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Potluck Banana Cake

I found this recipe more than five years ago and have been making it for family gatherings ever since. The coffee-flavored frosting complements the moist banana cake. —Kathy Hoffman, Topton, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep: 25 min. Bake: 35 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    15 servings


  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 medium)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/3 cup butter, softened
  • 2-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant coffee granules
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons 2% milk


  • Preheat oven to 350°. In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla. Combine flour, baking soda and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with bananas and sour cream, beating well after each addition.
  • Pour into a greased 13x9-in. baking dish. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 35-40 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  • For frosting, in a small bowl, beat butter and confectioners' sugar until smooth. Dissolve coffee granules in milk; add to butter mixture and beat until smooth. Spread over cake. Sprinkle with additional instant coffee, if desired.

Test Kitchen Tips
  • Very ripe bananas work best in this cake.
  • Bananas can vary widely in size. To prevent your cake from becoming too dry, use a cup measure for mashed banana. For 1-1/2 cups mashed, plan on three medium bananas.
  • If you don't happen to have instant coffee for the frosting, strong brewed regular coffee or espresso would work, too. Be sure to adjust the milk amount to compensate for the added liquid.
  • Nutrition Facts
    1 piece: 344 calories, 14g fat (8g saturated fat), 67mg cholesterol, 368mg sodium, 52g carbohydrate (37g sugars, 1g fiber), 4g protein.


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    Average Rating:
    • MARK
      Feb 17, 2021

      Holy crappin jack!!!! This cake is amazeballs! I used a jelly roll pan instead of 13x9 and adjusted baking time to 15 min. and it turned out perfect. The coffee frosting pairs well with the cake. I will so be bringing this to any party I go to if I ever get to go to a party again due to covid. Happy baking peeps. :)

    • Sadie
      Feb 13, 2021

      A new favorite at our house. Cake is perfectly moist & flavorful while the coffee flavored frosting is an unexpected but delicious complement to the banana cake. And just an FYI for anyone living at high altitude like us here at 7,000' need to adjust the recipe, it worked great as written!

    • Olga
      Feb 4, 2021

      This recipe is a total jam! So good, wouldn’t change a thing. Moist, delicious flavor and frosting. As I was reading reviews, I kept answering the questions in my head and decided to share some answers in my review. Someone said there is no liquid in cake. Yes there is: sour cream and mashed bananas. You’d be surprised how much liquid you get from 3 mashed bananas. Dense cake? Most likely due to the fact that your bananas were not ripe enough. I’m not an award winner of anything, but I do bake almost everyday and testing out recipes is what I do. If you use just ripe bananas, the cake will turn out dense because they are not juicy. You need VERY ripe bananas that are almost fully black so that when you press to mash, it’s like puree. You need baking soda. You’d be surprised the difference it makes if you were to use baking powder. Always make sure your cake is fully baked before taking it out, by inserting wooden toothpick into center of cake. If the cake is even a bit under-baked, it will fall down like instantly and it will mess up your cake. Overall, my family enjoyed this cake and we keep making it over and over again!

    • conniekitchen
      Jul 18, 2020

      I have made this about 50 time and love the recipe. I make it in a 9 x 17 pan & they are thinner like bars. I am alone & can't eat all I bake so most is given to friend & neighbors. They all like them as bars instead of a thicker cake. The frosting is to die for. would not think of frosting them with any other frosting. This is my favorite go to recipe when I have to use up ripe banana.. I make the at least twice a month.

    • Tori
      May 30, 2020

      I've made this cake a few times now. After the first time, my family started "forgetting to eat the bananas" until they got soft and then said "guess you need to make those into some cake!" My family loves cream cheese frosting, so that's what I make to go with it. I would definitely suggest trying cream cheese frosting. It adds a nice zing!

    • Carey
      Apr 23, 2020

      Yum! This cake came out very moist. As my family says, “Do Over”. I made a butter cream coffee flavored frosting that my family loved.

    • Hilda
      Mar 29, 2020

      This cake was a big hit for several years now and it’s still so delicious and so moist! Love it and my family love this cake as well!!

    • Typingn2000
      Mar 1, 2020

      I am just reading the reviews. Interesting comments. I have made this cake several times for different events. I advertise it as "commuter cake"--eggs, fruit, coffee, dairy. Add a glass of OJ, I'm good to go.

    • Diane
      Feb 19, 2020

      This cake turned out great! I was nervous because the reviews were all over the place. The cake rose beautifully, and the consistency was perfect!

    • Erin
      Feb 9, 2020

      This cake was super good With great banana flavor! I had no problem with it not rising at all! Thank you for sharing. ?? (Of note, I would think a prized baker would review a recipe first, and if the ratios seemed hinky - particularly given their level of expertise - they wouldn’t bother to waste their time and money on the extremely inexpensive and common ingredients to make this cake. Again, an award-winning baker should have seen through this sham of a recipe in a heartbeat!)