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Banana Cake (with Cake Mix!)

This banana cake with cake mix is the perfect shortcut to your favorite treat!

If you’re in the mood to make banana cake, but don’t want the tedious clean-up that comes after baking, just make one using a cake mix!

Don’t worry, it’ll taste just as if you made it completely from scratch.

All you’ll need is a bowl and a cake pan, and you’re done! Baking (and clean-up) has never been this easy. 

Soft and Fluffy Banana Cake with Brown Sugar Glaze
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Sure, this recipe is simple, but it doesn’t mean it yields a less tasty treat. This banana cake is extremely moist, tender, and full of banana flavor. 

If you’re looking for an easy cake recipe, you’ll definitely go bananas for this one.

Banana Cake (with Cake Mix!)

There’s no need for flour, baking soda, and baking powder!

With a bunch of bananas and the ever-reliable yellow cake mix, you’ll be able to pull off this extra moist and flavorful banana cake. 

It’s so delicious, no one will be able to tell it came from a box!

Apart from the cake itself, it has a secret weapon that makes it stand out from the rest: a brown sugar glaze.

Have you ever tried a brown sugar glaze? If you haven’t, then this banana cake recipe is a must-try! The buttery, caramel-like flavor deserves a standing ovation.

Banana Cake Mix Ingredients - Bananas, Eggs, Butter, Cake Mix, Milk, Butter, Brown and Powdered Sugar


For the Cake

  • Bananas – You’ll use 3 ripe bananas to make one cake, so expect it to be loaded with banana flavor. It makes the cake ultra-moist, to boot.
  • Eggs – They’ll bind the ingredients together and give the cake structure. Use room-temperature eggs for easier blending.
  • Butter – To add richness and moisture to the cake.
  • Yellow Cake Mix – You’ll use yellow cake mix for this recipe because the flavor of vanilla and custard pairs beautifully with bananas. But feel free to experiment with other cake mixes, too!
  • Milk – The liquid mixed with yellow cake mix to create the batter.

For the Frosting

  • Butter – For a rich, buttery frosting. I use salted butter to balance out the sweetness of the sugars.
  • Brown sugar – It has a deeper and sweeter taste than white sugar. When cooked with butter, it creates a wonderful caramel-like flavor.
  • Milk – To smooth the frosting. 
  • Powdered Sugar – To give the frosting that crisp glaze-like crust.
Sweet and Buttery Banana Cake with Sugar Glaze

How to Make Banana Cake

1. Prepare.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare a 9×13-inch cake pan by greasing it with butter or oil.

2. Make the cake mix.

Combine the bananas and eggs in a large bowl. Use an electric mixer at medium speed to beat them together.

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Then, set the mixer to low and add the melted butter. Mix well.

Finally, add the cake mix and milk and return the mixer’s speed to medium to mix them in. (It should take about 2 minutes.)

3. Bake.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes.

4. Make the frosting while the cake cools.

Remove the cake from the oven and let it cool completely in its pan.

Combine the frosting ingredients (minus the powdered sugar) in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir constantly with a whisk until everything is well mixed.

Then, remove the frosting from the stove, and mix in the powdered sugar. Whisk until it dissolves completely.

5. Ice the cake.

Pour the warm frosting over the fully cooled cake. Then, give it time to cool before cutting it. Enjoy!

Tips for the Best Cake

  • Use over-ripe bananas. You’ll want those skins to be brown, not just spotty. The darker the skin, the better. Over-ripe bananas will be super sweet and full of flavor. They’re also super mushy and easy to mash. Pre-mash them with a fork or use the mixer and beat them with the other ingredients.
  • Frozen bananas work great for this recipe. Thawed frozen bananas are mushy, which again, is the consistency you’re looking for when making banana cakes. 
  • Don’t rush the glaze. Unlike the usual white sugar frosting, you’ll use brown sugar in this recipe. Brown sugar doesn’t dissolve as fast as powdered sugar, so you’ll need to give it several minutes to cook. Otherwise, your glaze will be gritty.
Homemade Banana Cake Squares with Sugar Glaze

The Best Way to Brown Bananas

As I said, you’ll want to use over-ripe bananas when making a banana cake for maximum banana flavor.

But what if you’re already craving cake and your bananas haven’t reached that brown, almost black-ish stage yet? 

You can speed things up by placing the bananas in a paper bag along with ripe apples. The ethylene in apples will cause the bananas to ripen faster.

With this simple hack, your bananas will be ready for baking in 1 to 2 days. 

Want banana cake today? Don’t head to the bakery just yet! Here’s how to ripen those bananas much faster:

  1. Place the bananas on a cookie sheet.
  2. Pop them in a 300-degree Fahrenheit oven.
  3. Bake them for 15 to 30 minutes.

You’ll quickly see the difference!

