Moist banana cake layered with fluffy peanut butter frosting is a decadent, sweet and salty treat! This bakery-inspired Banana Layer Cake recipe is simple and basic, making it perfect for beginning bakers!
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I love baking and I’m always looks for excuses to make delicious cakes and desserts to share with friends and family. As my life has changed over the last few years since our kids were born, I’m finding my baking style has also changed. I just don’t have as much time and attention for detailed cakes and desserts since I often have my kids at my feet while I’m working in the kitchen, and so I tend to gravitate toward more rustic desserts that focus mostly on taste and not as much on style!
Simple and Moist Banana Cake
And truthfully, I’ve always been a fan of simplicity when it comes to baking (and food in general). Sure, it’s fun to try some crazy new techniques every once in awhile for a special occasion, but I’ve never worked with fondant and novelty desserts just aren’t really my thing because if I’m honest, I lack the patience they require. As far as I’m concerned, you just can’t beat a good, simple cake recipe and delicious, fluffy buttercream, am I right?
This moist banana cake recipe is one from my childhood. I remember my mom making this cake for our birthdays all the time, usually topped with her famous 7-minute frosting or a fudgy chocolate frosting. Wondering what the best banana cake glaze is?
Well, it is such a moist, tender cake with a mild banana flavour that you can top it with cream cheese frosting, chocolate frosting, or even just a sugar glaze. I’ve always wanted to try it with peanut butter frosting, and since peanut butter and banana is pretty much the best combination ever, that was my choice!
When I made the topping for this banana layer cake, I whipped the peanut butter frosting so it would be nice and fluffy. It turned out to be not only the perfect flavour combination, but the perfect texture combination too!! And the crushed salted peanuts on top just give this moist banana cake the perfect sweet and salty vibe, if you’re into that kind of thing (which I totally am).
And as you can probably see, my cake layers aren’t perfectly even. But I just don’t care. This banana layer cake was WAY too delicious not to share with you, even though I lack technical the skills of a pastry chef. I own a fantastic electric stand mixer, but don’t even own a cake leveler… perhaps it’s time I invest in one!
Seriously, this banana layer cake recipe is to die for. I had to hide the cake in the very bottom of my freezer to keep from eating all the leftovers. I think it’s still there actually, and writing this post is making me want to go defrost a piece…
The cake is rustic, it’s sweet with just a little bit of salty, and it’s perfect for sharing (or hoarding all for yourself, if that’s more your speed). In any case, you’re going to love it!!
Banana Layer Cake Recipe
Banana Layer Cake with Fluffy Peanut Butter Frosting
For the cake:
- 2 large bananas mashed
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup canola oil
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1 1/4 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp sea salt
For the frosting:
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened to room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups smooth peanut butter
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- 6 tbsp whole milk
- 1/3 cup salted peanuts crushed (for garnish)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour two 8" round cake pans and set them aside.
- To a large bowl add the mashed bananas, the buttermilk, and the eggs, and whisk them together until they're combined. Stir in the canola oil and then the sugar.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and sea salt to a separate bowl and whisk until combined. Add the dry ingredients into the banana mixture and fold them together with a rubber spatula just until no more streaks of flour remain. Do not over-mix or you'll create too many air bubbles in your batter which causes a problem called tunnelling (if you can see long, gaping holes in your baked cake, it means you have over-mixed!).
- Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of one of the cakes comes out clean.
- Let the cakes cool in their pans for about 5 minutes and then gently turn them out upside down onto wire racks to cool.
- While the cakes are cooling, begin to prepare the frosting by whipping the butter and the peanut butter on high speed until they're well combined and nice and fluffy.
- Add the powdered sugar about a cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl periodically so that all the powdered sugar gets into the frosting.
- Add the whole milk one tablespoon at a time, whipping well after each addition. Continue whipping until the frosting reaches a gorgeous light and fluffy texture that's perfectly spreadable. You may need to add slightly less or slightly more milk depending on what kind of butter and/or peanut butter you use, so it's a good idea to watch closely as you're whipping to ensure you create frosting with a spreadable texture.
- Once the cake has cooled, cut each layer in half horizontally using a sharp serrated knife, making sure to turn the cake layer as you cut to create layers as even as possible. If cutting cake layers freaks you out, I guarantee this cake will taste just as amazing as a two-layer cake, so feel free to skip this part altogether!
- Frost the cake, making sure to spread a nice thick, even layer of frosting between each of the layers. When making layer cakes I like to add my layers upside down so the flat end is facing upward. This creates a more even top and helps the cake stay straight.
- Frost the top and sides of the cake, creating a simple swirl pattern if you wish.
- Add the crushed peanuts to the top of the banana layer cake and press them into the frosting just slightly with your palm.
Be sure to refrigerate the banana layer cake for at least 2 hours before serving. This will make it easy to slice and help the layers stay intact as you serve it.
Enjoy with a nice tall glass of milk, or your beverage of choice!
I hope you enjoy this banana layer cake recipe! Let me know in the comments below, what’s your favourite way to enjoy peanut butter and banana?