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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.

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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

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

Ingredients

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!)

Servings

15

servings
Prep time

15

minutes
Cooking time

35

minutes
Calories

346

kcal

Ingredients

  • For The Cake
  • 3 3 over-ripe bananas, peeled and sliced

  • 4 4 large eggs, room temperature

  • 4 tablespoons 4 butter, melted

  • 1 package 1 yellow cake mix

  • 1 cup 1 milk

  • For The Frosting
  • 4 tablespoons 4 butter (salted is okay)

  • 1/4 cup 1/4 light brown sugar, packed

  • 2 tablespoons 2 milk

  • 1 cup 1 powdered sugar

Instructions

  • 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 together bananas and eggs with an electric mixer at medium speed until the bananas are mashed, about 1 minute.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low and pour the melted butter. Increase speed to medium and beat in the cake mix and milk until combined, about 2 minutes.
  • 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!

Notes

  • The recipe yields a thin frosting. Double it for more.
Banana Cake (with Cake Mix!)

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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 :)

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