Chocolate Banana Cake with Coconut


Today is my birthday. 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.

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!


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101 comments on “Chocolate Banana Cake with Coconut

  1. Lisa H.posted July 13, 2012 at 1:09 am Reply

    What an awesome cake! Everything I love and the blog is one that I will follow. I’ll make this over the weekend, I can’t wait.

  2. JulieDposted July 13, 2012 at 1:40 am Reply

    Happy Birthday, Sommer!! Hope it’s marvelous!! This cake looks amazing. I love chocolate and banana together!

    Your list of wisdom is awesome especially your 3rd and last points. If someone keeps telling you how great they are, chances are, they aren’t. It’s so darn true, showing is more telling than telling. Hope you enjoy your cake and have many many more birthdays!!

  3. Aninas Recipesposted July 13, 2012 at 3:04 am Reply

    Happy Happy! I love your funny and whimsical post, just puts a smile on my face! And FIY – I am turning 30 in a few weeks! YEEHA! Anyway, this recipe is absolutely divine, the problem with it all is that I would probably gobble the whole thing up on my own! Thanx!

  4. Belinda @zomppaposted July 13, 2012 at 4:04 am Reply

    HAPPY HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!! This definitely seems like the best cake ever!!! I will never turn down a slice. Great lessons….so true…and no reason to fear getting “old!” It’s more reason to have more cake.

  5. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugarposted July 13, 2012 at 4:44 am Reply

    Oh boy!! This sounds awesome!

  6. Jessica @ How Sweetposted July 13, 2012 at 5:17 am Reply

    OMG! This cake is unreal. Happy birthday my friend!!

  7. Marlyposted July 13, 2012 at 5:51 am Reply

    Happy Birthday, Sommer! What a fabulous cake! Can’t wait to give it a try.

  8. Jen @ Savory SImpleposted July 13, 2012 at 6:33 am Reply

    Happy Birthday! I don’t mind getting older *yet* because right now it seems like every year just gets better. I think this cake looks like a perfect way to celebrate your special day.

  9. Amyposted July 13, 2012 at 6:34 am Reply

    Happy Happy Birthday Sommer!

  10. Paula - bell'alimentoposted July 13, 2012 at 7:22 am Reply

    Happy Happy Birthday Sweets! That cake looks divine xoxo

  11. [email protected]posted July 13, 2012 at 7:31 am Reply

    Happy Birthday! This cake is gorgeous!!

  12. Robyn Stone | Add a Pinchposted July 13, 2012 at 7:32 am Reply

    Happy, Happy Birthday, Sommer!!! I hope your day is full of everything wonderful!

  13. Brenda @ a farmgirl's dabblesposted July 13, 2012 at 7:35 am Reply

    Excellent wisdom bits, Sommer. If I’d only been a bit more unperky and unstupid about some of those in my lifetime! Gorgeous cake, too – I love banana baked in most anything, and especially paired with chocolate. Happy, happy birthday to you!

  14. Heidi @foodiecrushposted July 13, 2012 at 7:40 am Reply

    Happy birthday! I never believed my mom when she told me she felt the same age as she did when she was 20 but I totes get it now. I’ll being my hearing aid over and we can rock out in the rocking chairs together.

  15. Jennyposted July 13, 2012 at 7:41 am Reply

    Looks incredible!

  16. Brian @ A Thought For Foodposted July 13, 2012 at 7:43 am Reply

    Happy Happy Birthday! Your words of wisdom are spot on. I will definitely be following these. :-)

  17. shelly (cookies and cups)posted July 13, 2012 at 7:57 am Reply

    Happy Birthday! This cake looks amazing.

  18. Katrinaposted July 13, 2012 at 8:07 am Reply

    I would love everything about this cake. And it IS pretty!
    Happy Birthday!

  19. Deb @ knitstamaticposted July 13, 2012 at 8:07 am Reply

    Happy Birthday!! What a beautiful cake, I just love the combination of chocolate, banana and coconut. Your advice is spot on. Alas I’ve come to learn much of that the hard way as well, sigh.

  20. Heather @girlichefposted July 13, 2012 at 8:21 am Reply

    That is definitely a gorgeous cake! And fantastic tips for the young ‘uns (so true). I hope you have an amazing day – Happy Birthday Sommer! :)

  21. Ali @ Gimme Some Ovenposted July 13, 2012 at 8:22 am Reply

    Oh my heavens — what a cake!!!!! Happy birthday!! :)

    And love the advice. Alas…so true!

  22. Jennifer @ Mother Thymeposted July 13, 2012 at 8:46 am Reply

    Happy Birthday! This cake is just perfect!

  23. Stephanie @ Eat. Drink. Love.posted July 13, 2012 at 9:31 am Reply

    Happy Birthday!!! I love bananas, especially in cake form! Perfect way to celebrate!

  24. TidyMomposted July 13, 2012 at 10:16 am Reply

    Happy Birthday Sommer! this cake looks and sounds amazing!