The heat from the oven will not only brown the skins, but will also cause the bananas to release more sugar, making them riper, sweeter, and ready for baking.

Let the bananas cool for 10 minutes before use.

How Is Banana Cake Different from Banana Bread?

I once thought these two were one and the same, but nope, I was wrong! They’re very similar, though. The difference is in the consistency.

Banana cake is very moist, as cakes should be. Banana bread has a slightly denser and fluffier consistency, as you would expect from a quick bread. 

You’ll find that these two have the same ingredients, except for the flour and leavening agent. (That’s when you make them from scratch, of course.)

For banana bread, you’ll only need all-purpose flour. Banana cake calls for cake flour to achieve that tender cake crumb.

As for the leavening agent, banana cake uses both baking powder and baking soda, while banana bread only uses baking soda.

But with this recipe, you need not worry about any of that. The cake mix takes care of everything for us.

How to Store Banana Cake

Storing banana cake is simple. Place the leftovers in an airtight container, and pop them in the fridge. They should remain fresh for up to 5 days.

You can enjoy it chilled straight from the fridge. However, if you want to warm it up, do so in the microwave. Warm a single piece at a time in 30-second increments.

Banana Cake (with Cake Mix!)



Prep time


Cooking time





This banana cake with cake mix is the perfect shortcut to your favorite treat! With just 5 ingredients for the cake and 4 for the frosting, this recipe couldn’t be any easier!


  • For The Cake
  • 3 large over-ripe bananas, mashed

  • 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted

  • 1 (18.25 ounce) box yellow cake mix (see notes)

  • 1 cup milk

  • For The Frosting
  • 4 tablespoons butter

  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar, packed

  • 2 tablespoons milk

  • 1 cup powdered sugar


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease a 9×13-inch or disposable foil pan with oil or butter.
  • In a large bowl, beat the bananas and eggs with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the melted butter, followed by the milk and the cake mix. Alternatively, stir the cake mix in by hand with a spatula until just combined.
  • Pour the batter into the greased pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the cake is firm in the center. Let the banana cake cool completely in the pan.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the frosting. In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, mix together the sugar, milk, and butter. Bring to a full boil, stirring constantly with a whisk.
  • Remove from heat and mix in the powdered sugar until completely dissolved.
  • Pour the frosting over the cooled cake. Let the frosting cool completely before slicing. Enjoy!


  • The recipe yields a thin frosting. Double it for more.
  • For 15.25 ounce box of cake mix: add 1/3 cup spooned and leveled (6 tablespoons) all-purpose flour + 1/2 teaspoon baking powder + 1/2 teaspoon sugar

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author avatar
Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

18 thoughts on “Banana Cake (with Cake Mix!)”

  1. This cake meets the standard β€œinsanely”
    The only change I made was I had to use dark brown sugar. I’ll definitely make this cake again and again.

    • Hi Grace!
      The original recipe is for the old 18 ounce box. I’ve added note for using smaller boxes in the recipe card πŸ™‚

  2. Hubby and I tried this recipe and it was a hit! Didn’t need the frosting!! Was GREAT without it!! Then made with chocolate cake (fudge chocolate)….couldn’t wait for it to cool down! definitely will make again and again and again as long as we have bananas available!!

    • hi Rob! Thanks so much! So glad you like the cake. I’m a bit obsessed myself πŸ™‚ It’s almost too easy to make!

    • Hi Kristine!
      To make this into cupcakes, you might want to half the recipe, as it makes quite a lot.
      Also, note that with the bananas in the batter, they won’t be super light and fluffy like regular cupcakes.

      1. Line a cupcake tray with paper liners.
      2. Make the batter as directed.
      3. Fill the liners about 1/2 – 2/3 full (about 1/4 cup of batter).
      4. Bake at 350Β°F for about 15-20 minutes. Check them after 15 minutes with a toothpick and bake in 2 minute intervals until it comes out clean.

      Hope you like them!

  3. I don’t know what I did wrong. After baking the texture was like thick gelatin. Maybe I mixed too long? I was looking forward to it. I’ll have to try again.

    • Hi Cecilia!
      Sorry this didn’t work out for you.

      Here’s what could have gone wrong:

      1. The batter was overworked. I’ve amended the recipe slightly with a suggestion to stir the cake mix in by hand. That should prevent overmixing.
      2. The cake was baked too long. If it was in the oven too long, it would’ve turned dense and rubbery. I suggest checking it after 25 minutes.
      3. The bananas were too ripe. It’s possible that the bananas were too ripe. If they’re especially mushy, they can lead to a rubbery, dense sponge.
      4. The cake mix ratio was off. I’ve added the amount for the cake mix, which is 18 ounces. I’ve also included what to do if you can only find 15 ounces boxes in the notes section under the recipe.

      Hope this helps if you decide to try it again!


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