Banana Cake (Entenmann’s Old Banana Cake Copycat Recipe)

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Banana Cake

When I was a kid, I had this recurring dream… a dream that there was a big cake in the refrigerator, and that when I opened the refrigerator door… I would take the biggest slice of yummy cake out and eat it for breakfast.  Sometimes that dream was so real… I would wake up craving cake, and rush to the refrigerator to find it… to realize it was only a dream.  :(

Well, one day, when I was about 6 years old, I opened the refrigerator, and there WAS a cake in there (which was quite unusual in my “no junk food allowed” house).  I don’t know where it came from, but there it was… a blue and white cardboard Entenmann’s box, labelled “Banana Cake”.  I opened the box, and inside it was a square cake in a disposable aluminum pan, with cream cheese frosting.  I ate about half the cake in one sitting… what a happy surprise!  And the funny thing was, no one asked me about the cake (I expected to get in trouble for it)… so even better.  (My dad ate the other half – I suspect he bought it – and my mother never knew.)

Unfortunately, I haven’t seen this cake at the market for many years… I think Entenmann’s may have discontinued their old fashioned Banana Cake.  (They have a different Banana Cake for sale now – but it’s not the same!)   Because of that, I have looked for a long time to find a banana cake recipe that is as good as the one I remember from that morning… and I think this one is it!

Banana Cake:

Bananas that have become a little bit over-ripe give the best flavor for this cake

  • 3 c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 3/4 c. unsalted butter
  • 2 c. sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 c. sour cream
  • 1 c. milk
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1.  Preheat oven to 275 degrees.  Line a 9″ X 13″ pan with foil and spray with non-stick spray (the foil is for easy removal).  Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl with a whisk.

2.  Cream the butter and sugar.

3.  Add the eggs, and beat until blended.

4.  Add the sour cream, milk, lemon juice, and vanilla extract – mix until thoroughly blended.

5.  Add the bananas, and continue to mix until uniform.

6.  Pour the banana mixture over the dry ingredients, and mix  for 1 minute until combined.

7.  Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and bake at 275 degrees for 60-75 minutes until done.  (Yes, the low temperature of 275 degrees is not a mistake!)

8.  When done, remove the cake from the oven, cover with foil, and place directly into the freezer for 1 hour.  (This step accomplishes two things:  One, it cools the cake rapidly.  Two, it locks in the moisture so that you end up with a soft, moist texture!)  If you accidentally forget about it, and it ends up freezing overnight… no problem, just thaw it before serving.

9.  While the cake is cooling, make the frosting.  Cream the cream cheese with the butter, salt, and vanilla.  Mix in the powdered sugar and beat until fluffy.

10.  Spread the frosting over the cooled cake.  Cut into squares and serve!

Banana Cake (Entenmann's Banana Cake Copycat Recipe)


  1. Winnie says:

    ummm my freezer would break if i put it in hot what should i do?

    • Mika Mika says:

      How small is your freezer? Are the shelves made of glass or metal wire? I have a regular freezer, with metal wire shelves, and have never had a problem. If you have glass shelves in your freezer, you might put down a hot pad first, and wrap your pan with a kitchen towel. If you can’t make it work for the freezer, you might let it cool in the refrigerator instead. If all else fails and you can’t do either, then you can probably skip the chilling step and just let your banana cake cool at room temperature, covered with foil. It won’t be exactly the same… but I don’t want you to break your freezer!

      • winnie says:

        thank you for the quick reply :)

  2. lazy daisy says:

    hi mika.i just stumbled on your website and goshhhhhh,it looks so perfect with countless recipes.but as i browse thru them,it seems like i cant find something that is egg 5 year old boy has never had a cake at all due to his severe nuts and egg allergies. have been trying to research a very tasty cake or muffin that would interest him.pls let me know of any cake,special bread or cupcakes that you can recommend.manymany thanks.

    • Mika Mika says:

      Hi There! Yes, I can sympathize… it IS hard to find cake recipes without eggs. You might try my “Old Fashioned Chocolate Cake” recipe. This cake was made during the Great Depression when ingredients (such as eggs) were hard to come by. There are no eggs at all in that recipe, and it produces a wonderfully moist cake – you won’t even notice that it is any different from a regular chocolate cake. If you are making the recipe for a child, you might substitute water or decaf coffee instead of the regular coffee:

      • lazy daisy says:

        thank you soooooooooooo much mika!!!!!!!!!!!my little boy and i immediately baked it last night as a suprise cake for the father’s day tomorrow ( while my husbie is doing his night shift).and we put it on the fridge tonight we’ll taste it when his dad comes little boy is so excited!once again,many many thanks.

        • Mika Mika says:

          Yay! So glad it worked out for you! :) Let me know what you think when you have a chance to taste it.

    • Colette says:

      Hi I don’t know if you will get this comment laisy daisy. But for anyone else who reads this it may help. I accidently made the banana cake without eggs and it turned out perfectly fine for me. Maybe it was just a one time eggless fluke but if you wanted to try it without eggs it may just work for you.

      Going to make it again with eggs to see what the texture difference is, just waiting for some bananas to get too ripe :) If I remember I’ll reply back to say what the egg making difference is.

  3. CDouglas says:

    hey….!! where’s the little chocolate swirls in the frosting? \ ;>)~

    • Mika Mika says:

      I mean the OLD Banana Cake…. from the early 80′s. Not the new one that was discontinued. The old one does not have chocolate in it.

    • Christy says:

      The banana cake with the chocolate swirls in it is the one I remember too. I bet this cake base is the same. Printed it out – Need to try it!

      Oh and by the way, I thought I was the only one who knew about the freezing trick and the moisture.

      Thanks for posting!

