Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

Whatever you think, this is not banana bread with frosting. It is in fact a true moist banana cake that has a more aerated crumb and is less dense than the banana bread cousin.

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Chocolate Chip Banana Cake


Last week we celebrated my mother-in-law’s 70th birthday and we had a huge celebration in honor of her. This cake was one of four that I made for her.

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Caking is not something I excel at. Lucky for me she is one of the nicest people I’ve come across, so even if my cakes had ended up looking like a fifth grade science project gone bad, she would have still genuinely loved them.


She’s awesome like that, and in so many other ways, so much so that in our home we have adopted the saying, “What would Gramz do?” As you can tell I love this women. Most amazing, yes, amazing women I’ve met. With that I pushed myself to make her four cakes. I’m sharing this one first because it was the biggest hit by just a few votes. (I personally like the next one I’ll be sharing the best).


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A few notes:

  • For the best flavor, use very ripe bananas.
  • The recipe I used is from All Recipe with very minimal changes. The adaptations: I lowered the baking soda from 1 tablespoon to 1 teaspoon. I also skipped the nuts for mini chocolate chips.
  • If your wondering how the recipe is, as is, it works fine with the 1 tablespoon of baking soda, but just as well with 1 teaspoon. I changed it the second time around because 1 tablespoon seems like a high leavening amount to the flour amount, so I reduced to see if there would be any noticeable change and it was minimal.

Chocolate Chip Banana Cake

Preparation: Grease and lightly flour two 8 inch round pans. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.


Cake (adapted from All Recipe)

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cup ripe bananas, mashed (about 3 large bananas)
  • 2/3 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cup mini chocolate cups

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 11/2 cups unsalted butter ( 21/2 sticks)
  • 1 8oz. cream cheese
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups of confectioner sugar


To make cake:

  1. Add flour, baking soda and salt into a bowl and whisk to combine; set aside.
  2. Add butter, white sugar and brown sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg in one at time and beat untilcombined. Add bananas mix to combine. Add flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk to the mixture. Stir in mini chocolate chips. Pour batter evenly between the two prepared pans.
  3. Bake inoven for about 40 minutes or until cake tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from oven, cool cakes on wire.

To make frosting:

  1. Add butter and cream cheese in a bowl and mix until light and fluffy. Add in vanilla extract and mix to combine. Add confectioner sugar 1 cup at a time and mix until combined.
  2. Use an incing spatuala or the back of a spoon to frost cake.

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  1. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    That looks delish and I like how you distinguished it from banana bread in the description; that it’s not just glorified banana bread. Bread or cake, I love banana desserts & this would be perfect. GORGEOUS pics!

  2. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonLaurin says

    This looks SO good :)

    Can i share my fav banana cake add?
    something i picked up from Mr P (deliciousdeliciousdelicious): mix white chocolate and cream cheese together (you can play around with proportions). Rose Levy-Berenbaum (?) has a more complicated recipe, but the two ingredients work fine (sometimes I add some extra vanilla, brown sugar and/or some creme fraiche).

    oh my goodness. it is AMAZING 😀 best cream cheese icing ever 😀 and i reckon it would taste sublime on your banana cake 😀

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — June 5th, 2012 @ 4:49 am

      Laurie-THANKS for sharing. Love the idea of adding white chocolate to cream cheese frosting. I have to admit I’m not crazy for cream cheese frosting, so your idea may just change that. Thanks again for letting the rest of us know.

  3. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonKim says

    That cake looks delicious. My own grandpa, last of my grandparents left, is a man just like your grandma. To him, who cares what a cake looks like as long as it tastes amazing. He grew up in the Depression so having cakes now is a blessing.

  4. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonBrian @ A Thought For Food says

    It’s such a relief to learn that even an amazing baker like you doesn’t do well with cakes. I struggle… big time. But I won’t let that stop me from making this decadent cake! Banana? I love it! Chocolate chips? I love it even more! Together? Magic!

  5. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    What are you talking about? Your cake in no way, shape, or form looks like a fifth grade science project! It’s beautiful, Naomi!

  6. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    You made her 4 cakes?! Wowzers, that’s awesome!! Happy Birthday to your MIL – what a lovely cake to celebrate with. I seriously believe I could eat banana cake, muffins, or bread every single day. Love.

