Old Fashioned Banana Cake Recipe

You will really love Grandma's old fashioned banana cake recipes. Her banana cakes were always so moist and flavorful and delicious when served with or without frosting.

My favorite is Mom's banana walnut cake with its tangy lemon icing! Get a bunch of ripe bananas and make yourself a delicious homemade treat.

Spoil yourself by relaxing with a true comfort food to end the busy day — a generous slice of old fashioned banana cake.

By the way, be sure to watch the delightful little video below. If you're my age, it's sure to bring back memories of pleasanter times.

Old Fashioned Banana Cake Recipes

Mom's Recipe Scrapbooks (c. 1920s)

Slice of Old Fashioned Banana Cake on a PlateEnjoy Homemade Banana Cake With or Without Icing
(Source: © manyakotic/Depositphotos.com)

Easy Banana Cake

One cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup butter, 2 eggs (1 white kept for icing), 1/4 cup sour milk, 1 teaspoon soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 2 cups flour, a little salt, 3 very ripe bananas.

Cream sugar, butter and egg yolks. Mash and beat the bananas until smooth and add to the mixture. Add the sour milk and soda then the flour, into which the baking powder and salt have been sifted. Lastly, fold in the well-beaten egg white.

Bake in a fairly deep pan about 10 inches by 10 inches in a moderate oven (375°F) for 25 minutes. —M. C. J., from a newspaper clipping, circa 1915

Banana Layer Cake

Ingredients: 1/2 cup shortening, 1 cup sugar, 2 eggs, 2-1/4 cups flour, 1/8 teaspoon soda, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 cup milk, 1 cup mashed bananas, 1 cup whipping cream, 2 banana sliced.


Cream shortening and sugar. Add beaten eggs, then sifted dry ingredients alternately with the sweet milk. Beat in the mashed bananas (2 to 3 put through a sieve). Bake in two 8-inch layers in moderately hot oven (375°F) for 30 minutes.

When cool, put the layers together with sweetened whipped cream and sliced bananas. Top with whipped cream.

Banana Walnut Cake

Mom often made this moist dessert cake. I especially liked the chewy walnuts and the sweet, tangy icing. So good! It was Grandma McIlmoyle's favorite banana nut cake.

And the easy banana icing recipe makes a rich, delicious frosting that can be used to top almost any white cake.

Cream 1/2 cup butter, blend in 1 cup white sugar and cream until fluffy; combine with 1 egg beaten, add 1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium-sized bananas).

Sift and measure 2 cups flour; re-sift with 1 teaspoon baking soda, 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt. Coat with flour 1 cup broken walnuts. Add walnuts and sifted dry ingredients to first mixture with 1/2 cup sour milk, 2 teaspoons vanilla.

Bake in moderate oven (375°F) for 1 hour in 8 x 8-inch pan.

Buttery Banana Icing

1/2 cup mashed banana, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoons soft butter, 4 cups icing sugar. Mix the banana, lemon juice, and butter, and work in the sugar until icing is of spreading consistency.

Grandma's Quick and Easy Banana Cake

Easy Banana Cake in Baking DishEasy Banana Cake Sprinkled with Almond Slices
(Source: ©hoooooper/Depositphotos.com)

This old fashioned banana cake recipe may easily be altered to make a delicious applesauce cake by substituting applesauce and mixed spices for the bananas.

Grandma discovered that one cup of applesauce is a real good substitute for the bananas, along with 1/2 teaspoon mixed spices.

One-half cup shortening, 2 eggs, 1 cup mashed bananas, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 cup white sugar, 4 tablespoons sour milk, 2 cups flour, 1 teaspoon soda, 1 teaspoon salt, 4 teaspoons vanilla.

Mix as ordinary cake, and bake in moderate oven (375°F) for 30 minutes.

Old Fashioned Banana Cake Recipe

Ice Creams, Water Ices, Frozen Puddings (1913)

Three Layer Banana Cake

This old fashioned banana cake recipe makes a classic three layer cake with a delicious banana filling. If you're searching for a delicious banana dessert to serve, this is it!

Ingredients: 1/4 cupful of butter, 1 cupful of sugar, 2/3 cupful of water, 2 cupfuls of flour, 2 rounding teaspoonfuls of baking powder, whites of four eggs.


