Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

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Amazing FROM SCRATCH BANANA CAKE with the BEST milk chocolate frosting! I via chelseasmessyapron.com from Sally's Baking Addiction

Double-layer Banana Chocolate Chip Cake combines miniature chocolate chips speckled throughout and a rich, creamy chocolate frosting coating the cake.

Try some other popular banana desserts: these practically famous banana cupcakes or these vanilla custard-filled banana crepes!

Image of Banana Chocolate Chip Cake on a cake stand.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

This cake is like the best sweet banana bread in cake form. It’s dotted with plenty of chocolate chips and the creamy chocolate frosting takes this cake over the top. The milk chocolate frosting is my family’s favorite — one taste and you may want to make a batch of it to put on absolutely everything. 

This banana cake is adapted from, Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction. She’s got a drool-worthy dessert website with tested and proven recipes you can trust. She’s also one of the sweetest people I’ve ever met and I’m so grateful we are friends. This cake is adapted and republished (with permission) from her first cookbook, which was recently re-released in paperback form with eight additional (new!) cookie recipes. You can read more about her cookbook here, and grab your own copy here.

As a total banana dessert fanatic (and you all know how I feel about chocolate!), I was anxious to try my two favorites together. Typically, banana cakes and desserts are paired with a cream cheese, cinnamon, peanut butter, or vanilla frosting, so I was curious to try the chocolate with banana as presented in Sally’s cookbook. And it does not disappoint! Chocolate and banana is a match made in heaven!

How to speed ripen bananas

Want to make this cake but you don’t want to wait for your bananas to over-ripen? No problem — it’s so easy to speed ripen bananas! Take some regular bananas, place them on a parchment paper-lined tray, and then bake them for 7-8 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree F oven. When the skins turn a deep black color, you know they are ready (to make sure the whole skin is black, flip the bananas if needed).          

Let the bananas cool completely, discard any accumulated liquids, and they’re ready to be mashed for this Banana Chocolate Chip Cake.

Images of the wet and dry ingredients being mixed together; poured into a prepared cake pan; and being baked.

How to mash bananas quickly for Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

It’s important to make sure the bananas are thoroughly mashed, so there aren’t big chunks in the cake. To ensure smooth and well-mashed bananas, I like to beat them with a hand (or stand mixer) rather than a quick mash with a fork.

Peel the bananas, break them in large chunks, and beat them with the mixer until thoroughly mashed.

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake tips

  • Use room temperature ingredients. It’s important for the final texture of this cake that all of the ingredients are at room temperature. (That includes the butter for the frosting!)
    • Using room-temperature eggs helps the eggs blend more evenly into the batter, giving the cake a lighter texture (the eggs trap air). Soaking refrigerated eggs in a bowl of warm (not hot) water for about 10 minutes is a quick way to do this. Otherwise, pull the eggs out of the refrigerator about 30 minutes before use.
  • Make sure to spoon and level the flour measurement. If you scoop a measuring cup into a bag of flour you will pack in too much flour (drier and less flavorful cake). (Here’s a video tutorial for how to properly measure flour for this recipe.)
  • Thoroughly cream the butter and sugars. Don’t rush this step; the creaming of the butter and sugars forms the foundation of the cake.
  • When making a layered cake, it is important to make sure the batter is evenly divided between the two cake pans. The two layers need to look even, but even more importantly, the layers must bake evenly. The easiest way to confirm the layers are even is to weigh them! Pour even amounts into each pan and then check the accuracy with a kitchen scale. Adjust the batter in each cake pan to leave even amounts in each cake pan.

Process shots--Images of the frosting being made and spread over the cake.

Chocolate frosting

The frosting is rich and indulgent — my all-time favorite chocolate frosting! The one ingredient that really sets this frosting apart is the cocoa powder. I recommend using Dutchprocess instead of natural or plain cocoa powder. The Dutch process offers a more robust and intensely deep chocolate flavor. Regular cocoa powder will create a less flavorful and drier frosting. 

This is the exact cocoa powder I use (and highly recommend; it’s amazing!). Hershey’s “Special Dark”® cocoa powder is another Dutch-process cocoa powder that is readily found at most grocery stores.

Image of a slice of Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with a bite missing.

Line the cake pans

Make sure to line the cake pans with parchment paper. This cake is so moist that if the bottom isn’t lined, it doesn’t come out very nicely.

There’s a simple to way to do this; check out this photo slideshow or read the directions below:

  1. Tear off a sheet of parchment slightly larger than the cake pan.
  2. Fold the parchment in half.
  3. Then fold the parchment in half again.
  4. Fold into a triangle.
  5. Fold the triangle in half again.
  6. Hold the triangle against the bottom of the pan from the center outwards.
  7. Cut the parchment right where it meets the edge of the cake pan, along the curve of the cake pan.
  8. Unfold the parchment and press into the bottom of the cake pan.

