Old Fashioned Banana Cake

Old- fashioned banana cake -Recipe by Ina GartenWhen I first read this recipe from Ina’s new book ‘How easy is that?’ I was reluctant to make it because I thought it’s so boring, another banana cake recipe. I was so wrong. Should have known better, it’s an Ina Garten recipe.

This old fashioned favorite gets a new twist from the orange zest, really bringing out the flavor of the bananas. This is a soft, moist cake which is bursting with bananas, yet not overly sweet. The cake stays well for 2 to 3 days at room temperature. This cake freezes well too for the unexpected guests.

Make sure the bananas have plenty of black spots on their skin and are fully ripened. Only then you will get the burst of banana flavor that you are looking for. I skip the icing but am sure tastes even better with it, the cake is great on its own too.


  • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork well
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 extra-large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • grated zest of 1 orange
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

Cream Cheese Frosting (recipe follows)

Walnut halves, for decorating


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 by 2 inch round cake pan.

 In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the bananas, granulated sugar, and brown sugar on low speed until combined.

With the mixer still on low, add the oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla and orange zest. Mix until smooth.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt.

With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients and mix just until combined.

Stir in the chopped walnuts.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 15 minutes. 

Turn onto a cooling rack, and cool completely. Spread the frosting thickly on the top of the cake and decorate with walnut halves.

Cream Cheese frosting

For one 9 inch cake

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups sifted confectioner’s sugar (1/2 pound)

Mix the cream cheese, butter and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on low speed until just combined. Don’t whip! Add the sugar and mix until smooth.

Note from Ina: If you need to get eggs to room temperature quickly, put them in a bowl of warm water for 5 minutes.


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