Easy Banana Cake Recipe

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We're happy to share an Easy Banana Cake Recipe with you, and it all starts with a box of cake mix!

This ultra moist, easy banana cake is bursting with wonderful banana flavor, and we've paired it with a dreamy cinnamon cream cheese frosting.

Banana Layer Cake- Doctored Cake Mix

Today's cake, which is based on a yellow cake mix, comes together in no time and it bakes up nice and tall! We made a three layer 8 inch banana cake (plus a cupcake for taste testing). This recipe is sure to bring rave reviews from your family and friends!

How to Make Easy Banana Cake

Nobody would ever guess that this banana cake starts with a simple yellow cake mix! It has so much flavor from the bananas used in the recipe along with a touch of cinnamon and a splash of vanilla extract.

The extra ingredients added give this banana cake the characteristics of a scratch recipe (like our banana cream cake), and also allow us to increase the amount of batter in one box of cake mix from a two layer cake recipe to a three layer cake. The banana cake layers are soft, super moist, and fluffy.

You can find the full, printable cake recipe further down in this post, but here is a quick rundown of our steps!

  • First, preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour three 8 inch round cake pans- I also line mine with parchment paper.
  • Combine all ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on low speed to moisten the ingredients for about 30 seconds. Then increase to medium speed and mix for two minutes. This includes a box of yellow cake mix (sifted), all purpose flour, baking powder, sugar, vegetable oil, eggs, three mashed ripe bananas, cinnamon, milk, and vanilla extract. 
  • Divide batter between three prepared 8 inch cake pans (I grease, flour, and line my pans with parchment).
  • Bake at 350 F for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. Cool the cake layers in their pans on a wire rack (if you have one) for about 5 minutes before flipping out.
  • This recipe makes about 6 ¼ cups batter and it works well for cupcakes also!
Banana Cake Mix Recipe- So moist and delicious

Can Cake Layers be Frozen?

Yes! Make your life easier (and your cakes even more moist) by wrapping the freshly baked cake layers while still warm and freezing whenever time allows. This is what we do for any of our cake recipes.

 
Once I've allowed the cake layers to cool while in their pans on a wire rack for five minutes, I flip each layer onto a foil-wrapped cake board. (I wrap the boards in foil so that they can be reused).
 
Then, I wrap each warm cake layer with plastic wrap followed by aluminum foil and into the freezer they go! This dramatic temperature change is what causes even more moisture to form which then becomes trapped in the cake. You can freeze your cake layers anywhere from a few hours to up to three months.
 
On the day of decorating the cake, simply allow the cake layers to thaw on the kitchen counter, still wrapped. The condensation will form on the foil rather than the cake layers.
 
*Many decorators prefer to assemble their cakes while the layers are still partially frozen. The layers are less fragile that way.
 
Banana Layer Cake- Doctored Cake Mix- So moist and delicious!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

You may have noticed that we LOVE cream cheese frostings and use them often. Today's banana cake has one of our favorite cream cheese frostings- a heavenly cinnamon frosting that complements the banana cake perfectly, not to mention that it is incredibly simple to make!

This recipe is just a quick combination of cream cheese, butter, cinnamon, and vanilla. You will have plenty of frosting to be used as both a filling and frosting for this 8 inch banana cake, plus a simple border.

Softer Consistency

Cream cheese frostings are a softer consistency and so keep in mind that you may need to chill the cake and bowl of frosting as needed to firm things up!

In addition, since cream cheese frostings are perishable, you'll want to refrigerate the finished cake until a couple of hours before serving.

Other Frosting Options for Banana Cake...There are many frostings that would taste great as a filling or frosting for this banana cake, including our Classic Vanilla Buttercream, Caramel Frosting, Peanut Butter Buttercream, and Chocolate Buttercream just to name a few!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

Decorating the Banana Cake

I decorated this banana cake very simply with our cinnamon cream cheese frosting. I placed the first cake layer onto the cake pedestal.

Then, I spread with a layer of frosting followed by the next cake layer and so on.

Banana Layer Cake- A Doctored Cake Mix Recipe

After adding the third cake layer, I frosted the cake with a thin crumb coat of frosting. Then, I froze the cake for about 15 minutes to firm things up.

I always do this when decorating cakes! If you notice that your bowl of cream cheese frosting is a little soft, simply refrigerate during this time for about 10-15 minutes to thicken it.

I then applied the final coat of frosting and smoothed it with a bench scraper while rotating it on my turntable.

I applied a little extra frosting to the top of the cake to swirl my frosting a bit with an offset spatula, and then piped a small bead border and small ball border around the base of the cake using a Wilton Tip 4 as well as a bead border around the top.

Banana Layer Cake- A Doctored Cake Mix
Banana Layer Cake- A doctored cake mix recipe

Favorite Banana Cake Recipes!

No matter what the season, banana cake recipes are always a popular choice- and we've made several over the years! 

If you prefer to bake from scratch, use the banana cake from this  Banana Cake Recipes post!

Remember that you can substitute today's easy banana cake recipe for any of our scratch recipes also. A few of our favorites are Banana Pudding Cake,  Banana Split Cake, Banana Cupcakes, and Hummingbird Cake.

