If you're clinging to the last few days of summer, while simultaneously excited for the beginning of fall, this Banana Cake with Almond Buttercream is for you! This cake is topped with an almond chocolate buttercream and garnished with champagne grapes, fresh figs, kumquats and sliced almonds to thrill the taste buds.
Tips for Using Bananas in Cakes
Measure by volume, not by bananas
When it comes to making banana cake, I would suggest measuring the bananas by volume/weight instead of the number of bananas. A lot of recipes will mention using a certain number of ripe bananas, but I've found that using a specific unit of measurement helps to get the best most consistent results every single time.
Why do you want to use old bananas?!
Usually, banana cake recipes require the use of ripe or "old" bananas. This is due to a number of reasons!
- Ripe bananas can be used as an egg replacement in baking as they help provide structure as the cake rises
- The soft consistency makes the bananas much easier to mash uniformly
- This makes the bananas incorporate more smoothly into your batter
- Ripe bananas are sweeter and much more full of concentrated flavor as they ripen
When are your bananas considered ripe?
The darker the banana... the better. Once your banana skin has a number of brown freckles and large brown spots you know you're ready for them to be used! Honestly... there's no banana that's "Too ripe" when it comes to banana bread making.
To start the ripening process, allow the bananas to ripen at room temperature. Depending on the temperature in your kitchen, they could be ready in a few days or in a week. If you want to quicken the process, I would suggest placing the bananas in a brown paper bag for a few days and then check in on them!
Never throw away those "old" dark brown bananas! Stick them in the freezer to use the next time you make banana based baked goods - your future self will thank you!
How to make banana cake with sour cream
Step 1: Whisk dry ingredients. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Set the mixture aside.
Step 2: Beat oil and sugars. Add the coconut oil, granulated sugar, and brown sugar to a large mixing bowl and beat until light and fluffy.
Step 3: Add the egg. Next, add the egg and continue beating while scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Step 4: Add the remaining wet ingredients. Add the sour cream and the mashed bananas. Gently mix to combine.
Step 5: Mix the dry and wet ingredients. In the bowl with the wet mixture, add the dry ingredients and mix until a thick and sturdy batter forms (similar to a pancake batter). Be sure not to overmix!
Step 6: Bake. Pour the cake batter into your prepared cake pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Step 7: Let it cool. Be sure to let the cake cool completely on a cooling rack before moving on to assembly and decorating.
Within this recipe, we will be adding melted almond chocolate wafers into our buttercream. It is TRULY so delicious - here's how it's done!
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with the paddle attachment.
- Add approximately half of the powdered sugar and beat again. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the rest of the powdered sugar. Continue beating for a few minutes, scraping the sides as needed, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
- Finally add melted chocolate and continue beating until the frosting is thick and fluffy. Spread across the top of your cake,cooled top with fresh fruit and enjoy!
Assembling your Single Layer Cake
Once you've prepared all the cake components - it's time to assemble your cake! First off, spread the almond buttercream on top of your banana cake.
Utilizing a spoon or an offset spatula, create swirls and swoops to your liking into the buttercream! I used a small spoon to create the swirls you see above.
Add the decoration of your liking on top! I added a couple of different layers of toppings, starting with some chopped champagne grapes, fresh figs, kumquats and sliced almonds sprinkled around the edge. That's it - your single-layer banana cake with almond buttercream is ready and waiting for you!
Flavoring your buttercream with chocolate
Although I am a huge fan of the almond chocolate linked above, you can certainly substitute any chocolate of your choice for this buttercream recipe!
Whether you’re more of a milk chocolate fan, white chocolate fan – or perhaps you’re more adventurous! There are so many chocolate varieties these days, my favorites come from Valrhona (their Inspiration chocolate line is out of this WORLD).
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tips
- Flour Selection Matters: For a moist banana cake with a deliciously nutty depth, some people like to combine almond flour and purpose flour. If you're looking for a gluten-free option, substitute with almond meal and use other gluten-free flours like tapioca starch, which can be easily found in most grocery stores.
- Enhance the Flavor Profile: Elevate the natural sweetness of spotty bananas with pure maple syrup and ground cinnamon. To get that deep banana flavor, ensure you're using ripe bananas; their sweetness beautifully complements the almond extract and vanilla extract in the cake recipe.
- Perfect Frosting Technique: When making the almond buttercream with cream cheese, using a stand mixer or a hand mixer, mix on low speed until ingredients are combined, then increase speed to achieve a fluffy texture. For those who desire a twist, consider a salted caramel buttercream or even a dark chocolate ganache as alternatives.
