When it comes to desserts, cakes like my Four Layer Banana Crunch Cake will always bring smiles to your table. Usually followed by applause.
This spectacular restaurant-style dessert is a take on my very popular Pumpkin Crunch Cake. And I promise if you like bananas you’re going to go bananas over this cake!
What Ingredients do I need to make a Four-Layer Banana Crunch Cake?
Let’s start by gathering the ingredients we need to make Four-Layer Banana Crunch Cake. In Chef Speak this is called the Mise en Place which translates into Everything in its Place.
Not only does setting your ingredients up ahead of time speed the cooking process, but it also helps ensure you have everything you need to make the dish.
These are the ingredients you’ll need to make the crunch mix for the cake layers and to decorate the finished cake.
In a food processor, pulse the vanilla wafers to a fine crumb. Remove them from the food processor and pulse the pecans to a find chop.
Mix the cookies, pecans, brown sugar and melted butter together. The mixture needs to be wet enough to form in the bottom of each cake pan.
Prepare four standard 9-inch cake pans. Butter and flour the insides of the pans and add a parchment circle to the bottom of each pan. Butter the parchment circle.
Reserve 2 cups of the crunch mixture for decorating the cake. Divide the remainder of the crunch mixture between the four prepared cake pans and lightly press the mixture into the bottom of the pans making an even layer in the pan.
Chef Dennis Tip:
I used an digital scale to divide the crunch mixture and cake mix evenly. It’s a great tool to have on hand for all your baking needs as it ways in grams as well as ounces.
Once the crunch mixture is in the cake pans, you can start making the cake. The first step is blending the flour, baking powder and salt together. Set aside until needed.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip together the butter, 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, granulated sugar and light brown sugar on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy.
- Add in the remaining 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil then add in eggs one at a time.
- Add in the vanilla and mashed bananas.
- With mixer set on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture alternating with Greek yogurt in 3 separate batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and mixing just until combined after each addition.
Divide the batter evenly among prepared cake pans and spread batter into an even layer.
I used an offset spatula to even the batter in the pan. It also comes in handy for icing the cake. My preferred cake pan for all my baking is the 9-inch USA Pan Bakeware Cake Pan.
Bake the cakes in the preheated oven for 30 – 35 minutes. Or until a toothpick inserted into the enter comes out clean. Be careful not to overbake the cakes as they will get dry. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
*The layers are very dense and will not rise much. This is not a light and fluffy cake. The cake should be fairly moist as well as dense.
While the cakes are cooling make the cream cheese frosting.
Blend the softened cream cheese and butter together with an electric mixer until creamy and a smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners sugar.
**Make sure the mixer is on a low setting or you’ll have confectioners sugar everywhere!
How do I assemble a Banana Crunch Cake?
Start by placing one of the layers on a cake dish with the crunch side down. Spoon some of the cream cheese frosting on top of the first layer, smoothing it out so it’s even.
Repeat the process until all the layers have been set. Gently press down the next layers before icing the top of the layer. This will help keep the layers in place.
After you have assembled all the layers with some frosting between them, start to spread the remaining frosting on the sides and top.
This also gives you an idea why I add some of the crunch topping to the sides of the cake. I can’t make it pretty so I dazzle them with crunch topping!
When finished frosting, coat sides and top with your extra crunch mixture.
Do I have to add the crunch mixture to the outside of the cake?
No, you don’t. You can eliminate this step if your cake decorating skills are better than mine or just want to avoid the additional calories. If you decide to eliminate this step, reduce the crunch ingredients by 20 percent.
Not only is this a delicious restaurant-style cake, but it also looks as good as it tastes! I promise lots of ooh’s and aah’s when your guests see this cake.
Kitchen tools I use for my cakes
This post includes affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- offset spatula (essential for bakers)
- 9-inch USA Pan Bakeware cake pans
- 9-inch parchment cake circles
- silicone spatulas
- wire whisk
- mixing bowls
I made a version of this for my granddaughter’s 4th birthday. She wanted a Minion cake so, banana. I used 4 6″pans with the crunch bottom and used the leftover cake mixture in a dome pan.
Assembled as instructed but gave each cake layer a brush of simple syrup.
Used the cream cheese buttercream for the layers however, I was making a sculpted cake so resorted to a simple vanilla buttercream for the outside.
Cake came out cute. I am not a decorator but my granddaughter loved it.
As for the cake, just yum!
Only recommendation is to reduce the crunch by at least 50% if not using it on the exterior of the cake. I have tons left over. (In the freezer) It will make a delightful crust for future deserts.
Yay for an amazing recipe!
I made this on a whim because I wanted to make a big, pretty cake. This was both of those things! it took a bit of effort to get everything from start to finish, but was worth it. Served it at a family gathering, everyone loved it – said it was a bit too sweet, but goes great with a big glass of milk. So, an overall success!
I’m assuming I would do the parchment paper FIRST and then the crunch topping? The recipe has it backwards.
Chef Dennis Littley
sorry for the confusion Kim, it was out of order and has been corrected.
In the ingredients list you have pecans and in the instructions you mention walnuts. Which would be the correct one?
I’ve made your pumpkin crunch cake serval times and have used walnuts. I’ve converted non-cake people with your pumpkin crunch cake. It’s the best thing ever. So, I’m very excited to try the banana crunch cake.
Chef Dennis Littley
sorry about that Lisa, I used Pecans for this cake, but you could use either.
Taleen | Just As Tasty
You had me at banana crunch! This cake looks delicious, I can’t wait to try this one. Thanks for the recipe!
I’m a huge fan of banana ‘anything’. That banana cake with crunch looks so delicious! One of the best banana cake i’ve ever seen!
I love the crunch topping for this cake! Made it this weekend and everyone was raving about it. Thanks for the great recipe!
Ok YUM this cake looks mouthwatering. I have a big bunch of bananas so this is perfect. Bookmarking to try soon!
Oh my, Chef, you have outdone yourself with this delicious banana cake. The family loved the flavors. I loved your easy to follow instructions and the cake was spot on, delish.
I adore anything banana and this cake looks fantastic, just beautiful . I love the crunch part of this , such a nice touch. I have some bananas that are screaming at me to make something wonderful and this is the recipe that I chose ..I can’t wait!
Your banana brunch cake looks divine! I’m drooling over it right now! Thanks for sharing the recipe with us!
This looks almost too good! But, I am willing to bet it tastes even better than it looks! Banana in cake makes it so moist and flavorful. I know I would adore this cake!
Wow Dennis, you outdid yourself with this masterpiece! Stunning cake, and I can’t wait to try it. Will I make all the layers or go for the half-recipe, two-layer, lazy baker style, hahaha!
Love the addition of crunch topping in this banana cake! I can’t wait to try it out.
The banana cake, cream cheese frosting, and crunch top were the perfect combo! Thanks to your amazing step by step instructions, this cake was easy to make. Turned out so moist and delicious!
Mama Maggie's Kitchen
This dessert looks heavenly delicious! I can’t wait to make this at home for my son and my husband. They’ll love this.
I just bought some banana yesterday! The perfect time to make this recipe. So excited because my kids and I really love cream cheese frosting!