Banana Sheet Cake

Don’t you love sheet cakes? They’re so easy to make and are perfect for large gatherings. Take this banana sheet cake. Like our banana bread it has wonderful banana flavor, but with a little more sweetness, and a tangy cream cheese frosting. One batch easily makes 30 servings, convenient for pot lucks and tailgates. This recipe comes from my friend Kelsey Fischer and her mom Janeen and is a family favorite of theirs. I’ve made a few slight adjustments, added some lemon juice to the frosting to give it more tang, and added a some vanilla to the cake batter. My dad gives it a strong two thumbs up and declares it “a keeper”. Enjoy!

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Banana Sheet Cake Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 30 pieces.

Here's a tip, leave the cream cheese and butter for the frosting out while you make the cake, that way they will be softened by the time the cake is cooled and ready to frost. This cake is on the sweet side (it is a cake after all). If you are trying to cut sugars, you may want to experiment dropping the sugar in the cake mixture by a half cup and cutting the amount of frosting in half.

Ingredients

Cake

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • The scraped insides of one vanilla bean, or 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1 cup of mashed ripe bananas (2 large or 3 medium bananas)
  • 1/2 cup full fat sour cream


Frosting

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temp
  • 4 Tbsp (1/4 cup) unsalted butter, room temp
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C) . In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.

2 Beat together in a mixer the butter and sugars. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Mix in the vanilla and mashed bananas.

3 Mix in half of the flour mixture, then the sour cream, then the other half of the flour mixture.

4 Spread batter evenly in a greased 10x15 baking pan. Bake at 350°F (175°C) for 20 minutes, or until nicely browned and the surface bounces back when you press it with your finger. Cool completely before frosting.

5 To make the frosting, mix all of the ingredients together with an electric mixer. If too stiff to spread, add a teaspoon or two of water. Spread the frosting evenly over the cake and slice to serve.

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54 Comments

  1. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

    Love the simplicity of this cake! Yum!

  2. Alyssa (Everyday Maven)

    I love old school style sheet cakes. I don’t think I could eat just one piece though, especially Banana!

  3. Jennifer M.

    I would love to try this recipe – can you substitute the sour cream with anything else?

    You can use plain yogurt. ~Elise

  4. Courtney R.

    YUM! Bananas AND cream cheese! Definitely sounds like a winner to me :D Can’t wait to try this out. Do you think the white sugar could be replaced using honey? Or would that affect the texture too much? (1/2 c. honey for example)

    I haven’t had a lot of luck substituting sugar with honey in baking recipes. But I do think you can easily reduce the sugar in this recipe. If you do end up adding in some honey, please tell us how it works out for you. ~Elise

  5. T. Hannibal Gay

    Instead of sour cream try replacing it with an equal amount of strawberry yogurt. The flavor is still banana, but this makes the best banana bread and cake you have ever eaten.

  6. Arlene

    This looks sensational, but too much cake for me. Can I freeze part of it, or cut the recipe in half?

    You can easily cut the recipe in half, and you can freeze the cake before you frost it. ~Elise

  7. Catherine

    I love sheet cakes! I have made your banana bread recipe and put it in a square pan and it worked very well. Last week I experimented with a vanilla sheet cake recipe and made two sorts of frosting to go on top, one on each side. In the vanilla sheet cake I put a mixture of almond essence and vanilla essence. Added sour cream. For the frosting I made a peanut butter one and a vanilla one. Didn’t use any cream cheese. They were both good. I think this banana cake would be nice with a sour cream chocolate frosting on it which I have also used on a chocolate sheet cake recipe containing sour cream. You can also sub yogurt or buttermilk.

  8. Karen

    Would you recommend keeping this in the fridge because of the cream cheese frosting, or could it be kept out on the counter for a few days without worry? thanks!

    I left mine out on the counter, covered with plastic wrap, for a couple of days, no problem. ~Elise

  9. Melody

    What’s the purpose of the sour cream in the cake mixture?

    Makes it more moist and dense. ~Elise

  10. James

    I don’t like sheet cakes. Can you use a 9 or a 8 inch springform?

    Haven’t tried it that way, but if you do, please let us know how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  11. Grace

    This was delicious and most of all easy, my two favorite cooking combinations!!

  12. Karin

    I can’t wait to try this, this looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing.

