Banana Cake with Brown Butter Frosting

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I have had this recipe saved as a "must try" for a really long time. I have just been waiting for the right occasion to make it.

That occasion came yesterday, which was my sister-in-law's 18th birthday.

I baked the cake on Tuesday, and brought it over to my in-laws' for the little family party last night. I had never made brown butter frosting before; in fact, I don't know if I had ever even tasted it before. I was surprised at how different it tastes than normal buttercream, but the surprise was certainly pleasant. It is very sweet!

The sweetness of the frosting perfectly compliments this cake, which is not overly sweet on its own. The cake is moist, but dense. It reminds me of a pound cake in a lot of ways.

Anyway, it was a complete hit. Everyone loved it. My father-in-law (not a big sweets eater) even liked it, and my mother-in-law sang its praises as well. And of course, the birthday girl thought it was tasty, too.

Banana Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
(Source: Everyday Cook)


For the cake:
- 1 1/3 cups mashed very ripe bananas
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 large eggs

For the frosting:
- 6 tablespoons butter (no substitutions)
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 5 tablespoons milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 13x9 baking pan; set aside. (I decided to make a two-layer cake, so I used two 8-inch rounds. I greased and floured them well.)

2. In a small bowl, combine bananas, lemon juice, and vanilla.

3. In another small bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

4. In a large bowl, add brown sugar, sugar and butter; beat on medium speed until light and creamy. Add 1 egg at a time; beat well after each one.

5. On low speed, alternately add the flour mixture and the banana mixture; start with flour and end with flour. Beat batter just until smooth.

6. Spoon batter into prepared pan and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. (Baking time was about the same even though I used smaller pans. I started with 20 minutes, and kept adding time as needed. I kept checking it with a toothpick.)

Cool cake on wire rack.

For the frosting:
1. In a small sauce pan, heat butter over medium heat until melted and dark nutty brown color, but not burned, about 6 to 8 minutes; stir occasionally. Immediately transfer butter into pie plate; refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. (I had to crank the heat a little higher on my stove in order to brown the butter. If you have to do the same, make sure to keep a close eye on it. It's important not to burn it. The butter is browned when the little "grains of sand" you'll see in the bottom turn a uniform color, a nutty brown.)

2. In a large bowl, add chilled butter, sugar, milk and vanilla on medium speed until creamy and smooth. (I recommend adding your milk one tablespoon at a time until you reach the consistency you want. When I added the full 5 tablespoons at once, my frosting turning out more like an icing or a glaze, and I ended up having to add more sugar and brown more butter to get my desired consistency.)

3. Spread frosting over cooled cake.

P.S. Please excuse my conflicting photography styles in this post. I am working on learning some new techniques, so I've been doing a lot of experimenting and practicing!


ljkc February 20, 2009 at 11:11 AM  

Thanks for the inspiration here lovely lady - I've got some bananas w/"cake" written alllll over them - just may make this today!


Blablover5 February 20, 2009 at 11:40 AM  

Ooh I may have to try that frosting. My Husband is mad about banana cake and always wants one on his birthday.

Vanessa February 20, 2009 at 1:15 PM  

Thanks so much for getting back to me, Heather, I appreciate it!
I'm totally baffled by the food posting instructions but will take a closer look over the weekend, when I hope my brain will be less frazzled!
This cake looks so professional! And I noticed the great photography styles before I read what you wrote abuot them - I'm so impressed! I really want to improve in that department.
Have a lovely weekend and thanks again,
Vanessa :)
PS: I love your blog!

Anonymous,  February 20, 2009 at 1:35 PM  

I love banana cake and this looks really good!!

Carrie February 20, 2009 at 2:15 PM  

I have some bananas that I purpose bought so I can bake with them, maybe this will be something I try out.

Anonymous,  February 20, 2009 at 2:37 PM  

I LOVE bananas and this looks SO freaking fabulous!! YUM!

Joyce April 3, 2009 at 10:09 AM  

I tried this for my dad's birthday. And it was a big hit. Thanks so much.

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