- Baking and Storage Tips: For an even bake, ensure the cake is placed in a prepared pan lined with parchment paper and bake until golden brown - typically between 45-50 minutes, though thinner cake layers may only need 30-35 minutes. Once cooled on a wire rack, store in an airtight container to maintain its moist texture, or if frosted with cream cheese frosting, refrigerate to keep it fresh.
- Presentation and Serving Ideas: A delicious cake deserves a stunning presentation. After applying the almond buttercream, garnish the top of the cake with chopped walnuts or chocolate chips. This banana cake recipe is not only perfect for special occasions and as a sweet treat but also a crowd-pleaser when paired with vanilla ice cream or served as a luxurious yet healthy breakfast.
Want to keep things simple? Instead of the buttercream, decorate the banana cake with cream cheese frosting.
Frequently asked questions
While both of these banana-forward baked goods are a great way to use over-ripened bananas, they’re not quite the same. Banana cake generally has a tender, moist, and fluffy texture, while banana bread is usually heavy and crumbly. Not to mention, banana cakes are typically frosted and banana bread is not.
Absolutely! Divide the batter into a lined muffin tin and bake at 350ºF for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. As always, let the cupcakes cool completely before frosting.
The batter yields a delightful density somewhere right in the middle! The baked cake is sturdy, pleasantly bouncy, and melt-in-your-mouth tender.
Sour cream and full-fat plain Greek yogurt can be used interchangeably in many baked goods, including this banana cake. Baking cakes with sour cream or Greek yogurt helps them taste rich and moist.
To freeze, make sure your cake has cooled completely, and then wrap it in a couple of layers of plastic wrap and a layer of foil or a freezer-safe bag. Freeze for 3 to 4 months. When you’re ready to enjoy the cake, let it thaw at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours and then frost.
Other Breakfast Recipes to consider
If you try the recipe for this Banana Cake with Almond Buttercream, please leave a 🌟 review and share your creation with me on social media! You can find me on Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and Pinterest - for more delicious recipes sent straight to your inbox, sign up for my newsletter! 📧
Banana Cake with Almond Buttercream
- 1 Cups (125 g) All-Purpose Flour
- ½ tsp Baking Soda
- ¼ tsp Salt
- ¼ Cup (55 g) Coconut Oil
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ⅓ Cup (67 g) Granulated Sugar
- ¼ Cup (55 g) Light Brown Sugar, packed
- 1 Large Egg, room temperature
- ¼ Cup (58 g) Sour Cream
- 1.5 (180 g) Ripe Bananas, mashed
- ½ Cup (113 g) Unsalted Butter , Room Temperature
- 1 Cup (120 g) Powdered Sugar
- ½ Cup (71 g) Melted Almond Chocolate, *See note for substitution
- Champagne Grapes, Figs, Kumquats, Almonds
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Combine all your dry ingredients – flour, baking soda and salt in a medium-sized bowl, give it a whisk and set aside.1 Cups All-Purpose Flour, ½ teaspoon Baking Soda, ¼ teaspoon Salt
- Add the coconut oil, vanilla extract and sugars into a large bowl and beat together until well mixed.⅓ Cup Granulated Sugar, ¼ Cup Coconut Oil, 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract, ¼ Cup Light Brown Sugar
- Add the egg, then scrape the bowl making sure ingredients are mixed well. Then add the sour cream, mix and finally add the mashed bananas mixing until combined.1 Large Egg, ¼ Cup Sour Cream, 1.5 Ripe Bananas
- Add the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined.
- Pour batter into a greased 6-inch cake pan and bake for 40-45 minutes. For a shorter single-layer cake, you can always instead bake your cake in an 8-inch cake pan for a shorter amount of time. Make sure to check that the cake is fully baked with a toothpick before removing it from the oven and allowing it to cool completely before assembling.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until smooth with the paddle attachment.½ Cup Unsalted Butter
- Add approximately half of the powdered sugar and beat again. Scrape the sides of the bowl and add the rest of the powdered sugar. Continue beating for a few minutes, scraping the sides as needed, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.1 Cup Powdered Sugar
- Finally, add the melted chocolate and continue beating until the frosting is thick and fluffy. Spread across the top of your cooled cake, top with fresh fruit and enjoy!½ Cup Melted Almond Chocolate, Champagne Grapes, Figs, Kumquats, Almonds