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Nutella Chocolate Chip Banana Cake is a decadent dessert made with layers of moist banana cake separated by Nutella and cream cheese frosting. With the option to make this cake gluten-free, dietary restrictions won’t stop anyone from sitting down to enjoy a slice.
Chocolatey Banana Cake With Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
Made with fresh, wholesome ingredients, this cake perfectly straddles the line between decadent and healthy. The moisture from the bananas makes it tender and fluffy, and the real fruit flavor is sweet without being over the top. The luscious and tangy cream cheese whipped cream balances the sweetness of the Nutella, and the thinness of the layers brings you that balance in every bite.
It’s super easy to make this cake gluten-free just by swapping out the flour. Since it still has bananas as its base, it keeps the flavor a lot better than your average cake even after making the switch. It’s a great option when you’re planning for company, but aren’t sure what dietary restrictions you might run into.
What You’ll Need
Let’s start with the ingredients for the cake and then move on to the whipped cream cheese frosting. Scroll down to see the exact amounts listed on the recipe card.
For the Cake
- Unsalted Butter
- White Sugar
- Light Brown Sugar: Yes, you need both!
- Bananas: These should be slightly overripe (see the section below to learn how to ripen bananas very quickly).
- Greek Yogurt: You could also use sour cream.
- Vanilla Extract
- Flour: All-purpose and 1:1 gluten-free flour both work.
- Baking Soda
- Chocolate Chips: You can use the larger chocolate morsels instead for even more chocolatey goodness if you’d like.
- Nutella: Or your preferred brand of chocolate hazelnut spread.
For the Frosting
- Cream Cheese: Soften this on the counter or in the microwave.
- Powdered Sugar
- Vanilla Extract
- Heavy Cream: Any other type of cream won’t whip properly.
How Do You Ripen Bananas Really Fast?
If you don’t have time to wait for your bananas to ripen, don’t panic! Just cut them into slices and roast them on a baking sheet at 400°F for about 15 minutes, or until the peels turn black. Once they’ve cooled, peel them and mash them, adding them to the batter just like you would with naturally ripened bananas. You won’t even be able to tell the difference!
How to Make Nutella Banana Chocolate Chip Cake
We’ll go over the steps for the cake first, and then you can pop it into the oven while you get the frosting ready. Make sure you wait for the cake to cool completely before you frost it.
Make the Cake
- Prep Your Materials: Preheat your oven to 350°F. Get out 3 round 9-inch cake pans and coat them in a thin layer of cooking spray.
- Sift the Dry Ingredients: Use a sieve to sift together the flour, baking soda and salt before setting the bowl to the side. Mash your bananas in a separate bowl and set this aside too.
- Cream the Butter and Sugar: Use a stand mixer or a hand mixer and a large bowl to cream the butter, sugar, and light brown sugar together until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add Your Wet Ingredients: Crack in the eggs and add the mashed bananas, vanilla, and Greek yogurt or sour cream. Blend everything until the mixture takes on a smooth consistency.
- Combine: Beat the dry ingredients slowly into the wet ingredients and stop as soon as it’s all combined. Stir the chocolate chips into the batter with a wooden spoon.
- Bake: Separate the batter evenly into the pans. Bake them for 45-60 minutes, or until you can stick a toothpick into the center and watch it come out clean.
- Let Cool: Let the cakes cool right in the pans for 10-15 minutes. Move them carefully onto a wire rack and let them cool completely.
Make the Frosting
- Create the Base: Put the whisk attachment on your stand mixer or hand mixer and whip the cream cheese, powdered sugar and vanilla together until it has a creamy texture.
- Whip in the Cream: Keep the mixer at high speed while you slowly pour in the heavy cream. Beat the frosting until it reaches the consistency of whipped cream.
- Store: Leave your finished frosting in the refrigerator until it’s time to use it.
- Level the Layers: Level the top of each cake with a serrated knife or a cake cutter and slice each cake in half horizontally. Be careful when you separate the layers so that nothing crumbles when you add each layer to the cake plate.
