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Banana Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Banana Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Banana cake is as unpretentious as bread and butter or toast spread with strawberry jam. Banana cake doesn't set out to dazzle your eyes (though it may very well dazzle your taste buds). It's not trying to re-create the (cake) wheel, by any means. Banana cake is as old and wise as the simple chocolate cake. I doubt you'd ever find this cake listed on the dessert menu in a fancy restaurant.

However, that doesn't mean this banana cake isn't something to talk about.

Banana cake has been a summer tradition in my family for as long as I can remember. Though bananas are available year round and this cake can (and should!) be made in every season, I only remember my mother making this cake during the height of summer. My sister and I looked forward to eating this cake with more excitement and anticipation than our birthday cakes. This banana cake could turn an ordinary Tuesday into something extraordinary.

Banana Cake with Chocolate Glaze

While the cake bakes up in the oven, wonderful, sinful smells waft about the house. Like moths to a flame, we'd gather to the kitchen. When the glaze was fresh from the stove, we'd always swipe a finger or two through the still warm chocolate. My dad, to this day, requests to lick the spatula and bowl clean. I like to joke that we don't need a dishwasher anymore, though my dad does not find this terribly amusing.

Nevertheless, my family is still in debate about the best way to eat this cake. My dad and I love to eat this cake chilled. It brings a dense, moist heaviness to the cake and the chocolate glaze becomes stiff making it literally melt in your mouth. My sister, on the other hand, prefers the cake warm, which yields a lighter feel to the cake and turns the chocolate glaze divinely smooth. Though our debate may never be settled, the truth is that this cake is delicious any way you choose to serve it.

Do yourself a favor and create a little weekday magic by making yourself this simple, but charming cake.

Banana Cake with Chocolate Glaze

This Banana Cake with Chocolate Glaze is a classic cake with a lot of character. The cake layers are rich and moist with banana, while a touch of cinnamon brings out a greater depth of flavor. The chocolate glaze is very simple to make, melting together only chocolate and butter, but I could eat it by the spoonful (and I usually do). The glaze spreads smooth when slightly warm and holds its shape like a dream. This cake is quick to throw together and will disappear before you are ready to see it go.

One Year Ago: Grilled Peaches

Banana Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Yields 2 8-inch cake layers (or 9 x 13" cake)

Banana Cake
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
3 overripe bananas, mashed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup buttermilk

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (160 degrees C). Grease 2 8-inch baking pans.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the bananas and vanilla extract.

Alternatively add and beat in the flour mixture and buttermilk in 5 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Pour batter evenly between prepared baking pans. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until golden and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes before removing from cake pans. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Glaze
12 ounces (2 cups) semi-sweet chocolate
8 tablespoons butter

In a double boiler, melt together the chocolate and butter, stirring until smooth. Glaze will be thick. Remove from heat and frost cake before glaze hardens.

Banana Cake with Chocolate Glaze

Reader Comments (32)

