This Banana Walnut Cake is tall, moist yet sturdy enough to be sliced. It's super easy to make with mega banana flavor- there is no need to mash bananas!
I wanted a banana walnut cake that was moist and tender, that really tastes like bananas. Too much bananas create an intense banana flavor, but the excess moisture will sink the cake and make it very dense.
Snack cakes are those magical cakes that are acceptable to eat any time of the day like orange cake or carrot walnut cake. Bursting with sweet banana and vanilla flavor, you won’t be able to get enough of this cake.
All you need is basic baking ingredients to make this no-fuss recipe in no time like this air fryer banana cake. It begins with very ripe heavily speckled bananas for its intense caramel flavor and texture but you also don't want your bananas way too ripe, that they're rotten.
Pro tip: A heavily speckled banana has about 5% fructose when compared to only about 2% in a lightly speckled fruit.
Why this recipe works?
The baking soda immediately reacts with the acid in yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream, to produce tiny carbon dioxide bubbles that lighten the batter. Then, it neutralizes the banana walnut cake batter's acidity to create the Maillard reaction, which gives the cake much better browning and more complex flavor.
Scroll down to the recipe card below for full information on ingredients and amounts.
- Bananas - Make sure those bananas are nice and spotty, just like for eggless banana bread or mini banana muffins.
- Oil - It adds richness and keeps the cake moist.
- Flour - All purpose flour gives stability and structure.
- Sugar - Unlike my eggless banana muffin recipe, I choose to use white sugar because there is enough moisture from mashed bananas and yogurt or sour cream.
- Leavening agents - Baking powder gives the lift and baking soda to react with the acid and create a fluffy texture.
- Sour cream or yogurt - Sour cream adds richness and moisture.
- Eggs - Eggs provide height, texture and structure.
- Walnuts - Adds a subtle crunch and texture contrast, like in walnut cookies.
Tip: If using frozen bananas, let them thaw at room temperature, drain off any excess liquid, mash, then use as instructed in the recipe below.
How to make?
You can find full printable recipe below, but here is a quick overview of the procedure along with step-by-step photos.
- Whisk all purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together in a bowl.
2 & 3. Add sugar, vegetable oil, sour cream or yogurt, mashed bananas and vanilla extract into another bowl. Beat with an electric beater for two minutes, until fluffy and creamy.
Add dry ingredients, finely chopped walnuts and continue beating for an additional 30 seconds.
Pro tip: Beat for full 2 minutes. Sugar that is dissolved in liquid before baking breaks down more quickly, helping in caramelize more readily.
4. Transfer batter into a greased cake pan, top with more walnuts and bake at 350 degrees, until the top is golden in color.
Tip: Ensure your eggs and yogurt, buttermilk or sour cream is at room temperature.
How to serve?
Serve a slice with your cup of coffee for top with a cream cheese frosting or buttercream to make a simple one layer banana walnut cake.
How To Store?
You can make this banana walnut cake ahead of time and store it covered at room temperature for up to 4 days.
To Freeze - Let the cake cool completely to room temperature. Wrap in two layers of plastic warp and then place in gallon size zipper bag, seal well and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight at room temperature.
- Use room temperature ingredients.
- Use a 9-inch round springform pan, round or square cake pan instead (the cake will be shorter in height when using a 9 inch pan).
- Measure flour correctly - Adding more or less flour is the common mistake in baking. Fluff your flour with a spoon and then spoon it into your cups before leveling it off with a butter knife.
- When adding the flour mixture you want to mix until just combined. Over-mixing will cause a dense chewy result.
If your bananas aren't ripe enough to mash, place them on a baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or the skin turns black. Cool and add to the batter.
If the cake is not baked thoroughly then it can cause it to sink after baking. If your leavening agents are expired then it may cause it not rise properly.
The flour could be accidentally over-measured, so make sure that you fluff the flour before spooning into measuring cups. Another reason could be that the cake was baked too long.
More recipes using bananas
Banana Walnut Cake
- 1 cup + ¾ cup all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 2 large ripe bananas sliced
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup sour cream, plain yogurt or buttermilk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup walnuts finely chopped
- Preheat oven to 350°F (177°F). Grease a 8-inch round baking pan with non-stick cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- Add all dry ingredients into a medium bowl and whisk to combine.
- Add all wet ingredients into a large bowl, beat with a hand held electric beater for 2 minutes on high. Add dry ingredients, ½ cup chopped walnuts and beat for an additional 30 seconds.Pro tip: Beat for full 2 minutes. Sugar that is dissolved in liquid before baking breaks down more quickly, helping in caramelize more readily.
- Transfer batter into the prepared pan, smooth top and sprinkle remaining walnuts on top.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes clean and the top looks golden brown in color.
- Place pan on a wire rack to cool.
Nutritional information, based on third-party calculations, should be seen as estimates, not guarantees, as various factors like product types, brands, processing methods, and more can alter the nutritional content in recipes.
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