  25. bake your dayposted July 13, 2012 at 10:18 am Reply

    This is stunning Sommer. The cake and the words – I adore your advice…and the banana love! Have a fabulously happy birthday!

  26. Laura (Tutti Dolci)posted July 13, 2012 at 11:14 am Reply

    Wow, what a cake! I’m in ganache heaven :). Happy birthday to you, Sommer! I don’t have to tell you to celebrate with a decadent dessert – you already have that covered!

  27. Jeanetteposted July 13, 2012 at 12:31 pm Reply

    Happy Birthday Sommer – love all your wise tips, so true! Beautiful cake to celebrate your birthday with. Enjoy the day!

  28. Meg @ Sweet Twistposted July 13, 2012 at 12:58 pm Reply

    Happy Birthday! Beautiful photos!! The cake looks absolutely amazing!

  29. saraposted July 13, 2012 at 1:25 pm Reply

    Gorgeous!! This looks so delicious – chocolate and banana and coconut – yum!

  30. Nickiposted July 13, 2012 at 1:42 pm Reply

    Happy Birthday!
    Looking at this cake makes me all woozy – in a good way! Especially that thick coating of wonderful, glossy ganache… *diving into computer screen*

  31. Chung-Ah | Damn Deliciousposted July 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm Reply

    Happy birthday! And what a way to celebrate! I cannot think of anything better.

  32. AngieBposted July 13, 2012 at 2:44 pm Reply

    What a great birthday cake! Happy Birthday!

  33. marlaposted July 13, 2012 at 7:32 pm Reply

    I really cannot believe my eyes. This cake is stunning! I want.

  34. Lana @ Never Enough Thymeposted July 13, 2012 at 8:02 pm Reply

    What an absolutely gorgeous cake! And lots of really, really good advice.

  35. Jennie @themessybakerblogposted July 13, 2012 at 9:25 pm Reply

    All I can say is WOW! This is one beautiful cake. Happy birthday!

    Isn’t it weird how we turn into our Mothers. I’ll never admit it to her, but it totally happened. Enjoy your special day.

  36. Kathy - Panini Happyposted July 13, 2012 at 10:30 pm Reply

    Happy Birthday to you, Sommer!! And YUM, that is such a beautiful birthday cake. I hope you enjoyed every bite! :-)

  37. Michelle Torresposted July 14, 2012 at 5:56 am Reply

    Happy Birthday to you!!!! This cake looks so Amazing!!!! I may have to give this baby a try this weekend, or better yet, maybe I could come over and have a piece with you!!! ha.ha… I live in NC too, so tempting!!!! Have a great day!!

  38. Bev @ Bev Cooksposted July 14, 2012 at 7:40 am Reply

    Haaaappy Birthday, Sommer!

  39. Majaposted July 14, 2012 at 8:39 am Reply

    Happy Birthday! This cake looks fantastic. I’m sure it tastes as good as it looks like. I have to make it.

  40. Joyposted July 14, 2012 at 2:15 pm Reply

    The cake looks wonderful.

  41. Toni @ Boulder Locavoreposted July 14, 2012 at 5:39 pm Reply

    Sommer I tweeted you Happy Birthday already (can’t ever say it enough however!) but hoping you had a wonderful day. This cake is insane (at the risk of sounding to be channeling a 14 year old). There really is no other word for it. The flavors, the look and the oozing top layer of chocolate? Should be illegal. I loved every single one of your wisdom bites; ‘Amen’ is all I have to say about that!

  42. Megan Pence @ Wanna be a Country Cleaverposted July 14, 2012 at 7:46 pm Reply

    A) As I know I’m totally tardy to the party – Happy (Belated) Birthday!! I hope it was wonderful!
    ii) I am my mother. And I am totally 110% okay with it. That woman rocks. Even though she gave me bad eyes and HUGE calves, she gave me a great sense of humor and frankly, a really nice rack. Thanks, Ma!!
    3) I need a slice of this like – YESTERDAY!!

    • Sommerposted July 14, 2012 at 9:48 pm Reply

      Bahahaha! Love it Megan. Thanks mom indeed! :)

  43. Shilohposted July 14, 2012 at 8:07 pm Reply

    HBD! And yowzer!

  44. Aprilposted July 15, 2012 at 12:44 am Reply

    aww Summer, I love this! I love your advice too! It’s SO true! All of it! :)
    Now to find full fat buttermilk….will low fat do? Or should I use full fat yoghurt?

    • Sommerposted July 15, 2012 at 7:44 am Reply

      Hey April, if you can’t find full fat buttermilk, I’d buy full fat milk and add a little white vinegar. In about 5 minutes it curdles and makes buttermilk.

  45. Katarinaposted July 15, 2012 at 2:34 am Reply

    Congratulations! The cake looks great!

  46. Baker Streetposted July 15, 2012 at 4:55 am Reply

    Ooh! Happy Birthday Sommer! This cake looks incredible! LOVE that first picture and thank you for sharing those pearls of wisdom. :)

  47. Julia {The Roasted Root}posted July 15, 2012 at 3:06 pm Reply

    Your words of wisdom are funny, thought-provoking and true. Happy birthday and I’m so glad to see the way you have chosen to celebrate – with a cake that looks so perfect and out of this world delicious and sharing your thoughts with your fans who truly do care. I hope your birthday was tons of fun and that one day I will consume a chocolate banana cake…with whipped chocolate frosting and chocolate genache ooooohhh yeah!