  13. aj

    made this last night, loved it! simple and quick.
    thanks for another great recipe:)

  14. Mark Boxshus

    Elise……..Your recipe calls for a 10×15 sheet pan, but your photo appears to be a 9×13 pyrex baking dish. What is the difference time wise if I use the 9×13 pyrex or 9×13 metal baking pan?

    Hi Mark, believe it or not, it’s a 10×15 pyrex that I’m using. It’s huge. The original recipe from Janeen calls for a 10×15 sheet pan which I don’t have, and her instructions called for 20-25 minutes. My cake was done at 20 minutes. If you are using a 9×13 pan, perhaps you’ll need an extra minute or two, but remember the cake cools in the hot pan once you take it out of the stove, so there will be quite a bit of residual heat. ~Elise

  15. MB

    10 X 15 is an odd sized pan (and I don’t have one). Can you use 9 X 13? Also if you cut the recipe in half, would you then use a standard square pan? Thanks!

    Yes, you can use a 9×13. You might want to add a minute or two to the cooking time. As for a square pan, yes again, though I’m not sure how much cooking time you would need to add. ~Elise

  16. Adriana @FoodCocktail

    Banana cakes are so great. I usually make banana cream pies, but this looks very nice and simpler.

  17. Linda

    Sounds like a great recipe! If I wanted to add cocoa (I love chocolate and bananas together!), how much would you guess I should add? Thanks!

    Hi Linda, your guess is as good as mine. ~Elise

  18. Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    LOVE sheet cakes! Sharing it with a crowd is the key ;)

  19. Kells

    This recipe was easy and oh so delicious! I didn’t have sour cream so I used a container of pineapple Yoplait yogurt. I added about 1/2 cup of dried coconut to the batter and and another handful or so to the frosting…it came out fantastically.

    Thanks, Elise for another fantastic recipe!

    Sounds great, love the substitutions, changes you made! ~Elise

  20. Chandra

    I used a 9×13 and it was just fine. I didn’t sift my powdered sugar, though, and thus my frosting is lumpy :( but delicious!

  21. Jaye

    Can this be made into cupcakes? If so, would you adjust the baking time?

  22. Monica Rae

    I halved this and made cupcakes. I filled the tins 3/4 full and got 9; baked for 21 minutes and they are delicious! Thanks for another winner!

  23. Jenn

    Thank you for this recipe! It looks amazing!! Do you think low fat cream cheese would work for the frosting?

    Don’t know how well low-fat cream cheese works in frosting. When they make cream cheese low fat, they tend to put in fillers that may have an impact on the frosting. If you try it, please let us know in the comments how it turns out for you. ~Elise

  24. June

    Just made this last night for a group of friends, and it was a crowd-pleaser! I will definitely be making this cake again!

  25. Eleigh

    I used 3/4 cup brown sugar and 1/2 cup applesauce to reduce the sugar and it turned out beautifully. Thanks for a delicious recipe!

  26. Irene

    Made this cake, and my daughter took it to a tennis team party – the girls declared the banana cake their favorite! I followed the recipe exactly, and especially love the body of the cake – I have a feeling only full-fat sour cream will create that…

  27. Kwai Chang Caine

    I made the banana cake this very afternoon. It hasn’t even cooled enough to frost yet. One comment: The cake took a full 30 minutes to bake to perfection. My oven is calibrated within ±2 degrees and I used an Anchor Ovenware glass baking dish measuring 10.25″ x 14.75″

  28. Victoria

    Tried this last night and it is moist and delicious. I use a 10X15X1 metal jellyroll pan. It took 27-30 minutes to bake in my oven. This cake is amazing and would also be good with toasted and finely chopped walnuts sprinkled on top.

  29. Laura

    Delicious, and everyone loved it!

  30. Carla

    I made the banana cake and brought it to a meeting. Everybody loved it and it was all gone pretty quickly! On a whim, as I added the lemon juice to the frosting, I also grated some of the lemon peel into it. Yum! I made it in a 9×13 pan and added about 5 minutes to the cook time.

  31. Cake Michaels

    Just died and went to heaven? Love the sheet cake and the frosting was just divine!

  32. Jess

    This was amazing and so easy! thanks for the great recipe :)

  33. June

    This is really yummy and easy. I reduced the amount of sugar for the cake and as suggested, cut the frosting by half. Thanks for the recipe!

  34. nanny

    I just finished the banana bread recipe…which my whole family loves. I will try the sheet cake next time, but how about if i use chocolate cream cheese??
    Thanks for the best banana bread ever!!

