Chocolate Banana Cake with Coconut

Today is my birthday. Whoot! We’re celebrating with a decadent Chocolate Banana Cake. Rich banana coconut cake layered with a silky whipped chocolate frosting then topped with dark chocolate ganache. It almost makes me not mind getting older.

Secretly, I have never minded getting older. I know I should.

I should mind the slowing metabolism and the loose skin…

I just keep telling myself I’m getting wiser as I age, and that is WAY better than being perky and stupid.


Here are a few bits of wisdom I’ve learned over the long, LONG years. I thought I’d share them with you youngsters:

(Imagine me sitting in my rocker, waving a cane at you.)

  • You WILL turn into your mother (or father for you guys) so you might as well start liking her/him now.
  • Don’t judge parents you see making mistakes out in public. Your deja vu moment will come, when you find yourself doing the EXACT same thing with your kids.
  • NEVER trust someone who constantly talks about how honest they are, and how their intentions are pure. Chances are high, they’re a big fat liar.
  • If it was a mistake when your friend did it, it will STILL be a mistake when you do it. (Whatever “it” is.) You are not the exception to the rule.
  • Just because you are RIGHT, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t say you are sorry. The high road is flanked with uncountable apologies.
  • If EVERYONE who loves you, hates your boyfriend/girlfriend/fiance… cut it off ASAP. Your heart-shaped glasses are leading you down a long painful path.
  • Thank you notes are still in style; all the cool kids are doing it. Be GRATEFUL for the little things.
  • LISTEN when older people are giving advice. They’re not just rattling on; they’ve actually been there. (Ahem… like right now puppy.)
  • ALWAYS eat cake when it’s offered. It might be the best cake ever, or possibly your last cake ever.

Now I’m not telling you this is the best cake ever. There are too many wonderful cakes in the world, and on this site, to claim such a thing.

But I will say, this chocolate banana cake is my favorite cake right now. If you love a chocolate covered banana sprinkled with sweet coconut, this cake is all for you baby!

A light, yet rich, chocolate banana cake, layered with creamy whipped chocolate frosting, then smothered in dark chocolate ganache.

The banana coconut cake layers are so equally balanced, it’s not just a chocolate banana cake or a chocolate coconut cake, it’s both. Not that titles matter.

The whipped chocolate frosting is airy and just slightly sweet. Then a hefty does of chocolate ganache oozes down the sides for a rich chocolatey finish.

When making layer cakes, if time permits, I like to turn it into a two day process. The reason for this is visual appeal.

I wrap each banana coconut cake layer well and freeze them. On day two when it is time to frost the cakes, the whipped chocolate frosting doesn’t drag crumbs throughout it, and the chocolate banana cake is much easier to level because the layers are hard.

Once the cake is completely decorated, I place it in the fridge, so the inside can thaw slowly.

This freezing-thawing process works like a charm and makes my odds of producing a pretty cake much higher.

I like pretty cakes.

So I hope your day is as dazzling as mine is sure to be, and remember what I said about liars, apologies, boys and cake. I’m here to make your life a little easier!



Yield: 12 slices

Prep Time: 1 hour active time

Cook Time: 35 minutes

Chocolate Banana Cake

Banana Coconut Cake layered with Whipped Chocolate Frosting and Chocolate Ganache


For the Chocolate Banana Cake:
3 sticks unsalted butter, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
3 cups cake flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 large egg whites
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups full fat buttermilk
2 large ripe bananas, smashed
1 cup shredded coconut

For the Whipped Chocolate Frosting:
3 cups heavy cream
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

For the Chocolate Ganache and Garnish:
10 ounces dark chocolate
1 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons corn syrup
1 cup toasted coconut


For the Banana Coconut Cake: Preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour three 9-inch cake pans.

Cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs whites, vanilla and smashed banana. Beat on medium speed until combined, scraping down bowl as needed.

Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and baking powder in a medium bowl.

Add 1/3 of the flour mixture and beat on low, until combined. Add half the buttermilk, beat until combined. Continue alternating ingredients, ending with the flour. Scrape the sides and bottom of bowl as needed.

Finally add the shredded coconut and mix to combine.