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Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

5 from 3 votes
Double-layer Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with miniature chocolate chips speckled throughout and a rich, creamy chocolate frosting coating the cake.
Print Recipe

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake

5 from 3 votes
Double-layer Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with miniature chocolate chips speckled throughout and a rich, creamy chocolate frosting coating the cake.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Chilling Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 15 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Calories 668kcal
Cost $8.12

Ingredients

Cake

  • 1 and 1/2 cups (375g) very ripe bananas, mashed (about 3 large bananas)
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 cup (230g) granulated white sugar
  • 1/2 cup (90g) tightly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (56g) full-fat sour cream or full-fat honey vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 3 cups (410g) white, all-purpose flour (See Note 1)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (180g) miniature chocolate chips
  • 1 and 1/2 cups (375g) buttermilk, at room temperature

Milk Chocolate Frosting

  • 1 and 1/4 cups (284g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 3-4 cups (332g for 3 cups) powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup (72g) Dutch-process cocoa powder (See Note 2)
  • 3-5 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • Optional: additional miniature chocolate chips for decorating

Instructions

  • PREP: Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Generously grease two 9-inch round cake pans. Line the bottom with a circle of parchment paper (essential to get these cakes out of the pan nicely!). See Note 3. Grease the parchment paper and lightly dust the entire cake pan with flour.
  • BANANAS: Throughly mash the bananas so no chunks remain; I like to mash them quickly by beating with a hand mixer. Measure to get a level 1 and 1/2 cups mashed bananas and then toss with lemon juice.
  • WET INGREDIENTS: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, cream together the butter, white sugar, and dark brown sugar on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Add in the sour cream, vanilla, and 1 large egg. Beat to combine. Add the next egg; beat to combine. Add the final egg and beat. stir in the mashed bananas.
  • DRY INGREDIENTS: In a separate bowl, add in the spooned and leveled white flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and miniature chocolate chips. Stir together to combine, making sure the chocolate chips are coated in flour to keep them from sinking in the batter.
  • BUTTERMILK AND DRY INGREDIENTS: With mixer set on low speed, slowly add 1/3 of the flour mixture and then 1/3 of the buttermilk. Mix until just combined, being careful to not over mix. Repeat with the second and third portions of the flour buttermilk. Mix until just incorporated. Stop mixing as soon as ingredients are combined.
  • BAKE: Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean or with just a few moist crumbs. Allow to cool for 15 minutes in the cake pans and then invert the cakes on to a wire cooling rack to finish cooling completely. Do not frost until fully cooled.
  • FROSTING: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium speed for 3-4 minutes. Add 3 cups of powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Mix on low. Add 3 tablespoons of heavy cream and the vanilla extract. If the frosting is too thin, add more powdered sugar (up to 1 cup) until you get the desired consistency. If the frosting is too thick, you can add more heavy cream (up to 2 tablespoons). Add in the salt. If the frosting is still too sweet, add a dash more salt.
  • ASSEMBLE: If the cake layers are slightly domed on top, carefully level them off with a sharp serrated knife or cake leveler. To build the cake, smear a tiny bit of frosting in the center of your cake stand/plate (to keep the cake from sliding). Next place the first layer bottom side up. Using a knife or offset spatula, spread the top of the cake evenly with the chocolate frosting. Place the second layer on top, top side up, and spread more frosting evenly over the top. Frost the top and sides of the cake. Decorate with additional miniature chocolate chips, if desired. Slice and serve. Cake is best enjoyed within 2-3 days.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Make sure to spoon and level the flour measurement. If you scoop a measuring cup into a bag of flour you will pack in too much flour (creating a drier and less-flavorful cake)
Note 2: Use Dutch-process (not natural cocoa powder) for the frosting, for best flavor and texture.
Note 3: Make a parchment paper round bottom for the cake pans by following these steps:
  1. Tear off a sheet of parchment, slightly larger than the cake pan.
  2. Fold the parchment in half.
  3. Then fold the parchment in half again.
  4. Fold into a triangle.
  5. Fold the triangle in half again.
  6. Hold the triangle against the bottom of the pan from the center outwards.
  7. Cut the parchment right where it meets the edge of the cake pan along the curve of the cake pan.
  8. Unfold the parchment and press into the bottom of the cake pan.

Nutrition Facts

Calories: 668kcal

DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE?

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Banana Cake recipe adapted (with permission) from Sally’s Baking Addiction Cookbook.

Calories include the frosting.

Nutrition facts in banana chocolate chip cake

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9 Comments

  1. I’m making this tomorrow night for a brunch potluck on Saturday morning. Do you think I could turn it into cupcakes, for easy sharing?

  2. This cake looks absolutely amazing. The chocolate chips throughout and the milk chocolate frosting!! I love banana and chocolate together!

      1. It must be popular because it’s still available in stores…snagged one today! Thanks for responding! This cake will be the first thing I use it for!

  3. Made this last week and it was a HUGE HIT! I used chocolate whipped cream frosting from a different recipe.

    The cake caramelized around the edges. Trimmed those off and had them with left over frosting. A sweet snack later for the baker 😉

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