The Vintage Recipe Project: Banana Cake

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Vintage Banana Cake Recipe

This vintage recipe for Banana Cake comes from The Kitchen Kapers Cook Book.  Recipes compiled by The Woman’s Society of Christian Service First Methodist Church of Dover, Ohio.  I did a little extra research and I believe this cookbook could be from as early as 1930. The recipe was submitted by Lulu Exline. 

Banana Cake Recipe, Vintage Banana Cake, Recipe, family recipes

Vintage Banana Cake Recipe

Original Recipe as written in the cookbook

1 ¼ cup white sugar
1 cup sour or buttermilk
½ cup butter
1 tsp soda
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 ½ cups flour
2 bananas
1 tsp baking powder
Mash bananas fine, set aside. Cream butter and sugar add eggs, add bananas, dissolve soda in butter milk add with flour alternately to which baking powder has been added.

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The Vintage Recipe Project


The above recipe is copied as is. There were no baking instructions.
I made a couple of adjustments to the recipe. I increased the bananas to 3 instead of 2. I also added ½ tsp of salt. 

Modern day adjustments and mixing directions below.
The recipe will fill 2 nine inch cake pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or when a tooth pick inserted into the center comes out clean.
You could also use loaf pans or make cupcakes with this recipe. You will have to adjust the cooking times of course.
This was really one of the best recipes for banana cake that I ever tasted. The cake was fluffy and moist with a great banana flavor.
 I used about a half a can of chocolate frosting for the filling and left the top and sides unfrosted. This will be my go to recipe for banana bread, muffins or cake from now on.

 Vintage Banana Cake Recipe


Banana Cake, Frosted Banana Cake Recipe, fluffy banana cake recipe

Banana Cake with a Chocolate frosting filling

 My version of this vintage recipe. 

I made some slight changes to the vintage recipe above. Same ingredients, with the exception that I added one more banana and ½ tsp of salt.

5.0 from 2 reviews
The Vintage Recipe Project: Banana Cake
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This old fashioned banana cake is light and fluffy just like when Grandma made it.
Recipe type: Cake
Cuisine: American
Serves: 8
  • 1 ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 cup sour or buttermilk
  • ½ cup butter
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 3 bananas
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp table salt
  1. Prepare two 9 inch cake pans by greasing them with solid shortening and flouring them.
  2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Mix flour with all of the dry ingredients and whisk to incorporate.
  4. Mash 3 bananas in a medium sized bowl.
  5. Cream the butter and sugar.
  6. Add eggs to the butter and sugar one at a time and beat until fluffy.
  7. Add buttermilk and vanilla to the bananas and mix well.
  8. Fold banana mixture into the sugar, butter and eggs and mix well.
  9. Slowly fold flour mixture into the other ingredients.
  10. Fold until all ingredients are moist.
  11. Pour batter into the prepared cake pans.
  12. Bake for 30 minutes or until the center spring back.
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  1. Mo says

    Saw you post on Blogs by Heather and thought I'd check you out. :) Glad I did! What a great recipe! I look forward to making this for my family. And to seeing what else you have instore. :)

  2. says

    I( just now) came across this lovely (and easy to prepare) banana cake. I’ll definately make it as soon as I buy more bananas and some buttermilk. I plan to use ‘Orange Glaze” on it instead of Chocolate Frosting….but I’m sure that would be delicious, as well. You definately can’t beat those old recipes! This looks to be very close to a cake which my mom made many years ago, so I’m anxious to try it.

  3. Jean says

    I make banana bread and cupcakes with chocolate chips added, but I am so anxious to make this vintage cake. Thank you so much, Arlene, for going through the challenge of updating and sharing this wonderful recipe.

  4. Helene Powers says

    For the grandmother’s Banana Cake………
    Can I use an 8X 8 pan and cut the receipe in two ?
    Or a 9 x 13 pan ?

    Thank you and congrats on your page

    • says


      I made the cake in two 8 inch round pans. You could make the recipe as is and freeze the other pan. An 8 x 8 pan holds a larger volume than the 8 inch round pan so i don’t believe half the recipe would be enough. So the cake might be very thin in an 8 x 8 inch pan.

  5. says

    I made this cake yesterday as per your instructions, but I sandwiched mine together with a homemade version of Nutella. It must have been good as, when I went to grab a slice for my lunch today, the cake tin is empty

  6. Cathy Smith says

    Probably the reason they were no baking instructions were that back in grandmas depression days they used wood stoves and the baking instructions would not have worked for us anyway. I had a cookbook that I cherished for many years from my mother that she had used that came with a wood stove. It had a recipe for an awesome pound cake in it, but no baking directions that could be used with a modern days stove. The directions simply stated “place the cake pan inside the oven with it is too hot to place your hand to the oven door”. I however, did make the pound cake on several occasions, simply by guessing a temperature and carefully watching my cake and testing for doneness. It was a wonderful “pound cake”. The recipe called for 1 lb. of butter, 1 lb. of flour, 1 lb. of sugar and 1 lb. of eggs (10 eggs).

  7. Cathy C. says

    Yayyyy ! This is a cake from my childhood. My mom was raised during the depression and she made this when we were kids. She never wrote down the recipe. I’ve looked for it seems like forever. She would make an icing using butter, a mashed banana and powdered sugar. I’m guessing a 1/2 to 1 stick of butter, the banana and then enough powdered sugar to make a spreading ( but soft ) consistency. Delicious ! Keep refrigerated after icing . Such a tasty banana dessert ! Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  8. PB says

    This banana cake is a vintage find! I made it today with two overripe bananas (forgot the baking powder), added the salt and used egg beaters instead of real eggs. I baked it in a tube
    Springform, only buttered for 40 minutes. I didn’t do much of
    the folding and blending in. I just mixed the dry ingredients and the wet ones and then combined them. The cake is wonderfully fluffy and could be used with a crumble bake, or any way it suits or fits the occasion I already shared the recipe with friends and family!.


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