What Is Banana Frosting?

Angie Bates

Banana frosting is a type of dessert topping that uses fresh, overripe bananas as its main ingredient. A tasty addition to a variety of cakes and cupcakes, versions of this frosting can also be used to glaze doughnuts. Banana frosting can sometimes be found pre-made online and in grocery stores, but it is often homemade.

Bunch of bananas.
Bunch of bananas.

Fresh bananas are essential to banana frosting. The fruit should be overripe to add the appropriate sweetness and texture to the frosting. Using ripe or under-ripe fruit is possible, but both sugar and milk quantities may need to be adjusted to compensate. The less ripe the fruit, the more sugar will be needed to sweeten the icing. Likewise, the more milk may be needed to achieve the appropriate creamy consistency.

In addition to bananas, confectioner's or powdered sugar and milk are included. Lemon juice and vanilla extract are usual ingredients as well. Although the vanilla adds flavoring, the lemon juice mostly serves to prevent discoloration. Some versions may add vegetable shortening and margarine or butter. Soy lecithin may occasionally be added to help improve the texture and overall marriage of the ingredients.

To make banana frosting, the bananas are first thoroughly mashed. The lemon juice is usually mixed with the bananas as they are being mashed or immediately afterward. Usually beaten with a hand mixer, the vanilla and milk are added to the banana-lemon mixture. The sugar is often sifted before being combined with the other ingredients, and it is combined gradually for the best results.

When butter is used, it is generally softened then creamed with the powdered sugar. The butter and sugar are beaten together until the mixture is fluffy and thoroughly combined. Alternatively, the butter alone may be beaten until it has a fluffy texture. Once all ingredients are properly combined, the banana frosting should be creamy, thick, and easily spreadable.

Some versions may add chocolate, though these varieties are usually referred to as chocolate banana frosting. When chocolate is included, it is first melted and cooled. Then it is stirred into the creamed butter-powdered sugar mixture. The bananas, milk, and vanilla are combined afterward.

Although it may be the most obvious topping for banana cake, banana frosting is also a tasty compliment to peanut butter and spice cake. Basic cakes, such as yellow or white, also benefit from a banana flavor. Banana frosting can also top cupcakes, doughnuts, or just about any other dessert that can be frosted.

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