A delicous way to use up ripe bananas is this easy banana cake that is like a banana bread cake. Made from a cake mix with a couple extra ingredients this recipe is quick to pull together for a sweet treat. Topped with a cream cheese frosting and walnuts or pecans who wouldn't love this dessert!
Why this works
- Cake mix base - no special flour or ingredients. Use a store bought cake mix to make this recipe with.
- Crowd pleaser - what's not to love about banana bread? This banana cake is a super sweet version that's perfect for birthdays or special occasion. Of course, if you're looking for a banana bread recipe then check out my Instant Pot Chocolate Banana Bread.
- Goes a long way - using the pot-in-pot pans for this makes this a little bigger than the usual Instant Pot cake. If you're in the mood for chocolate then try out this Instant Pot Chocolate Strawberry Cake.
- Moist - the sour cream is the secret to making this cake moist!
Ingredients you will need
Here is a quick snapshot of the ingredients you'll need. Scroll down to the recipe card where you'll find exact measurements.
Be sure to choose bananas that are ripe and have lots of brown spots. These are perfect for making this banana cake because older bananas are sweeter and mash well.
How to make it
Step 1: Make the banana cake
Combine into a large mixing bowl or stand mixer the cake mix, oil, eggs, sour cream, and mashed banana.
Mix all the ingredients together with a mixer until combined. Be careful not to overbeat the batter. This will make the cake develop air pockets while baking, and this will cause the cake to toughen and dry out.
Pour batter into greased Pot-in-Pot pans. Stack, cover, and put into the pressure cooker. The pressure cooker should have 1 ½ cups of water in the liner for cooking.
This is a moist dense cake so the cooking time is longer than normal. Cook on high pressure for 70 minutes then follow with a full natural pressure release.
Once done, remove to wire racks to cool. Remove cakes from pans after 20 minutes of cooling time. Once the banana cake is completely cooled it can be frosted.
Step 2: Make the frosting
While the cake is cooking allow the cream cheese and butter to come to soften. Put in a large bowl, and cream the two ingredients together.
Add the powdered and combine with mixer until smooth. Add vanilla at the end to sweeten. If you think the frosting is to thick you can add a little milk until it's the consistency you like.
Step 3: Frosting the cake
Put one layer of cake on a plate or platter. Frost the top, and then add the second layer of cake to the top. Frost the top of the cake, and then the sides. I find it really helpful to frost in four spots to keep the layers from shifting while frosting then finishing all around.
Top with walnuts or pecans to complete. I used a food processor to grind walnuts to "dust" the top of the banana cake. Serve immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve. This is a delicious dessert to pair with any of these delicious summer cookout Instant Pot or Air Fryer recipes!
It's important to right size your pan to right size your cook. For this recipe I used a Pot-in-Pot Pan set for this recipe, which fits inside a 6-Quart Instant Pot. So if you are using something different then you may need to add additional cook time or finish in the oven. A smaller diameter pan will make the cake much thicker which results in a longer cooking time.
Just like with any other cake make sure you give the pan a few taps on the counter to get rid of some of the extra air bubbles before cooking for a more level cake.
All pressure cookers are different, and some may require less or more cooking time. If you take your cake out, but it seems like it's not quite done then you can either finish it in the oven or put it back in your Instant Pot. Remember to refill the water in the liner before your do this though so you have enough for a second round of cooking.
Yes, follow the directions above to make cake batter. Preheat the oven to 350-degrees, and bake for 35 minutes or until done. Grease either a 13x9 baking pan, or two 8-inch round baking pans. To test doneness insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean then it's done.
Yes, you can make this keto by choosing a keto approved cake mix. And also swapping the bananas for strawberries.
Be careful not to overbeat the batter. This will make the cake develop air pockets while baking, and this will cause the cake to toughen and dry out.
Banana cake is like a butter cake with banana flavoring. Banana bread is more firm and dense which is good for slicing or toasting.
- Chocolate Banana Cake - swap out the sour cream with one cup of melted chocolate chips.
- Eggless/Vegan/Vegetarian Banana Cake - use a gluten-free/dairy-free cake mix that is vegan; substitute with ¾ applesauce or an additional ¾ cup of mashed banana; swap the sour cream for vegan sour cream, coconut milk mixed with lemon or lime juice.
- Oatmeal Banana Cake- mix together ½ cups of oats, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar, 1 ½ tablespoons of melted butter, and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon for a delicious topping. Mix together then sprinkle on top of the cake.
- Strawberry Banana Cake - mix in 1 cup of sliced strawberries.
- Hidden veggies - Add in 1 cup of shredded carrot or ½ cup each of shredded carrot and zucchini to hide some vegetables for added nutrition for the kids.
Once the cake is frosted store covered in a cake storage container or plate covered with plastic wrap immediately. Store up to three to five days.
Freeze covered or wrapped whole or in individual slices for up to three months.
More dessert recipes
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Banana Sour Cream Cake
- 1 box yellow cake mix
- 3 eggs beaten
- 1 cup banana ripe and mashed
- 1 cup sour cream full or reduced fat
- ⅓ cup oil
- ½ cup water
- 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese full or reduced fat, softened
- ½ cup butter unsalted, softened
- 1 (16-ounce) bag powdered sugar about 4 cups
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup walnuts or pecans
- Mix all the cake ingredients together in a stand mixer, or large bowl with a hand mixer until combined.
- Pour evenly into greased pot-in-pot pans. Tap on counter to remove air bubbles. Stack pans. Add 1 1 /2 cups of water to the pressure cooker. Add in the PIP pans.
- Cook on high pressure (normal) for 70 minutes and follow with a full NPR (natural pressure release). Remove pans to cooling rack, and cool for 20 minutes. Remove from pans, and allow to completely cool on racks.
- To bake in the oven grease either a 13x9 baking pan or two 8-inch round cake pans. Preheat oven to 350-degrees and cook 35 minutes or until done.
- Allow cream cheese and butter to soften.
- Add to mixer or large bowl. Cream together, and then add all the powdered sugar at once.
- Mix together until smooth, and then add the vanilla. If frosting is to thick then add milk to achieve desired consistency.
- Frost cake layers, and top with walnuts.
- Grease and flour either a 13x9 baking pan, or two 8-inch round baking pans.
- Bake in a 350-degree oven for 35 minutes or until done. To test for doneness insert a toothpick into the center of the cake, and if it comes out clean it's done.
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