  7. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonEla says

    Wow! I want a slice of that cake right now. Looks so good especially with the cream cheese frosting.

    Is 2-1/2 cups butter means 5 sticks of butter for the frosting? Thanks!

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — June 5th, 2012 @ 4:47 am

      Hi Ela- thanks for letting me know. I’ve corrected the recipe that’s 2 1/2 sticks, 1 1/2 cups of butter.

  8. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I scrolled back to make sure I read that correctly – 4 cakes? Holy awesome!
    And I love that this post started with a warning. Banana cake is the best 😀

  9. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Oh I am sure your mother in law would love this, big time! It looks moist and delicious, perfect for a birthday celebration. And you say you are not skilled with cakes, you are definitely a genius for whipping up something as delicious as this. The combination is perfect!

  10. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Wow that looks fabulous and a similar moist texture to carrot cake, one of my favs! Love how many layers its got. Happy birthday to your mum

  11. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    This sounds incredible. I can’t think of a combination I love more than bananas and chocolate chips. Your mother-in-law sounds like a very lucky lady to be getting so many tasty cakes!

  12. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    I haven’t had a banana cake in years. That chocolate/banana/cream cheese combo is deadly. I might add some peanut butter to the frosting.

  13. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    this is similar to our favorite chocolate chip banana bread – try it with cinnamon in it! it gives it that over the edge unique flavor!!

    I need to try this cake!

  14. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    That first photo is amazing. I always love your food styling! And this recipe has just been added to my “must try” list.

  15. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Hi Naomi, What a delicious looking cake, your photographs are awesome ! I found you through my new Twitter account and so glad I did. I’m just starting out with my blog, and am in awe of the dedication and talent there is in the blogging community! I’ll be returning to your blog frequently for inspiration and ideas….I have so much to learn !

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — June 15th, 2012 @ 11:22 pm

      Mary- Welcome to the wonderful world of food blogging! Thank you for the kind compliment and thank you for stopping by!

  16. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonFrank T. says

    Are you sure about the amount of butter in the cream cheese frosting? It sure seems like way too much compared to the cream cheese.

    • Avatar for Naomi Robinson

      Naomi replied: — June 18th, 2012 @ 6:11 am

      Frank-Yes, that’s the right measurement. I slanted the ratio towards the butter since I’m not a huge cream cheese fan. If you are, play with the ratio a little–if I were to change it, I would start by switching out the 1/2 cup of butter for 1/2 a block (4oz.) of cream cheese.

  17. Avatar for Naomi Robinsonteri olson says

    Yes! Naomi is the best DIL a MIL could EVER have! Each cake was exquisite, and each a big hit with the crowd! This was my favorite! Soooo moist and just sweet enough..just like Naomi!

  18. Avatar for Naomi Robinson says

    Hey Naomi! I was just doing a search for a banana cake recipe to use up some bananas who have seen better days. I can’t wait to make this! Your cake is gorgeous and I enjoyed reading about your Gramz! And the baking soda adaption you made too.

  19. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonAqiyl Aniys says

    Beautiful cake! I am a banana nut and I would love a piece of this cake right now.

  20. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonLena says

    Hi Naomi,

    I’m allergic to normal flour/possibly also gluten (not sure yet). What other flours can I use and how much do I then have to take? Could I, for example, use coconut flour or gluten-free flour (if that exists, no clue).

    Thanks so much for your help. I’d really like to bake a nice cake for my birthday, but it has to be somehow anti-allergic :)

    Lena from

  21. Avatar for Naomi RobinsonErin says

    This was so yummy!

    This past weekend I made this for a bridal shower and it was a complete hit! I ended up doing two trials. My first trial I used whole wheat flour (in effort to be healthy) but it came out too dry. In my second trial I used organic all purpose flour. When the cake came out of the oven I was again afraid I had made it too dry, but continued on anyways.

    I let the cake cool and frosted the center layers and let it sit over night in the fridge. The morning of the bridal shower I took it out and let it sit in room temperature for about 3-4 and frosted the entire cake right before serving.

    It ended up coming out SO moist and I even had people who dont usually like banana cake say they LOVED IT! I will definitely be making this again! Also, the fist trial I made with whole wheat flour turned out to be a great coffee cake, with AND without icing.

    Thanks for sharing!