This made-from-scratch dark chocolate banana cake is easy to make, heavenly dark and moist and makes a perfect snack or tea time treat!
This is an easy cake recipe. The cake is made using the creaming method where butter and sugar are creamed until light and fluffy before the eggs are added in followed by all the other dry ingredients, buttermilk and bananas.
And it's a simple cake recipe too! Other than the common baking ingredients such as flour, sugar, butter, eggs, vanilla, and salt, the only special ingredients are cocoa powder, bananas, and buttermilk. The buttermilk and the mashed bananas in the recipe are the main contributors to the heavenly fudge-like texture of this chocolate banana cake. And they certainly also contribute to the perfectly moist texture of the cake which stays that way for a good few days!
I baked this cake in two 6-inches round cake pans, but if you want to make this into a single layer of chocolate cake, pour the cake batter into one 8-inch round cake tin and bake as usual.
Table of contents
- How to Make
- Best serving suggestions
- Difference between banana bread and banana cake
- Storing the cake
- Like this banana chocolate cake? Here are my other posts you might want to check out
- Recipe (Printable)
How to Make
- All purpose flour (plain flour) + baking soda + baking powder + salt
- Cocoa powder
- Brown sugar
- Vanilla extract
- Bananas (some mashed and some sliced)
Step by step method
The most important ingredient in this delicious recipe is bananas. So the process starts by getting the bananas ready.
- Choose well ripened bananas. Measure and mash them up with a fork in a medium bowl. Cut the remaining banana into slices and set aside.
- To make the cake batter, cream both the butter and brown sugar in a large bowl (with a hand mixer or a stand mixer) until they turn light and fluffy, for a good 2 minutes. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl at least twice.
- Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
- Next, fold in the sifted flour mixture (flour, salt, soda and baking powder) and cocoa powder into the creamed wet ingredients. Do it in batches, alternating with the buttermilk. Start with the dry ingredients and finish with them also.
- Add in the vanilla extract and finally, fold in the mashed bananas.
- Divide the batter between 2 well-greased and floured (or parchment paper lined) cake tins and arrange the sliced bananas on top of each cake. These banana slices are optional. If you intend to frost the cake, these slices are not necessary, but they do add a nice look to the cakes if you are planning on serving them plain without any frosting.
- Bake the banana chocolate cakes in a preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the centers come out with just a few tiny moist crumbs (not wet crumbs). Remove cakes from oven and let them cool completely before frosting or serving.
Best serving suggestions
- This chocolate banana makes a perfect snack cake. Simply bake the cake as indicated in this recipe (with the banana slices on top) and serve it plain without any frosting. It is also great as a tea time treat.
- For light frosting options, you can drizzle the top of the cake with dark chocolate ganache or white chocolate ganache. Alternatively, a simple drizzle of homemade salted caramel sauce would do wonders for this cake too. It would be a perfect match to the caramelized banana slices on top of the cake.
- For a fully frosted cake, cream cheese frosting will be a good option, otherwise buttercream is another good option for a banana dessert.
- For a double dose of chocolate in this banana chocolate cake, you can try dark chocolate ganache and serve it with a scoop of ice cream on the side for a truly decadent dessert.
Difference between banana bread and banana cake
- Banana bread has a more dense and firmer texture, while banana cake is softer, and fluffier.
- The ingredients for both the bread and the cake can be same. Despite being called a bread, banana bread is not necessarily made using yeast. In fact, it is made with almost same ingredients expect that the bread is often always made with vegetable oil (such as canola oil or sunflower oil), while the cake is made with butter or oil.
- Banana bread is often baked in loaf tins. Nuts and chocolate are sometimes added for variations. The bread can be served warm or cold, with butter (like in bread) or with other spreads like peanut butter or even Nutella. Cakes on the other hand, are baked in both loaf, round and square tins and are often (though not always necessary like the chocolate banana cake recipe on this page) frosted with cream cheese frosting, chocolate ganache, buttercream or even simple drizzle of white chocolate and caramel.
Storing the cake
- If you do not wish to serve the cake within a day or two, it is advisable to not place the banana slices on the cake. These slices, even though are baked, tend to not last long.
- To store an uncut cake, wrap it in cling wrap (plastic wrap) and place it in the refrigerator. Before serving, let the cake warm up to room temperature with the cling wrap on. This will avoid condensation directly on the cake. Only remove the cling wrap after the cake has warmed up to room temperature.
- To store leftovers of the chocolate cake, place it in a covered airtight container and keep it in the refrigerator. Bring it to room temperature before eating. For easy serving, cut the cake into slices before placing it in the refrigerator, that way, you can remove the slices you wish to eat and they warm up faster too!
How to choose the best bananas for a cake?
- For best results, use overripe bananas. We are talking about bananas that are all ripe that the skin has started having brown specks on them. These are not rotting ones, they are all still perfect on the inside but has ripened really really well. Well ripened bananas have the best banana flavor.
What is the best substitute for buttermilk in this recipe?
- If you don’t have buttermilk, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice into 130 ml of milk. Let the solution sit for a few minutes, and it will curdle. Use it as a substitute for the buttermilk in the recipe.
How to make a chocolate banana layer cake?
- To make a layered cake, bake the cakes in two 6-inches round cake tins as provided in the recipe card. Omit the banana slices on the cake. These will most likely be leveled off when you stack the cakes, so there is really no point in adding them on.
- After baking, slice each layer into two. Stack them up with our favorite frosting. This cake goes well with cream cheese frosting, buttercream and even chocolate ganache.
How to make a chocolate banana bundt cake or a sheet cake?
- To make a bundt cake, prepare the cake batter as provided in the recipe but omit the banana slices. Pour the batter into a well-greased and floured 6-cups cavity bundt cake tin. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out without any wet batter sticking to it.
- To make a sheet cake, prepare the batter as above. Pour it into a well-greased and floured 6 inches by 10 inches rectangle cake tin. Bake as usual.
Like this banana chocolate cake? Here are my other posts you might want to check out
- Banana Butter Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
- Basic Banana Bread Loaf - Old Fashioned Recipe
- Banana Pound Cake
- Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Cookies
- Homemade White Bread Loaf - Basic Bread Recipe
- Eggless Chocolate Cake
Here is the full printable version of my super moist, dark chocolate banana cake recipe.
Dark Chocolate Banana Cake with Buttermilk (Super Moist!)
- 160 g all purpose flour
- 50 g cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 180 g brown sugar
- 130 ml buttermilk
- 150 g butter
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 150 g mashed bananas 4 medium sized
- 2 Bananas sliced
- Preheat oven to 170 ° Celsius.
- Measure 150g of bananas (about 2 bananas) and mash them with a fork. Leave aside.
- Cut the other 2 bananas into round slices and keep them covered aside.
- In a clean bowl, beat butter and brown sugar till soft and creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
- In another separate bowl, sift flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Fold in the sifted ingredients into the creamed mixture alternately with buttermilk, starting and ending with flour.
- Add vanilla extract and combine well. Next, add the mashed bananas into the cake batter and mix well.
- Pour the batter into two 6 inches round, well greased and floured cake tins. Level the top and arrange the earlier cut round slices of banana on top.
- Bake the cakes for 35 to 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cakes come out clean.
- Remove cakes from oven and let them cool slightly in the tin on a wire rack before turning them out to cool completely.
And that is pretty much my super easy, dark and moist chocolate banana cake recipe.
Happy baking 🙂