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This classic, over-the-top cake first garnered fame in Southern Living magazine in the 1970s and has been a potluck staple ever since. Bananas and pineapple are baked into a spiced yellow cake, which is bathed in a rich cream cheese icing. Its slightly tropical, down-home appeal makes it an ideal dessert for picnics or warm summer days. Slideshow:  Layer Cake Recipes 

November 2014


Credit: Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Ali Ramee / Prop Styling by Christina Daley

Recipe Summary

1 hr
Makes one 9-inch layer cake




Make the Cake
  • Heat the oven to 350°. Spray three 9-inch round cake pans evenly with baking spray. In a bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; stir in the pecans. In a large bowl, combine the granulated sugar, brown sugar, and eggs and whisk until smooth. Add the pineapple and juice, bananas, oil, and vanilla and whisk until the batter is smooth. Add the dry ingredients and whisk until just combined and smooth.

  • Divide the batter evenly among the prepared pans and smooth the tops. Give the pans a good bang on the counter to settle the batter evenly into the bottom of the pans.

  • Bake, rotating the pans halfway through baking, until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let cool in the pans for 25 minutes, then invert the cakes onto wire racks and let cool completely.

Make the Frosting
  • In a bowl, combine the butter and cream cheese and beat with a handheld mixer until smooth. Add the vanilla and confectioners' sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy. Place a cake layer on a cake stand and, using a small rubber or offset spatula, spread 1 cup of the frosting evenly over the top. Place the second cake layer on top and frost with another cup of frosting. Repeat with the remaining cake layer, then spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides of the cake. Sprinkle with the chopped pecans and refrigerate to firm the frosting, at least 1 hour. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Make Ahead

The cakes can be wrapped in plastic and set aside forup to 1 day.