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Banana Cake with Nutella and Cream Cheese Frosting

I have a confession to make. With this brilliant Indian Summer we’ve had, I’ve missed one thing, and it’s truly a surprise: cold, rainy, windy days. Remind me to read this post in a few weeks, when I am drowning in misery. But, it’s true. As we continue to eat heirloom tomatoes, romano beans, and strawberries, I’m beginning to feel all out of whack. Is Thanksgiving really just around the corner? Thank goodness we’re finally able to change the time over here. Waking up when it’s pitch black outside is really unadvisable, if you can avoid it. But here we are, barreling along towards 2012.

In my last post, I shared my feelings about the value of face time and, as it happens, I’ve gotten a lot of face time with people recently. Last week, I had dinner with some of the loveliest ladies in the food blogging world (Kimberley, Sara and Nicole) and I’m already making plans to catch up with friends at Pop-Up Magazine, an annual pre-Thanksgiving potluck, and my 10 year high school reunion (we can talk about that later). Fall and winter tend to be really social for us, and this often means lots of desserts. I can’t emphasize enough how much I love to bake for anย occasion.

I made this cake for Matt’s birthday (which just passed) and insisted on bringing it to our afternoon get-together with friends at Zeitgeist, Matt’s favorite bar in the city. It has a large selection of beers on tap and a really inviting outdoor patio that, given our weather lately, was a welcome treat on a Sunday afternoon. ย At this point, my friends except that I’d bring cake to a bar but I think they still look forward it. I take birthday cakes very seriously. Since we don’t have bowling alley birthday parties anymore, I bring cakes and cupcakes to bars and restaurants. They can deal!

I’d been dreaming of making an untraditional buttermilk cake, and have been nostalgic for a jar of Nutella. There was a time when I considered a banana dipped in a tub of Nutella a nutritious snack, and I liked the idea of turning that senstation into a cake. I’m not a big fan of overfrosted cakes that make you feel like you’ll be on a sugar high for weeks and I’ve been really loving the look of cakes that are frosted between layers but not on the outside. If this cake had a style inspiration, I’d say it was city chic, with a little longing for country. You know, a plaid shirt with a cool leather jacket and an antique watch. So there’s that. There was cake, there were friends, there was sunshine and now, there is Fall and more gatherings to look forward to.

Banana Cake with Nutella and Cream Cheese Frosting
*serves 6-8

For the cake:

1 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour
1 1/4 cup of whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon baking soda
1 pinch salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup white sugar
3/4 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
4 ripe bananas, mashed
2/3 cup buttermilk

For the Nutella frosting:

3 heaping tablespoons of Nutella
1/2 cup of powdered sugar
3 1/2 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup of butter

For the cream cheese frosting:

1/2 cup of powdered sugar
3 1/2 ounces of cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup of butter

1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Butter two 8-inch round cake pans and dust them with flour.
2. Sift the flours, baking soda and salt into a small bowl and set aside.
3. Combine the butter and sugars in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs until incorporated. Next, add the mashed bananas, vanilla and buttermilk. Beat until incorporated. Add about half of the flour mixture and beat until combined. Add the rest of the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
4. Evenly divide the batter between the two cake pans and bake for about 30 minutes (until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean). Cool the cake layers to room temperature.
5. To prepare the Nutella frosting, combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until fluffy. Set aside.
6. Repeat step five (omitting the Nutella) to make the cream cheese frosting.
7. To assemble: place one cake layer flat side up on a serving platter. Frost evenly with the Nutella frosting. Top with the second cake layer. Spread the cream cheese frosting evenly over the top.

Musical Pairings: Dominant Legs – Invitation + Banana Cake with Nutella and Cream Cheese Frosting

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Posted by Kasey

Kasey is the food editor and co-founder of Turntable Kitchen. She loves dark chocolate, warm crusty bread, and traveling to new places. She speaks Russian, but does not like vodka.

  • hmm~ Nutella then cream cheese! with 2 layers of banana cake!

  • I like this recipe a lot, it is one of my favourites. I`ve tried it this morning and it was very good, thanks for sharing.

  • Woah! That cake looks fantastic. Sounds like Matt’s birthday was a great timeโ€”good food in good company is hard to beat!

  • Cynthia ZAdick

    Oh, my gosh! I LOVE this one!

  • Happy Birthday, Matt! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks ๐Ÿ™‚ It was a great birthday.

  • I certainly would not mind if I met you in a public place and you brought this! I love its rustic good looks, too. I enjoy pretzels dipped in Nutella and I made Nutella Pretzel Bars a while back, because obviously that’s what you do when you love something ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m so with you on this!

  • sara

    yum! I’m going to try a version of nutella cream cheese frosting this week with a chocolate cake, looks so good! Pleasure spending some time with you, hope you have a really great week, pretty lady!

  • The birthday cake is beautiful! I’m loving that chalkboard background too.

  • Thanks, Melissa! It’s actually a slate cheeseboard that I wrote on with chalk ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Ohh I cannot wait to see it. So so great spending time with you, too! Can’t wait to do it again.

  • Ohh I love the salty/sweet combo. I’ll have to do a little search on your site for that recipe ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Thanks, Cynthia! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • It was a really fun day and the cake was entirely consumed by our crew. Sadly, I didn’t get to bring my pretty cake stand with me, but we had a ‘rustic picnic’ on paper napkins haha.

  • That’s awesome!! You’re fast.

  • Yes and yes ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Steph

    I remember very clearly when you showed up at my dorm room in Cambridge (England!), straight outta Italy, armed with your backpack, bananas, and a jar of Nutella. Look how far we’ve come!

  • It’s like it was just yesterday when I got lost on at Cambridge and was yelled at to not walk on the lawn! Ahh, memories. You can’t go wrong with bananas and a jar of Nutella (esp. if you’re traveling on a budget!)

  • Meganjgordon

    I’m not sure how I missed this (has Janet seen this?!) Dear God. These might be my three favorite combinations ever. What a special cake for Matt! I’m going to send Sam your way on my birthday ๐Ÿ™‚

  • I take special birthday orders for special people. hint hint ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Renee

    Gorgeous cake! Love the Nutella layer, which I’m sure was fantastic. Enjoy the rest of your Fall…snow has come here early and I’m decked out in mittens and scarves. True story. Not happy about it!!!

  • Gintare

    oh loookkkks soooo goooood!

  • Mmmm… Loving this idea. Reminds me of the banana-nutella crepes I used to eat at 3 a.m. in Paris. Sigh. I have a few overripe bananas to bake into banana bread – maybe I’ll schmear a little Nutella on it!

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  • Lauren Fedders

    You had me at banana. … Then you had to go an add Nutella. … AND now cream cheese?! I’m going to need to call a friend. .. AND make this STAT. <3

  • Pingback: LinkLove: Recipes |()

  • Quick question: the wheat flour – is that necessary for the recipe? Or can all purp white flour be used? Thanks!

  • You should be able to use all-purpose flour,
    no problem!

  • ridah

    hi, i made this recipe back and august and it was amazing – i’d like to make a thanksgiving rendition using pumpkin puree instead of the mashed bananas. based on that consistency, how much puree would you recommend using?

    thanks in advance!

  • Tarah

    is this cake pretty moist?

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