Chocolate Banana Cake with Caramelized Bananas
In putting this post together, I had to laugh at my own terrible pictures! I have made this cake twice recently, and both times it was for a family gathering. The first time, I cut a slice out first to show you the inside (you will see my tentative, messed up slice below!) and then I put it back inside and tried to frost around the cut marks!! (terrible, huh?) Well, don’t worry, my family gave me so much flack for it, I could hardly believe it!
So the second time I made it, this past Sunday, I brought a whole cake. I know- how kind of me to bring a whole cake, without a big piggy piggy slice missing! So either way- no great pictures of the inside. My apologies. But take my word for it- it’s good. Really good.
This is a dense, dark chocolate cake made extra moist and banana-y from the banana puree. I also added the tiniest bit of cardamom spice to complement and echo the chocolate and caramel flavors. I also added more salt than usual, because who doesn’t enjoy salt with their caramel? Vanilla or dulce de leche ice cream on the side just make it even better!
*One piece of advice. Make the Chocolate Fudge Frosting before you even start the cake so that it has time to set up while you bake the cake!
Here are a couple pictures from our Sunday dinner at my sisters house (which we do often as all 4 of us kids are living in the city with their families.) My dad (at 65 years old) had just finished the Seattle to Portland Bike ride. He did the full 202 miles in one day and finished in the top few hundred out of 10,000 cyclists. What a stud. In the pictures: My little brother and his gorgeous wife Natalie, my dad with his medals and some of the many little cousins running around.
Chocolate Banana Cake with Caramelized Bananas, serves 12
-¾ cup butter, room temperature
-1 ½ cups white sugar
-2 tsp vanilla
-3 large smashed bananas, (this was about 1 2/3 cup)
-1 ½ cups flour
-1 ½ cups cocoa powder (I used Hershey’s Dark)
-1 tsp baking powder
-1 tsp baking soda
-1 tsp salt
-1/4 tsp cardamom
-1 cup milk
-1/3 cup brown sugar
-pinch of salt
-1/3 cup whipping cream
-2 large bananas cut into slices
1)Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Prepare two 9” round cake pans with baking spray.
2)Smash the bananas with a fork until liquid and without any chunks. Set aside.
3)In the bowl of a standing mixer, beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.
4)Add the vanilla and the eggs and beat to combine.
5)In a separate bowl add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, salt and spices and sift them all together.
6)Add half of the flour mixture to the batter, and the milk.
7)Add the banana and the rest of the dry ingredients and mix well.
8)Divide the batter evenly between the two pans.
9)Bake the cake rounds for about 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
10)Remove the cakes from the heat and let them cool on a rack completely.
11) While the cakes are cooling, make the filling.
12) In a small pan, add 1/3 cup brown sugar and a pinch of salt.
13) Heat the caramel over low. When the sugar begins to melt, stir to keep the sugar from burning.
14) Add 1/3 cup cream and continue cooking over low heat, stirring constantly, until all of the chunks of sugar have melted and you have a smooth caramel sauce.
15) Add the banana slices and gently toss them in the caramel. Remove the pan of caramelized bananas from the stove top and set aside to cool slightly.
16) Place one of the 9” cake rounds on a cake plate.
17) Gently pour the bananas and caramel out onto the cake round, spreading them evenly around the cake layer.
18) Place the second cake round on top of the banana filling.
19) Using the Chocolate Ganache Frosting
, fill the edges between the two layers. (You can do this with a spatula, a pastry bag, or even a Ziploc filled with about 1 cup frosting and snip the corner.)
20) Using an offset spatula, frost the cake generously with the chocolate fudge frosting.
21) Slice and serve!