A light and fluffy banana walnut cake topped with a luscious chocolate cream cheese nutella frosting. This one pan wonder is a dream come true for banana and chocolate lovers. It’s easy to make, delicious to eat, and it’s the perfect recipe for dessert in a hurry!
Happy Monday chocolate lovers! I hope this chocolate frosted banana walnut cake finds you well and rested from the weekend. After a fun-filled getaway last week to Palm Springs with my favorite bunch of girlfriends, it was time to trade in late night margaritas out on the town for pancakes in my pjs back home. So I spent the last couple of lazy days snuggling my loves on the sofa, enjoying a much needed nap or two, and putting the finishing touches on this chocolate and banana one pan wonder. The extra downtime and a few pieces of this chocolate banana duo does a body good and I’m feeling recharged and ready to tackle a brand new week.
I’m a big fan of a little snack cake and if you love simple cakes that bring lots of smiles you should visit this recipe for my Extra Dark Chocolate Snack Cake….it’s getting lots of attention here on the blog and for good reason. It’s nothing short of crazy delicious and it’s the gold standard to which I compare all other snack cakes that come out of my oven. I’m happy to report that this chocolate frosted banana walnut cake is definitely worthy of a spot at the top of your must-bake list.
This single layer cake is the perfect treat to use up those sad and forgotten bananas that are browning on your countertop, while at the same time baking up something deliciously sweet that can be enjoyed with two forks, a side of milk, and an episode of The Bachelor. Which, if I’m being honest, is pretty much my idea of the perfect Monday.
This banana walnut cake is super moist, loaded with lots of bold banana flavor, and a subtle hint of nuttiness from the walnuts. It’s a denser cake but the crumb is tender, the taste is incredible, and don’t you even get me started on those swirls of silky smooth chocolate buttercream. There are not enough words in the english dictionary to describe just how great this combo is.
The cake is made with bananas, eggs, and greek yogurt which leads me to think it’s a perfectly suitable option for breakfast. Add an extra thick layer of the chocolate cream cheese buttercream and you have one heck of a dessert in no time. It’s easy to throw together, bakes up in minutes, and you don’t even need to break out the heavy duty mixer. You basically have no excuse not to make this cake.
So let’s bake some banana walnut cake, shall we?
First we start by mashing up a few of those sorry looking bananas that are destined for something sweet. I like to use over ripe bananas that are starting to brown and are fairly speckled, but not black and definitely not mushy. They will mash up easily and bake up perfectly, promise. Once you’ve prepped the bananas, we’ll add our other wet ingredients to the bowl and mix until just combined.
Whisk together the dry ingredients and then stir the two mixtures together until just barely combined. No over mixing…you know the rules. For the walnuts, we’ll chop those up into a fine dust to help lend a perfectly nutty flavor to the cake without any large chunks of nuts to get in the way of that soft crumb. If you aren’t a fan of nuts, or have an allergy, feel free to omit them altogether. The banana cake will still taste great sans walnuts.
Once the cake is baked you’ll need to allow an hour or so for it to cool completely before frosting it with chocolate cream cheese buttercream. I give you permission to distract yourself by making the frosting while you wait and enjoying a spoonful or two straight from the bowl. Trust me when I say this silky smooth chocolate frosting is totally irresistible….I dare you to be in the same room with it and not go back for another spoonful. The recipe makes a generous helping of frosting so rest assured if a few spoonfuls (or spatula-fuls) go missing, there will still be more than enough to swirl over the cake. Which for the record, is my favorite part. Yours too?? I had a feeling.
HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BANANA WALNUT CAKE
Go bananas. The recipe calls for 3 medium bananas but not just any bananas will do. For maximum banana flavor, be sure to use bananas that are speckled with lots brown spots, but not ones that have turned black. They should be soft, but not mushy. To mash the bananas, simply place them one at a time in a medium bowl and use the back of a fork to press the bananas firmly against the bottom of the bowl. Repeat until all of the bananas are well mashed and no large chunks remain.
Do not over mix. Over mixing the cake batter can lead to a tough, gummy texture and we are aiming for a soft and light cake. We don’t want to over mix the glutens and we aren’t trying to mix too much air into the batter. Mix only until a few streaks of flour remain and then stop there.
Cool completely before frosting. Tempting though it may be, frosting your cake too soon is never a good idea. Those swoops and swirls of rich chocolate buttercream will slide right off the top of your cake if it’s to warm. If you are short on time, slide your cake into the freezer for 15-20 minutes to speed up the cooling process before frosting.
Just like the name implies, this snack cake is perfect for snacking on any time of day. Ideal for dessert and even better for breakfas. It’s a simply delicious treat at the beginning and end of the day and everything in between. I hope you’ll give this chocolate frosted banana walnut cake a try soon and be sure to let me know how it goes!
Stay right where you are for more chocolate deliciousness coming your way as we head into the last days of #chocolatemonth. We are wrapping up February on a sweet note so don’t go anywhere friends.
If you love this chocolate frosted banana walnut cake, you will also love:
- 1½ cups plus 2 TBSP all purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1 tsp baking soda
- ½ tsp baking powder
- ¾ tsp kosher salt
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ¼ tsp nutmeg
- 3 medium over ripe bananas, mashed well
- ½ cup canola oil
- ½ cup full fat greek yogurt, room temperature
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2 tsp vanilla
- ⅓ cup finely chopped walnuts
- ½ cup (1 stick) salted butter, room temperature
- 3 ounces cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1½ cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- ¼ cup nutella
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 4-6 TBSP heavy cream
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Line a 9 x 9 baking pan with parchment paper across the bottom and sides of the pan.
- Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, combined bananas, oil, yogurt and vanilla. Stir together until well combined.
- Add the eggs and stir until incorporated.
- Add the flour mixture to the banana mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until just barely combined.
- Stir in the walnuts.
- Do not over mix the batter.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and level the top with an offset spatula.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean or with a few crumbs remaining.
- Cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and cream cheese on medium high speed for 1-2 minutes until light and fluffy.
- Reduce the speed to low and add the confectioner's sugar and cocoa powder.
- Add the vanilla and mix until well combined before increasing the speed to medium high. Beat for 2 minutes.
- Add the nutella and whip mixture on high speed for 2 more minutes.
- Add the heavy cream one tablespoon at a time and continue to mix on medium high speed until frosting is light and very fluffy.
- Spread evenly over the cooled cake with an off set spatula.
Cake may be frozen.
Cake flavor inspired by The Olive and Mango and Half Baked Harvest.
*Cake flavor inspired by The Olive and Mango and Half Baked Harvest.