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Banana Poppy Seed Cake

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The flavor in this banana poppy seed cake is simply scrumptious. The cake is tender and has a wonderful crumb, and the banana buttercream frosting has the perfect sweetness to compliment this delicious cake.

A vertical title text overlay collage image of banana poppy seed cake with banana buttercream frosting

You simply must find a reason to celebrate, and then make yourself this banana poppy seed layer cake with banana buttercream frosting. You’ll be glad you did!

**Please Note – The printable recipe card with detailed instructions, complete ingredient measurements, and nutritional information for making Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Banana Buttercream Frosting is available at the end of this post. OR you can hit the “jump to recipe” button (found above) to be taken directly to the recipe. 


A vertical closeup of a slice of banana poppy seed cake on a pretty plate with the whole cake in the background.

The ingredient list:

**Note – The following lists of ingredients plus kitchen tools and equipment contain affiliate links (highlighted in blue) for your consideration and shopping convenience. #CommissionsEarned

  • overripe bananas
  • granulated sugar
  • all-purpose flour
  • baking powder
  • eggs
  • butter (I use salted)
  • salt
  • poppy seeds
  • confectioners sugar
  • pure vanilla extract
  • chopped nuts (I used macadamia in the original version and chopped pecans in the updated version)

Kitchen tools and equipment needed:

A closeup of a slice of banana poppy seed cake on a pretty china plate with a gold fork.

**Disclaimer – This recipe was originally published in 2013. I’m working hard to update all my older recipes with recipe cards, new photos, and additional recipe information, but getting to all of them will take time. Please bear with me. In the meantime let me assure you that this recipe is still a winner and one I’m sure you’ll be well pleased with when you make it at home.

A whole banana poppy seed cake on a glass cake stand covered in chopped macadamia nut cookies
A banana poppy seed cake on a glass cake stand with two slices of cake on plates with a pink background.

What I said about this banana poppy seed cake in 2013:

I don’t bake many cakes, layer or otherwise, because I find them too tempting to have in the house if there’s not a lot of other people to share them with, or a big reason to celebrate.

When my kids were little I always baked and decorated their birthday cakes. However, I hardly ever made them from scratch, or for reasons other than a birthday celebration.

Back in the day, Betty Crocker and Duncan Heinz were two of my closest friends!

How this recipe came to be:

I made this cake to celebrate two wedding anniversaries. Mine and my husband’s and our very best friends. The results were very tasty indeed.

I remembered from years ago that our friends both used to enjoy the Sara Lee banana cake that could be purchased in the freezer case at the grocery store.  

I wanted to try and mimic what I remember that cake tasted like, and I think I hit the nail pretty squarely on the head with this banana poppy seed cake with banana buttercream frosting.

The inspiration for this recipe:

The recipe I started with, for both the cake and the frosting, came from the cookbook “At My Grandmother’s Table” by Faye Porter.  

I adapted the recipe only slightly.

How to store banana poppy seed cake:

Store this cake in an air-tight cake container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days.

Can this cake be frozen?

I don’t recommend freezing the completed cake after it’s been frosted, but if you’d like to make and bake the cake rounds, wrap them well (individually, and once completely cooled) in plastic wrap.

Freeze the cake for up to 3 months.

When you’re ready to make and assemble the cake, make the banana buttercream, and frost the thawed cake as the recipe suggests.

How to slice a cake for an even layer cake:

An overhead horizontal photo of an entire banana poppy seed cake on a glass cake plate covered in pecans.

Serving suggestions:

Allow the banana cake to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

How to properly cut and serve a layer cake:


How to make banana buttercream frosting:

  • In a large bowl with a hand mixer, or in the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter, overripe bananas, confectioners sugar, and pure vanilla extract until smooth and creamy.

Can the nuts be omitted from this recipe?

Yes. By all means, if you aren’t a fan of nuts you can certainly leave them off.