Divide the batter into prepared pans. Bake for 25-35 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool in the pans on a cooling rack for 10 minutes. Invert the cakes onto the cooling racks and cool completely.

Wrap each cake separately and freeze.

For the Whipped Chocolate Frosting: Place all the ingredients in a clean mixing bowl and beat on high until stiff peaks form.

Unwrap the frozen cakes. Divide 1/4 of the whipped frosting on the bottom layer, 1/4 on the middle layer, and 1/2 of the frosting on the top layer. Spread the frosting evenly over the bottom layers, then stack the three cakes, level, and spread the large amount of frosting (on the top layer) over the top and down the sides.

Press the shredded coconut around the bottom half and the cake and place in the fridge to chill.

For the Chocolate Ganache: Heat the heavy cream in the microwave until it simmers. Remove and add the chocolate. Allow it to sit for 10 minutes then add the corn syrup and gently stir. Once smooth, tap the bowl on the counter to remove bubbles. Cool to room-temperature.

Once the ganache is cool, pour over the top of the cake and spread to the sides, allowing the ganache to run down.

Chill until ready to serve. *When serving, I like to cut the slices then allow them to sit for a few minutes so the cake warms up a little.

Struggle with baking? Read this article on Common Baking Issues!

More Celebration Cakes:

Cherry Buttermilk Cupcakes with Cherry Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Truffle Mousse Cake

The Quintessential Chocolate Cake

Rose Birthday Cake ~ I Am Baker

Maple Cheesecake ~ Baked Bree

Root Beer Float Cupcakes ~ Dine and Dish

Chocolate Cake with Pudding Frosting ~ The Little Kitchen

Classic Chocolate Cake ~ Chasing Delicious

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90 Responses to “Chocolate Banana Cake with Coconut”

  1. #
    Carrie @ Kiss My Whisk — July 17, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

    Holy crap this looks amazing! I need to find an excuse to make it immediately!


  2. #
    Coco — July 18, 2012 @ 10:19 am

    That’s gorgeous, Sommer! Thanks for sharing your secret technique. I’ve got to try your cake. This really is a beautiful cake.


  3. #
    Roxana | Roxana's Home Baking — July 18, 2012 @ 1:13 pm

    Happy Birthday Sommer!
    This cake is just gorgeous. I love chocolate and coconut and adding the banana makes it even more irresistible! I would never refuse a slice of this cake!


  4. #
    Sarah @ Will Run for Pasta — July 18, 2012 @ 4:50 pm

    oh. my. goodness.

    That looks beyond amazing!


  5. #
    Bonnie Banters — July 19, 2012 @ 1:30 pm

    My 3-yr.. old grandson and I wish you a Big Happy Birthday! He and I say: “I want it, I want it, I want it!! Please don’t tell mommy we saw this!!


  6. #
    vianney — July 19, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

    Happy Birthday Sommer!!! That cake is a stunner!! I would love a HUGE slice. Have a great week!!


  7. #
    Feast on the Cheap — July 21, 2012 @ 4:27 pm

    Now THAT is a birthday cake. Holy cow.


  8. #
    Jenny — August 3, 2012 @ 3:55 pm

    Do you know if this recipe will still work if I cut it in half? I’m testing out cakes to make for a birthday party so I don’t want to make the entire thing. Thanks.


  9. #
    Erika — August 14, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

    So many birthdays coming up (mine included) and I think I just stumbled across the perfect one! Beautiful pics :)


  10. #
    Michelle — September 8, 2012 @ 6:11 am

    Sounds yummy! Can’t wait to make this! about how long do u need to freeze the cakes though?


  11. #
    fabtab — September 12, 2012 @ 8:29 am

    a little late, but HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYYYYY!!!

    and i’m agree about the few bits of wisdom!!!!!


    and the cake look amazinggggggggggg!!



