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!
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.
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
- 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
- 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
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?
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 frosting FAQs
Yes, defrost them and mash well.
Yes, it should work well that way. You won’t need the full amount of frosting in that case.
There is too much batter for 8 inch pans, and three layers would be too tall for stability.
Yes, just halve the recipe.
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.
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.
The layers will freeze well, just cool completely before freezing and wrap in plastic and then again in foil. Frost the cake before serving.
we love baking with bananas
- Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins
- Double Chocolate Banana Bread
- Better than Starbucks Banana Walnut Bread
- My Favorite Banana Blondies
- One Banana Banana Bread!
Banana Cake with Nutella Frosting
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- 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!
Questions and Reviews
Hi Sue, Can I use 1 cup of melted butter instead of the 1 cup veg oil in the ingredients? What will the result? Thanks
That’s absolutely fine Cheryl ~ the main difference will be that you’ll get some buttery flavor, and the cake can be slightly less moist.
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
Yes, just halve the recipe and you’re good to go.
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!
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.
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!
I’m crazy for this cake Angie, so I’m happy to hear you loved it.