I know, I know…any cake I’m sharing with you today should be decked out with colors of the season. There should be golds and oranges and browns for the Fall holiday or I should have even taken it a step further and made it rich with red or burgundy for the Winter season. But I couldn’t, I just couldn’t. I made this Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting for me; to see if I would want to have it again for my birthday. A birthday which happens to fall pretty much right smack in the middle of both of those seasons.
My inner (and yes probably outer too) child would say, ‘It’s not FAIR!’ to have a birthday on December 10th and every single person who has a birthday between Thanksgiving and Christmas knows exactly how I feel. Can I tell you how many times a red Christmas ornament was deemed the perfect gift for me? I would politely say, ‘Thank you’ and inside was screaming, ‘But it’s not my Christmas, it’s MY birthday!’
So I have had to take it upon myself to make it a special day. To do something that is just for me without mention of the holiday seasons and that includes a cake that would be unexpected along with a color scheme devoid of orange, red and gold. You know those people who categorize the colors you should wear into the seasons of the year? Well, if I’ve been designated as a ‘Spring’ then Spring it is. I love the cool colors and I love pastels. It’s true…bring me purple and pink and aquamarine and I’m a happy camper.
So while I think this truly amazing cake is perfect all year round, on this day, in anticipation of celebrating on December 10th with friends who supposedly are coming to my home for a holiday party, we’ll be having this decadent and delicious Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting for my birthday…think they’ll mind?
Do you have cake lovers coming to your home for Thanksgiving who turn their nose up at pumpkin pie? Or maybe it’s you? Try serving this beauty for dessert and I know everyone will be begging for seconds!
Banana Cake with Salted Caramel Frosting
For the Cake
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup light brown sugar
- 5 ounces unsalted butter
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ounce canola oil
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 3/4 teaspoon table salt
- 3/4 cup mashed, overripe bananas
For the Salted Caramel Buttercream
- 1/2 cup (8 Tbsp) butter, softened
- 1 (3-oz.) package cream cheese, softened
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 (16-oz.) package powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons milk
- 1/2 cup Salted Caramel Sauce
For the Salted Caramel
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons corn syrup
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare three 9-inch cake pans; rub the inside with butter and dust with flour. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit inside and put on the bottom of the cake pan.
- Cream together the granulated sugar, light brown sugar and butter on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Slowly add the eggs, one at a time, mixing each fully before adding the next.
- With the mixer on low, slowly trickle the oil into the mixture. Once added, increase the speed to medium-high and continue to mix until the mixture thickens and begins to look like mayonnaise, scraping the sides occasionally.
- In a small bowl, combine the buttermilk and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Add a third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on medium high speed for 90 seconds. Bring the speed down to low and, alternately, add the buttermilk mixture and remaining flour mixture in 4 stages, beginning with the buttermilk mixture and ending with the flour mixture. Fold in the mashed bananas. Mix only enough to incorporate the ingredients after each addition.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pans. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 35 minutes. The top of the cake should spring back slightly after a gentle tap with your finger. Allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes before removing from the pans. Allow the cakes to cool completely before frosting.
To Make the Frosting:
- Beat first 4 ingredients at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
- Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with 3 Tbsp. milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.
- Drizzle caramel sauce into buttercream and beat on low speed to combine.
To Make the Salted Caramel: (or use a purchased product and add finishing salt to taste)
- Combine the sugar, corn syrup and 1/4 cup water in a large, deep saucepan, making sure the sugar is completely wet, but being careful not to let the sugar water coat the sides of the pan. Turn the heat to medium-high and cook for about 4 minutes.
- The cooking process is done when the sugar has reached a nice amber color. Do not stir during the cooking process. Quickly remove the sugar from the heat and add the heavy cream. The mixture will bubble vigorously; stir to combine.
- Whisk in the butter and sea salt. Allow to cool completely before use. Yield: approximately 2 cups
To assemble the cake:
- Frost the top of 1 cake round with some salted caramel buttercream. Drizzle with some prepared caramel sauce and sprinkle with some pecans. Add a second round and repeat with the buttercream, caramel sauce and pecans. Top with the remaining cake round and frost the entire cake with the buttercream and finish with more caramel sauce and pecans.
I decided to frost mine with a 'bare' look but you don't have to follow suit. Just frost as you regularly would and finish with the pecans and caramel drizzle.