This Banana Chocolate Chip cake is paired with the most amazing peanut butter frosting you will ever have! It’s a truly delicious flavor combination and a new favorite.
This is one of those recipes that turned out better than I expected. I mean, I expected it to be good — who doesn’t love peanut butter and chocolate together in a banana bread-like cake? But this cake is a whole ‘nother level.
The idea kinda started when I wanted to transform my favorite Chocolate Chip Banana Bread into a cake. I had done a Blueberry Banana Cake before, so it didn’t take too much tweaking to add chocolate chips instead of blueberries, but it’s really the peanut butter frosting that takes this cake to over the top deliciousness.
The Banana Chocolate Chip Cake itself is a bit denser than my usual cakes due to the banana in it, but I lightened it up with cake flour to balance that out a bit. The flavor of the banana really comes through, but it’s very important to use overripe bananas for this!!
Mine were quite brown, mushy, and had that overly-strong banana smell. Bananas in this state actually really gross me out. The smell is TOO strong. You know your bananas are overripe when you can smell them when you come into the kitchen!
If you use fresh ripe bananas, they will be hard to mash up and the flavor just won’t be there. There are methods to speed up the ripening of bananas, but I’ve never tried them. If you have, I’d love to hear your results!
I chose to use mini semi-sweet chocolate chips in the cake, but you could use dark or milk if you prefer. I think semi-sweet give the best flavor overall though.
I also chopped up some peanuts to sprinkle between each layer — it’s optional, but adds additional flavor and texture, which I love.
Now, the frosting. The heavenly, silky, peanut butter frosting!! You’ll be wanting to eat this stuff with a spoon, which I did, gladly. I used the same brown sugar Swiss meringue that I used in my Pecan Pie Cake as the base for this, as I wanted it to be brown and I knew that the peanut butter alone wouldn’t quite get me the color I wanted.
Brown sugar Swiss meringue is one of my favorite things!! It adds such a delicious caramel flavor and color. I like to use dark brown sugar to amplify the color, but light brown would work too.
It’s important that you don’t use natural peanut butter. It might work ok, but I have never tried and have my doubts — it’s much oilier than regular peanut butter, which could affect the texture of the frosting.
This peanut butter frosting is a bit on the softer side. Since making it, I experimented with using peanut butter powder instead and much prefer that option. It makes for a more stable buttercream, but both are equally delicious.
The peanut butter, banana, chocolate chip combo is amazing together! I hope you love it as much as I do.
Looking for more Peanut Butter recipes??
- Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
- Peanut Butter S’mores Cookies
- Peanut Butter & Jelly Cake
- Reeses Peanut Butter Chocolate Cake
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bread
Tips for making this Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting:
- Make sure the bananas you use are overripe, soft, and strong smelling for best taste and texture!
- Do not use natural peanut butter in the frosting. It’s too oily and could affect the texture.
- For extra flavor and texture I added some chopped up peanuts between the layers.
- I used mini semi-sweet chocolate chips, but you could use any kind you like.
- Be sure to check my Swiss Meringue Buttercream post for tips and troubleshooting.
- To help ensure your cake layers bake up nice and flat, see my Flat Top Cakes post.
Banana Chocolate Chip Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting
Banana Chocolate Chip Cake:
- 2 cups cake flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup mashed overripe bananas approx. 2 medium
- 1/2 cup buttermilk room temperature
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips tossed in 1 tsp cake flour
Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- 6 large egg whites
- 1 2/3 cup dark brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 3/4 cup peanut butter not natural
- 1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts
- rough chopped peanuts optional
- mini chocolate chips optional
Banana Chocolate Chip Cake:
- Preheat oven to 350F. Grease and flour three 6″ cake rounds, line with parchment.
- In a medium bowl, whisk cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside .
- In a small measuring cup, combine mashed bananas and buttermilk.
- Beat butter until smooth. Add sugar and beat on med-high until pale and fluffy (2-3mins).
- Reduce speed and add eggs one at a time, fully incorporating after each addition. Add vanilla and mix until well combined.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour (3 additions of flour and 2 of buttermilk). Fully incorporating after each addition. Do not overmix.
- Gently fold in chocolate chips.
- Spread batter evenly into prepared pans and bake for 35-40mins or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out mostly clean.
- Place cakes on wire rack to cool for 10mins then turn out onto wire rack to cool completely.
Peanut Butter Swiss Meringue Buttercream:
- Place egg whites and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk until combined.*
- Place bowl over a double boiler on the stove and whisk constantly until the mixture is hot and no longer grainy to the touch (approx. 3mins). Or registers 160F on a candy thermometer.
- Place bowl on your stand mixer and whisk on med-high until the meringue is stiff and cooled (the bowl is no longer warm to the touch (approx. 5-10mins)).
- Switch to paddle attachment. Slowly add cubed butter and mix until smooth.**
- Add vanilla and peanut butter and and whip until smooth.
- Place one layer of cake on a cake stand or serving plate. Top with 2/3 cup of frosting. Sprinkle with 2 Tbsp chopped peanuts. Repeat with remaining layers and apply a thin coat of frosting all over the cake. Chill for 20mins.
- Frost the cake. Smooth the sides and top of the cake then use a 1M tip to pipe dollops on top with remaining frosting.
- Do a border of peanuts and chocolate chips along the bottom if desired.
