Banana Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting

The other day I found myself with 4 very ripe bananas on my counter that needed my attention. I thought of making some banana muffins or banana bars but realized I’ve never made a banana cake. So the search was on for a banana cake recipe. I found a recipe that looked promising and I started the process of doctoring it up to make it healthier.

I replaced half of the butter with unsweetened applesauce, added vanilla extract, reduced sugar, and substituted low fat milk and sour cream for the buttermilk. With all of the changes made my cake still turned out moist and flavorful. I had planned to make a cream cheese frosting but then I got the idea to combine two of my kids favorite flavors, banana and peanut butter.

For a quick and healthy snack my kids love to eat a banana sliced lengthwise and then filled with peanut butter so I decided to try out a peanut butter frosting. Perfection! Peanut butter frosting was the best choice and now this will most likely be a favorite in our house. My kids, hubby, and my mom loved the cake. Me too ;-).

I like a lot of my desserts cold so after frosting it I kept it in the refrigerator. A cold slice of banana cake with peanut butter frosting can satisfy any sweet attack. Just be sure to have a glass of milk ready to go along with it! I’m looking forward to making this recipe again and may even add a handful of mini chocolate chips to the batter. YUM!

Banana Cake
adapted from this recipe

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1/3 cup light sour cream
1/3 cup low fat milk


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 inch round pans or use pan of choice. I used a 9×13 and coated it with a nonstick baking spray. In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. Cream together butter, white sugar, and brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time. Mix in applesauce, vanilla extract, sour cream, and mashed bananas. Add flour mixture alternately with the milk. Pour batter into prepared pan/pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Peanut Butter Frosting
adapted from this recipe

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup smooth peanut butter
1-3 tablespoons of milk
1 cups confectioners’ sugar


Use mixer and beat butter and peanut butter until creamy. Slowly add confectioners’ sugar alternately with milk. Add more milk if you would like it to be thinner or more confectioners’ sugar to make it thicker.

Note: I halved this recipe to cover the top only of a 9×13. If you are making a cake that will require a filling or more frosting then double the recipe.


  • julia

    I have banana bread baking right now! But really, it should be called banana cake, like yours. I thought about all the ‘healthier’ substitutions, which you know I usually go for. But I did the full butter, and even whole milk. I’m feeling a little ‘crazy’ this morning. AND, peanut butter will be spread on each piece. I could totally go for a huge spoonful of your frosting right now, with a side of the chocolate chips, YUM!

    • Jennifer Lewis

      Isn’t banana bread/cake delicious! I love seeing a bunch of very ripe bananas ready to go so that I can have my little one mash them up and then make something tasty with them. Sometimes we just have to throw out healthy substitutions and just go for it ;-). Loved the peanut butter frosting with this cake! I wish I had mini chocolate chips. I would’ve sprinkled them all over the top.

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