We also have a couple of delicious banana bundt and pound cakes to share! Don't miss our easy Banana Bundt Cake or our scratch Banana Pound Cake! We also have a decadent "boozy" bundt cake recipe for Banana Rum Cake that we just love.

banana layer cake- doctored mix

More Cake Mix Recipes

If you love cake mix recipes, we have so many more favorites to share with you! Some of our most popular are our Easy Boston Cream Pie, Marble Cake Mix Recipe, Strawberry Cake from a Box.

We even have some great classic cakes from cake mix like Easy Carrot Cake from Cake Mix, Easy German Chocolate Cake from Cake Mix, and Easy Italian Cream Cake (bundt cake)!

Thanks so much for stopping by! Don't miss our full collection of cake recipes, which includes hundreds of favorite scratch cake recipes and cake mix recipes!

We also have a huge collection of free cake decorating tutorials for all sorts of special occasions. You'll find cake design ideas for birthdays, baby showers, bridal showers, and more.

Banana Layer Cake- A doctored cake mix recipe

Banana Layer Cake (Doctored Cake Mix)

Love bananas? You need this easy banana cake recipe in your life! It is so flavorful! We've paired it with a dreamy cinnamon cream cheese frosting. You can also substitute this easy banana cake for any of the scratch banana cakes in our recipes section (including our banana pudding cake).
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Course: Cakes and Cupcakes
Servings: 15 servings
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Ingredients

  • 1 box Yellow Cake Mix sifted (We used Betty Crocker Super Moist)- I like to sift the mix.
  • ½ cup all purpose flour (61g)
  • ¾ cup sugar (150g)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder (4g)
  • 1 teaspoon 3g cinnamon (3g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (3g)
  • 1 ½ teaspoon 6g vanilla extract
  • ¾ cup vegetable oil (160g or 5.5 oz)
  • 3 eggs
  • 3 ripe bananas mashed (approximately 1 ¼ cup or 305g)
  • 8 oz milk

For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 sticks (226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
  • 16 oz cream cheese (452g) We used two 8 oz packages of full fat cream cheese.
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (8g)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (2g) optional
  • 6 to 6 ½ cups powdered sugar (690g to 747g)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon (3g)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and grease and flour three 8 inch cake pans- I line them with parchment paper also.
  • Combine all ingredients in the bowl of your stand mixer and mix on low speed to moisten the ingredients for about 30 seconds. Then increase to medium speed and mix for two minutes.
  • Divide batter between three prepared 8 inch cake pans. Bake at 350 F for about 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached.
  • This recipe makes about 6 ¼ cups batter. Works for cupcakes also!

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

  • Cut the butter into slices and add to the bowl of your mixer. Beat on low to medium speed until the butter is softened and smooth.
  • Cut the cold cream cheese into pieces and add to the butter, beating at low to medium speed until incorporated. If you are using a hand mixer you may need to soften the cream cheese a bit more.
  • Add the vanilla. Gradually add the powdered sugar and cinnamon beating on low speed until blended. Cover the bowl with a towel to keep down the cloud of powdered sugar.
  • Increase mixing speed and beat until fluffy. Don't over beat or it will become too soft. If it becomes too soft, just refrigerate a short while to firm it up a bit.
  • This frosting will pipe best if used while still chilled. You can make it in advance, refrigerate and when ready to use let it soften slightly (do not microwave) and remix.

Notes

* You can add chopped pecans to this recipe if you would like! Similar scratch banana cakes that I have made call for up to about ¾ cup. If you try this, fold the finely chopped pecans into the batter at the end after mixing.
4.53 from 34 votes (34 ratings without comment)

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25 Comments

    1. Hi Becky, you can add coloring to it but it is a light brown frosting because of the cinnamon and so the colors will be effected. I would do a very small test before tinting the whole batch to make sure that you are happy with the color.

  1. This maybe a silly question.
    I am not good at frosting, so is there an adjustment needs to make in a High-Side Sheet Cake Pan 17 x 13 x 2 inches?

  2. Hi Adraine, I think this recipe make approximately 7 cups of cake batter. Your 17x13x2 pan is not a standard size, though fine to use for the recipe. You will need to double the recipe. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean or with just a few crumbs attached. I am assuming the pan is a shiny metal. If it is a dark pan or glass, reduce the heat by 25 degrees and keep an eye on it

  3. This sounds delicious! I have recently read about a method of baking cakes in either a 9 x 13 inch sheet pan or a 12 x 18 inch one. Then you cut out the cake layers with cake rings. I have been wanting to try this. Would it work to bake this cake in a 12 x 18 x 1 inch sheet pan and then cut out the three 8-inch cake layers with cake rings? If so, how long would I need to bake it in this sheet pan? Thanks.

  4. I made this cake for a party and people loved it so much they had seconds even with multiple desserts available. Thank you very much for the recipe!

    1. Hi Kate, Thank you so much for your nice comments on the recipe!! We are so happy you and the guests enjoyed the cake!!

  5. I bake for Cakes4Kids. and banana cakes are a popular request. Smells awesome! It's in the oven now. The true test is the 3 year old who asked for it. If it's as good as the batter tastes, I think we have a winner. Thank you for sharing your recipe.