** The buttercream may look like it’s curdled at some point. Keep mixing until it is completely smooth.
Lori Bogdanovich says
I have been searching for this cake and really excited to make it.
Hi Lori! I hope you love it 🙂
How will this do as cupcakes? Is there anything I would need to adjust, other than bake time?
Hi Michele! It should work fine as cupcakes and should make 18-24 depending on size. Start checking them at 15mins or so.
Liv do you prefer/recommend this pb frosting vs the one you do with pb powder? I’ve done the pb powder one a few times and we arw big fans of it.
Hi Rachel! I prefer the one with PB powder personally as it is thicker and easier to work with.
I’m really want to try this recipe, but I don’t have 6-inch round pans. Should I double the recipe if I use 8- or 9-inch pans, and how many layers? Also, has anyone tried using bananas that have been frozen and letting them thaw. Does it still turn out well?
Hi Kristin! This recipe will work, as-is, in two 8″ cake pans. The layers may be slightly thinner so baking time may be a bit shorter. Frozen (thawed) bananas should work too.
I was hoping you’d say that! Its our favorite and I wasn’t sure I wanted to try something new. Thank you!!
Hello! Can this cake be made ahead of time and put in the freezer? If so, for how long? Can’t wait to try this! Thanks!
Hi Selina! Yes, for sure. Here are my tips for baking in advance:
For the Cake: Cool the layers, double wrap in plastic wrap, freeze for up to 3 months. Take out 2-3 hours before assembly.
For the Buttercream: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 1 week for freeze for 3 months. Bring to room temperature and rewhip before using.
Finished Cake: The whole frosted cake can be frozen as long as it is stored in something airtight.
Olivia, thank you so much for your quick reply! Can’t wait to try this out today! Be well, Selina
Samantha Renee says
The cake was delicious (did not make the frosting). I honestly thought 2 banana wouldnt be enough but it was and there was no mistaking that it was a banana cake. The layers came out kind of thin though but it was fine. Good cake! Paired it with a cream cheese peanut butter frosting.
Hi Samantha! So happy you loved this one 🙂
Just asking and what you recommend, I’m in the uk and we do not have cake flour. How would you substitute this?
Hi Thomas! You can use all-purpose flour but the cake will be slightly more dense. Or you can make your own cake flour at home. For every cup of flour, remove 2 Tbsp and add 2Tbsp of cornstarch. Sift and wish well to combine.
Katrina kozij says
My cakes turned out pancake thin. Not really sure what I did wrong
Hi Katrina! Did you use the correct pan size? Is your baking powder fresh?
I’m making day before and just wanted to check on storage? Room temp or fridge?
Hi Courtney! It will be fine at room temp for a day or two but since the buttercream is already quite soft I would refrigerate and take out 2-3 hours before serving.
Hola me podrías orientar cual es la mantequilla de maní no natural por favor
Hi Xiomara! Natural peanut butter has the oil separated from it in the jars. Non-natural are brands like Kraft, Skippy, Jif etc.
I have two questions because I’m not a pro baker or baker at all:
1. 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter means 3 sticks of Butter?
2. I would like to make the frosting a test, is there a way you can pass along a recipe like half or less of the original?
Also, is it ok to use the Extra Crunchy Peanut Butter? That’s the only one I have right now. But if isn’t ok, I can go buy one without the chunks.
Hi Mary! For your test frosting, I think that will be fine if you don’t mind the chunks, but for the final, I would use smooth pb for best results. If you can find peanut butter powder that would be ideal as it won’t affect the texture of the frosting. This one tends to be a bit soft. I have another version of the pb frosting here.
Hi Mary! Yes, 3 sticks of butter. To reduce the frosting amount, change the Servings to 6 and that should adjust the numbers.
Niceee! I didn’t know about that feature. Thank you so much!
I’ll make this one for my husband’s birthday, wish me luck! 🙂
Good luck!! Let me know how it turns out 🙂
I made this cake a few days ago. It came out sooo good! I don’t usually bake cakes and was very surprised and impressed 🙂 Tried to bake same type of cake a few days earlier from a different recipe but didn’t come out good at all. So if you are still thinking and looking, stop, this is THE ONE! My husband absolutely loved it. I read instructions very thoroughly and also followed the separate link to Swiss meringue. I used peanut powder for the frosting, and a bit less sugar ( but this is personal preference). Thank you so much for this recipe!!!
Hi Katerina! So happy to hear you liked it and that you baked a cake! 🙂 Thank you for your sweet comment — glad to know the PB powder worked well for you!!
Hi! I’m very excited to try this recipe for my boyfriend’s 30th birthday. We live at high altitude (about 6,000 ft.). I was wondering if you have any tips for adjusting this recipe for high altitude?
Hi Erzsi! I haven’t baked at high altitude myself, but always refer people to these tips: https://www.kingarthurflour.com/learn/resources/high-altitude-baking It may require some experimentation.
6 inch pan. What is the height? 2 or 3 inches?
Also may i have the recipe for the swiss meringue with pb powder?
Hi Diane! Either will work but I most often use 2″ tall ones — the cakes bake right to the top though. This recipe has the powdered pb in it: https://livforcake.com/peanut-butter-chocolate-cake/
Hi there, if you use the peanut butter powder instead of peanut butter do you still use 3/4 C of the powder?
Hi Lauren! Here’s my recipe for using PB powder: https://livforcake.com/peanut-butter-chocolate-cake/