This banana-and-passion-fruit creation takes you to the tropics by way of Italy, where the vine-ripened fruit is used in sodas and all kinds of desserts. About a cup of mashed ripe banana adds moisture to the cake, while passion-fruit juice goes into the cream-cheese frosting for a fresh and naturally tart flavor.

Martha Stewart Living, January/February 2021


Credit: Con Poulos

Recipe Summary

20 mins
2 hrs 20 mins
Serves 10 to 12




Instructions Checklist
  • Cake: Preheat oven to 350°F. Brush a 9-by-13-inch or 8-by-12-inch baking pan with butter. Line with parchment, leaving a 2-inch overhang on long sides. Butter parchment.

  • Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Combine eggs and granulated sugar in the bowl of a mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until thick and pale, about 4 minutes. Add flour mixture; beat just to combine. Add butter, bananas, cinnamon, and vanilla; beat to combine. Add sour cream; beat until smooth.

  • Scrape batter into prepared pan, smoothing top with a spatula. Bake until top springs back when lightly touched and a tester inserted in center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes (for 9-by-13-inch) or about 40 minutes (for 8-by-12).

  • Let cool in pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Using parchment overhangs, lift cake out of pan and let cool completely on rack. (Cake can be made to this point and stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic, up to 1 day.)

  • Frosting: Beat together cream cheese, butter, confectioners' sugar, and passion-fruit juice on medium-high speed until smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Spread over top of cake; drizzle with passion-fruit pulp. Frosted cake is best the day it's assembled, but can be refrigerated, wrapped in plastic, up to 1 day. Return to room temperature before serving.

Cook's Notes

To get juice from fresh passion fruit, scoop out the pulp and press it through a fine-mesh sieve.