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

Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream is probably the most luxurious  outcome imaginable for those over ripe bananas on your counter!  If you love banana bread you’re going to flip for this easy banana snack cake.

Photo of Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream with slice taken out of it.

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.

Photo of Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream with one slice being removed.

This banana cake with spiced vanilla buttercream 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.

Photo of Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream being frosted.

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.

Photo of Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream with one slice removed and forks on a wooden surface.

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…

Phot of a single slice of Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream with a fork on parchment paper.

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’ GONE BANANAS.  Oooooor, if you’re a little more adventurous, how about my BOURBON BANANA BUTTER!

*Recipe adapted from Art and the Kitchen

Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream

Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream


  • 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


  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.


Don’t forget to pin this Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream!

Banana Cake with Spiced Vanilla Buttercream is probably the most luxurious  outcome imaginable for those over ripe bananas on your counter!  If you love banana bread you're going to flip for this easy banana snack cake. #bananacake #banana #cake #dessert #buttercream #spicedbuttercream #frosting #baking #bananabread #snackcake

You Might Also Like

Leave a Reply


  • Reply
    October 5, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    Would this recipe work as a sheet pan cake and would you still recommend putting it in the freezer?

    • Reply
      October 5, 2017 at 6:16 pm

      You would probably have to double the recipe for a sheet pan, and you could skip the freezer step, but I would watch the cooking time carefully!

  • Reply
    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
      September 8, 2017 at 5:17 am

      I made this cake last night and did not put mine in the freezer either as soon as it came out of oven .I really don’t know what the reasoning is behind it but I am afraid of the temperature change in freezer, it will make freezer work so much harder to cool down again.I think it halts the cooking process so cake might not sink in middle( mine did), but everything else about the cake looks fine.Have not tasted it yet, but I am sure it will be wonderful.

  • Reply
    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
      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
    January 29, 2017 at 10:42 am

    Could I make this in 8×8 square pans?

    • Reply
      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
    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
      January 20, 2017 at 7:46 am

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

  • Reply
    December 4, 2016 at 5:56 pm

    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
      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
      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
    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
      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
    October 11, 2016 at 3:19 pm

    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
    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
    September 1, 2016 at 12:15 pm

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

  • 1 2