We’ve all had those week where we stock up on bananas, intend to eat them and then forget about them until they are brown. Not ideal. Banana bread is always a good fix for brown bananas but if you want an even classier solution, give banana cake with caramel icing a try!
This week has been strange because I’m back in DC for work living in a friend’s guest room. I’ve taken a week of baking and y’all know how much I struggle with not being in the kitchen. I’m using this time to edit old photos and catch up on loads of blog tasks that have taken a backseat so get excited for lots of great content over the next few months!
A few notes for success to read before making this recipe. Firstly, the icing contains cooked sugars so it will harden pretty much immediately. That’s why I suggest making it in two batches, one as the crumb coat and one later to decorate with. To prevent the icing from hardening while the cake is still cooling, wait to make it until you are absolutely ready to start icing.
Secondly, you might notice that this recipe calls for you to cut the cake in four parts but you only use three in the layers. Good catch! And no, I’m not messing with you. There is a reason to my madness. Some people like banana bread and would rather not have it covered in sweet caramel icing. I know, it seems strange but I swear these people are out there. If I’m being totally honest, I’m sometimes that person. For that reason, this recipe keeps ¼ of the banana cake out of the cake layers. Perfect for savory breakfast or for crumbling on top of the ice cake as decoration!
I topped my cake with chopped walnuts and banana chips but feel free to top yours with whatever you have on hand – Fresh bananas, other nuts or even crumbles of the last quarter of cake!
- 3 large ripe bananas
- 3 cups (375g) all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 2 ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 36 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened to room temperature and divided
- 1 cup (200g) granulated sugar
- 4 ½ cup packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 and ½ cups buttermilk, at room temperature
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 5 cups powdered sugar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line a 9”x13” pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Mash the bananas in a medium bowl and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon and ½ teaspoon of the salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together 12 tablespoons butter, granulated sugar and ½ cup of brown sugar. Mix in the eggs, one at a time, followed by the vanilla. Mix in the mashed bananas. Scoop the flour mixture into the bowl in thirds, alternating with the buttermilk.
- Pour cake mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool completely before icing.
- Once cake is completely cool, make the icing.
- Add 2 cups brown sugar and 8 tablespoons of butter to a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the butter has melted and the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and mix in ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup heavy cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Return to heat and bring to a boil. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low. Mix in 2 ½ cups powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons of butter. Increase mixer speed for another 2-4 minutes until the icing gets light in color.
- Cut the cake into four equal parts. Place one piece on the plate and top with a hefty serving of icing. Add the second piece of cake and top with icing. Repeat process with one more piece of cake. Use the rest of icing on the top and sides of the cake. Refrigerate to set.
- Add 2 cups brown sugar and 8 tablespoons of butter to a saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the butter has melted and the mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat and mix in ½ teaspoon salt, ½ cup heavy cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Return to heat and bring to a boil. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on low. Mix in 2 ½ cups powdered sugar and 4 tablespoons of butter. Increase mixer speed for another 2-4 minutes until the icing gets light in color. Decorate cake immediately.
Cake recipe adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction Icing recipe adapted from Back in the Day Bakery