Banana Chai Cake with Toasted Walnut Buttercream

My new Banana Chai Cake with Toasted Walnut Buttercream is packed with spices and paired with a flavorful walnut buttercream.

A two layered cake on a cake stand.

Banana Chai Cake

A simple banana cake with cream cheese frosting is one of my favorite classic cakes. It’s moist, flavorful, and comforting. It’s the type of cake you can always count on and one that always sounds good, no matter the day or the season. In fact, as I looked at my over-ripe bananas the other day, it was the first thing I thought of. As I started on my banana cake, I decided to give it a winter flair and pair it with the spices from my Chai White Chocolate Raspberry Cake.

Top view of a cake.

Toasted Walnut Buttercream

This toasted walnut buttercream adds the most delicious nutty flavor to the cake and pairs so well with the flavors of banana and chai.

Be sure to toast the walnuts to bring out the flavor. You’ll also want to make sure the walnuts are completely cooled before making the nut butter and adding the nut butter to the buttercream.

A top view of a cake with slices taken out.

FAQs

What spices do I need to make chai spice?

To make this cake, make sure to have these spices on hand: cinnamon, cardamom, allspice, ginger, cloves, nutmeg, and black pepper.

Can I make the cake layers ahead of time?

Yes! Once the cake layers are baked and cooled completely, wrap each layer with plastic wrap and freeze. When you’re ready to stack and decorate your cake, remove the layers from the freezer 30 to 60 minutes before.

How can I make this cake a sheet cake, cupcakes or bundt cake?

You’ll follow the recipe exactly as written, but baking times will change. A sheet cake (9″ x 13″) generally takes about 10 to 15 minutes longer than the written time. Cupcakes will take about 15 to 20 minutes to bake and a bundt cake will take closer to 50 to 60 minutes. Keep the baking temperature at 325 F.

Can I use a different nut for the buttercream?

Absolutely! If you don’t want to use walnuts, choose another nut you love and follow the instructions as written. Pecans would be a great substitute for walnuts.

What buttercream flavor would pair well with this cake if I can’t have nuts?

I think you’ll love these cake layers with cream cheese buttercream, white chocolate buttercream, or caramel buttercream

Slice of cake on a plate with a fork.
Slice of cake on a plate.
Two layer Banana Chai Cake on a cake stand.

Banana Chai Cake with Toasted Walnut Buttercream

5 from 4 votes
Moist and flavorful banana chai cake with toasted walnut buttercream.

Ingredients
 

For the Cake

  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4.2 g )salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (4 g) ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon (2.64 g) cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2 g) cardamom
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.5 g) ground gloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.8) g allspice
  • 1/8 teaspoon (.6 g) black pepper
  • teaspoon (.6 g) nutmeg
  • 3/4 cup (169.5 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 g) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (66 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup (360 g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6.3 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/4 cup (300 g) mashed over-ripe bananas, 3 medium-sized

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • 2 cups (300 g) chopped walnuts
  • 1 tablespoon (13.6 g) olive oil
  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly cold
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 1 teaspoon. (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt
  • This makes 6 cups of buttercream, which is enough to fill and frost the entire cake. If you want a naked cake look (as pictured), use a half recipe of the buttercream.

Instructions
 

For the Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray two 8-inch round baking pan with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil, and sugars on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes.
  • Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next. Turn the mixer to medium-high and mix until smooth and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk mixture into the creamed mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated and remove bowl from stand mixer.
  • Stir in the bananas.
  • Evenly divide the batter between the two pans and bake for 38 to 43 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs on it.
  • Cool the cakes in the pans for about 15 minutes and then inverted onto a cooling rack until cooled completely.

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • In a saute pan, toast the walnuts over medium heat. Once toasted, let cool completely.
  • Once the walnuts are toasted and cooled, combine the walnuts and oil in a food processor and pulse until you've created a nut butter consistency.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter on medium speed for about two minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  • Add the walnut butter and mix until combined.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the vanilla and pinch of salt.
  • Turn the mixer up to medium-high speed and beat for about 3 to 5 minutes.
Cuisine Cake
Course Dessert
Keyword Banana Cake, banana chai cake, walnut buttercream

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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  1. 5 stars
    We’re not big fans of Chai, but this cake was amazing! I decreased the recipe to 2/3rds of the original to make two 6″ layers instead, and halved the buttercream, which was still enough to fully frost the cake. I haven’t had a bad cake from you, Courtney!! Thank you!