The best ever banana cake recipe in New Zealand

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licking the bowl, baking cake

There are many, many versions of banana cakes.

But the secret to making a great banana cake is not so much in the ingredients, but in keeping the cake moist, light and soft.

Here is what you must do to bake a fantastic banana cake!

To prevent the cake drying out, careful attention should be paid to the amount of flour used. Too much flour can cause it to dry out, so be sure to measure the quantity precisely.

To keep the cake light, ensure the baking powder is fresh and the oven temperature has come up to full heat. Old baking powder doesn’t tend to work well and a cake that spends too long in the oven a lower than desired heat will likely have a dense texture.

You can keep a cake soft by not over mixing. Make sure you follow the order of the recipe when adding ingredients. When you mix flour with a liquid, like milk, and a fat, like butter, gluten is developed. High gluten content is not desirable in cakes, so mix the cake carefully but don’t overdo it. Make sure you’re using a good quality flour, preferably with a low protein content.  

Here is our true ‘n’ tested Kiwi recipe:


  • screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-3-57-53-pm125g butter, softened
  • 200g raw sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 bananas (mashed)
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla essence
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tbsp warmed milk
  • 1 1/2 cup plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder


Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease the inside of a 20cm deep round cake tin, or a 27 x 14 loaf tin and line the base with baking paper.

Gently mix the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Don’t overdo it.

screen-shot-2017-04-26-at-3-57-07-pmAdd the mashed banana and vanilla, mix to combine .

Stir the baking soda into the warmed (not hot) milk and add to creamed mixture.

Sift the dry ingredients together and fold through the creamed mixture. Be sure to measure this quantity precisely.

Scoop the mixture into the prepared tin, level, and bake for one hour or until cake springs back when lightly touched. This timing depends on the even heat provided by your oven, so some ovens might take 50 minutes. Keep an eye on it!

Leave the cake in the tin for 15 minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool.

Top with your favourite icing, we love ours with a Lemony Cream Cheese recipe.


Want more recipes? Check out the GrownUps Food, Wine & Beverages section here.