Banana walnut cake is a great snack cake that is rich, moist, and flavorful. The roasted bananas add a touch of sweetness, the toasted walnuts add a hint of nuttiness while the browned butter in the cream cheese frosting gives this extra oomph.
There’s a time and a place for super fancy tiered cakes. And there’s a time where a single layer snack cake is where its at.
And oh my word, this easy banana cake with walnuts will wow anyone who eats it!
How can you not love a cake that starts out with roasted bananas in butter and brown sugar? This step might seem extra but it makes the bananas
Then top it off with a rich and creamy frosting made with browned butter and cream cheese and more toasted walnuts and oooooooooh, I’m gonna need a moment to compose myself!
How to make roasted banana cake
This cake is fun to make, and fairly simple. For the full recipe, please scroll down to the recipe card below, but here is a general method of how to bake this cake:
Roast the bananas
- Preheat the oven to 400 F.
- Slice the bananas and place them in a baking dish with the brown sugar and butter.
- Roast for 17 minutes, stir, and then roast for another 18 minutes. The bananas will start to break down and turn caramelized.
- Allow them to cool while you prepare the rest of the cake batter.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F.
Toast the walnuts
- Evenly spread the walnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet.
- Place the sheet in the oven and roast for 8 minutes, checking frequently. You will be able to smell when the walnuts are done. Don’t let them burn!
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
- Once cool, chop some of the walnuts finely, until you have 1 cup worth to put inside the cake. Roughly chop the remaining walnuts into bigger pieces for the top of the cake.
Mix the cake batter.
- Prepare a 9×13 cake pan and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- In a medium mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until it is light and fluffy, between 3 and 5 minutes.
- In a second medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, and cooled roasted bananas..
- Add the eggs to the butter mixture, and mix well.
- Mix 1/2 of the flour mixture into the batter and mix until just combined.
- Add the banana mixture to the batter, mixing until just combined.
- Add the remaining flour and the finely chopped walnuts to the batter and mix until just combined.
Bake the cake
- Pour the batter into a prepared 9×13 cake pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes
- Cool completely on a wire rack, and when it is totally cool, frost it!
Make the browned butter cream cheese frosting
- Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until browned. Watch it carefully and do’t let it burn! Then cool slightly.
- Combine the cooled browned butter with powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla in a medium sized mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. You can add a little milk to the mixture if you want it to be thinner, or a little more powdered sugar if you want it to be thicker.
- Spread over the cooled cake, and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top.
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Banana Walnut Cake
- 3 medium bananas
- ⅓ cup brown sugar packed
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
- 2 cups walnut halves
- 2 ¼ cups all purpose flour
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ½ cup unsalted butter softened
- 1 ¼ cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- baking spray with flour
- ¼ cup butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- ⅓ cup cream cheese softened
- Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees.
- In an 8" square baking dish, toss together the sliced bananas, 1 TBSP butter chunks and brown sugar.
- Roast for 35 minutes, stirring after 17 minutes.
- Cool slightly.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350.
- Place the walnut halves on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes. You will be able to smell them when they are done. Let cool.
- When the toasted walnuts are cool, finely chop some until you get 1 cup of chopped nuts and rough chop the remainder for on top of the cake. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 375 F.
- Spray a 9×13 cake pan with baking spray and set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
- In another medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, cooled banana mixture, and vanilla extract.
- Place 1/2 cup butter and the sugar in a large bowl, beat with a mixer at medium speed until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes.
- Add eggs to the sugar mixture and mix well.
- Add half the flour mixture to the batter and mix until just combined.
- Add the banana mixture to the batter and mix to combine.
- Add the remaining flour mixture and the finely chopped walnuts and mix until just combined.
- Pour the batter into the prepared 9×13 cake pan.
- Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- To prepare the frosting, melt the 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium-heat, cooking slowly for 4 minutes or until it becomes lightly browned (watch it, it will burn fast!)
- Cool the butter slightly.
- Combine the browned butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth.
- Spread the frosting over the cooled bars and sprinkle the tops with the toasted walnuts.
- Enjoy!!! 🙂