Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream

Banana snack cake with spiced vanilla frosting
Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream is probably the most luxurious outcome imaginable for those over ripe bananas on your counter...theviewfromgreatisland.com

Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream is probably the most luxurious  outcome imaginable for those over ripe bananas on your counter…

Best banana cake recipe

Most of us who love to cook have our own quirky, sometimes random, obsessions.  One of mine is definitely banana.  If you want to psychoanalyze it (just humor me please) I think it must stem from the fact that when I was growing up I could never eat bananas, they gave me terrible stomach aches.  I avoided all bananas like the plague until one day I realized that cooking them solved the problem.  That kicked off a lifelong fixation on banana cakes and breads.  This one is wonderfully dense and moist, and thickly plastered with the best frosting ever…a creamy vanilla clove.  Go ahead — open up the jar in your spice cabinet and take a whiff — I think cloves have been given a bum rap, they get stuck in a ham once a year and that’s the end of it.  But seriously their fragrance is so clear and vivid.  Just a dash gives this frosting a unique spiced flavor.  Next time you’re whipping up a plain Jane vanilla frosting, consider adding a hint of spice, it adds a soft, warm, distinctively fall touch.

Banana Cake with vanilla and clove spiced frosting

This cake requires just two over-ripe bananas.  I skipped the nuts, which I almost always add to my banana breads and cakes, just for a change.  I didn’t miss them, although you could certainly add walnuts or pecans.  I flavored the batter with cardamom, and that, along with the frosting, gives this a little bit of a spice cake feel.

Vanilla Clove Frosted Banana Cake

The unusual thing about this recipe is that you put the cake in the freezer for 30 minutes immediately after taking it out of the oven.  That makes it extra moist.  And you’ll store in the fridge, too, which gives the cake a firm, dense quality that is really appealing.  I made the frosting with a combination of butter and mascarpone cheese.  Cream cheese is fine, too, but the mascarpone is a little more subtle.   The recipe makes lots, which is essential for this particular cake.

moist and dense banana cake with spiced vanilla frostingbanana cake

If you’re sort of obsessed with banana desserts like I am, you need to try my Banana Blondies or Banana Poppyseed Cake with Vanilla Bean Frosting. Or my super easy Copycat Trader Joe’s Gone Bananas.  Oooooor, if you’re a little more adventurous, how about my Bourbon Banana Butter!

Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream

Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp cardamom
  • 2 very ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
    spiced frosting
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 oz (1 container) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature (you can substitute cream cheese)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves (you can add more if you like)
  • up to 4 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 325F
  2. Grease a 9 inch round springform pan (the cake is tall, you will need high sides.)
  3. Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer, or by hand. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Beat in the vanilla and cardamom.
  4. Mash the bananas until smooth, and add the lemon juice. Blend in to the butter and sugar mixture, and don't worry if it looks curdled.
  5. Whisk the flour with the salt and baking soda, and add to the bowl alternately with the buttermilk, blending until everything is just mixed.
  6. Turn the batter into the buttered pan, and smooth out the top. Bake for about 60-70 minutes, or until the cake is risen, not wobbly in the center, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out without wet batter clinging to it.
  7. Put the cake pan immediately into the freezer for 30 minutes.
  8. Remove the cake from the pan when you take it out of the freezer. When it has completely cooled, frost it.
  9. To make the frosting, blend the butter and mascarpone cheese until light and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla and cloves. Blend in the sugar, a cup at a time,until you get a smooth, thick frosting. You may not need all of it.
  10. I like to store the frosted cake in the fridge.

