This banana chocolate chip cake is ultra-moist, flecked with chocolate chips, and topped with a thick layer of chocolate cream cheese frosting. It’s a superstar cake!
Why you’ll love it: There are so many reasons to love this cake: it’s a one bowl cake, easy to make, it turns out well every time, and you can use overripe bananas that may otherwise go to waste. And it’s so delicious!
How long it takes: a few hours (including baking and cooling time); only 20 minutes prep time
Equipment you’ll need: electric mixer, mixing bowl, 9 x 13 baking pan
This banana cake is one of my absolute favorite things that my mom makes. It is so very moist, and topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting, it is just perfect.
I took this one totally over the top.
Like, hurt your teeth over the top. But it’s good, really good.
I did think about making it with less frosting. I know, I can’t believe I just said that either. If you were making a layer cake with this recipe, the amount of frosting would probably be perfect. However, if you don’t have a HUGE sweet tooth, I’d suggest halving the frosting for a 9 x 13 -inch cake.
Ben agrees. My mother-in-law disagrees. I’m torn. I do love this frosting.
My mother in law said this was “the best cake and frosting she ever had.” And let me tell you, the woman is no cake novice. I consider this an expert opinion.
My husband loves it, too. He keeps calling it banana bread. I like that because it sounds healthier than it really is. My kids love anything with chocolate so you can guess their opinion.
About This Recipe
One feature that you’ll really love is that this cake recipe is really easy to make. All of us have made simple cake mixes from the box: pour the mix into a bowl, add eggs, oil, and water and beat with an electric mixer.
Well, imagine a cake made from scratch that really isn’t all that much more difficult. There’s a bit more measuring but that’s about it. You’ll still need an electric mixer and one mixing bowl. Oh, you have to smush the bananas but that’s a pretty easy job. Use a fork or a pastry cutter to make quick work of the bananas.
And yes, cake mixes contain extra additives that your homemade cake doesn’t. Take a look at some of the ingredients contained in a well-known brand. Things like wheat starch, sodium stearoyl lactylate, fractionated palm oil, cellulose gum, artificial colors and flavors, and other really nasty sounding stuff.
And bananas in that banana cake mix? Less than 2% dehydrated banana flakes takes the place of the three real bananas in your homemade cake.
I’d say the choice is pretty simple. Give this homemade cake a try and I think you’ll agree.
Look for the printable recipe card near the end of the post for complete instructions, measurements, and nutrition information.
Banana cake tends to be a bit more dense because of the bananas. Be sure to measure the mashed bananas before adding them to the batter. Bananas vary widely in size and you may not need 3 bananas if your bananas are large.
Measure your flour correctly. Use a spoon to scoop the flour out of the storage container. Lightly fill the measuring cup and then level the top with a straight edge. Don’t shake the flour down to settle it or you’ll end up with too much flour. Too much flour results in a dry, heavy cake.
Be sure to beat the batter until it’s smooth and light in consistency.
You’ll want to use bananas that are very ripe. The riper they are, the sweeter the cake will be, with so much banana flavor. The bananas should be completely yellow, with lots of brown freckles. Even if they are somewhat soft and maybe almost all brown, they’re just perfect for banana cake, banana muffins, or banana bread.
If you happen to have an excess, freeze bananas to use later. It’s very easy. No more throwing away those overripe bananas on your counter!
One trick that I’ve used frequently is to toss the chocolate chips in a bit of flour or cocoa powder before adding them. You can use this tip when adding dried fruit or berries to a cake too. It’s not always 100% effective though.
A tip that I’ve been using more lately is a little different. Don’t add the chocolate chips to the batter right away. Pour half of the plain batter into the pan; fold the chocolate chips into the remaining batter and then add it to the top of the batter already in the pan. Don’t stir both layers together. Bake as directed. This trick works well and I think you’ll like the results.
P.S. Mini chocolate chips are light enough so that they don’t sink to the bottom.
Make It Your Own
- Instead of mini chocolate chips, add walnuts, pecans, or even raisins. You can make a plain banana cake with no chips or nuts too.
- Top your cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting or vanilla butter cream frosting if you prefer. If you’re in a pinch for time, a can of frosting is always an option. Actually, this cake is so moist and flavorful, a light dusting of confectioner’s sugar will do the job just fine and may be better for those who don’t have a big sweet tooth.
Unless you’re serving the cake within a few hours of making it, it should be refrigerated to keep the cream cheese frosting fresh. It will keep for a few days in the refrigerator as long as it is covered well.
More over-the-top delicious chocolate desserts
- Flourless Mexican Hot Chocolate Cake (chocolate enhanced with cinnamon, vanilla, and chipotle)
- Raspberry and Brownie Mini Trifles
- Flourless Chocolate Cookies (better than brownies, I kid you not!)
- No Churn Double Chocolate Ice Cream
- Black Forest Dump Cake
- No Bake Chocolate Tart (only 4 ingredients)
- Mint Chocolate Chip Brownies (ooey, gooey, eat with a fork brownies)
- Cream Cheese Filled Brownies
- 1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened (regular or reduced-fat)
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 to 3 teaspoons milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup cocoa powder
- 4 cups powdered sugar (confectioners' sugar)
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease or lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch cake pan with nonstick spray.
- Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl.
- Add mashed bananas, buttermilk, shortening, eggs, and vanilla to the bowl. With an electric mixer, beat on low-speed until ingredients are combined, scraping sides of bowl as needed, about 1 minute.
- Increase to medium speed and beat for 3 minutes. Fold in chocolate chips.
- Spread cake batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into center of cake comes out clean or with crumbs.
- Cool completely before frosting.
- In large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together cream cheese, butter, vanilla, and milk until smooth.
- Add cocoa powder and powdered sugar (one cup at a time) and continue to beat on low speed until frosting is smooth and is desired consistency. Spread on cooled cake.
- Buttermilk substitute: Add 1 tablespoon white vinegar to ½ cup of milk, stir and let set for 2 minutes.
- Frosting note: This makes a pretty big batch of frosting. It’s actually enough to frost a layer cake. If you prefer less frosting, make a half batch by cutting the frosting ingredients in half.
- Cake with cream cheese frosting should be stored in the refrigerator.
This website provides approximate nutrition information for convenience and as a courtesy only. Nutrition data is gathered primarily from the USDA Food Composition Database, whenever available, or otherwise other online calculators.