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Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting

It’s kind of crazy that I’ve never made banana cake before, because it’s something that my extended family made quite a bit when I was growing up.

Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting slice

But it was always with cream cheese frosting, and then a few years ago my sister had a brainwave and threw this caramel frosting on instead.  And a legend was born. (I may be being melodramatic)

banana cake with caramel frosting sugar butter beat

Now don’t get me wrong, I really like banana cake with cream cheese frosting (pretty much anything with cream cheese frosting, for that matter).  But there is something about this sugary, crackly caramel frosting that just adds the perfect depth and complement to the moist, dense cake.  The fact that it’s crazy easy is just the icing on the cake…so to speak.

Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting slice2

This is also a cake that is perfect to make the night before, because this frosting really seals in the moisture of the cake.  And, of course, use up the billions of browning bananas sitting on your counter.

I haven’t eaten a banana in probably six months, but I still buy them like clockwork, with the best intentions.  This is a thing everyone does, yes?

Humor me…

banana cake with caramel frosting eggs vanilla

Cream the sugar and butter together, then beat the eggs in one at a time.

banana cake with caramel frosting dry ingredients

Sift the flour with baking powder, soda, and salt.  Alternate adding the dry ingredients with adding the mashed bananas.  Beat after each addition until smooth.

banana cake with caramel frosting wet ingredients

Finally, add the vanilla and milk and mix—the batter will be fairly thick.

banana cake with caramel frosting ready to bake

Pour the batter into a greased 9×13″ pan, and bake at 350 F for 20-30 minutes.

banana cake with caramel frosting baked

Let the cake cool most or all of the way.

banana cake with caramel frosting butter brown sugar

Once the cake is cool, prepare the frosting.  First, sift the powdered sugar for the frosting to remove lumps. Trust me on this one.  You will have mad lumps otherwise, and your frosting will look super weird (though still taste totally delicious).  Update—I made it again and sifted, and while it helped, there still were some lumps.  So…just deal with it.

Put the butter and the brown sugars in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat.

banana cake with caramel frosting butter brown sugar boiling

Cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture comes to a boil, about two minutes.

banana cake with caramel frosting butter brown sugar boiling 2

Add the milk, stir it in, bring the mixture back to a boil, and then remove the pan from the heat.

banana cake with caramel frosting powdered sugar

Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat with a wooden spoon until the frosting is smooth.

banana cake with caramel frosting icing closeup

Immediately pour it over the cake and spread evenly and smoothly, then let it harden.

Try not to notice the lumps of powdered sugar.

Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting done

That looks pretty amazing, right??

Grandma’s Banana Cake with Bethany’s Caramel Frosting

Cake

  • 1 1/2 cups of sugar
  • 1/2 cup of butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 cup of lightly mashed bananas
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • ¼ cup of buttermilk

Quick Caramel Frosting

  • 8 tablespoons butter (one stick)
  • 1/2 cup of light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 cup of dark brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 of whole milk
  • 2 cups of powdered sugar, sifted (otherwise you’ll have mad lumps)
  • 1 teaspoon of pure vanilla extract

Cream the sugar and butter together, then beat the eggs in one at a time.  Sift the flour with baking powder, soda, and salt.  Alternate adding the dry ingredients with adding the mashed bananas.  Beat after each addition until smooth.  Add the vanilla and buttermilk and mix—the batter will be fairly thick.

Bake in a greased 9×13″ pan at 350 F for 20-30 minutes, then let cool.

Once the cake is cool, prepare the frosting.  First, sift the powdered sugar for the frosting to remove lumps. Trust me on this one.  Put the butter and the brown sugars in a medium-size saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring continuously, until the mixture comes to a boil, about two minutes.  Add the milk, stir it in, bring the mixture back to a boil, and then remove the pan from the heat.  Add the powdered sugar and vanilla and beat with a wooden spoon until the frosting is smooth.

Immediately pour it over the cake and spread evenly and smoothly, then let it harden.  If the frosting hardens in the saucepan before you can use it, you can simpley place the pan back over low heat and stir until the frosting softens up.

The cake recipe is a family one; the icing recipe is originally from here

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