Notes

Adapted from Art and the Kitchen

http://theviewfromgreatisland.com/banana-cake-with-spiced-vanilla-buttercream/

Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Frosting

This is a great everyday family cake, but it’s also nice to have around for guests during the holidays, or for whenever you need to bring something to a party or gathering, because just about everybody loves banana cake.   You might even kick off a few new obsessions…

 

45 Comments

  • Reply
    Liz
    May 3, 2017 at 2:02 am

    Hi, this sounds yummy and I can’t wait to try it but I just have a question about putting it in the freezer. Doesn’t the action of putting a hot-out-of-the-oven pan in the freezer greatly reduce the temperature of the freezer and affect other items in the freezer? What is the reason for doing this, I’ve never heard of it before? Thanks

  • Reply
    Cathy
    March 15, 2017 at 7:02 pm

    This looks amazing. Going to try this for my husbands Birthday. His favorite is Banana Cake, so I’m excited !
    One issue. Can this be made with Gluten Free Flour ? We have gluten allergy.

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 15, 2017 at 9:07 pm

      I’m not an expert with gluten free flour, Cathy, but from my experience, you can usually substitute it, especially if you use a good mix, like Bob’s Red Mill or something. The texture will be different, but that’s expected. I’d love to hear how it goes for you!

  • Reply
    Trisha
    January 29, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Could I make this in 8×8 square pans?

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 29, 2017 at 11:19 am

      This particular cake will have too much batter for one 8×8 pan, Trisha, and I think not enough for 2, sorry! Switching pan sizes is always a little tricky.

  • Reply
    Mona
    January 19, 2017 at 9:33 pm

    This cake was amazing!!!!! Thank you! My family loved it so much I made two cakes in one week! I love cardamom too. It paired so well with the banana.

    • Reply
      Sue
      January 20, 2017 at 7:46 am

      I’m thrilled Mona, especially that you loved the cardamom.

  • Reply
    Maddy
    December 4, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    Thanks!
    Best cake I’ve had in years! YUM! I used 1 cup packed dark brown sugar and 1 cup white sugar in the cake, and about 1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar and 3 – 3 1/2 cups confectioners sugar in the icing. It gave an awesome caramel flavor!

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 4, 2016 at 5:57 pm

      Just reading your comment makes me so hungry for this cake again Maddy ~ I love the idea of the dark brown sugar in the icing :)))

    • Reply
      Maddy
      December 4, 2016 at 6:00 pm

      BTW, I used two 9″ cake pans and made a layer cake. Baking time was about 40 minutes.

  • Reply
    Kristy
    November 2, 2016 at 1:07 pm

    Fabulous looking cake, have you ever tried it in a sheet cake pan? Have a friend who wants banana cake like his mom used to make, this looks amazing.

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 2, 2016 at 2:54 pm

      I’ve only made it in a round pan, Kristy, but you could probably double the recipe for a larger pan.

  • Reply
    Ramya
    October 11, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    Hi!
    I really really wanna try this frosting on a carrot cake. Can you please tell me how many cups of frosting does it yield with the above mentioned quantity of ingredients?

  • Reply
    Jovana
    September 10, 2016 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Sue, thank you for sharing this gorgeous cake recipe. Just a quick question, if I want to use some walnuts in my cake, should I chop them finely and add directly to the batter or just chops some on top of the frosting? Which one would you recommend?
    Thank you!

  • Reply
    jaymie
    September 1, 2016 at 12:15 pm

    for the mascarpone, what substitute can I use for that if I cannot get any?

  • Reply
    Amanda
    March 25, 2016 at 4:14 am

    Could I substitute coconut sugar for regular sugar?

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 25, 2016 at 7:40 am

      Yes, I think you can substitute that with no problem Amanda.

  • Reply
    Regina McBride
    December 10, 2015 at 11:05 pm

    Fabulous photos and recipes? Reminds me of Sara Lees banana cake when I was young ? Thank you Sue ?

    • Reply
      Sue
      December 11, 2015 at 7:29 am

      This is one of my favorite cakes, Regina. We used to get the Sara Lee chocolate cake all the time when I was a kid, but I’ve never had the banana version.

  • Reply
    Terry
    September 26, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    I am assuming that Black Cardamon was used. I have never used it before and I have a choice of black or green.
    Looks yummy, I want to bake one tomorrow!
    Thanks

    • Reply
      Sue
      September 27, 2015 at 6:55 am

      It’s green cardamom, Terry. Black is much stronger and is usually used for curries, etc.

