Easy Two Layer Banana Cake with Silky Smooth Nutella Buttercream

February 2, 2024

My new Banana Nutella Cake is a delicious combination of tender and moist banana cake layers and silky smooth Nutella buttercream.

Banana cake with nutella buttercream on a cake stand with plates.

Banana Nutella Cake

For me, banana and Nutella go together like peanut butter and jelly. They’re a match made in heaven and truly make some of the most delicious desserts and snacks. For this cake, I wanted to keep it simple. We’re making just two layers of cake and decorating it with a rustic, slathered-on look.

Ingredients for Banana Cake

For the banana cake layers, make sure you grab these ingredients:

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking soda
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil (you can also use canola, avocado, or coconut oil)
  • Granulated sugar
  • Brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla
  • Over-ripe bananas

How to Make Banana Cake

To make my banana cake recipe, you’ll start by combining the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium size mixing bowl. Whisk the ingredients together to combine and then set that aside.

In your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugars, and oil together on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. During this phase of mixing, we want to create some volume in the mixture and emulsify the ingredients. This is what’s going to help your cakes rise nicely.

REMEMBER: using room temperature ingredients is KEY for this process to work.

After the butter mixture is creamed, you’ll add the eggs and vanilla. Make sure to mix again on medium-high until the mixture is smooth.

At this point, you’ll then turn the mixer to low as you alternately add the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients.

OVERMIXING the cake batter at this point will create a dense cake because you’re over-working the gluten in the flour. Low speed is your best friend.

Mix in the bananas and get ready to bake.

What Pans Should I Use for Banana Cake

For this cake, I used my 8-inch by 3-inch Fat Daddio cake pans. We’re splitting one full recipe into two pans, so it’s going to rise and we don’t want it to spill over the edges. If you only have 8-inch by 2-inch pans, use three of them and bake for about 10 minutes less.

Nutella Buttercream

This Nutella buttercream is so dreamy! You’ll be using Nutella, as well as some hazelnut extract. You are going to love how it amps up the flavor just a bit.

More Cakes You’ll Love

Banana cake with nutella buttercream on a cake stand with plates.

Banana Cake with Nutella Buttercream

5 from 1 vote
Moist and flavorful banana cake layers with a silky, smooth Nutella 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
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt
  • 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 (73.3 g) light brown sugar, packed
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup (360 g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 medium-sized over-ripe bananas, mashed

FOR THE NUTELLA FROSTING

  • 5 cups (625 g) powdered sugar, measured then sifted
  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter, slightly chilled
  • 1 cup (240 g) Nutella
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon (1.1 g) hazelnut extract
  • 2 tablespoons (28.87 g) heavy whipping cream

Instructions
 

For the Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray two 8" x 3" or three 8" x 2" pans with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and spray again. Set aside.
    NOTE: if you only have 8"x2" pans, I would make this into a three layer cake. If you split this recipe just between two 2-inch high pans, it might overflow.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. 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 (about 30 seconds). Add the vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk mixture into the butter mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated and remove bowl from stand mixer.
    Using a large stainless steel whisk, stir/whisk the mashed banana into the mixture–you can use use some strength and blend well, ensuring all of the ingredients are well mixed. (If you don't have a large stainless whisk, you can fold the banana mixture in using a rubber spatula until incorporated.)
  • Divide the batter evenly between the pans, using a kitchen scale for the best accuracy.
  • Carefully level the cake batter with a spatula or the back of your sppon, and bake until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean, about 40 to 45 minutes for two 8-inch pans and 30 to 35 minutes for three 8-inch pans.
  • Let pans cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely.
  • When the cakes are completely cooled, level the cake layers if necessary
  • The cake layers can be made up to a week in advance. If you plan to make it in advance, cover each cake layer with two layers of plastic wrap. When you’re ready to frost your cake, take the cake layers out of the freezer an hour before you decorate.

FOR THE NUTELLA FROSTING

  • Combine the butter and Nutella and beat on medium-high speed for 2-3 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low, gradually add the powdered sugar, a little at a time until incorporated. Beat for another 2-3 minutes.
  • Add remaining ingredients and beat for another two minutes, until light and fluffy. Best used right away.
  • Remove the bowl from the mixer and use a wooden spoon and mix by hand to stir out the air bubbles.

ASSEMBLY

  • Place the first cake layer, top side up, in the center of a cake board or cake stand.
  • Evenly spread 1 cup of buttercream over the cake layer.
  • Place second cake layer, top side down, on top of the buttercream.
  • Cover the entire cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Freeze the cake for 10 to 15 minutes to set the crumb coat.
  • Once the crumb coat is set, finish frosting the cake with the remaining buttercream.
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Cake
Keyword: Banana Cake, Nutella Buttercream

Join the Conversation

  1. Madeline says:

    How much does the hazelnut extract change the flavor? How much better is it when it is included?

    1. It enhances it but doesn’t change it dramatically. If you love the hazelnut element with the chocolate, I’d say add the extract, otherwise you can leave it out.

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