This homemade banana buttercream is light and fluffy, bursting with banana flavor, and has a pale natural yellow color from butter! I used this banana frosting on my chocolate banana cupcakes and it would be absolutely delicious frosted on a banana cake or vanilla cake, smoothed over brownies, or even dolloped on a slice of honey banana bread for extra banana flavor.
Instead of using fresh bananas, this frosting is flavored with banana extract. Banana extract is made by seeping bananas with alcohol to "extract" their flavor, hence the name! While this might sound like an artificial way of flavoring icing, most high quality banana extracts have a very natural flavor.
Why should you make this recipe? It comes together in under 10 minutes, has a great banana flavor, and is super thick and fluffy!
Here are some notes about the ingredients used. For quantities and full instructions, see the recipe card below.
- Unsalted butter- This creates the creamy base of the frosting while adding a buttery flavor and pale yellow color. Make sure it has softened on the counter for at least 30 minutes before you start so it's easy to cream.
- Powdered sugar- This finely milled sugar blends into the butter seamlessly while sweetening and thickening the frosting.
- Banana extract- This is a concentrated form of banana flavor, usually derived from real bananas. I used McCormick banana extract but I also recommend OliveNation and Amoretti.
- Salt- Frosting needs a little bit of salt to offset the sweetness of the powdered sugar. Use finely ground salt, and if your salt is coarse, add an extra ⅛ teaspoon.
- Heavy cream- You might need a little bit of heavy cream to thin out the frosting to the perfect consistency. Heavy cream is best for this because it keeps the frosting rich and creamy!
- Butter: To make dairy free buttercream, try using plant-based butter sticks and non-dairy milk.
- Heavy cream: Any kind of dairy or plant-based milk can be substituted.
Helpful Equipment and Tools
The instructions and process photos below are specifically for a stand mixer, but they'll work with a hand mixer too.
Step by Step Instructions
Here is how to make the banana frosting. Before you start, pull out your stand mixer and fit it with the paddle attachment.
STEP 1: First, cream the softened butter in your stand mixer on medium speed for about 5 minutes until smooth. Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides as needed.
STEP 2: Next, add half of the powdered sugar to the bowl. Start slowly to keep the sugar from jumping out, mixing on low speed until light and fluffy. This will take about 2 minutes. After that, mix in the second half of the powdered sugar, salt, and banana extract for 2 more minutes.
STEP 3: Next, mix in heavy cream on low to reach the desired consistency. Use immediately by spreading over your favorite desserts with an offset spatula. You can also add it to a piping bag fitted with a large tip for decorating cakes and cupcakes. Enjoy!
- Use room temperature butter. Cold butter will make the frosting too thick and won’t mix well with the other ingredients.
- Always start the mixer on low speed before increasing it. This will help prevent a sugar cloud and a huge mess on your counter.
- If your frosting is too thick, add ½ teaspoon of cream and mix in until desired consistency is reached. If it's too thin, add another tablespoon of powdered sugar.
- Want to add a little extra flavor? Try adding a small splash of vanilla extract or almond extract for a special touch.
Ways to Enjoy
- Use it to frost a batch of vanilla brownies.
- Slather it on buttery chocolate chipless cookies.
- Smooth on top of banana muffins for even more flavor.
Storage and Freezing
Store leftover banana buttercream in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days. Make sure to let it come to room temperature and give it a good mix before using again.
You can wrap leftover frosting in plastic wrap or place it in an airtight container and freeze for up to 3 months. When you're ready to use, thaw overnight in the refrigerator and whip it in a stand mixer or with a hand mixer if needed.
Frequently Asked Questions
This recipe makes about 2 cups of frosting, which is enough to frost 12 cupcakes or frost a 2 layer 6-inch or 8-inch cake.
Of course! You can use any color you want, but I personally recommend gel food coloring for the most natural look. Keep in mind that adding too much can make your frosting thin.
If your frosting is grainy or dry, your butter was probably too cold or you added too much sugar. I recommend adding a little more heavy cream or letting your frosting warm up a bit on the counter.
More Frosting Recipes to Try
Banana Buttercream Frosting
- 1 5-quart stand mixer or electric hand mixer
- 1 cup unsalted butter softened
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon banana extract
- 1-2 tablespoon heavy cream
- Add the softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat for 5 minutes on medium high speed until creamy.1 cup unsalted butter
- Add half of the powdered sugar and mix on low for 2 minutes. Beat in the second half, the salt, and banana extract on medium speed until smooth.3 cups powdered sugar, ¼ teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon banana extract
- Pour in the heavy cream 1 teaspoon at a time until the desired consistency is reached.1-2 tablespoon heavy cream
- Use to frost cakes, cupcakes, cookies and more. Enjoy!