I was brainstorming cake ideas for an event and realized I’ve never had a banana cake! The idea of a lighter banana bread covered with fluffy, decadent buttercream frosting was an instant winner. I knew I had to make it…and add salted caramel for good measure.
Banana dessert is actually a recently acquired taste for me. I was probably scarred by my dislike of artificial banana candy and never ventured to try freshly made banana desserts (I don’t count banana bread as dessert!). Since my partner loves banana though, my horizons have expanded, and here I am making banana dessert myself!
I chose to frost the cake with a salted caramel cream cheese buttercream. I fully believe that if you are going to have dessert, you might as well enjoy it. Otherwise, you are better off having a juicy peach or sweet grapes over any of those low-fat “healthy” desserts.
This recipe can be made as a traditional two layer round cake or a 9×13 inch sheet cake. It’s baked at a lower temperature to retain moisture. The texture is denser than your average cake but lighter than banana bread.
Decorate with just the frosting, or add sliced bananas and walnut or pecans. Drizzle more caramel sauce over the masterpiece and enjoy! Be sure to serve at room temperature or just below, as the frosting has a high butter content – and who likes cold butter?
Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
- 1-1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (approx 3 large)
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 3 eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1-1/2 cups buttermilk
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
- 1 (8 oz) package cream cheese
- ½ cup caramel sauce (my homemade recipe here)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2-3 cups confectioners’ sugar
- Chopped walnuts or pecans
- Salted caramel sauce
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Grease two 9-inch round pans or one 9×13 inch pan.
- In a small bowl, mash bananas with lemon juice. Set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
- In a large bowl or stand mixer, cream butter and both sugars until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, then add vanilla.
- Beat in the banana mixture.
- Under low speed, add the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk. I do this in thirds. Mix until just combined. Do not overmix.
- Pour batter into prepared pans. Bake in preheated oven for 55-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean. Let cake cool completely before frosting! You can put in fridge to speed things up.
- For the frosting: In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat butter on medium speed until creamy.
- Add cream cheese, caramel, and vanilla and beat until mixed. Gradually increase mixer speed to high and continue beating until light and fluffy, scraping down the sides of bowl as necessary with a rubber spatula.
Gradually add confectioners’ sugar – start with 2 cups and add more to taste. Beat on low speed until combined. Then beat on high speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
- Spread frosting on fully cooled cake. Decorate with nuts and caramel sauce. Enjoy barely chilled or at room temperature.
- Tip: Store leftover cake in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. Take out in advance and allow frosting to reach just below room temperature.