Basil Banana Cake Recipe

Make use of overripe bananas in this classic cake with a garden twist.
Basil Banana Cake.jpg

Fruit past its prime is put to delectable use in basil banana cake.

Fruit past its prime is put to delectable use in basil banana cake.

Fruit past its prime is put to delectable use in basil banana cake.
Related To:

Like so many things, the origins of banana cake were economical. Although bananas have been enjoyed for thousands of years, it wasn’t until the Great Depression that the popularity of banana cake first took hold. Grocers seeking a way to sell previously wasted overripe bananas discovered something we all know: blackening bananas may not be so great on their own, but that sweet and mushy flesh can be put to spectacular use in baking.

Bananas are incredibly sweet, silky and flavorful -- it’s a wonder their use in cakes and breads didn’t catch on sooner. They can be used as a cheap and practical way to reduce the need for butter or eggs in many recipes and are not only delicious but also nutritious and fat-free. Bananas are so dense, they give incomparable weight and moisture to recipes but are usually used in balance with other ingredients to ensure cakes are still “cakey.”

This recipe for banana cake makes great use of those overripe bananas in a dessert that is rich, dense and loaded with the flavor of America’s favorite fruit with a twist straight from the garden.

Basil may not be the first ingredient one thinks of in banana cake, but the popular window-box and garden herb has a lot to offer. Fresh-picked sweet basil adds a flavor similar to anise and clove, bringing a warm and complex tone to this moist, sweet cake.

Got overripe bananas hanging around? This cake is the perfect solution. If baking doesn’t fit your schedule today, browning bananas can be frozen for future use in cakes, bread, muffins or smoothies.

Basil Banana Cake

  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 sticks butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons fresh basil, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 6 cups powdered sugar
  • 12 oz cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/3 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Combine flour, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Beat butter and sugar together in a mixer until fluffy.

Beat eggs into butter/sugar one at a time.

Add dry mix to mixing bowl and mix until fully combined.

Mix in basil, bananas, sour cream and vanilla extract.

Divide batter between 2 greased and floured 8" cake pans.

Bake in a 300 degree oven 75 minutes or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool 15 minutes in pans, then transfer to wire racks to cool.

To make frosting, whisk together powdered sugar, cream cheese, butter and vanilla extract together until light and fluffy.

Frost one layer of cake; place second layer on top and complete frosting.

Next Up

Banana Cake Recipe

Cake or quick bread? How to spot the differences.

Chocolate Chai Cups Recipe

These little chocolate bowls create a showstopping dessert, and they're so easy to make. The chai whipped cream is delicious, but also try filling them with your favorite ice cream or fresh fruit.

Mini Pear Pies Recipe

Add a sweet-meets-savory flavor to your next dinner party with these delicious individual pear pies.

Raspberry Cheesecake Ice Cream Recipe

Raspberry cheesecake ice cream is such a simple recipe but makes for a decadent treat. You can eat it in a bowl, or jazz it up by scooping it between two of your favorite cookies to make an ice cream sandwich.

Lemon Curd Tart Recipe

Tangy and creamy, this fruit-topped tart is the just-right, not-too-sweet finish to any meal.

Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Brownies Recipe

Treat your nearest and dearest to these irresistible sweets. Combining the flavors of chocolatey brownies, rich cheesecake and two kinds of chocolate chips, this decadent dessert is sure to become a favorite.

Chocolate-Dipped Kettle Chips Recipe

Super-crunchy, salty, kettle-fried potato chips are the perfect canvas for the addition of sweetness and chocolate. A thin layer of caramel and chopped nuts makes this chip satisfy all your cravings at once.

Salted Caramel-Topped Chocolate Brownies Recipe

Top dense, moist chocolate brownies with a gooey salted caramel layer for a decadent dessert worthy of a special occasion.

Homemade Marshmallow Recipe

These fluffy, sweet treats are perfect for topping homemade hot cocoa or creating a gooey center in s'mores.

Red Velvet Cake Recipe

Create a truly extravagant and decadent dessert for any special occasion.
More from:

Thanksgiving Ideas

Go Shopping

Spruce up your outdoor space with products handpicked by HGTV editors.

On TV

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.

Related Pages