  • Reply
    Laureen
    June 8, 2015 at 6:50 pm

    Great photos, I never get tired of this recipe, one of my all-time favourites!

  • Reply
    darcy
    May 1, 2015 at 5:33 pm

    Great recipe! I actually ran out of sugar for the frosting and will have to frost the cake tomorrow. Do you recommend leaving the cake in the freezer overnight and thawing tomorrow and then frosting or should I follow instructions for the cake only and frost tomorrow after cake has been in fridge?

    • Reply
      Sue
      May 1, 2015 at 5:43 pm

      I’m not sure, darcy, that’s a tough one. I’d say keep it in the fridge…

  • Reply
    Nina
    March 15, 2015 at 7:00 pm

    Just made this cake tonight…really awesome. I was a bit afraid of the cardamom and only added about 1/2 a teaspoon, but definitely encourage others to use the full teaspoon because it was very mild. So moist, amazing frosting!!! A+!

    • Reply
      Sue
      March 15, 2015 at 8:44 pm

      This is one of my favorites, so glad you liked it Nina!

  • Reply
    Kim Lopez
    February 2, 2015 at 10:40 pm

    Does this batter do well as cupcake?

    • Reply
      Sue
      February 3, 2015 at 7:08 am

      I haven’t tried Kim, it would be fine I think, as long as you keep a close eye on them while they are in the oven and don’t over bake them.

  • Reply
    Jocelyn+(Grandbaby+Cakes)
    November 17, 2014 at 3:04 pm

    This cake is seriously stunning! I love banana cake.

  • Reply
    Zandra
    November 1, 2014 at 4:11 am

    Sounds wonderful. At which point do you release the cake from the springform pan?

    • Reply
      Sue
      November 1, 2014 at 5:40 am

      I took it out after it comes out of the freezer, I’ll edit that to be clear, thanks Zandra.

  • Reply
    Laura+(Tutti+Dolci)
    October 31, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I’m in love with this cake and that frosting looks absolutely divine!

  • Reply
    Amanda
    October 30, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    GORGEOUS CAKE!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 31, 2014 at 10:31 am

      Coming from you, Amanda, that’s the highest praise I can imagine, thank you! <3

  • Reply
    Alison Arsenault
    October 30, 2014 at 8:13 am

    I love bananas & was overjoyed when I saw cloves added to the recipe.& to my utmost delight I have two bananas sitting on my counter. Off to the kitchen I go to give this one a try. Thanks for sharing it with us.

  • Reply
    Lauren @ Hall Nesting
    October 30, 2014 at 4:03 am

    This sounds great! Glad you can eat bananas again!

  • Reply
    Pat+@+Mille+Fiori+Favoriti
    October 29, 2014 at 10:28 pm

    I love the way spiced vanilla butterream ,makes your cake look extra enticing Sue!

  • Reply
    Jennifer+@+Seasons+and+Suppers
    October 29, 2014 at 4:23 pm

    So lovely and love the addition of cloves to the icing!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 29, 2014 at 6:29 pm

      Thanks Jennifer, I’m really enjoying experimenting with spiced frostings and glazes.

  • Reply
    John@Kitchen+Riffs
    October 29, 2014 at 4:04 pm

    Amazing looking cake! I love bananas, though rarely have them in cake. Gotta change that, right now! Good recipe — thanks.

  • Reply
    cheri
    October 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm

    Hi Sue, love banana cake and your frosting sounds delicious, you always have such great ideas and tips.

  • Reply
    Susan
    October 29, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    If I could only stick a fork in and taste this right now! It looks so delicious, Sue, and the frosting with mascarpone is making my mouth water, and I usually don’t like frosting. Pinning.

  • Reply
    Kiran+@+KiranTarun.com
    October 29, 2014 at 12:03 pm

    Won’t mind a few slices decadence sent my way. Not one bit ;)

  • Reply
    Matt
    October 29, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Love the tip on keeping this moist. I absolutely love banana ANYTHING and this looks incredible!

    • Reply
      Sue
      October 29, 2014 at 10:32 am

      Thanks Matt — this is a keeper!

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