      • Mika Mika says:

        You’re welcome! I must be really old… remembering the OLD OLD cake! Lol!

  4. CDouglas says:

    i can’t find this cake either …anywhere. i live in central virginia. i remember as a college student, when i had a few extra funds (which was rare) i could literally devour a whole cake in one sitting. well, maybe half a cake in one sitting. a local store called ukrops carried. ukrops has since been bought out by martin’s. but the only availability it seemed was back in the glory days — 25 years ago!

  5. Samantha says:

    Can I make this in cupcake form? What would I have to change to do that?

    • Mika Mika says:

      You probably can make this in cupcake form… but I’ve never done it before, so you might have to experiment. I would estimate anywhere from 25-35 minutes for the cupcakes… start checking at 25 minutes, and go from there baking longer as needed.

  6. Carol says:

    Hi Mika!
    This is the second recipe I am making from your website and this is the second time your Banana Cake is in my oven! Me and my family loved it the first time and had ripe bananas today and thought of your Banana Cake recipe!
    It totally replaced making ripe bananas into bread! LOL!
    Thank you so much once again for a great shared recipe!


    • Mika Mika says:

      Hi Carol! Thanks for the comment! I love this cake too… glad I could help. :)

      • Carol says:

        Can I freeze this for days and then thaw it when I want to eat it? Just wondering if ever you tried or know how it would be like with taste.

        • Mika Mika says:

          Yes you can freeze this and thaw when you want it. Just don’t freeze it too long – and make sure you wrap it tightly otherwise it will develop freezer burn or absorb odd odors/flavors from the freezer.

  7. tami says:

    I remember the icing as having a banana flavor. I’ll try the recipe!

  8. lisa says:

    On a site note “Entenmann” is german and means “duck man”! I wonder how his ancestors got that name… ;) Lovely cake, a bit unusual, which makes me want to try it out.

  9. Chidinma says:

    Am making this cake on Saturday, what can I use in place of sour cream? Does it taste better the next day cos I need to share it with my friends. Thanks.

    • Mika Mika says:

      Hi there! In the cake batter, you can use plain yogurt or buttermilk in the place of the sour cream.
      And yes – you can make it the day before… with banana cakes and breads, for some reason, it’s always better tasting on the 2nd day. Just cover the pan with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight after frosting.

      • Chidinma says:

        Ok thanks!

  10. Jasmine says:

    I found this recipe when I was feigning for the same banana cake (except not the version you are familiar with since I am much younger thank you) and it was delicious! I know they discontinued their cake like 3-4 years ago, but the other day I was at the supermarket and looked down and saw the Banana cake! I thought to myself “am I dreaming?” The saying “when you’re not looking for it, you will find it,” is definitely true. I am in heaven right now, laying down eating this cake with hagendasz ice-cream. I mean, when you make things yourself it is always better than pre-packaged stuff, but unfortunately, bananas don’t last a while in this house. we all love to eat bananas! thank you for posting this recipe :)

  11. Banana Cake Fiend!! says:

    I am getting ready to try this recipe RIGHT NOW !! I remember the one with the chocolate too but I think the base recipe may be the same…..I’m so excited

  12. Kathleen says:

    Can you mix a banana in the icing to make it banana flavored icing?

    • Mika Mika says:

      You could… however, the mashed banana will oxidize fairly quickly and turn brown. You could try it, but I would add a little bit of lemon juice to the mashed banana first before doing so to try to prevent some of the oxidization. You could try leaving the frosting as is, and mix in 1-2 tsp. banana flavoring/extract as an alternative.

  13. Joyce says:

    Hi Mika! I just want to thank you for your amazing recipes. I’ve made the coconut milk bread ten times, made raisin bread using your Japanese milk bread recipe a few times (my mom loooves this bread!), and I just made this banana cake last week and gave half to my in-laws. My 2-year-old nephew insisted on a video chat to thank me “face to face” for the yummy banana cake. This cake is so delicious! I’ve never tried the Entenmann version, but your recipe truly stands on its own, copycat or not! I had a brief moment of panic when your website was down this past weekend because I hadn’t saved any of the recipes! Thank you so much for your incredibly detailed recipes!

    • Mika Mika says:

      You’re welcome! I appreciate the feedback. :)

      Sorry about the outage… the hosting company had some technical issues over the past week so we are upgrading/updating the site. Hopefully it will run faster once we update… just FYI it might be down a bit here and there this weekend as we make some changes.

  14. Summer says:

    Im making this cake right Now I’m so excited to tired it.. just wanted to known if it was be okay to use whipped cream cheese for the frosting part

    • Mika Mika says:

      Sure… I don’t see why not. Whipped cream sounds good!

  15. Jane says:

    Can’t wait to try this recipe. I never heard about the freezer hint. Can this be done for other cakes as well?

    • Mika Mika says:

      Yes it can. I often freeze cakes after baking and they turn out nice and moist. Just be careful to wrap tightly so that freezer odors do not get into the cake!

    • Jane says:

      I always freeze cakes, but never right from the oven.

      • Mika Mika says:

        Yeah I thought it was weird too when I first heard about the technique… but it seems to work well!

  16. Amanda says:

    Hi Mika, I’m not sure you’ll receive this but I’m so excited to make this cake for thanksgiving tomorrow! But I wanted to make it tonight (Wednesday) and then serve it tomorrow (Thursday) for thanksgiving. I was planning to make the frosting tomorrow. So when the cake is done tonight do l keep it in the freezer until tomorrow or do I take it out after the hour and leave it out until tomorrow when I make the frosting?

    • Mika Mika says:

      Sorry for the late reply. You can probably do either! Hope you had a great Thanksgiving!