We’re happy to share an easy, delicious new banana cake with you, and this time it all starts with a simple cake mix!
This ultra moist banana layer cake is bursting with wonderful banana flavor, and we’ve paired it with a dreamy cinnamon cream cheese frosting.
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 a Banana Layer Cake from Cake Mix
Nobody would ever guess that this amazing banana cake started 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.
The extra ingredients added give this banana cake the characteristics of a scratch recipe, 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!
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.
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.
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, Peanut Butter Buttercream, and Chocolate Buttercream just to name a few!
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.
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.
Favorite Banana Cake Recipes!
No matter what the season, banana cakes are always a popular choice- and we’ve made several over the years! Banana cake layers are so versatile and taste fantastic with so many different fillings and frostings.
If you prefer to bake from scratch, use the banana cake from this Scratch Banana Cake recipe post. Remember that you can substitute today’s easy banana cake recipe for any of our scratch recipes and vice versa.
Here are just a few of the Banana Cakes that we love!
- 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 (4g) baking powder
- 1 teaspoon (3g) cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt (3g)
- 1 ½ teaspoon (6g) vanilla extract
- ¾ cup oil (160g or 5.5 oz)
- 3 eggs
- 3 bananas, mashed (approximately 1 ¼ cup or 305g)
- 8 oz milk
For the Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting
- 2 sticks (or 1 cup/226g) unsalted butter, slightly softened
- 2 (8oz) packages cream cheese (total weight 452g) I use full fat cream cheese. Using reduced fat or the spreadable cream cheese will cause the frosting to be too soft. Soften very slightly.
- 2 teaspoons (8 g) vanilla extract
- ½ teaspoon salt (2g) optional - it will cut the sweetness, popcorn salt is best to use because it is fine and dissolves faster
- 6 to 6 ½ cups (690g to 747g) powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon (3g) cinnamon
- 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.
* 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.
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Looking for more Doctored Cake Mix Recipes?
We’ve made several delicious doctored cake mix recipes over the years! Make sure to put these recipes on your “must bake” list!
My Cake School Online Cake Tutorials and Recipes
We hope that you enjoy this moist banana layer cake! If you give it a try, we would love for you to leave a comment or photo below. Thanks so much for stopping by!
If you are interested in learning more about cake decorating, don’t miss our section of Free Cake Decorating Videos as well as our Free Cake Blog Tutorials! We have so many cake designs and techniques to share!