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!

Recipe Overview

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
Servings: 15

Banana chocolate chip cake being scooped out.
Want to save this recipe?
Just enter your email and get it sent to your inbox! Plus you’ll get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.

Bananas and chocolate, a match made in heaven, wouldn’t you say? If you’re not convinced, try triple chocolate banana muffins.

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.

Another totally excellent combination is banana cake with lemon cream cheese frosting but we’ll save that for another day.

Cake with chocolate frosting and chocolate chips.

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.

Cake with chocolate frosting in white pan.

About This Banana Cake Recipe

It’s easy to make. One feature that you’ll really love is that this cake recipe is really not difficult 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.

All natural ingredients. 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.

Slice of cake with thick chocolate frosting.


Why is my banana cake not fluffy? Why is my banana cake too moist?

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.

How ripe should bananas be for banana cake?

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!

How do you keep chocolate chips from sinking in a cake?

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

  • Add ins: Instead of mini chocolate chips, add walnuts, pecans, or even raisins. You can make a plain banana cake with no chips or nuts too.
  • Frosting options: Top your cake with vanilla cream cheese frosting or vanilla butter cream frosting. Try peanut butter frosting (who doesn’t love that classic combo: bananas and peanut butter?). If you’re in a pinch, a can of frosting is always an option.
  • Skip the frosting. 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.

Storage Tips

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


Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

5 from 7 votes
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 2 hours 55 minutes
Servings: 15 servings
This banana chocolate chip cake is ultra-moist, flecked with chocolate chips, and topped with a thick layer of chocolate cream cheese frosting.
Save this recipe!
Get this sent to your inbox, plus get new recipes from us every week!
Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.



  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium-sized bananas)
  • ½ cup buttermilk (see note for substitution)
  • ½ cup shortening
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips


  • 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.



Calories: 477kcal, Carbohydrates: 79g, Protein: 4g, Fat: 17g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 6g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 32mg, Sodium: 196mg, Potassium: 227mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 59g, Vitamin A: 158IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 55mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did You Make This?Share a comment and rating below! I love hearing what you think!
Free email series

5 Time & Stress Saving Cooking Secrets

Free email series of my best tips!


5 from 7 votes (6 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating

The maximum upload file size: 1 MB. You can upload: image. Drop files here


  1. Tanya says:

    5 stars
    If I could give it a 10 I would! This cake is delicious and really simple. I made it for my son’s 25th birthday and he marked it DELICIOUS!! I’ve made it a couple more times this year including when my daughter came home from college. She did her best to eat it all during the weekend…Luckily I put some aside to send back with her.

    I do shake it up. I’ve increased the bananas to 5 because I always have tons in the freezer, increased the buttermilk to 1-1.5 c and the vanilla to 2 tsp. Then I make the cake CHOCOLATE chocolate chip by moving the cocoa from the frosting to the cake recipe (1/2 c).

    I love that you don’t overcook it in the oven and immediately cover it with foil and put it in the freezer. ITS SOOOOO MOIST!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Oh I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!

  2. Angela says:

    My husband said, “This is hands down, the greatest cake you have ever made.” I’ve made a lot of cakes. Thanks!

    1. Rachel Gurk says:

      Wow, what a compliment! Thanks for taking the time to come back and leave a comment!

  3. Peter says:

    Very tasty and chocolatey treat Rachel good job :)

  4. Malou says:

    I tried your recipe, it was just delicious !! It was hard not to eat everything in one day ! ;) I did them without the frosting and it was just fine that way ! I shared your recipe on my blog (in french).

  5. Amanda says:

    I’m wondering if regular chocolate chips would be OK? I’ve already got them on hand. Would they be too weighty?
    Also, CRAP…I only have fat free cream cheese…here’s hoping…

    1. Rachel says:

      I think regular chocolate chips would probably work. Fat free cream cheese–probably…but it won’t be as delicious!

      1. Amanda says:

        Hey, Rachel,

        It actually turned out pretty awesome! I think the chocolate chips were more likely to settle at the bottom, but it didn’t matter from bite to bite.
        The frosting was probably not AS good, but it was still fabulous. I probably only did about 2 cups powdered sugar because I’m not big on sweets…so it was a bit more tangy, but in a good way.
        Thanks for the recipe!