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Banana Layer Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting

  • Author: Rachel Phipps
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes (plus cooling time)
  • Yield: Serves 8-10 1x
  • Category: Baking
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This super simple Banana Layer Cake with Rich Chocolate Frosting is the perfect celebration cake to make with past their best bananas – the decoration is also simple enough to achieve a stunning finish even if you’re a layer cake beginner like me!



For the Banana Cake

  • 285g (10 oz) plain (all purpose) flour
  • 225g (8 oz) golden caster (granulated) sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate (baking) soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 165g (5 3/4 oz) unsalted butter, melted

For the Rich Chocolate Frosting

  • 220g (7 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 280g (10 oz) icing sugar (sifted)
  • 60g (2 1/4) cocoa powder (sifted)
  • 100ml (3 1/2 oz) double (heavy) cream (at room temperature)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 5 tbsp whole milk (optional, at room temperature)
  • 2 large handfuls dried banana chips, for decoration


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees (355 fahrenheit). Grease three, 15cm loose bottomed cake tins with butter and line them each with a circle of baking parchment.
  2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb and salt in a large bowl and set aside.
  3. In another bowl mash the bananas until smooth and beat in the eggs and the vanilla. Melt the butter and whisk it into the banana mixture.
  4. Pour the banana mixture into the flour mix and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined, making sure to scrape all the flour off the bottom of the bowl.
  5. Divide the mixture between the two tins; I like to use weighing scales to make sure I get even layers. Smooth the tops and lift then drop each tin onto the worktop a couple of times to knock out any air bubbles. Bake in the middle of the oven for 30 minutes until golden and a cake tester of shark skewer inserted into the middle of the cakes comes out clean.
  6. Allow the cakes to cool in their tins until they’re cool enough to turn out onto wire wracks. Allow them to cool completely before decorating or wrapping in kitchen wrap for storing overnight.
  7. To make the frosting in a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with an electric hand whisk combine the butter, icing sugar, cocoa and a splash of the cream until you have a very thick mixture. Add the rest of the cream, vanilla and the milk, if using, and beat until light, pale and smooth.
  8. Stacking the sponges upside down, sandwich the layers with just over 1/4 of the frosting. Smooth 1/2 of the remaining frosting in a thick layer over the top and the sides and transfer the cake to the fridge for half an hour to harden up.
  9. Beat the frosting again to loosen it up and smooth most of the remaining frosting over the cake to create a smooth finish, setting aside about 3 tbsp for decoration.
  10. Spoon the remaining frosting in a crescent moon shape around the edge of 1/3 of the cake. Use the banana chips to decorate, sticking them into the excess frosting.


  • Omit the milk if you are an experienced baker used to creating a smooth surface on layer cakes for a smoother, silkier finish.
  • It is important for all the dairy in the frosting to be at room temperature or else the mixture is at risk of splitting.