52 Cakes Week 1 – Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Icing

Josh has challenged me to bake one cake a week this year.  52 cakes?  I think I’m up for that challenge!  I’m not a baker but I do love a good cake and the funny thing is that Josh is not normally a fan of cakes.  So, not only am I accepting his challenge, I am also challenging myself to bake cakes that even he finds incredible.

We started off the year with a cake that I have had on my “Recipes To Try” Pinterest board.  It’s a Sweet Potato Layer Cake with Molasses Buttercream from a beautiful blog called Love and Olive Oil.  The cake itself was really pleasant and I will probably bake it again but the molasses buttercream completely overwhelmed it.  After all the work that went into this cake I didn’t even have a second piece.

The second recipe I tried was a Chocolate Beet Cake from Babble contributer, Julie Van Rosendaal.  I had tried some Chocolate Beet Cupcakes that she made and I loved them so I thought this would be a sure win.  My only complaint about this recipe is that the coarse grated beets kept their texture instead of melting into the cake like I think they should.  My dad loved that he could chew on the beets and said it made the cake seem healthier.  I baked two of these, took one to a karaoke party and left the other behind for Josh to put the icing on.  What a terrific job he did!  My dad said that it was the ugliest cake he has ever seen but so delicious!  I made a Chocolate Cream Cheese Icing that I am still drooling over.  This will be a repeat icing this year, I’m sure.

Quite possibly the worst presentation, ever.  This icing is to die for though, and I will share it in another post, on another cake.

Quite possibly the worst presentation, ever. This icing is to die for though, and I will share it in another post, on another cake.

I thought I was through with cakes for the week but then someone gave us a humongous box of bananas.  What was I to do but make Banana Cake?  Josh voted for this cake as his favorite and I have to agree even though I would still like to tweak the icing with some browned butter and maybe try candied walnuts for the garnish.  My dad said he couldn’t decide which cake was the best out of the three but that this was the best banana cake he had ever eaten.

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Icing and Walnuts

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Icing and Walnuts

Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Icing
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This cake is packed with banana flavor without being cloying.
Recipe type: Dessert
Serves: 24
  • 1½ cups ripe bananas, mashed. Approximately 6 small bananas.
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1½ teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¾ cup butter, room temperature or cut into very small pieces if you forgot to set it out.
  • 2 cups plus 2 TBS of sugar,
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1½ cups buttermilk
  • ½ cup softened butter
  • 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3½ cups icing sugar
  1. Prepare a 9x13 baking pan. I recommend that you grease it, line it with wax paper and then grease it again.
  2. Preheat oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Mix mashed bananas and lemon juice in a small mixing bowl and set aside.
  4. In a medium mixing bowl combine flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Set aside.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, cream together softened butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
  6. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  7. Add vanilla.
  8. Pour in ½ cup of buttermilk then add 1 cup of flour mixture.
  9. Repeat until buttermilk and flour mixture are completely mixed in.
  10. Mix in bananas and lemon juice.
  11. Pour into pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.
  12. Let cake cool until you can handle the pan then remove and wrap in two layers of saran wrap.
  13. Put cake in freezer for 45 minutes before icing it but make sure to protect the glass in the freezer from the heat.
  1. Cream together the butter and cream cheese until light and fluffy.
  2. Add vanilla.
  3. Beat in icing sugar until combined then turn to high and beat until smooth.
  4. Spread on cake and top with chopped walnuts.


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