Banana Walnut Cake

Banana Walnut Cake is a ridiculously easy one layer ultra moist cake loaded with flavor and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting.

Yield: 12 servings

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook: 35 minutes

Banana Walnut Cake is a ridiculously easy one layer ultra moist cake loaded with flavor and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting.

This post is sponsored by The California Walnut Board. All opinions provided are my own. Thanks for supporting me in working with brands I love to bring you new recipes!

Tessa's Recipe Rundown...

Taste: There’s a few flavor-boosting ingredients, like brown sugar, sour cream, cinnamon, and walnuts that really help take this easy cake to a new level of deliciousness.
Texture: The cake is moist and tender without being too delicate to frost and serve easily.
Ease: Super quick and easy. Short amount of prep time and no special equipment or skills required.
Pros: Fun combination of banana bread and cake that I think will become a go-to recipe.
Cons: None that I can think of!
Would I make this again? Absolutely.

banana walnut cake bar recipe

Wether it’s in cake, bread, cupcakes, or muffins, I just love baking with bananas. Most of the time, I actually hope my bananas will go ripe before we can eat them!

As a kid I didn’t like nuts very much. I would turn my head to brownies or cookies made with nuts. It wasn’t until I tasted a slice of banana bread made with walnuts that I was truly converted. Now the combination, plus just a hint of cinnamon, is the epitome of comfort food in my mind.

Cream cheese frosting on banana walnut cake

The cake itself is tall, moist, but sturdy enough to handle the thick cream cheese frosting. It’s the perfect way to use up any overripe bananas, and is ridiculously easy. No layers, no assembly, no special equipment. It’s also easy to transport and serve, so this would be perfect for a pot luck, party, picnic, or housewarming treat.

Of course, what banana cake would be complete without the crunchy earthy bite of California Walnuts?

Banana Walnut Sheet cake

I had to top this cake with a layer of rich and tangy cream cheese frosting. Because what’s cake without homemade frosting?! But feel free to use any frosting you want, or none at all if you want to make this a little less sweet. Personally, I think chocolate frosting would taste delicious too!

Banana Walnut Cake is a ridiculously easy one layer ultra moist banana cake loaded with flavor and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting.

If you make and enjoy this Banana Walnut Cake recipe, snap a picture and share it on Instagram, tagging #handletheheat!

How to make
Banana Walnut Cake

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Banana Walnut Cake is a ridiculously easy one layer ultra moist cake loaded with flavor and topped with a rich cream cheese frosting.

Ingredients

For the cake:

  • 3 cups (372 grams) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 10 tablespoons (142 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/3 cups (300 grams) mashed bananas, from about 4 medium bananas
  • 1 cup (227 grams) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup (106 grams) chopped California walnuts

For the frosting:

  • 8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups (250 grams) powdered sugar, sifted
  • Chopped walnuts, for garnish

Directions

Make the cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously grease a 9 by 13-inch baking pan.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time. On low speed beat in half the dry ingredients then the bananas, sour cream, and milk. Beat in the remaining dry ingredients. Gently stir in the walnuts.
  4. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow to cool completely. Unfrosted cake can be well wrapped and frozen for up to 2 months. Thaw at room temperature before frosting.

Make the frosting:

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla on medium-high speed until very light, creamy, and smooth. On low speed gradually add in the sugar and beat until fluffy.
  2. Spread the frosting over the cooled cake. Garnish with chopped walnuts. For cleaner cuts, refrigerate for 30 minutes before slicing and serving. Store in the fridge for up to 3 days. Serve at room temperature.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American

About Tessa...

I share trusted baking recipes your friends will LOVE alongside insights into the science of sweets. I'm a professionally trained chef, cookbook author, and cookie queen. I love to write about all things sweet, carb-y, and homemade. I live in Phoenix, Arizona (hence the blog name!)

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  1. #
    Janet — August 18, 2017 at 7:28 am

    I love your recipes & save many of them for future use. It would be great if when you hit the print button,the photo of the recipe printed also. I find it jogs my memory when going through my recipe collection. Thanks for all you do.

  2. #
    Karen — August 18, 2017 at 9:27 am

    I cannot wait to bake this banana cake. I will make it with Nutella frosting because my husband does not eat cream cheese! It looks moist and delicious.

    • #
      Tessa — August 20, 2017 at 11:12 am

      Hope you guys enjoy!!

  3. #
    helen cheng — August 18, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    Hi Tessa, can i omit the sour cream or replace with something else as i could not get sour cream in my country. Thank you.

    • #
      Tessa — August 20, 2017 at 11:11 am

      Plain yogurt should work!

  4. #
    Vincent Wong — August 21, 2017 at 3:25 am

    I want to purchase your E-book but I can’t login. If purchase your E-book do need to login to view your E-book?

    Thanks

    From Vincent Wong (Malaysia)

    • #
      Tessa — August 24, 2017 at 10:43 am

      Nope! You would have been sent your eBook files via email.

  5. #
    Jennifer Hermosillo — August 23, 2017 at 5:39 pm

    Actually I’m wondering can you use reallt ripened frozen bananas…? In place of just ripe?

  6. #
    Loredana Robertson — February 27, 2018 at 2:53 am

    I made this recipe and was amazing!! I added extra 50g dark chocolate chips and 150 g raisins. Baked it in a 10”round tin and cut it in 4 layers 1/2” each . As a filling i used a caramel buttercream . Delicious ! I will try more recipes from you. Thank you for sharing

  7. #
    BeckyB — August 14, 2018 at 6:54 am

    This was a huge hit. I made it in 9″ round pans and stacked the 2 layers, then decorated it with sliced bananas and more walnut pieces scattered around.

  8. #
    veda vispute — April 12, 2019 at 8:19 am

    What can i use as a substitute to sour cream?? Is it essential?? Can i eliminate it??

  9. #
    Susan — May 19, 2019 at 10:48 pm

    Can you bake this in a 11×15 inch pan?

    • #
      Tessa — May 20, 2019 at 4:39 pm

      The cake will be shorter if you do so and you’ll need to adjust the baking time, I’d shave off probably 5-10 minutes.

  10. #
    Susan — May 20, 2019 at 5:20 pm

    Thank you!! I’m thinking about making 2 layer with whipped cream icing.

  11. #
    Alvina — July 9, 2019 at 11:03 am

    How could I make it as a eggless cake..

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