Naked Banana Cake

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Sometimes I realize that baking can be like art that I so enjoy creating, (and then eating!) Recently I have discovered the rustic simplicity that is a naked cake and I can’t get enough. What is a “naked cake” do you ask? Well, it’s pretty darn simple is what it is. It’s a layer cake without the hassle of frosting on the outside. Sometimes they are left completely bare, but the way I have fallen in love with them is with a super thin layer of frosting around the outside- leaving the layers clearly visible.

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What’s amazing about a naked cake is that they really are a clean slate for decorating any way you choose. I love the look of flowers on them, how perfect for a wedding, shower, christening etc? I’m also excited to make some topped with berries or even drippy, gooey caramel. Really the options for decorating are endless. The options for flavors of cake and frosting also leave a lot up to your imagination, as pretty much any combo would work. I already have my mind set on making one with fresh berries layered between the cake and frosting- wouldn’t that be lovely?

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I know I didn’t cut into this cake for pics to really show the texture of the cake. (I just couldn’t bear to serve it any other way than in it’s full beauty,) but man oh man is this banana cake fabulous. It is the lightest, fluffiest banana cake I’ve ever made and I know it’s the new standard recipe for any banana cake in my future. The light and fluffy cake paired with the creamy frosting is just a match made in heaven.

What do you think about this naked cake trend? Would you like a step by step tutorial on making them?

Naked Banana Cake

Naked Banana Cake

Yield: 12 servings

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 3 eggs- room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk- room temperature
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas Ii got this from 2 large bananas)
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder

For the Frosting:

  • 12 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 8 oz butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or extract
  • 4 cups powdered sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat over to 375F. Prepare your cake pans by greasing, dusting with flour and lining with a parchment round. Set aside. (I used 3- 6inch pans for this cake, thinner layer in an 8 or 9 inch pan would work too.)
  2. In a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar. Add the vanilla and then the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the buttermilk and bananas until well-combined.
  3. In a smaller bowl, stir together the dry ingredients. Add them to the batter and beat on low, mixing until almost combined, finishing off mixing by hand, making sure to not over-mix the batter.
  4. Divide batter evenly amongst the 3 pans, and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the cake is golden and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow cakes to cool before removing from pans and frosting.

For the Frosting:

  1. Cream together the cream cheese and butter until smooth. Add the vanilla and the powdered sugar, a little at a time until the frosting is smooth and creamy. Add more powdered sugar if you want a more stiff-textured frosting.

Notes

Adapted from: All Recipes

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram


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34 Comments

  1. Your cake is positively stunning Audra! I love this flavour :)

  2. you knocked this out of the park audra. LOVE this so much.
    How did you get your layers to be so even and flat? Did you put that wet cloth around the edges of the pan while baking? Did you slice them after? Did you weigh the batter to make it even? Share the secrets of this PERFECTION!!!!! Also I have some clothes for Hugo if you want them! :)

    1. So I am going to do a video tutorial sometime soon of this whole process, but to answer your questions: :)
      No to the wet cloth! I just eyeballed spreading the batter out evenly between the 3 pans and then used a serrated knife to level them :) I always put an upside down layer on top so it is perfectly flat!

      1. Jeannie LaPrelle says:

        yes we need a tutorial!

  3. Baker Momma says:

    Not only beautiful but I had the pleasure of tasting this cake and it was unbelievably delicious!

  4. Everything you make looks incredible! This one is a must make for me! Thanks much for sharing this beauty with us.

  5. This cake is so beautiful!

  6. I LOVE your cake, it is beautiful! Pinning it onto my Wedding Cakes board right now….do you need to be careful which flowers you put on? Do they need to be edible/pesticide free? If so, where do you get them from? Thanks.

    1. I don’t think they need to be edible, I’d just wash them like you would other produce :)

  7. Somehow my naked cakes always end up looking like I tried to frost, then failed, then gave up…but yours looks perfect! This could be a wedding cake, it looks so good. If I ever get married again… :P

  8. This is such a gorgeous cake! I love naked cakes too! Reminds me of everything shabby-chic! I love all your recipes, so I’m sure this banana cake will be perfection too!

    I would love for you to check out my blog! Its called The Whisking Bowl.

    Momina :)

  9. This is pure perfection! The frosting looks so dreamy!

  10. Love the look of this cake! I know you wrote in another comment that you might do a video tutorial… ? [:

    1. & do you use salted or unsalted butter?

    2. Yes we are moving cross country soon but when we do I’m planning on starting to do some videos including this! :)

  11. Did you ever make that tutorial for your naked cake? I would love help with a cake I’m making for a cousins wedding.

  12. Hello! I recently made this cake for my daughter’s first birthday (also added salted caramel between the layers and used a smaller tin with one extra layer) and it was a hit! So moist and delicious. Thanks for the inspiration :)

  13. cakengifts.in says:

    Wow, How was wonderful cake, all my frinedss always prefer this cake. they like it very much. So at each party we we prefer only this cake.

  14. your cake does not rise! I’ve tried it now twice.

    1. Make sure your baking soda and powder in not out of date. Secret to baking is all ingredients need to be room temperature. I just finished making this cake. I used almost a cup of buttermilk.

  15. Daniela González says:

    Should I use salted or unsalted butter for this recipe? Thanks!

  16. I made this cake for my daughters first birthday party and it was SO good!! Thank you for sharing!!

  17. I am going to make this for my son’s wedding in May. Casual, backyard, but I don’t decorate usually. How many does this serve? Can I make it 4 layers. Any help would be appreciated.

  18. I chose this recipe because it had buttermilk and not too much sugar, I will definitely make this again because it was very moist. I added chopped walnuts on top of each layer, A Pinterest “win”.

  19. Hi, Thanks for the recipe! Could I ask if the quantities above would be enough for a triple layer cake like the one pictured or would I need to triple the recipe? Thanks

  20. KAREN Elizabeth BEAGLES says:

    I just made this for my wedding and it was AmAzing!!!

  21. Karen McColl says:

    Do I thin out the icing for skimming the sides?

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