  12. #
    Diane — November 16, 2012 @ 12:02 pm

    Hi, it’s way past your posting (and birthday, so let me be the first to wish you happy birthday for 2013!). My question is about the filling: as it is chocolate whipped cream, does it not begin to lose its air and become liquid after a few days? That’s what keeps me from using whipped cream in and on cakes. . . Thanks, Diane


  13. #
    crystal — January 6, 2013 @ 7:36 pm

    Omg! I made this the other day and it was even more amazing than I thought it would be! I was worried the cake would be more like a banana bread but I was pleasantly surprised :)) it was most and wonderful! I made everything exactly according to the directions except I substituted milk chocolate chips for the ginache. Thank you for this beautiful and delicious recipe! :)


    • Sommer — January 7th, 2013 @ 6:29 am

      Crystal, I’m so glad you liked it! :)


  14. #
    LizL — January 8, 2013 @ 3:20 pm

    My daughter and I made this cake yesterday 1/7/2013 for my Husbands birthday. We did not have cake flour so we made our own with corn starch and reg. flour, we also made our own buttermilk with reg. milk and vinegar. We did have the Whipping cream and made the chocolate whip cream frosting and tasted it and this was enough chocolate for Dad. Next time we will make the chocolate ganache for all to enjoy.
    This cake is so moist and not sweet sweet the whip cream frosting is just enough sweet, I will use the whip cream frosting for my other cakes and cupcakes. Thanks for this great recipe on Pinterest I will probably make this cake for myself on my birthday =)
    Love to Cook & Bake LizL in Calif


    • Sommer — January 8th, 2013 @ 4:40 pm

      Liz, Thanks for coming back to comment–I’m so glad you liked it! :)


  15. #
    Sandra — February 26, 2013 @ 11:11 pm

    Beautiful cake! Looks so delicious. I have 2 questions; do you use unsalted buyer in the cake, or regular butter. And did you use unsweetened dark chocolate for the ganache?


    • Sandra — February 26th, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

      *unsalted butter. Sorry.


      • Sommer — February 27th, 2013 @ 6:26 am

        Hi Sandra, I always use unsalted butter when baking so I can control the sodium, and I used 60% Dark Chocolate Bars for the ganache. Hope this helps!!

  16. #
    Anna — March 2, 2013 @ 10:14 am

    Looks awesome! Like your tutorial, the tips……and the advice! Dead on!


  17. #
    Ann — June 11, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

    Hello! I know I’m a bit late to the party, but wanted to give you feedback since I just made this cake today and it was absolutely FANTASTIC. I had bookmarked it a while back because it’s a gorgeous cake, but never got around to making it – more than worth the wait! One of the best cakes (if not the best/prettiest) I’ve ever had the pleasure of making. Thank you so much for the great recipe! Xo


    • Sommer — June 11th, 2013 @ 8:27 pm

      Ann, Thanks so much for coming back to tell me. You just made my day! :)


  18. #
    Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchen — July 13, 2013 @ 6:57 am

    Gorgeous! My all-time favorite cake is chocolate with white/vanilla frosting, but it’s hard to turn down any type… :)


  19. #
    Margaret M — July 13, 2013 @ 7:22 am

    Happy Birthday! Make mine German Chocolate please


  20. #
    Brisja — July 13, 2013 @ 9:26 am

    Wishing you a wonderful birthday! I love German chocolate or Lady Baltimore for a special birthday cake.


  21. #
    Maegan @ The BakerMama — July 13, 2013 @ 10:01 am

    Happy Happy Birthday! Loved reading your words of wisdom. My favorite is “Always eat cake when it’s offered”! I couldn’t agree more! Gorgeous cake! Hope you have a lovely day!


  22. #
    Kimber — August 11, 2013 @ 7:55 am

    I don’t know what I liked better, the actual recipe or your words of wisdom. Hmmm. It’s a toss up. ;-)


  23. #
    Kimber — August 11, 2013 @ 7:57 am

    I am calling you out girl. I just saw your photo on twitter and you are NOT old. It still seems like you have lots of wisdom though.


  24. #
    hotmail sign in with different account — September 29, 2013 @ 11:17 pm

    The is a best choice for newbie as well as an expert of keyboard player.
    With the full sized 88 key digital piano, Yamaha’s new
    P95 storms the market with some great features for a very reasonable price.
    The most serious piano teachers will adamantly point their students in the direction of an acoustic piano.


  25. #
    Zonia — February 24, 2014 @ 1:51 pm

    I can’t wait to try these recipes…..


  26. #
    Amanda — May 27, 2014 @ 7:36 am

    Do you think it would work if I left out the shredded coconut and added chocolate chips and walnuts?



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