However, if you’d like to switch the type of nut called for in this recipe, then you’re more than welcome to use whatever nut happens to be your favorite.

Chopped pecans, walnuts, cashews, or even honey-roasted peanuts come to mind as good options.

A photo collage of a banana poppy seed cake on a cake stand with a title text overlay graphic

Below is the printable recipe card along with the exact ingredient measurements and nutritional information for making today’s banana poppy seed cake with banana butter cream frosting.

An entire banana poppy seed cake covered in pecans on a glass cake plate.

Banana Poppy Seed Cake with Banana Buttercream Frosting

Renee – Kudos Kitchen
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Additional Time 1 hr
Total Time 1 hr 45 mins
Course Desserts
Cuisine banana layer cake
Servings 16 slices
Calories 399 kcal


  • cups granulated sugar
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 large overripe bananas peeled
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds
  • 8 tablespoons butter melted
  • 2-3 overripe bananas peeled
  • 8 tablespoons butter softened
  • 5 cups confectioners sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • cups chopped macadamia nuts optional, or other chopped nuts


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.


  • In a large bowl combine all of the ingredients for the cake (except the butter) and blend well until combined.
  • Pour in the melted butter and stir well to combine.
  • Pour the batter evenly into the two prepared cake pans that have been sprayed liberally with baking spray.
  • Bake for approximately 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of each cake comes out clean.
  • Cool the cakes for 15 minutes and then turn them out onto cooling racks to cool completely. (Once cooked, if needed, use a serrated knife to level off any uneven cake surfaces).
  • Before frosting freeze the cakes for 20 minutes.


  • Place all the frosting ingredients in a large bowl and blend at very low speed.
  • Once the ingredients come together, turn the speed to high and blend until the frosting becomes a smooth and spreadable consistency.
  • Once cooled, remove the cakes from the freezer and place one of the cake discs on a platter or cake stand of your choice.
  • Using an offset spatula (or large butter knife) place approximately 1 cup of the frosting on the top of the cake layer and spread the frosting evenly around the cake top.
  • Place the second cake round directly on top of the iced round and frost that layer with approximately 2/3 cup of the frosting.
  • When frosting the sides of the cake, an offset spatula works best when placing a thin layer of icing around the sides of the cake.
  • Note ~ This first layer of thin frosting is the "crumb coat" and it will prevent crumbs from coming off the cake and mixing in with your beautiful frosting. Make sure when icing your cake with the crumb coat that you work the frosting in only one direction. This will additionally help the cake stay intact without crumbs forming in the frosting.
  • Place the crumb-coated cake in the fridge for approximately 30 minutes to set.
  • You can now slather frosting liberally on the top and sides of your crumb coated cake.
  • Once the cake is completely iced place some of the chopped macadamia nuts in your cupped fingertips and gently press the nuts onto the iced sides.
  • Continue placing the nuts around the entire cake and refrigerate until 30 minutes before serving.
  • Allow the cake to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Enjoy!


Note ~ Any leftover frosting can be saved and used for cupcakes or cinnamon rolls. YUM!


Serving: 1sliceCalories: 399kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 4gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 9gPolyunsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 55mgSodium: 311mgFiber: 3gSugar: 28g
Keyword banana buttercream frosting, banana layer cake, banana poppy seed cake
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


Thank you so much for visiting me here today in my Kudos Kitchen!

I sincerely hope you’ve enjoyed today’s banana layer cake recipe as much as I’ve enjoyed bringing it to you!

A vertical image of a slice of banana poppy seed cake on a pretty plate with a gold fork with a piece of cake on it.

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Until we eat again, I hope you have a delicious day!

Kudos Kitchen by Renee Signature

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Recipe Rating


Sunday 6th of October 2013

Your "baby steps" into homemade cake baking are pretty steady Renee. This looks moist and delicious and I'm sure it was a big hit with your best friends. What a nice thing to have done for their anniversary. I bet they didn't have to be asked twice if they wanted to take any leftovers home with them ;)