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Caramel Coffee Banana Cake

Caramel Coffee Banana Cake

Comprised of two chocolate chunk banana cake layers soaked with a boozy coffee syrup. The cake is filled with a layer of salted caramel and coated with a coffee infused Swiss buttercream. 
Yield: 8-inch layer cake
Prep Time: 25 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Assembly Time: 20 mins
Total Time: 1 hr 10 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: banana cake, coffee banana cake, coffee buttercream, swiss buttercream, caramel banana cake
Servings: 14
Author: Maryanne Cabrera

Ingredients

Banana Cake:

  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter, room temp
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 2 large eggs, room temp
  • 2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • cup whole milk, room tem
  • ½ cup dark chocolate chunks, or chocolate chips

Swiss Buttercream (coffee flavored):

  • ¾ cup egg whites (6 large egg whites), room temp
  • 1 ½ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups (1 pound/16 oz) unsalted butter, cut into tablespoons, room temp
  • coffee concentrate mixture* (recipe follows)

Other Components:

  • coffee soaking syrup (1/3 cup strong coffee mixed with a splash of coffee liqueur)
  • sea salt caramel sauce (homemade or store-bought)
  • chocolate covered espresso beans, to garnish
  • cocoa nibs, to garnish
  • chopped chocolate, to garnish
  • freeze-dried banana slices, to garnish

Instructions

Banana Cake:

  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Line two 8-inch cake pans with parchment and lightly grease the sides of the pan. Set aside.
  • Whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter. Add sugar and brown sugar and mix until well combined. Add eggs one at a time. Add mashed bananas. Scrape down bowl as needed to ensure thorough mixing.
  • Alternate adding flour mixture and milk. In three additions, start with the flour and end with the flour. Mix until just combined. Fold in chocolate chunks.
  •  Divide batter evenly between the two prepared cake pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean. Let cool in pan for a few minutes before unmolding. Transfer to wire rack to cool to room temperature.

Coffee Swiss Buttercream:

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together egg whites and sugar. Place bowl over a pot of simmering water to create a double boiler. Make sure simmering water does not touch the bowl. Whisk sugar egg mixture until it reaches a temperature of 160° F.  
    Alternatively, if you don't have a thermometer, heat until all the sugar has melted. You can test test by dipping a finger into the warm mixture and rubbing it between your fingers. The mixture should be smooth. You should not be able to feel the granules of sugar.
  • Return bowl to the stand mixer. With a whisk attachment, beat mixture at medium speed until it cools to room temperature. Reduce speed to low and add butter one tablespoon at a time. Once all the butter is incorporated, add coffee concentrate mixture. Increase speed to medium-high and continue to beat until buttercream is light and fluffy

Assembly:

  • Place on cake round over a cake board (or serving plate). Using a pastry brush, lightly soak the cake with coffee soaking syrup. Spread a thin layer of caramel sauce (about 2 tablespoons) over soaked cake. Add a layer of coffee buttercream. You can use a piping bag or simply spread buttercream on top of cake.
  • Add second cake layer on top. Spread buttercream all over cake to seal in the crumbs (crumb coat). Let chill in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. Once chilled, coat the cake with another layer of buttercream. Return cake to refrigerator until ready to serve.
  • Before serving, drizzle caramel sauce over the top and sides of the cake. Decorate top of cake with chocolate espresso beans, cacao nibs, chopped chocolate, and freeze dried bananas. Allow buttercream to soften and allow cake to come to room temperature before serving.

Notes

Coffee Concentrate Mixture is 1 tablespoon of bottled coffee concentrate mixed with 2 teaspoons instant espresso powder.
You can use the homemade caramel sauce from this buttermilk chocolate cake. Or, I suggest the caramel sauce from Trader Joe's. 
All images and text ©The Little Epicurean