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Chocolate Banana Layer Cake

Rated as 4.33 out of 5 Stars

"This is our family's favorite chocolate cake recipe. Family lore says it came from a friend of my aunt's during the 1940's. 'Harriet G.' brought it to a ladies' 'coffee-klatsch,' and my Aunt Lu asked for the recipe."
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1 h 55 m servings 479
Original recipe yields 12 servings (1 9-inch layer cake)


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  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease 2 9-inch layer cake pans, and line with parchment paper. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, baking soda, and 6 tablespoons of cocoa powder in a bowl until thoroughly combined.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, mash the butter with the white sugar until blended, then mix in the eggs, one at a time, mixing the egg in before adding the next one. Stir in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, then mix in mashed bananas and buttermilk, alternating with the flour mixture in three additions. Add in just enough buttermilk to make a workable batter (bananas may vary in moisture content). Pour the batter into the prepared cake pans.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool in the pans for about 10 minutes before turning out onto racks to finish cooling.
  4. In a bowl, mash the cream cheese and 3 tablespoons of butter until thoroughly combined; mix in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. Gradually beat in confectioners' sugar and 1/4 cup cocoa powder, and beat in milk, a little at a time, until the frosting is smooth and spreadable.
  5. Place a cake layer onto a cake plate, and frost the layer with about 1/3 of the frosting; top the layer with a layer of sliced bananas. Place the second layer onto the cake, and frost top and sides with remaining 2/3 of the frosting. Top cake with decorative slices of banana, if desired.


  • Cook's Note
  • Bananas that are ALMOST too ripe to eat work especially well.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 479 calories; 18.8 76 5.8 78 462 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 14
  1. 15 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

I made this for my hubby on his birthday and he loved it. The cake itself is awesome. It came out moist and tender. I took out 1 star for frosting because I didn't like its tangy taste. But this...

Most helpful critical review

Loved the idea. Don't know what I did wrong, but this was not only too strong of a banana flavor, but it was also way too heavy of a cake when I made it........ ???

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I made this for my hubby on his birthday and he loved it. The cake itself is awesome. It came out moist and tender. I took out 1 star for frosting because I didn't like its tangy taste. But this...

This is very good! Try it with fluffy peanut butter frosting instead of this frosting, if you like peanut butter. When I do this, I usually decorate it will Reese's pieces. Yum!

My review is for the cake only, which I made into cupcakes The cake is delicious, subtly chocolate, more boldly banana flavored, but there's no mistaking either. Moist, soft and fluffy, milk c...

Mmm... this was sooo good! I have always loved bananas and chocolate together and it just tastes so perfect. My family literally licked the pan clean in about a week or two! Soo freakin' good! Y...

The texture was off on these, but it was my fault since I added Greek yogurt to the mix. The mixture just was to thick for me so i added extra milk as well. Good banana flavor with a hint of c...

This turned out awesome!! Will definitely make again! I will also use this frosting recipe for other cakes--it was a huge hit with my son and husband. They wanted to eat the frosting by the spo...

I followed the recipe substituting the butter for pureed avocado. The cake came out very dense but moist and delicious. I tried the recipe again with some changes in hopes to make it fluffier. I...

Love, love, love! There is nothing better than "from scratch". I did hold off on the sugar from the batter and frosting (just a little), and you can't even tell, it's perfect, oh and I also onl...

I liked this pretty well, i think i would like better, even without the Chocolate, and husband and 14 year old said it would be better without Banana. So neat recipe, all in all.