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Banana Walnut Cake

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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.

two white plates with pieces of banana cake topped with frosting and chopped walnuts

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!

white cake pan with cake and frosting next to plates with forks on top

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

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. Slice the bananas and place them in a baking dish with the brown sugar and butter.
  3. Roast for 17 minutes, stir, and then roast for another 18 minutes. The bananas will start to break down and turn caramelized.
  4. Allow them to cool while you prepare the rest of the cake batter.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F.
roasting bananas in pan with brown sugar and butter

Toast the walnuts

  1. Evenly spread the walnuts onto a rimmed baking sheet (affiliate link).
  2. 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!
  3. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. 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.

  1. Prepare a 9×13 cake pan and set aside.
  2. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. 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.
  4. In a second medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, vanilla, and cooled roasted bananas..
  5. Add the eggs to the butter mixture, and mix well.
  6. Mix 1/2 of the flour mixture into the batter and mix until just combined.
  7. Add the banana mixture to the batter, mixing until just combined.
  8. Add the remaining flour and the finely chopped walnuts to the batter and mix until just combined.
mixing cake batter

Bake the cake

  1. Pour the batter into a prepared 9×13 cake pan.
  2. Bake for 20 minutes
  3. Cool completely on a wire rack, and when it is totally cool, frost it!

Make the browned butter cream cheese frosting

  1. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until browned. Watch it carefully and do’t let it burn! Then cool slightly.
  2. 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.
  3. Spread over the cooled cake, and sprinkle chopped walnuts on top.
  4. Enjoy!
making brown butter frosting
two slices of banana walnut cake on two white plates with forks

Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below!

Yield: 12 Servings

Banana Walnut Cake

white cake pan with cake and frosting next to plates with forks on top

This snack cake is rich, moist, and flavorful. The roasted bananas add a touch of sweetness, while the browned butter in the cream cheese frosting gives this extra oomph.

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 55 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 25 minutes

Ingredients

Roasted Bananas

  • 3 medium bananas
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter

Cake

  • 2 cups walnut halves
  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • baking spray with flour

Frosting:

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup cream cheese, softened

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 Degrees.
  2. In an 8" square baking dish, toss together the sliced bananas, 1 TBSP butter chunks and brown sugar.
  3. Roast for 35 minutes, stirring after 17 minutes.
  4. Cool slightly.
  5. Reduce the oven temperature to 350.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. Preheat the oven to 375 F.
  9. Spray a 9x13 cake pan with baking spray and set aside.
  10. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and baking powder. Set aside.
  11. In another medium mixing bowl, whisk together the buttermilk, cooled banana mixture, and vanilla extract.
  12. 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.
  13. Add eggs to the sugar mixture and mix well.
  14. Add half the flour mixture to the batter and mix until just combined.
  15. Add the banana mixture to the batter and mix to combine.
  16. Add the remaining flour mixture and the finely chopped walnuts and mix until just combined.
  17. Pour the batter into the prepared 9x13 cake pan.
  18. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  19. Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  20. 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!)
  21. Cool the butter slightly.
  22. Combine the browned butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese and vanilla in a medium bowl and beat with a mixer until smooth.
  23. Spread the frosting over the cooled bars and sprinkle the tops with the toasted walnuts.
  24. Enjoy!!! 🙂

Notes

Store cake covered on the counter for up to 3 days.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 582Total Fat: 27gSaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 15gCholesterol: 71mgSodium: 264mgCarbohydrates: 80gFiber: 3gSugar: 48gProtein: 8g

Nutrition information is an estimate and is provided for informational purposes only. For the most accurate information, please calculate using your specific brands and exact measurements.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram, and don't forget to tag #gingeredwhisk.

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Kara

Tuesday 7th of February 2023

I used pecans instead of walnuts - so yummy! The brown sugar cream cheese frosting is incredible!

Roxie

Monday 30th of January 2023

This looks yummy. Will save this and make it on weekend.

Amy (Savory Moments)

Tuesday 3rd of April 2012

Congrats! OK - this cake looks SO insanely delicious! I would love to have a piece now for my dessert.

kyleen

Monday 2nd of April 2012

Congrats! It sounds like you'll have a blast with your foodie friends once you move in. And that is definitely worth celebrating. This roasted banana cake with brown butter cream cheese frosting sounds exquisite.

[Ness] Six One and Then Some

Sunday 1st of April 2012

That cake sounds amazing!!! Love the fact it's (relatively!) low in calories.

Congratulations on the new house - sounds like a great place.

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