  35. Betty Jean

    Had some brownish Organic Bananas so gave this a go. Oh I wished I could quit sneaking a piece, but it is so delicious and light. I took above advice and left out 1/3 of the white sugar and changed some of the white sugar to Demurara. yum. Next time I would not use quite 6 oz of creme cheese, maybe 4 or 5 oz at most.
    THANKS FOR THE GREAT RECIPE!! great for lunch boxes this week.

  36. nanny

    I just made this cake. Have not tried it yet. I used chocolate philly cheese for icing…it tastes very good. But next time i will cut the icing recipe in half…this gave alot. I also used a non stick 9×13 Pan and baked for about 28 minutes.
    Cant wait to try it later!!

  37. peggy

    It’s 3am..can’t sleep.. Have way to many bananas that are going going ewww quickly, so here I go…Gonna give this a go! We have an Open House at the Animal Control/Shelter here in a week, so I will be cutting this into bite sizes, possibly doing cupcakes or cake pops.. Wish me luck!!

    • peggy

      OK, IT IS IN THE OVEN!! LOL Do you know how funny it was to take my mixer, eggs, bananas, sour cream, and cell phone (with the recipe pulled up for directions), into the bathroom to mix so I wouldn’t awaken my other half who has to get up for work at 6?LOL it is in the oven now(442am) I am curious though,was anyone else’s batter kind of stiff(not runny like a normal cake batter) Any ideas on how well this would freeze? Do I cut it before freezing or wait until I take it out to frost it next Thurssday night? (Open House is Saturday,and I need it at the Shelter by 2 on Friday pm) ANY THOUGHTS Or COMMENTS ??

      • Elise

        I think it will freeze fine. Just let it cool to room temperature after you cook it. Wrap it in plastic wrap and then again in foil. Don’t cut first.

  38. KAy Lynn

    Can’t wait to make this cake, The only thing I don’t have is unsalted butter. Does it really make a lot of difference?

  39. Charlotte Moore

    I have this in the oven now. I made a small cupcake so I could taste now. Oh my!!!! It was so light and fluffy and just enough banana taste to not be over whelming. I love bananas, but I am not much for banana bread. I forgot to put the cinnamon, but it just can’t be any better. I saved this recipe for sure.

    I was just searching for a banana sheet cake and this one sounded good.

  40. Trisha H.

    This cake was a huge hit at my house! The recipe is a KEEPER!

  41. Ray

    Had some over-ripe bananas to use up, and decided to make this as my first “from scratch” cake… I made it as a layer cake using two 8″ rounds, and I used store bought cream cheese frosting, but everyone raved about how delicious and moist the cake was!! Thank you so much for this recipe! It was much easier than I expected, and I’m pretty sure my days of baking cakes from box mixes are over!!

  42. Beth

    Best banana bread ever!! Thanks for sharing this recipe. Not a baker or domestic in any way, but this was simple,easy and delicious, especially, right out of oven. Will make this fir the rest of my life.

  43. lynn

    I made this cake last week. Very good. I made it in a9x13 pan. It worked fine. I did cut the sugar in half after reading some of comments. I also cut the icing recipe in half and the sugar in the icing in half also. Everybody loved it. Thanks

  44. Jean Darcy

    I made the cake as you instructed except I used a 9×13 pan. For the frosting I used what you did but added a banana to it. The family loved loved loved it!

  45. Sandy A

    I pretty much love all things that appear on your website but am reluctant to bake a lot of your wonderful goodies because I live in Denver. I want to make your banana sheet cake for a boys birthday but am not sure about the adjustments for altitude..could you possibly help?

    • Elise

      Hi Sandy, gosh, I live close to sea level so wouldn’t know the first thing about high altitude baking. Perhaps a Google search will help?

  46. Liz

    I just made this and I love it!! I didn’t have sour cream so I used vanilla Greek yogurt instead. So good! Thanks for the recipe!

  47. joanne

    Hi. I want to make this today. But one question. When you say sheet cake, I think of using a half sheet pan. Can I use that? Other than being really thin, do you think it will work?

    • Elise

      No, a sheet pan will not work. The batter will spread too thin. It needs a pan with sides so that as it rises, it doesn’t spill over.

  48. joanne

    I just made this. Fit great in my half sheet pan. Only problem was, that while it was cooling, my husband ate a big chunk. Soo, I still frosted it and it is insane!!!!!!! Glad I found your site,

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