Banana Cake with Whipped Sea Salt Caramel

  • Banana cake with whipped salted caramel

    I was so excited for Autumn that I made a cake. That’s normal for bakers, right?

    Bananas were on sale last week- 3 pounds for 99 cents. I’m a sucker for sales, not only for clothing and shoes, but also for produce.  What’s a girl to do?  Obviously I bought three pounds of bananas.  I can’t pass on a deal like that.

    banana cake with whipped salted caramel

    So I’ve been eating bananas day in and day out.  I can’t stomach another banana and they are getting far too ripe.  I knew I would end up with too many bananas.  But no worries.  When there is an abundance of ripe bananas, baking is always the solution. (see: choco-hazelnut banana bread and double chocolate chip banana bread.  Rather than make my usual banana bread, I made banana cake.  With the slight autumn breeze flowing in the kitchen, I was inspired to make caramel.  Not just any caramel, but whipped sea salt caramel.

    I am more than pleased with the results of this spontaneous cake.  The cake is so moist and flavorful; it could be snacked on all by itself.  But the show stopper here is the whipped caramel.  Because of the amount of butter in this caramel recipe, it has the ability to transform into a frosting.  Whip enough air into the caramel and you get this amazing, rich, smooth and creamy caramel frosting.  It’s sort of like eating a Werther’s Original caramel, but better.  The finished cake is deeeelicious to say the least.

    I’m glad Autumn is here.

    banana cake with whipped salted caramel

    Banana Cake with Whipped Sea Salt Caramel

    Ingredients:

    Banana Cake:

    • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
    • 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
    • 3 large eggs, room temperature
    • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
    • 4 very ripe bananas, mashed
    • 3 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tsp baking soda
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 cup buttermilk
    • 1/4 cup sour cream

    Whipped Sea Salt Caramel:

    • 1 3/4 cup granulated sugar
    • 1/4 cup water
    • 1 cup heavy cream, heated
    • 2 tsp fine sea salt
    • 1 3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, cut into tablespoons

    Directions:

    Banana Cake:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 9-inch round cake pans with parchment paper. Set aside.
    2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter until smooth. Add sugar and mix until creamy. Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
    3. Add vanilla and mashed bananas. Mix until combined.
    4. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.
    5. In another bowl, mix together buttermilk and sour cream. It will be chunky, that's okay.
    6. Add 1/3 of dry mixture to mixing bowl, followed by half of buttermilk. Repeat and end with remaining 1/3 of dry mixture. Mix until flour is incorporated into batter.
    7. Divide batter between the two prepared cake pans. Smooth out and level batter using mini off spatula or spoon.
    8. Bake for 30-40 minutes, rotating pan halfway thru baking. Insert toothpick in center of cake to check for doneness. Toothpick should come out clean. Otherwise, bake for another 5-10 minutes or so.
    9. Let cake cool in pan for 5 minutes. Then loosen edges of cake with an offset spatula. Remove cake from pan and let cool to room temperature on wire rack.

    Whipped Sea Salt Caramel:

    1. Using a heavy bottomed sauce pot, heat sugar and water on high heat. Let sugar melt. Do not stir or agitate mixture to prevent unwanted crystallization.
    2. Lower heat and allow syrup to color. Remove from heat once sugar syrup is aromatic and amber in color.
    3. Warm up heavy cream in the microwave for 1 minute. Add about 1/3 of warm cream to sugar syrup and whisk. BE VERY CAREFUL. The mixture will bubble and steam vigorously. Add remaining warm cream and continue to whisk until mixture has slightly cooled.
    4. Add butter and salt. Whisk until mixture is homogenized. Let cool to room temperature.
    5. Transfer cooled caramel to the bowl of stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment. Whip caramel on medium speed for 5-10 minutes until caramel has thickened to the consistency of buttercream and is much lighter in color.

    Cake Assembly:

    1. Once cake has cooled to room temperature, slice each cake into two even layers.
    2. Place one cake round on cake board. Spread about 1/2 cup of whipped caramel frosting on cake using an offset spatula. Repeat with remaining cake layers.
    3. Chill cake in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

    banana cake with whipped sea salt caramel

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    Comments

    jeannietay

    That looks absolutely amazing! the cream sounds just so yummy! Love how you frost your cake so tall:)

    Carrie

    What a great combination, can’t wait to try it !

      Maryanne

      I agree! I can’t wait for you to try it! Let me know how it goes :)

    Amy @ Swiss Miss in the Kitchen

    This cakes looks amazing! So pretty!!

    Sugar and Cinnamon

    Yum what a beautiful cake! The caramel sounds delicious!

      Maryanne

      Thanks Lillian! I checked out your blog and you have some good looking food!

    Tina Jui

    3 pounds of banana? Wow :) Cake looks and sounds amazing! Butter + caramel = fantastic combination.

      Maryanne

      Haha, yeah it was a great sale! I love anything with caramel :)

    Laura@ Baking In Pyjamas

    It sounds and looks delicious. I shall have to give that icing a try. Pinned.

    Yvonne King

    YUM!!! You had me at banana.

    Tea with Erika

    Looks incredible! Do you think this frosting could be piped?

      Maryanne

      Thanks! Yes, you can totally pipe with this frosting. Once you whip the caramel it eventually turns into a buttercream consistency because of the amount of butter in the caramel.

      Clarisse

      That looks Ah-MAZING! Yum!

    Katia

    This looks absolutely amazing :) how much is a stick of butter?

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Hi Katia! A stick of butter is equal to 1/2 cup. I’ve updated it on the recipe :)

    Katia

    Thank you :D

    Anne

    This cake looks absolutely delicious, and even though it’s only spring, I’m really excited to make it now! (Instead of waiting for fall). My only concern is, my husband and I are lactose intolerant. Is there any way to make the frosting without the heavy cream? Would there be a decent substitute?

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Hi Anne! I’ve never made caramel without using cream. I’ve seen a number of dairy-free caramel recipes in other blogs, but I’ve never tried them. Google dairy free caramel and you’ll get a ton of recipes that use coconut milk instead of cream. You can also use store-bought caramel and whip it into a simple buttercream to get the same the flavor. I hope that helps :)

    Ashley

    I made this for some friends we had over for dinner last Friday, and needless to say it was a HUGE hit!! I bake a lot myself, but I’ll be honest – I was a little scared I’d mess this up, especially the caramel part. But your instructions were thorough, and after following it to the “t” mine came out looking like your picture! Couldn’t be happier. Thank you so much! I’m adding this to our recipe “favorites”. :o)

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Hi Ashley! That’s so wonderful to hear! Your comment has made my day! :)

    Mari

    Made this for my birthday (which is today!) and it turned out beatifully! I LOVE everything about it- thanks so much! :-)

      Maryanne Cabrera

      HAPPY happy birthday Mari! I’m so glad you loved the cake! :)

    Prairie Gal Cookin'

    This is amazing looking – I bet it tastes great too! Thanks for sharing :)

    Michelle

    I cannot, for the life of me, get my sugar to turn amber in color. It just crystalizes. HELP! :)

      Maryanne Cabrera

      Make sure your sauce pot is clean and free of any debris. While the sugar is cooking, do not stir or agitate the pot. Cook the melted sugar over medium heat and keep a close eye on it. Once the sugar has melted, it only takes a minute or two for it start changing colors. I hope that helps!