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Banana Cake with Lemon Icing

A lovely old-fashioned banana cake topped with a lemon cream cheese frosting.
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banana cake with lemon frosting

When I spotted this Banana Cake with Lemon Icing recipe in Nana Ling’s cookbook, I had a hunch that my go-to banana cake recipe was about to be replaced.

My feeling came from the state of the Banana Cake recipe page.

It’s well-worn and quite possibly has some banana cake splatters from 80 years ago!

This is exactly what some of the pages look like in my cookbooks. I’m not very good at keeping my cookbooks pristine. They’re always front and centre of the action and sometimes get too close to the action. So if a recipe is popular, you can tell by the slightly messy-looking pages.

Banana Cake cut

My new go-to Banana Cake recipe

This recipe is quite possibly the perfect banana cake recipe and is now my banana cake recipe of choice.

The cake is moist and a little more dense than the more “cakey” varieties. It’s also less oily than my other recipe.

The banana cake approaches banana bread territory, but once you add the lemon frosting it’s most definitely a cake.

I’m not going to go into the difference between banana bread and banana cake here, but I found this interesting article on the topic.

banana cake

Banana Cake with lemon icing

Nana Ling’s recipe just includes an instruction to add lemon icing.

So, here I’ve used my own lemon frosting recipe. 

It’s sweet, but not too sweet, and has quite a burst of lemon.

Nana Ling’s Banana Cake with Lemon Icing recipe

Keep scrolling for the tested and tweaked version.

banana cake recipe handwritten
banana cake with lemon frosting

Banana Cake with Lemon Frosting

A lovely old-fashioned banana cake topped with a lemon cream cheese frosting.
4.82 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Australian
Keyword: banana cake with lemon frosting
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 12 people
Calories: 315kcal


  • Bar tin (Loaf tin) 24cm x 14cm x 7cm


Banana Cake

  • 2/3 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 60 grams butter
  • 1 egg
  • 3 medium bananas (ripe bananas work best – I freeze them when they’ve passed their best and thaw them before cooking)
  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Lemon Frosting

  • 250 grams cream cheese
  • 50 grams butter
  • 1 small lemon
  • 1/2 cup icing sugar


Banana Cake

  • Beat butter and sugar in a stand mixer on medium-high for 5 minutes.
  • Add whisked egg and beat again for a few minutes.
  • Add mashed bananas and beat again for one minute.
  • Add sifted flour and baking powder gradually. Mix well.
  • Dissolve bicarb soda in milk and add to mixture. Mix well.
  • Pour mixture into a large well-greased bar tin (approx 24cm x 14cm x 7cm). You may also wish to line the bottom of the pan with baking paper.
  • Bake at 170 degrees celsius (fan-forced) for 35-40 minutes.
  • Allow to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.

Lemon Frosting

  • Cut cream cheese and butter into small cubes and beat until soft.
  • Cut lemon in half and slice off 3 small rounds from the inside of the halves. Juice the remaining lemon and finely grate some zest from the sides of the lemon halves.
  • Add all of the lemon juice and zest to the mixture and beat well.
  • Add the icing sugar and continue to beat until soft and fluffy.


  • Slice top of cake to level if necessary.
  • Add frosting and smooth over top. Dab with spatula to create a textured look.
  • Slice lemon round almost in half. Twist and place along top of cake to create a swirl effect.


Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 56mg | Sodium: 232mg | Potassium: 227mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 548IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 59mg | Iron: 1mg
Recipe Rating

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Friday 14th of January 2022

What size pan? I have no idea what a bar tin is!!

Libby Hakim

Friday 14th of January 2022

Hi Denise - it's about 24cm x 14cm x 7cm (also called a loaf tin). I'll update the recipe to include this information :) Thanks and happy cooking!


Thursday 11th of November 2021

This is an absolute winner! Thanks so much for sharing.

Libby Hakim

Friday 12th of November 2021

Wonderful! Thanks for leaving a rating and review, Sharon :) Happy cooking!

Regan Doyle

Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Loved the recipe but hated all the insipid ramblings beforehand. Not your fault though as it's the same with all recipe sites and I assume to provide more room for clicks or something.


Tuesday 26th of January 2021

Glad you loved the recipe, Regan. I won't apologise for my "ramblings" because it's my website and I like writing and rambling. Sometimes recipes have a story. If you're not interested or find them intolerable, just scroll a couple of times or buy a cookbook. Easy! Happy baking.


Sunday 9th of August 2020


This looks amazing. I’m about to try it for the first time and I’m wondering if this will have good results as cupcakes, instead of cake. In that case, do you have suggestions on temperature and time.



Monday 10th of August 2020

Hi Vanessa. I'm sure it will work really well as cupcakes. Just reduce the cooking time to about 20-25 minutes. Happy cooking!

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