Put together the same as cream cake (i.e., cream the butter, adding slowly the sugar; sift the flour with the baking powder; add the water and flour alternately to the sugar mixture, and beat well; fold in the well-beaten whites), and bake in three layers in moderate oven (375°F).

When cold, put together with Banana Filling:

Boil together one cupful of sugar and a half cupful of water until they spin a heavy thread, and pour slowly, beating all the while, into the well-beaten whites of two eggs. Beat until rather stiff and cold.

When the cakes are cold, spread one-third of this filling over one cake, cover with thin slices of red bananas, put on another cake, on this another third of filling and bananas, and the remaining cake; cover this with the remaining filling, and dust thickly with chopped nuts.

Do not let this cake stand too long before serving, or the filling will absorb moisture from the bananas and run down the cake.

Old Fashioned Banana Cake Recipe

Submitted by Annie

Fredericka of Rome, NY writes, "I am searching for a vintage Gorilla's Banana Cake recipe. I think I found it in a small magazine like Home Cooking years ago.

"It was so moist and had chocolate chips in it, and it didn't need frosting. Would love to find this old fashioned banana cake recipe again."

Gorilla's Banana Cake

Cream together 1/2 cup butter, 1/2 cup sugar, and 2 to 3 mashed, preferably overripe bananas (at least 1 full cup). Add 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon baking soda. Mix in 1/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips.

Pour mixture into greased loaf pan 9x5 inches and bake at 350°F for 1 hour. —Annie

Banana Cake Filling and Frosting

The White House Cook Book (1913)

You can easily make a simple banana cake from almost any white cake with the help of this easy-to-make cake filling once prepared by White House chefs.

Vanilla Banana Cake Filling

Make an icing of the whites of two eggs and one cup and a half of powdered sugar. Spread this on the layers, and then cover thickly and entirely with bananas sliced thin or chopped fine.

The white cake may be flavored with vanilla. The top should be simply frosted (see below).

Cream Cheese Banana Cake Frosting

A rich, cream cheese frosting for a 9x5-inch cake is easily made by creaming together 8 ounces of cream cheese, 1/4 cup butter, 2 cups icing sugar, and 1 teaspoon vanilla flavoring. Chill until ready to serve.

How to Make Banana Cake

Illustration Showing How to Make Banana CakeHow to Make Banana Cake in a Few Easy Steps
(Source: ©tiverylucky/Depositphotos.com)

There's no getting around it, the old fashioned banana cake recipes on this page ARE easy to make.

As the steps in the above image show, simply assemble the ingredients, add them to your bowl, mix thoroughly, and then pour the batter into a buttered cake pan and bake until done.

That's about it. Why not bake an old fashioned cake today and surprise your family?

About the Old Fashioned Banana Cake Recipes

Did you know that recipes for banana cakes and banana breads were largely unknown in home kitchens until the beginning of the 20th century?

A combination of unreliable shipping methods and the lack of refrigerated freight cars prevented the widespread use of bananas in home cooking before this time. Only food stores and restaurants in the major cities had access to bananas regularly.

By the 1920s, though, banana cakes had become common, and they became especially popular in the 1930s when enterprising grocers often provided their customers with free recipes calling for bananas in an attempt to sell the overripe bananas.

Sometimes stores could hardly keep up with the demand as the popularity of the tropical fruit increased.

Do You Remember Miss Chiquita?

The Chiquita® Banana jingle with its catchy tune in the YouTube video was created in the 1940s to introduce bananas to movie goers and to educate people on how to cook with them.

I can recall seeing it in our local movie theater in the mid 1950s, when it was shown between features after the cartoons. There was always a cartoon.

Miss ChiquitaMiss Chiquita

The sassy Miss Chiquita character explained how:

"Bananas have to ripen in a certain way — When they're flecked with brown and have a golden hue — Bananas taste the best and are the best for you."

Bananas Have to RipenBananas Have to Ripen in a Certain Way...

Miss Chiquita also gave helpful instructions on how bananas should be stored:

"But, bananas like the climate of the very, very tropical equator —
So you should never put bananas in the refrigerator."

It wasn't long before everyone caught on that making a homemade banana cake recipe from scratch offered a delicious way to make use of their overripe fruit.

So, how about it. Why not choose one of the old fashioned banana cake recipes and bake a banana cake today?

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