I can’t think of a better way to use ugly, old bananas!
Mili’s Sweets Banana-Caramel Cake
Here’s what you’ll need:
4 large, very ripe bananas, mashed
3 eggs, beaten
2 cups sugar
3 cups all purpose flour
3/4 cup canola oil
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
I make and jar my own caramel. If you’d like the recipe, please see my post for old fashioned caramel for apples and jars. It’s a time consuming and tedious process and I’m completely crazy for doing it. If you aren’t crazy like me, I recommend using the back up plan I keep in my pantry, just in case: Mrs. Richardson’s Butterscotch Caramel.
BUTTER CREAM FROSTING
I’m going to leave this one up to you. Some people like the look of not covering their cakes and just having filling in the middle of cake layers. I admit, that’s not really my thing, unless the cake will be eaten right away. If it’s left out, any cake prepared this way will dry out.
Here’s what you’ll do:
Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.
The first step is preparing the bananas. As you can see, my kids first tried the “proper” way to mash bananas, with a fork. Since Momma’s way was no-fun, I let them move onto squishing with their clean hands.
You’ll want your mashed bananas to sit out at room temperature while you prepare the rest of recipe. This way, they will naturally golden and caramelize.
Set this aside until the very end of the recipe.
* Helpful Baking Hint * For any cake recipe using fresh fruit or vegetables, (that have not been pureed or juiced) always fold them in as the final ingredient.
Now it’s time to prepare the batter.
Before I go on, please let me share the reality of having kids in the kitchen. It’s going to get messy, so be prepared to let-go and enjoy the quality time, without worrying too much. Including your sweethearts, while preparing food, is such a gift. The best times are when your kids just want to be with you. It’s also a wonderful way to build their self confidence.
Place your eggs in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs by hand.
On top of your prepared eggs, add the oil and pure vanilla extract. Then, all of the dry ingredients.
Hand-mix with a spatula until moistened. Do not beat. Once everything is incorporated, fold-in your mashed (or squished) bananas.
I don’t recommend using a standing mixer or machinery for this recipe. If your over-mix the bananas, they will turn into a starch, changing the texture and ruining the cake. I’ve always mixed this recipe the old-school way (by hand) and the results are just-right.
Prepare your pans:
This recipe made three, 6″ layers for our cake. I prefer a taller cake and use 3″ high pans from Fat Daddios.
I didn’t let the extra flour on our table go to waste, and had my son help to prepare the pans for the cake layers. I adore his sweet little hand on mine! xox
Once the pans are prepared, pour in the batter.
Next, pour caramel into the center. I’d say 4-5 tablespoons. I eyeballed it. Take a spoon and swirl it all around, inside your cake batter so that you can’t see it at the top.
Bake until your testing stick comes out clean. For this task, I use a metal skewer.
Start checking your pans after 35 minutes. I never set an exact time for my cakes since each recipe is different and it depends on how much batter is poured in.
Allow your cake layers to cool completely and remove from the pans.
We don’t eat a lot of frosting at home, so I used vanilla butter cream and coated it (with help) with an extremely thin layer of frosting to cover it.
Next was the good part: pouring on the caramel. As you can see, my little man was deep in concentration for this task. He loved it and I loved watching.
I used a gallon-sized plastic bag and poured in about 3/4 cup of caramel. I cut a small hole in the corner. I showed him the motion to drizzle and he went for it.
The end result is a rustic cake that is filled with flavor. It’s much fluffier and has much more moisture than a banana bread. It’s so good, I bet it can be enjoyed without the caramel or frosting.