Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting

A slice of banana cake with Nutella frosting on parchment paper

My banana cake with Nutella frosting is a fabulously moist banana layer cake made with toasted hazelnuts and topped with a thick layer of chocolatey hazelnut buttercream ~ oooh la la!

slicing banana cake with Nutella frosting

banana cake with Nutella frosting ~ now how could that be bad?

This amazing banana layer cake was first posted on the Great Island site in 2013, and it’s been a powerful food memory for me personally ever since. The combination of the perfect moist banana cake with that rich chocolate hazelnut buttercream is out of this world good. The 2013 version was just a single layer, which was fine, but doubling it really turns a great cake into a spectacular cake. Any banana cake or Nutella lover would be proud to have this for their birthday.

interior of a banana layer cake with chocolate Nutella frosting

banana cake with Nutella frosting shopping list

Lots, maybe most, of the desserts and sweets that come out of the Great Island kitchen are on the simple side. This one is more of a celebration dessert, and that’s ok, because sometimes that’s just what the occasion calls for. But all the ingredients here are pantry staples except the ground hazelnuts, the Nutella (depending on your pantry!) and the sour cream.

  • ripe bananas, about 6, which will be 3 cups after you mash them. This is the cake for those bananas that are so ripe and pungent you could swear you spilled a little bourbon into the batter. I like to wait till the last minute to use my bananas for cakes and breads ~ they get better with age, like fine wine or cheese…
  • granulated and brown sugar
  • vegetable oil
  • eggs
  • sour cream
  • all purpose flour
  • ground hazelnuts ~ find hazelnut meal or flour in well stocked grocery stores, or make your own by toasting and grinding hazelnuts.
  • baking soda and salt
  • vanilla extract

for the Nutella frosting

  • butter
  • Nutella ~ this is the reason you always want an extra jar of Nutella in the pantry.
  • sour cream ~ sour cream is in the cake and the frosting, so you know it’s going to be good 🙂
  • confectioner’s sugar
  • unsweetened cocoa powder
  • cream or milk to thin it down
  • vanilla extract
a slice of banana layer cake with Nutella frosting with fork

that Nutella frosting!

The Nutella in the frosting makes it extra glossy and gives it that elastic quality that makes dramatic swoops and swirls.

With a frosting this good, I might be tempted to say it’s the star of the show, but no, in this case it’s all about that combination. Banana and Nutella is a match made in heaven, who knew?

frosting a banana layer cake with chocolate hazelnut frosting

my best frosting making tip

You can make frosting in your full sized food processor the easy way with less mess, and better, silkier results. Just dump everything in and process until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed. The powdery mess in contained in the processor, and it’s so powerful you don’t have to sift your confectioner’s sugar, or even bring cream cheese to room temperature before using. Lumps don’t stand a chance!

Banana cake with Nutella buttercream, on a bread board

banana cake with Nutella frosting FAQs

Can I use frozen bananas?

Yes, defrost them and mash well.

Can I make this cake in a 9×13 pan?

Yes, it should work well that way. You won’t need the full amount of frosting in that case.

Can I bake this in 8 inch pans?

There is too much batter for 8 inch pans, and three layers would be too tall for stability.

Can I make this as a single layer cake?

Yes, just halve the recipe.

What’s the best way to store this cake?

I store it on the counter for up to a day, under a cake dome. After that I would refrigerate it due to the sour cream component in the frosting.

Can I make this cake ahead?

I like to bake the layers the day before. I cool them completely and wrap in plastic wrap. The next day I throw together the frosting and assemble the cake.

Can I freeze this cake?

The layers will freeze well, just cool completely before freezing and wrap in plastic and then again in foil. Frost the cake before serving.

removing a piece of banana cake with Nutella frosting

we love baking with bananas

A slice of banana cake with Nutella frosting on parchment paper
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4.55 from 35 votes

Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting

Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting ~ a fabulously moist banana layer cake made with toasted hazelnuts and topped with a thick chocolatey hazelnut buttercream ~ oooh la la!
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Yield 20 servings
Calories 630kcal
Author Sue Moran

Equipment

  • 2 9-inch non stick cake pans, at least 2 inches tall Do not use shallow pans for this cake, there is a lot of batter.

Ingredients

  • 3 cups well mashed bananas, about 6 medium bananas
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 4 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups ground hazelnuts or hazelnut meal

Nutella buttercream

  • 8 Tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 13 oz jar of Nutella
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups confectioner's sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream or milk

Instructions

  • Set the oven to 350F. Lightly spray two 9-inch nonstick cake pans and line with circles of parchment at the bottom.
  • Cream the bananas and sugars together until smooth, then add the rest of the wet ingredients and beat until well mixed. Scrape down the bowl as needed.
  • With the mixer on low, add the baking soda and salt, then the flour, a cup at a time. Fold in the hazelnut meal. Be sure to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl well to ensure everything is incorporated.
  • Turn the batter into the prepared pans. Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out moist but does not have wet batter clinging to it.
  • Cool for 10 minutes in the pan, then remove the cake from the pan and continue to cool completely on a rack before frosting.
  • Frost the cool cake with Nutella frosting.

For the frosting:

  • Cream the butter, Nutella, sour cream, and vanilla, then beat in the sugar and cocoa powder. Mix in the heavy cream. The frosting should be thick and glossy, but spreadable. If you want to thin it down, add a bit more cream. If you want to thicken it, add a bit more sugar. Note: You can make frosting in your full sized food processor the easy way with less mess, and better, silkier results. Just dump everything in and process until smooth. Taste and adjust as needed.
  • Frost the cooled cake and enjoy!

Cook’s notes

*First published in 2013, this recipe has been updated in 2022, along with new photos and recipe notes.

Nutrition

Calories: 630kcal | Carbohydrates: 80g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 32g | Saturated Fat: 13g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 54mg | Sodium: 266mg | Potassium: 297mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 54g | Vitamin A: 322IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 81mg | Iron: 3mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although theviewfromgreatisland.com tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.
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53 Comments

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  • Reply
    Natalie
    July 4, 2022 at 6:52 am

    5 stars
    I noticed u updated the recipe? It used to be a one pan recipe, but I don’t recall the ratios. Therefore, could I half the recipe to get the old 1 layer?
    I LOVE this cake & the frosting is soooo good! Ty

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 12, 2022 at 8:49 am

      Yes, just halve the recipe and you’re good to go.

  • Reply
    Angie
    March 23, 2022 at 10:29 am

    Hi Sue, I haven’t been able to find any hazelnut meal and I’m not sure my audience would be fans of ground hazelnuts although they love nutella. Would you suggest I just leave the ground hazelnuts out or could I use almond flour instead to make up for it? If I’m make it in a 13 X 9 should I halve everything? Thank you! I’ve made several of your recipes and they have all been delicious!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      March 23, 2022 at 12:07 pm

      Hi Angie ~
      You could substitute another nut meal like almond, for the hazelnut. I would not halve the batter for a 13×9, but I haven’t tried baking it that way so not sure how long to cook it since it’s such a thick dense cake.

      • Reply
        Angie
        March 31, 2022 at 10:10 am

        5 stars
        I made this for my son’s birthday and it was a big hit! The almond flour worked well, I added mini chocolate chips to the batter. I did make it in a 13 X 9 and had some extra batter and just made some mini cupcakes with that. I made about 2/3 of the frosting which was plenty for the 13 X 9 and also used less powdered sugar just because we prefer less sweet desserts. It was awesome! Thanks for the recipe!

        • Reply
          Sue Moran
          March 31, 2022 at 3:50 pm

          I’m crazy for this cake Angie, so I’m happy to hear you loved it.

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