Kristin Ohmygosh! What a lovely recipe! I love finding things I can make at a moments notice-and your post makes me want to make this, chill half and warm the other, and try it both ways! I made some really horrendous gluten free muffin bread hybrid disasters last week to take in to work-this cake would help me save face. ;)
I dig banana bread/cake and this layered caked with the glaze? Over the top!
Looks so delicious, I love banana and chocolate
This is beauuttiffulll! I cannot express how lovely I think your photos are, you truly are one of my favourite bloggers by far! This looks like a fabulous recipe, definitely going to give it a go and if it turns out half as lovely lookin' as yours i would be elated :)
It really looks like a cake!:)
08.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterKS
OMG I can simply smell the heavenly banana and rich chocolate from your picture! Thank you for the recipe!
Looks good! Adding it to my to-make dessert list!
This cake looks so moist and delicious. I had been searching for (yet another) banana bread recipe but maybe it's time to make banana cake :)
08.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterStephanie
If my son ever finds out I could be making this rather than banana bread, I'm in trouble!!
i made it as a 13x9, and it's stiting here cooling right now, waiting for the glaze. i have to say, i've made dozens of banana bread recipes before (i've never actually had a banana cake!), but this one.... the scent is out of this world. i want to tear a giant chunk out and gobble it down before i frost it. usually i think the chocolate is the best part, so that's saying a lot!
08.4.2011 | Unregistered Commenterlaurel
This looks like one of the best banana cake recipes out there!! I would love to try this one myself, but here in Sydney bananas are through-the-roof expensive. As soon as the prices come back down I am definitely making this cake!
08.4.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamieanne
i make it fast by adding bananas to any box mix...and instead of chocolate glaze i use creamcheese frosting
08.4.2011 | Unregistered Commentermeaghan
i JUST made a banana cake right before i read this post haha. i love it, it looks beautiful. i never used buttermilk or cinnamon to bake a banana cake before, i might try that next time. i only used 1 banana and it worked out perfectly.
08.5.2011 | Unregistered CommenterLou
YUM!! I love all things banana & chocolate! The glaze on this cake looks completely delicious!
I think my dad is going to flip when I make this for his birthday in a few weeks!
08.5.2011 | Unregistered CommenterApron Appeal
Sorry to comment again! This cake is still very much on my mind begging me to make it...SOON! Just to let you know that Ive given you and your crazily lovely blog an award, if you would like to 'receive' it then pop by mine and check the latest post :)
this looks/sounds delicious. love banana baked treats.
08.5.2011 | Unregistered Commenterxq
I did this recepie yesterday. And I did it exactly. And It came out amazing... I put an extra banana, because my bananas where not yet ripe so for extra flavor i added another one.... BIG MISTAKE. it came out alittle bit mushy.... But I loved it... I loved it its great... the chocolat is very important! So get a good chocolate.
08.6.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAna
I love the idea of this cake!! I want to make it for my boyfriend's birthday this weekend because he loves banana, but the problem is - he hates chocolate! (i know right?)

I was thinking of maybe a caramel buttercream or marshmallow frosting, but wasn't sure how sweet this cake was on its own. What do you think?

Thanks! :)
08.9.2011 | Unregistered CommenterMaggie
Maggie-- I would suggest a cream cheese frosting. It's sweet, but not too sweet. Cream cheese and bananas are also very good friends. Hope this helps!
08.9.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
What is buttermilk? I am from Russia!
08.12.2011 | Unregistered CommenterOlga
Olga-- Buttermilk is the milk leftover when churning cream into butter. It is commercially available in the United States, but you could easily substitute regular milk or a useful buttermilk substitute that I use frequently: for every 1 cup of milk needed, add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice. Allow to sit for 5 minutes to curdle. This will give you a great buttermilk substitute.
08.12.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Hi!!! I'm all out of butter for the chocolate glaze!!! The cake is in the oven!! Help ASAP PLEASE!!!!
08.27.2011 | Unregistered CommenterDina
Dina-- The cake can wait a day to be frosted. Unless you find a recipe for chocolate frosting that doesn't involve butter, I'm afraid you may have to wait until the following morning to make it. This cake is pretty resilient and won't dry out overnight if stored in an airtight container.
08.28.2011 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
I love your blog so much!!!
10.22.2011 | Unregistered CommenterCamila
I'm gonna make this right now. My husband's gonna love it! When I chill the cake first, I can already hear him say "chilled cake? yeeees, perfect that way!" ;-)
01.4.2012 | Unregistered Commenterlinda
Do you think I could add some nuts and chocolate chips in the cake? I want to make this recipe in two 9 " pans, should I increase the recipe? Thanks for sharing your recipes! :-)
10.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterFini
Fini-- There's no need to increase the recipe--this will fit just fine in 2 9-inch pans, especially if you add nuts and chocolate chips!
10.3.2012 | Registered CommenterKristin Rosenau
Thanks a lot, Kristin! Wow you've been very fast ;-)
10.3.2012 | Unregistered CommenterFini
Awesome! Beautiful photos and I'm guessing the cake is to dye for!
You should try to add some cardamom! It makes it taste even more oishii (delicious in japanese) x
02.25.2013 | Unregistered CommenterRanda
I have just made this very yummy cake. I have never bothered to layer cakes before - I always just make one big cake. But since its for a special occasion I went the 'whole hog'. I made it in square tins as I only own one round tin. The cakes worked very well and as they are square I got to try the edge bits that i trimmed off - so yummy and a little different and more special from normal banana cakes. I will be making this one again!!
Thank you for a delicious new recipe to add to my repertoire, and I love your blog!!!
03.4.2013 | Unregistered CommenterKelly G

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