Here we layer delicate banana-buttermilk cake with a fluffy Bavarian-style cream that's made low-fat by combining nonfat milk with a reasonable amount of whipping cream. The rich taste makes it hard to believe that this cake has only 300 calories and 3 grams of saturated fat per slice.

EatingWell Test Kitchen
Source: EatingWell Magazine, January/February 1991


Recipe Summary

2 hrs 30 mins
Nutrition Profile:


Bavarian Cream


Instructions Checklist
  • To prepare cake: Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Coat two 9-inch round cake pans with cooking spray and line the bottoms with wax paper or parchment paper.

  • Whisk eggs, 1 cup sugar and oil in a large bowl. Stir in mashed bananas, buttermilk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir whole-wheat flour, all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Add to the banana mixture and fold in just until blended. Divide the batter between the pans.

  • Bake the cake until the tops spring back when touched lightly, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and let cool completely.

  • To prepare Bavarian cream: Place milk in a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over the milk and let stand for 1 minute to soften. Stir in 2 tablespoons sugar and heat over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the gelatin. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla and transfer to a medium bowl. Refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of raw egg whites, 40 to 45 minutes.

  • Beat whipping cream until soft peaks form. Whisk one-third of the whipped cream into the milk mixture. Fold in the remaining whipped cream. Refrigerate until set and thickened to the consistency of whipped cream again, about 1 hour.

  • To assemble cake: Shortly before serving, place 1 cake layer on a serving plate and spread half the Bavarian cream over it. Peel and slice the remaining bananas; arrange half the slices evenly over the cream. Top with the second cake layer. Spread the remaining cream over the cake and arrange the remaining banana slices decoratively over the top.


Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through Step 3. Wrap the cooled layers in plastic and store at room temperature for up to 1 day.

Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk”: mix 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

Ingredient Note: Whole-wheat pastry flour is milled from soft wheat. It contains less gluten than regular whole-wheat flour and helps ensure a tender result in delicate baked goods while providing the nutritional benefits of whole grains. Available in large supermarkets and in natural-foods stores. Store in the freezer.

Nutrition Facts

300 calories; protein 4.9g; carbohydrates 47g; dietary fiber 2.5g; sugars 26.4g; fat 10.7g; saturated fat 2.8g; cholesterol 43mg; vitamin a iu 207IU; vitamin c 4.2mg; folate 45mcg; calcium 45.2mg; iron 0.8mg; magnesium 18.7mg; potassium 230.1mg; sodium 227.6mg; thiamin 0.1mg.

Reviews (8)

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8 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 1
  • 4 star values: 6
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 4 stars
Delicious Moist Cake - Real Crowd Pleaser This cake was excellent! I would highly recommend. I substituted the 1 Cup of Sugar with 3/4 Cup of Agave Blue. I also used heavy cream for an easy whipped cream filler and topper rather than the Bavarian topper recommended in the recipe. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
This was a wonderful moist tasting cake. I use only only whole wheat flour and brown sugar in place of the sugar and it came out just perfect. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
My comment is a question. I noticed that that cake can be made in advance but the cream had to be made the shortly before serving. My question is would the texture of the cream change if it was added to the cake the night before? P.S. Disregard my rating I haven't made this yet. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Fantastic moist delicious cake!!!! Read More
Rating: 2 stars
disappointed - a very line layer cake - would have been better to just cook one pan - as it didn't provide enough for 2 pans -each layer might be 1 inch high!! when only 2 cups are required i should have known to put it into 1 pan. Picture deceiving. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Really Tasty I was really impressed. I expected it to taste heath-foodie which I dislike in desserts. Honestly if I hadn't made it myself I wouldn't believe it was made with whole grain. I omitted the white flour and went with all whole wheat. I eliminated 1/4 cup sugar from batter not because I planned it but because I ran out. I'm glad I did though. It was still very sweet. I plan to try this batter as a muffin/cupcake and replace the sugar with a natural sweetener like agave or honey. As a cake though this is a pretty perfect banana recipe. I also eliminated the slices of banana. I dislike how they tend to turn brown after a day. Very unappetizing. I love this recipe and plan to try it out on others and see if anyone calls me on the whole wheat. Pros: moist fluffy flavorful pretty presentation baked well easy Cons: original recipe calls for too much sugar Read More
Rating: 4 stars
How can I substitute the whole-wheat pastry flour for regular whole -wheat flour? I live in a small town in Mexico and can not buy pastry flour not to mention whole wheat pastry flour. I have cooked may delicious Eating Well recipes except the ones that contain pastry flours. Thank you. Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Use 1 cup of whole wheat flour plus 2 teaspoons of cornstarch take away 2 teaspoons of flour from the cup in order to have just one cup. Read More