Easy and Moist Banana Pudding Layer Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
This super moist Banana Cake has banana pudding filling, a little bit of cinnamon and homemade cream cheese frosting is a banana lover’s dream! If you like bananas or banana bread, you are going to LOVE this cake!
I decided to make a Banana Cake because my 4-year old was asking for it. He had Banana Cake a few weeks ago and somehow remembered it and decided that was the treat he wanted. Of course, I could have told him there was no banana cake and moved on. But, since I love to bake and had not made a banana cake in a while, I thought “Why not?!”
This recipe is inspired by the Banana Cake Recipe from my trusty Better Homes and Gardens cookbook. I made a few changes and added a banana pudding filling and cream cheese frosting. Yum!
How to Make a Moist Banana Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350° and prepare your cake pans. I used my 6″ cake pans that are 2″ deep to make 3 layers.
- In a large mixing bowl add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir together.
- Add the bananas, buttermilk, shortening, and vanilla and mix with a hand mixer.
- Add the eggs and continue to beat for 2 minutes.
- Pour the cake batter into the cake pans and tap on the counter to remove air bubbles. Place the pan(s) in the oven and bake for 25-35 minutes.
- While the cakes are baking, make your banana pudding and cream cheese frosting and place them in the fridge to get nice and cold before assembling and frosting the cake.
Ripe Bananas are the key to this recipe
Most people know to save ripe bananas for banana bread, but there are so many other uses for them as well! When you have a ripe banana, just throw it in the freezer and you will always have a few on hand for future use. When you are ready to use them, allow them to unfreeze on the counter or zap them on defrost in the microwave for a few seconds and you are in business. Here are a few things you can make with ripe bananas:
- Banana Cake (obviously 😆)
- Banana Bread
- Frozen Banana “Ice Cream”
- Ripe bananas can be an egg or oil substitute when baking
Super Easy & Pipeable Cream Cheese Frosting
The homemade cream cheese frosting for this recipe is the perfect complement to the sweet banana flavor of the cake. I used vegetable shortening instead of butter when making my cake because I wanted the frosting to be pipeable and a little stiffer. If you don’t have shortening or want to use butter, it will work just as good. Just remember to keep the frosting nice and cold until you are ready to frost your cake!
Ok, so a lot of Banana Cake recipes out there call for buttermilk. I LOVE to bake, but I’m gonna be honest, I NEVER have buttermilk on hand. The good news is, you can easily make sour milk and use it instead and no one will ever know. In fact, when I made this cake last that’s exactly what I did. Remember 1 cup milk+1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice. Stir, rest and use!
A Few Tips on Making the Best Banana Cake Ever
- This is a one-bowl recipe! That means you can just add all of the ingredients to one bowl for the cake, how great is that?
- I used my hand mixer for all of the steps, but of course, you can also use your stand mixer, or if you want to burn some calories, use a hand whisk💪🏻.
- When baking, it’s usually best to have your ingredients at room temperature, in this case, the eggs and buttermilk. While I recommend this, you can also just get to it and still have an amazing cake.
- Cream cheese frosting is one of the best things ever (just sayin’) BUT it can be tricky if it’s warm outside or in your home. The freezer and fridge are your friends when frosting this cake and storing it.
Homemade Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- 6" cake pan(s)
- mixing bowls
- hand mixer
- frosting knife
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 1½ cups sugar
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 3 ripe bananas
- ¾ cup buttermilk (or ¾ cup milk with ¾ tbsp vinegar/lemon juice added)
- ½ cup vegetable shortening (you can sub butter, see notes)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 large eggs
Banana Pudding Filling
- ½ cup banana pudding mix
- ¾ cup cold milk
Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1 8 oz package cream cheese, room temp
- ½ cup vegetable shortening
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 3-4 cups confectioners powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350° and prepare your cake pans with shortening, flour and/or parchment paper.
- In a large mixing bowl place the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon and stir together until well mixed. Add the bananas, buttermilk, shortening and vanilla and mix with a hand mixer on medium speed until everything is combined. Add the eggs and continue to beat for 2 minutes.
- Pour the cake batter into the cake pans and tap on the counter to remove air bubbles. Place the pan(s) in the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Test the cake with a toothpick at 25 minutes or until the toothpick comes out clean. My pans took 35 minutes to fully cook because they are a deep cake pan.
- Once done, remove the cake pan from the oven and allow to cool on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan and continue cooling on the rack until fully cool.
- While the cake is baking, add the banana pudding mix and cold milk into a bowl and mix with a hand mixer for 2 minutes on medium speed. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. Most instant puddings only take about 5 minutes to set but you want to keep the pudding cold until you are ready to use it.
Cream Cheese Frosting
- Add the cream cheese and shortening to a mixing bowl and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the salt and vanilla and beat together for another minute. Add the powdered sugar, one cup at a time, until desired sweetness and consistency is achieved. Place the frosting in the refrigerator until ready to frost the cake.
Cake Assembly and Frosting
- Once the cakes have fully cooled, cut the top off with a serrated knife to create a level top.
- Place one cake layer on a cake stand or plate. Place about half of the banana pudding in the middle of the cake and spread out with a spatula leaving about ½ inch around the edge.
- Add the next cake layer and repeat the pudding layer. Place the last layer on top, bottom side up, so you have a nice flat top to work with.
- At this point, you want to frost a crumb coat on the cake. To create a crumb coat, place a thin layer of frosting all over the entire cake and then place it in the freezer for 10 minutes. This will help eliminate crumbs in the final frosting layer.
- Remove the cake from the freezer and fully frost with the remaining frosting. You can also pipe on decoration as desired or garnish with fresh banana slices or chopped nuts. Leave the cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
- This frosting needs to be cold in order for the frosting to go on well and I would recommend keeping the cake cold until ready to serve.
- I used a 6″ cake pan and made 3 layers with the amount of batter that is made with this recipe.
- If you are going to substitute butter for the shortening in the frosting, make sure it is room temp when mixing with the room temp cream cheese so that they cream together nicely. After achieving the consistency and sweetness you want, place the frosting in the fridge so it has a chance to firm up before frosting the cake.
More Cake and Cupcake Recipes to Try
- Naked Marionberry Cake
- Easy Lemon Curd Filled Cupcakes
- Lilac Cocktail and Lilac Cupcake Recipes
- Easy Cake Bites