Banana Layer Cake with Caramel Frosting is definitely a company cake, as opposed to an everyday cake. A double layer of cake plus a double layer of frosting equals love at first bite. 🙂
For this cake, I just took my Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Muffins recipe and made a few adjustments. I upped the quantities of most of the ingredients to get more batter, subbed some brown sugar for the white, added a teaspoon of cinnamon, along with the decadent caramel frosting.
The Caramel Frosting is a looooong time favorite of mine. It’s the topping for my mom’s Homemade Cinnamon Rolls recipe, and I’ve used it in so many others.
A naked cake is frosted on top and between the layers, but not around the edges. I made a naked cake! 🙂
Why a naked cake?
- You want to show off the pretty layers and frosting between the layers.
- You want a rustic look.
- You are short on frosting.
- You are lazy (like me), and don’t want to spend so much time decorating.
The last reason is the REAL one I made this naked. I’m not much for decorating. I’d rather it taste REALLY good instead.
You will need room temperature butter for this Banana Cake. If I forget to lay it out ahead of time, I often get a bit impatient and have found a trick that works well.
To soften butter quickly:
- Take a four-cup measuring cup, fill it up with water, and microwave it on high for five minutes.
- Unwrap your butter and slice it into thin pieces and then wait for the microwave to beep.
- Remove the measuring cup with water and immediately place the butter in the microwave.
- Close the door and set the timer for 12-15 minutes. Do NOT start microwave!
- Remove the butter, and you are ready to go.
I love using this trick to soften butter, and you will too. 🙂
I used throw-away round tins for this Banana Layer Cake, and it baked up wonderfully. You could also make a sheet cake, but the baking time would be different. Just watch it closely and check to see if it’s done with a toothpick.
This cake was dessert one night, and then became part of breakfast with coffee for several mornings afterward. I’m a sucker for a sweet treat with my morning cup(s) of joe, so this was perfect.
Storing Tip – this cake stays fresh up to three days on the counter, covered well.
Freezing Tip – you can freeze the layers separately, and then add frosting later, before serving.
Make this cake next: Glazed Lemon Bundt Cake
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Banana Layer Cake with Caramel Frosting
For the cake:
- 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter - softened to room temperature
- 1 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 Tablespoon vanilla
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 4 over-ripe bananas - mashed (I use my hand mixer for this)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
For the caramel frosting:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter
- 1 cup brown sugar - firmly packed
- 1/4 cup milk
- 2 cups powdered sugar
For the cake:
- Prepare two round cake pans with baking spray.
- In a standing mixer, combine butter and sugars until creamy. Add eggs, vanilla, and buttermilk - and mix.
- Mash bananas and add to mixer.
- In a separate bowl, combine salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and flour. Slowly add to the mixer and stir until just combined.
- Pour cake batter into prepared pans. Bake on 350 degrees for approximately 35-38 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean, when inserted. Cool cakes completely.
For the frosting:
- Melt butter on stove top over medium heat. Add brown sugar and cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil.
- Remove from heat and cool slightly. Add powdered sugar until smooth consistency to spread. If it gets too stiff, add a few drops of milk to smooth.
- Spread frosting on the top (only) of one of the cooled cakes. Stack the other one on top, and spread frosting on that one as well. Add a sprinkle of kosher salt.
- Use room temperature butter. If you need to soften quickly, read the tips on my blog.
- You can use round disposable cake pans, or any that you have. Spray well before baking.
- Test cakes with a toothpick to ensure that they are done in the center.
- The frosting can be made in advance. To soften to spreadable, add a few drops of milk, and then stir.