- Spread On the Toppings: Top the first layer of cake with about one-third of the Nutella and spread it out evenly. Lining everything up carefully, add another layer of cake and spread about half a cup of the cream cheese whipped cream over the top.
- Stack: Keep alternating between Nutella and cream cheese whipped cream on each layer of cake. When you place the final cake layer on top, cover the whole cake with what’s left of the frosting.
Tips for Success
Banana cake and whipped cream cheese frosting are a match made in heaven. Follow these tips to make sure everything comes out perfectly fluffy and light.
- Be Careful not to Over-Mix: If you over-mix either the cake batter or the frosting, you could end up with a disappointing dessert. Mixing too long will make the cake too dense, while the whipped cream might break, which ruins the texture. Under-mixing can also be an issue with the frosting, so make sure it rises into stiff peaks that don’t move when you tilt the bowl.
- Add Toasted Hazelnuts: For an extra nutty crunch, toast some hazelnuts and add them between the layers or over the top of your cake. Chop them very finely and pop them into a 350°F oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the outsides start to darken.
When it’s covered and kept in the fridge, this cake will last 2-3 days. If you use plastic wrap, you may lose some frosting, so a sealable container works best. Wait to slice the remaining cake until you’re ready to eat it. That way, it will stay moist longer.
Does This Cake Freeze Well?
If you’re going to freeze this cake, it’s better to freeze it before you assemble it. The cake and frosting take different amounts of time to thaw, which can mess with the texture of the cake if everything is already put together.
Take the uncut cake layers and wrap them tightly in both plastic wrap and foil. Freeze the frosting in a separate airtight and freezer-safe container. Leave them in the freezer for up to 3 months and be sure to let everything thaw overnight before you assemble the cake.
Shop the Recipe
GLUTEN FREE FLOUR: You can absolutely make this a gluten free cake. I’ve tested it with Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 Baking Flour.
STAND MIXER: While you can use a simple hand mixer, from mixing the thick batter to whipping up the frosting, a heavy-duty stand mixer will make everything come together quickly and easily.
CAKE PANS: You’ll need three 9-inch pans for this recipe, so be sure to order two sets.
CAKE LEVELER: When making a cake with this many layers, this simple tool helps to level off your cakes and cut them in half evenly to make everything stack up perfectly.
Nutella Banana Chocolate Chip Cake
For the Nutella Banana Chocolate Chip Cake
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 6 medium-size ripe bananas mashed (see notes if your bananas are not ripe)
- 2 cups plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 1/2 cups gluten free flour or all-purpose flour. For gluten free, I used Bob’s Red Mill 1-to-1 blend
- 1 Tablespoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup mini chocolate chips
- 13 ounces Nutella or other chocolate hazelnut spread
For the Whipped Cream Cheese Frosting
- 8 ounces cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups heavy cream
Make the Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Coat three 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray.
- In a medium bowl sift together the flour, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer or another large bowl, with a stand mixer or hand mixer, cream the butter, sugar, and light brown sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the eggs, mashed bananas, Greek yogurt (or sour cream), and vanilla, and blend until smooth.
- Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, mixing until just combined. Stir in chocolate chips.
- Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes in the pans for 10-15 minutes and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
- Prepare the cream cheese whipped cream.
Make the Frosting
- Using a hand mixer or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer, whip the cream cheese, powdered sugar, and vanilla together until creamy.
- While mixing on high speed, slowly pour in the heavy cream and beat until the frosting is the consistency of whipped cream. Do not overbeat.
- Store in the refrigerator until you are ready to use.
- Using a serrated knife or cake cutter, level the top of each cake and slice each cake in half horizontally.
- Place one layer on a cake plate and spread with about one-third of the Nutella.
- Top with another layer and spread with about half a cup of the cream cheese whipped cream.
- Alternate layers, placing the final cake layer on top, then cover the entire cake with the remaining cream cheese whipped cream frosting.
- To Store: Keep covered in the fridge for 2-3 days.
- To Freeze: Freeze before assembling for up to 2 months – wrap uncut cake layers tightly in both plastic wrap and foil. Freeze the frosting in a separate airtight and freezer-safe container. Let thaw overnight before assembling.