Banana Cake

Three squares of banana cake sit on a red, yellow, and green plate.

This is the perfect banana cake recipe for cooking at home to take on a picnic or day hike. It is also simple enough that you can easily make it while camping. Not only can you eat it for dessert, but it also makes a great breakfast treat. 

Not to be confused with banana bread, this recipe produces an amazingly soft and fluffy cake. The key is baking it at a low oven temperature. It is topped with a sweet cream cheese frosting.

This is an ideal way to use up some old bananas, especially as you get to the end of your camping trip. This banana cake is so good it would be worth buying extra bananas just to make it.

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Three squares of banana cake with cream cheese frosting sit on a wooden cutting board.
Not to be confused with banana bread, this banana cake is light and fluffy with a sweet icing.
A close up of a square of banana cake with cream cheese frosting on a wooden cutting board.
This recipe works best with overripe bananas that are sweet and easily mashed.
Three squares of banana cake sit on a red, yellow, and green plate.
You can eat this banana cake at a picnic, on a hike, as a dessert or for breakfast.

Banana Cake Recipe

Three squares of banana cake sit on a red, yellow, and green plate.
This is the perfect Banana Cake recipe for cooking at home to take on picnics or day hikes, yet still simple enough to make while camping. It is super fluffy and soft with a perfectly matched frosting.
Preparation 20 minutes
Cook 1 hour
Ready in 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 12 Servings
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Banana Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana slightly over ripe
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 cup salted butter at room temperature
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk


  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter , at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cream cheese , at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 1/2 cups confectioner's sugar (icing sugar)


  • 9×13 inch baking tray (23cm x 33cm) cake tin


Banana Cake

  • Preheat the oven or camp oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C). This low temperature helps keep the cake flat, creating even, clean slices.
  • Peel and mash the bananas with a fork to make them as smooth as possible. Stir through the lemon juice and set aside until needed.
  • In a medium bowl sift in the flour and baking powder. Set aside until needed.
  • In a large bowl cream together the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
    Tip: This can take some time and is finished when the color changes to an off-white rather than a butter-yellow.
  • Beat the eggs into the creamed butter and sugar, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract, then the buttermilk.
  • Fold in the dry ingredients until well combined then stir the mashed banana into the batter.
  • Grease and flour the cake tin; pour in the cake batter.
  • Place the cake in the preheated oven and cook for 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  • Remove from the cake tin and cool.


  • Cream together the butter and cream cheese until smooth, then beat in the vanilla extract.
  • Slowly add the confectioner's sugar and cream in small batches stirring thoroughly with each addition. The frosting should remain smooth throughout the process.

To Serve

  • Evenly spread the frosting over the top of the cooled cake. Chill if possible for everything to firm up. Cut into 12 pieces to serve. If trying to get a fancy clean finish you may cut off the edges of the cake prior to cutting it into the 12 pieces.

Nutritional Information

Calories: 677kcalCarbohydrates: 99gProtein: 7gFat: 29gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 117mgSodium: 254mgPotassium: 193mgFiber: 1gSugar: 72gVitamin A: 1002IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 102mgIron: 2mg

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Portrait Photo of Saffron Hodgson cooking on a Camp Stove with a campfire in the background

About Saffron Hodgson

Outdoor cooking has been Saffron’s passion since she was young, often choosing to go camping and cook hearty meals over fire rather than stay inside, watch TV, and eat take-out. Today she is the driving force of Bush Cooking bringing the skills of cooking outdoors to thousands of people.

Learn more about Saffron Hodgson
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  1. 5 stars
    The ingredients call for baking soda, and in the instructions, it says baking powder? Please clarify, thanks.

    1. Thank you for pointing this out, the recipe has been updated to consistently be baking powder.