour mixture and milk have been incorporated into the cake mix, fold in the mashed bananas, and pour the batter into a greased 13×9 pan.
Bake the cake in the oven for 60 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean when inserted into the center.
When the cake has finished cooking, set it off to the side to cool.
In a mixing bowl, beat together ½ cup of softened butter and 8 ounces of cream cheese until well blended. Add in 1 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 ½ teaspoons of lemon zest.
Slowly add in 3 cups of powdered sugar a little at a time. Mix until you have reached the desired icing texture.
Once the cake has cooled, top it with a thick layer of icing.
Top the slices of cake with freshly cut bananas, and serve.