  48. Sandy @ Reluctant Entertainerposted July 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm Reply

    Oh, girl, happy birthday! This looks divine!

    I love chocolate and coconut. I hope your family spoiled you!


  49. Russell at Chasing Deliciousposted July 16, 2012 at 4:20 pm Reply

    Your banana cake kicks my banana cake’s ass. This looks awesome!

  50. Diane {Created by Diane}posted July 16, 2012 at 3:09 pm Reply

    Happy Birthday Sommer!!!
    what a gorgeous cake. I just love how you decorated it so pretty!

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  54. Carrie @ Kiss My Whiskposted July 17, 2012 at 10:55 pm Reply

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

  55. Cocoposted July 18, 2012 at 10:19 am Reply

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

  56. Roxana | Roxana's Home Bakingposted July 18, 2012 at 1:13 pm Reply

    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!

  57. Sarah @ Will Run for Pastaposted July 18, 2012 at 4:50 pm Reply

    oh. my. goodness.

    That looks beyond amazing!

  58. Bonnie Bantersposted July 19, 2012 at 1:30 pm Reply

    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!!

  59. vianneyposted July 19, 2012 at 6:05 pm Reply

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

  60. Feast on the Cheapposted July 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm Reply

    Now THAT is a birthday cake. Holy cow.

  61. Jennyposted August 3, 2012 at 3:55 pm Reply

    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.

  62. Erikaposted August 14, 2012 at 12:56 pm Reply

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

  63. Michelleposted September 8, 2012 at 6:11 am Reply

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

  64. fabtabposted September 12, 2012 at 8:29 am Reply

    a little late, but HAPPY BIRTHDAYYYYYYYY!!!

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


    and the cake look amazinggggggggggg!!


  65. Dianeposted November 16, 2012 at 12:02 pm Reply

    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

  66. crystalposted January 6, 2013 at 7:36 pm Reply

    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! :)

    • Sommerposted January 7, 2013 at 6:29 am Reply

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

  67. LizLposted January 8, 2013 at 3:20 pm Reply

    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

    • Sommerposted January 8, 2013 at 4:40 pm Reply

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

  68. Sandraposted February 26, 2013 at 11:11 pm Reply

    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?

    • Sandraposted February 26, 2013 at 11:14 pm Reply

      *unsalted butter. Sorry.

      • Sommerposted February 27, 2013 at 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!!

  69. Annaposted March 2, 2013 at 10:14 am Reply

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

  70. Annposted June 11, 2013 at 8:04 pm Reply

    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

    • Sommerposted June 11, 2013 at 8:27 pm Reply

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

  71. Loretta | A Finn In The Kitchenposted July 13, 2013 at 6:57 am Reply

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

  72. Margaret Mposted July 13, 2013 at 7:22 am Reply

    Happy Birthday! Make mine German Chocolate please

  73. Brisjaposted July 13, 2013 at 9:26 am Reply

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

  74. Maegan @ The BakerMamaposted July 13, 2013 at 10:01 am Reply

    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!

  75. Kimberposted August 11, 2013 at 7:55 am Reply

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

  76. Kimberposted August 11, 2013 at 7:57 am Reply

    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.

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  81. Zoniaposted February 24, 2014 at 1:51 pm Reply

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

  82. Amandaposted May 27, 2014 at 7:36 am Reply

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

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  84. jennyposted March 20, 2015 at 1:45 pm Reply

    Do you toast the coconut that goes on the outside of the cake?

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  87. Nikkiposted January 5, 2016 at 6:53 pm Reply

    Would this still turn out if I omitted the coconut?

    • Janetposted January 6, 2016 at 12:43 pm Reply

      I just cut way back on it and it worked for me. 

  88. Pamposted January 11, 2016 at 7:17 am Reply

    This cake sounds amazing EXCEPT for the freezing part, I hate frozen cake! Does it taste fresh after you defrost it? That part turned me off to it. I am all about the fresh! :)

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  90. Lauraposted January 24, 2016 at 5:46 am Reply

    If I don’t like coconut can I make this recipe without it?

    • Sommerposted January 24, 2016 at 10:29 am Reply

      Hi Laura, of course! :)

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  92. Karacakeposted June 6, 2017 at 12:29 pm Reply

    I made this cake for my friends birthday, he loves the combination of ingredients and the recipe looked solid.  The detailed instructions made it easy to achieve the exact look in the picture.  I used 1/2 vanilla & 1/2 banana extracts in the cake, otherwise I followed the recipe exactly.  It was very flavorful with the blend of chocolate, coconut & banana.   It came out moist, but a little dense and kept well in the refrigerator.  We all enjoyed it very much…especially my friend!  Thanks!  No boring birthday cakes around here!