Banana Sheet Cake

Banana Sheet Cake

This is really the best banana cake I've ever had! People go nuts over it!

There’s something about a “sheet cake” that has a charm of its own. It screams out good down home cooking. When that sheet cake is a rich, moist one, bursting with banana flavor and topped with a (not too sweet) cream cheese frosting, you’ll know it’s true.

Banana Sheet Cake
Banana Sheet Cake

I fell in love with this Banana Cake at my first taste. A co-worker, Laura S. used to bring this into the office and people began digging in as soon as she got there, eating it for breakfast. When I asked, Laura generously shared the recipe – and had extra copies tucked in her purse because she’d been asked so many times.

Because a sheet cake like this easily cuts into many portions, it feeds a crowd and I cannot tell you how many Church funeral luncheons and potlucks I have brought this to over the years. It does require a “special” pan but I have a few other sheet cake recipes, so you’ll put it to good use. Mine has a lid, which I love.

Banana Sheet Cake
Banana Sheet Cake

Although this is a super easy cake, to make, there are a few things to know for success:

  • The mixing method is odd – I have considered tinkering to make conform to “modern” mixing methods, but frankly, it’s such a fantastic cake that I just don’t dare. Make sure your butter is at the perfect temperature, stir your flour to lighten it before measuring, and make sure to use the full amount of banana.
  • The banana is critical – it has to be very speckled and almost completely brown and has to be measured just right, 1 1/2 cups, which usually comes out to about 3 1/2 to four bananas. Fudge it a bit and your Banana Cake it will be ok, measure it just right and it will be sublime! Mash the banana very well, to an almost liquid state and use a spatula to get every bit of it.
  • Be sure not to over bake this supremely moist cake. Because it’s so shallow, timing is critical. You’ll not be able to judge by color and it may brown unevenly (I turn it about half way through.) It is done when the corners are just pulling away from the edges by a hair and when it is touched in the center, ever so gently, it slowly springs back up. As with all cakes, set your timer early and check it every few minutes until you get the timing down.
Banana Sheet Cake
Banana Sheet Cake

Laura’s original recipe called for walnuts, which we usually just omit because they’re not really a fave. Pecans would work, too, and a reader recently suggested mini chocolate chips. We really like it just plain!

This recipe is really a family fave, and often requested by friends and relatives when I ask them what kind of cake they want for their birthdays! I have to laugh at that a bit because I’m always willing to make some extravagant layer cake!

Banana Sheet Cake
Banana Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Banana Sheet Cake

  • Servings: 24
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened and at room temperature
  • 2 eggs (extra-large preferred)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed banana (about 3 1/2 large)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 2/3 cup chopped walnuts, pecans or mini chocolate chips
  • Cream Cheese Frosting

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour jelly roll pan, 10 1/2 by 15 inches. Set aside.

Beat sugar and butter in a large bowl. (Will look “crumbly.”) Add in eggs and vanilla.

In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt with a whisk until well blended. Add to butter mixture, making sure to use a spatula to mix in flour from bottom. It’s ok if it’s not completely smooth.

Beat in mashed bananas and buttermilk at low-speed. Stir in walnuts, pecans or chips by hand.

Bake for 20 to 30 minutes (the larger size pan bakes more quickly) until the corners are just pulling away from the sides of the pan and the top, when gently pressed in the center, springs back. Turn half way through baking.

From the kitchen of

Let’s talk about how to save money/time on this recipe:

  • Use a coupon matching site! One of my favorites in my area is Pocket Your Dollars, but every store has a group of enthusiastic Coupon Matchers. Do not discount the savings! I check their site every week, even if I don’t “need” to go to the store and often find bargains I can’t pass up.
  • Follow my 12 Strategies – You’ll see them on the upper drop down menu of every page and how I apply them, below.
  • Don’t get discouraged if your prices don’t match mine! Keep shopping at the best prices and your fridge/freezer and pantry will be stocked with sales priced ingredients.
  • Read {Strategies Applied} for additional tips as well as throughout the recipe, for saving time and managing food.


With frosting: Calories 1904; Total Fat 18 g 27 %; Saturated Fat 9 g 47 %; Monounsaturated Fat 3 g; Polyunsaturated Fat 2 g;Trans Fat 0 g; Cholesterol 50 mg 17 %; Sodium 229 mg 10 %; Potassium 6474 mg 185 %; Total Carbohydrate 461 g 154 %; Dietary Fiber 48 g 192 %; Sugars 249 g; Protein 23 g 46 %; Vitamin A 26 %; Vitamin C 257 %; Calcium 2 %; Iron 22 %

20 thoughts on “Banana Sheet Cake”

    1. I stopped over and I will leave a comment there! You’ve made it look so gorgeous with those chocolate chips. And I love that you left a link and that story gets passed on; not everyone does that. 🙂

  1. I make this cake at least once a month. It’s what I use my “over ripe” bananas on instead of throwing them away. It’s always delicious and my family tears it up. I made a couple of changes for my family’s liking. Instead of a cream cheese frosting, I use just a powdered sugar and milk glaze (only because I didn’t have cream cheese a couple of times) and it was still good, I also omit the nuts, just because I don’t care for nuts. Will continue to make you recipe for years to come and pass the recipe on to my children.

    1. Good morning, Cherie. I can’t tell you how nice it is to hear that you guys have enjoyed this so much. (I omit the nuts too, lol!) I love passed down recipes the most because there’s a little history behind them and good memories. It makes them special. 🙂

      To tell the truth, sometimes cream cheese frosting can seem a bit heavy, especially in the summer; I’m going to have to try a glaze next time!

  2. I have made this cake several times and it always comes out delicious. My favorite banana cake recipe. However, I’m not a fan of nuts so I omit the nuts. This is a must try ❤️😎

      1. I did use chopped chocolate chips in place of nuts…worked perfectly. Cake was a big hit. A little left over, so I froze those pieces. Froze well and tasted fine when defrosted. Thanks for a great recipe for crowds.

        1. Thanks, Carol, for checking back! I’m so glad everyone liked it and I’ll be making mine with chocolate chips next time! I’m glad to know about the freezing, too, because it IS a big cake so I don’t always want to make it for my smaller family – and we’d like to have it more often!

    1. Thanks! I’ve been trying to fill in a lot of favorite family recipes for my kids – I hope I’m not being an annoyance! 🙂

      This banana cake is really one of the best ever – I think because it doesn’t need to be altered to sustain layers or for looks. Just a good, hard working, honest recipe! 🙂

        1. Thanks! And I just love your blog, too! If you have ever thought to start a section with photography hints, you’d make my day! Your cooking and photography are both truly amazing!

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