Small Banana Cake
This Small Banana Cake with cream cheese frosting is a sweet, moist, and tender 6 inch banana cake made using only one banana. Tastes like cake, not banana bread!
Today is a very special day as it’s Homemade In The Kitchen’s 16th year of blogging!
Ok technically it was yesterday, but it was also J’s birthday so naturally it’s going to get overshadowed.
Hard to believe what started as a homesick coping mechanism in college would turn into my career with recipe development, food styling, food photography, and food writing.
And I couldn’t have done this without YOU, so thank you for your support over the years!
Sometimes I feel like I don’t belong, like the whole world revolves around large families with “normal” serving sizes and I’m an outcast.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been told I’m dumb for not making a 13×9 lasagna and freezing leftovers (for one person!) or how 6 cupcakes would never be enough to serve.
Constantly I’m asked if something can be doubled or even tripled. Other times I’m mocked for only making half dozen cookies.
You have shown me there IS room in this world for us. The ones who live alone. The couples who decide to not have kids. The parents whose kids grew up and are now left cooking for 1-2 people again.
What better way to celebrate 16 years than with what I do well – 6 inch cake recipes!
You’ve been asking for a Small Banana Cake for years now, so I figured now was the perfect time to scale down my Banana Layer Cake.
It’s a sweet, moist, and tender 6 inch banana cake made with basic pantry ingredients. That means you can make this right now (assuming you have one really brown banana ready to go).
My goal was to make sure this banana cake for two tasted like cake and not banana bread.
One time I bought a banana cupcake from a bakery that tasted like a banana muffin. No thanks! I want my cake to taste like cake.
No need for sour cream either! My one layer banana cake stays moist thanks to the mashed banana and brown sugar.
If there’s one thing worse than cake tasting like a muffin, it’s biting into dry cake.
Ingredients For Small Banana Cake
You’ll need the following ingredients for your 6 inch banana cake:
- All-Purpose Flour: Make sure you know how to measure flour by using the spoon and level method, not the scoop and pack method.
- Baking powder and soda: Leavening agents so your cake rises. You use both to help stabilize the cake.
- Cinnamon and nutmeg: Banana always tastes better with spices.
- Salt: Used so your cake isn’t bland.
- Butter: Helps the cake rise from its steam when it melts, trapping carbon dioxide in the batter as it bakes. This creates a tender crumb texture.
- Granulated sugar: Sweetens the cake.
- Brown sugar: Adds some extra moistness to the batter
- Egg: Use a standard large egg at room temperature.
- Banana: It’s important you use a really brown, almost rotten banana as it’ll give the best flavor.
- Vanilla: Makes every dessert taste so much better
- Milk: Use whole milk and not 2% or skim. You need that fat for a moist banana cake.
- Chocolate chips or nuts: Optional but much like my banana chocolate chip cake, it’ll always taste better with chocolate.
Equipment For Small Banana Cake
In order to make this banana cake with cream cheese frosting, you need a 6×2 inch cake pan, which you can buy online from Amazon (affiliate link) or from your local craft store in the cake decorating aisle.
A 6 inch banana cake will serve 4-6 slices, depending on how small you cut it.
How To Convert Banana Cake Into Banana Cupcakes
Don’t have a 6 inch cake pan? Make my small batch banana cupcakes instead.
How To Make Small Banana Cake
It’s easy to make your banana cake with cream cheese frosting!
- Sift your flour then add your baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- Cream together butter, granulated sugar, and brown sugar until smooth. The airiness will help your cake rise with a tender crumb.
- Beat in egg, vanilla, and mashed banana, scraping down your bowl to evenly mix everything.
- Add the dry ingredients alternately with the milk, adding the flour in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions (begin and end with dry ingredients).
- Transfer the batter to your 6 inch cake pan lined with parchment paper.
- Bake at 350F for 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
How To Frost Small Banana Cake
As mentioned earlier, I made my banana cake with peanut butter cream cheese frosting. If you don’t want peanut butter, make it plain with small batch cream cheese frosting.
How To Store Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting
Because cream cheese is perishable, you need to refrigerate your frosted banana cake for up to 1 week. Let it sit at room temperature for 15-30 minutes before serving as the flavors are muted when cold.
However, if you’re using a room temperature-safe frosting such as buttercream, you can store your small banana cake on the counter for up to 3 days.
More Small Cake Recipes
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon table salt
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar (soft and moist, not dry and crumbly)
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1/2 cup mashed banana (roughly 1 medium banana - please measure as bananas vary greatly in size)
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons whole milk, room temperature (do not use low fat or fat free)
- 1/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips or chopped nuts (optional)
Pick One To Decorate
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease one 6-inch wide x 2-inch deep round cake pan and line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, sift the flour then stir in baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
- In another large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed (using paddle attachment for stand mixer), beat together the butter, sugar, and brown sugar until light and creamy, about 1 minute.
- Scrape down the bowl then beat in the egg, banana, and vanilla.
- Turn the mixer down to the lowest speed possible then add the flour mixture alternating with the milk, adding the flour in 3 additions and the milk in 2 additions (begin and end with dry ingredients). Stir in the chocolate chips or nuts if using.
When you add the final addition of flour, switch to a rubber spatula and gently fold in by hand. You do not want to overmix this part or you'll have a dense cake.
- Transfer the batter to the pan then bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool for 15 minutes then invert onto a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
- If necessary, level off the cake to flatten then decorate with frosting of choice. Cover and store the frosted cake at room temperature for up to 2 days (buttercream only) or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week (buttercream, cream cheese, and ganache).
For best results, let the refrigerated cake sit at room temperature 15-30 minutes before serving.
- Love this recipe? Check out my full list of 6 Inch Cake recipes including chocolate cake, yellow cake, and more.
- Don't have a 6 inch pan? Check out my recipe for Small Batch Banana Cupcakes.
- To make this in an 8 inch pan, check out my Banana Layer Cake, cutting the ingredients in half to make one layer.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.