The Best Banana Skillet Cake

Here’s a recipe for a moist banana cake, seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg. It comes with an optional recipe for a coffee-flavored frosting to go on top. What makes this banana cake so moist and delicious is caramelizing the bananas first in a pan. This technique is a great thing to do when your bananas are not totally ripe. It activates the natural sugars in the banana and makes your banana cake delicious and moist. This banana chai cake recipe will become a baking staple in your house!

Banana cake versus banana bread – what is the difference?

Banana bread is a quick bread and you typically bake it in a loaf pan. Bread is typically a little bit dryer in texture. That’s so you can slice and eat it like a slice of bread if you want.

To make a banana cake versus a banana bread, add more sugar and butter and bake it in a cake pan or skillet.

Use my signature chai spice mix in this recipe to really level it up. However, I shared a substitution in case you don’t have a chai spice mixture.

There is an option to top it with coffee frosting. That frosting will make this banana cake that much more indulgent and delicious.

How to make a banana cake

To make this cake, you will first caramelize bananas. Then you’ll make the cake batter by creaming together butter and sugar, then adding in the dry ingredients, and last, the bananas. You’ll bake it off for about 30 minutes before topping with the optional coffee frosting. Then serve!

For more detail, skip to the recipe card below. Here are the high level steps for you first.

The first step here is to caramelize the bananas.

  1. Preheat your oven to 350F
  2. In a skillet, sautee your 1/2 stick of butter, sliced bananas (from about 3 or 4 bananas), 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and a pinch of kosher salt
  3. Last, once the butter and sugar has melted and all the bananas are evenly coated, turn off the heat.
  4. Let the caramelized bananas cool while you prep the cake batter.

Next, you will make the banana cake batter.

  1. First, in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand-mixer, cream the rest of the butter (the other half stick of butter) with 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, until light and fluffy.
  2. Add 3 large eggs in, one at a time.
  3. Add in the teaspoon of vanilla. Scrap the bowl as you go to ensure even mixing.
  4. In a separate bowl, combine the 1 2/3 cup of flour, the teaspoon of baking powder, the pinch of salt, and the 1 tablespoon of chai spice (or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of ginger.) Stir to combine your dry ingredients with a whisk or fork.
  5. Add your flour mixture into your butter/sugar/egg mixture and mix to combine.
  6. Fold in your caramelized bananas and mix to *just barely* combine. We want chunks in the cake!
  7. Next, pour the cake batter into a cake pan – either a 8″ square cake pan, springform pan, or the same 8-9″ skillet you used to caramelize the bananas.
  8. Last, bake until a toothpick comes out clean – about 30 minutes.
  9. Serve and eat the cake when it’s cooled down a little.

Optional: top the cake with coffee frosting

  1. In a small bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon of espresso/instant coffee granules with a 1/4 cup of warm water. Stir to combine.
  2. Next, in the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand-mixer,  combine your 2 sticks of butter with your 3 cups of powdered sugar. whip to combine until light and fluffy.
  3. Add in your coffee mixture and mix a few more times to combine.
  4. Spread the coffee frosting over the cooled banana cake and serve!

If you like this banana chai cake, here are more of my chai recipes. And here are some other banana recipes! Thank you for cooking and reading and eating!

Banana cake with chai spices and coffee frosting

Frequently asked questions

Can I make this banana cake ahead of time?

  • Make this cake as much as 2 days ahead.

How do I store this, and how long does it last?

  • Store leftovers covered in plastic wrap, in the fridge for up to 5 days.

The Best Banana Cake

Mimi Newman
A moist, delicious banana cake with an optional espresso frosting
4.34 from 3 votes
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Baking, Cake, Dessert
Cuisine American, Baking, Vegetarian
Servings 10 -12 servings
Calories 432 kcal

Ingredients
  

Banana Cake

  • 1 stick butter divided in half – you’ll use 1/2 for the caramelized banana, and the other half for the cake batter
  • 3-4 whole bananas coming in at 12 ounces, sliced
  • 2 cups brown sugar divided into a 1/2 cup for the caramelized banana, and 1 1/2 cups for the cake batter
  • 1 pinch kosher salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 tbsp chai spice recipe or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon + 1 teaspoon of nutmeg + 1 teaspoon of ginger

Coffee Frosting

  • 2 sticks butter softened
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon instant coffee granules dissolved in 1/4 cup of water

Instructions
 

  • Preheat your oven to 350F.
  • In a skillet, sautee a 1/2 stick of butter, sliced bananas (from about 3 or 4 bananas), 1/2 cup of brown sugar, and a pinch of kosher salt. Once the butter and sugar has melted and all the bananas are evenly coated, turn off the heat. Let the caramelized bananas cool while you prep the cake batter.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand-mixer, cream the rest of the butter (the other half stick of butter) with 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar, until light and fluffy. Add 3 large eggs in, one at a time. Add in the teaspoon of vanilla. Scrap the bowl as you go to ensure even mixing.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the 1 2/3 cup of flour, the teaspoon of baking powder, the pinch of salt, and the 1 tablespoon of chai spice (or 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1 teaspoon of ginger.) Stir to combine your dry ingredients with a whisk or fork.
  • Add your flour mixture into your butter/sugar/egg mixture and mix to combine.
  • Fold in your caramelized bananas and mix to *just barely* combine. We want banana chunks in the cake!
  • Pour the cake batter into a cake pan – the same skillet you used to caramelize the bananas, or a 9" springform pan. Bake until a toothpick comes out clean – about 30 minutes. The cake is ready to eat when it's cooled down a little!
  • In a small bowl, dissolve 1 tablespoon of espresso/instant coffee granules with a 1/4 cup of warm water. Stir to combine. In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl with a hand-mixer,┬ácombine your 2 sticks of butter with your 3 cups of powdered sugar, and whip to combine until light and fluffy. Add in your coffee mixture and mix a few more times to combine. Spread the coffee frosting over the cooled banana cake and serve!

Notes

You can bake this in a 9/10″ springform pan if you wish!

Nutrition

Calories: 432kcalCarbohydrates: 98gProtein: 5gFat: 3gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 53mgSodium: 115mgPotassium: 163mgFiber: 1gSugar: 80gVitamin A: 127IUCalcium: 111mgIron: 2mg
Keyword banana cake, chai banana cake, coffee frosting
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

3 comments

  1. 3 stars
    I tried this today with high hopes as it sounds amazing! The 8×8 pan is not big enough as it ran over the sides :(. I will also decrease the amount of butter and brown sugar to caramelize the bananas! Probably 2 T of each only. I used 4 bananas and there was a LOT of butter/sugar mix left. Considering baking in a 9″ cake pan times two – more frosting! The flavor was great with a little reworking this recipe could be a star!!

    1. thank you for your feedback! i will double-check the 8″ square proportions and the butter measurements you called out. appreciate you very much spending the time to give me notes!

Comments are closed.