Thursday, April 4, 2013

Banana Cake with Caramel Icing

This is an easy cake to make and a great way to use those over-ripe bananas.  I oftentimes buy the “clearance” or “day old” bananas.  Most of the time my family will eat them before they get too mushy.  But for those occasions that they don’t, I either mash them up and freeze them in freezer bags or I make this cake (or Lyn's banana nut bread or no-sugar fudgsicles). 

The cake pairs well with a cream cheese icing as well.  I just prefer the caramel icing.  I also prefer this cake warm.  Of course it’s good cold too.

2 cups flour
1 ½ cups sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking soda
1 cup mashed ripe banana
½ cup buttermilk or sour milk (I put ½ tablespoon vinegar or lemon juice in a half cup measuring cup and add enough milk to fill, set aside for 5 minutes)
½ cup shortening
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Stir together four, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a large mixing bowl. Add banana, milk, shortening, eggs, and vanilla. Mix with mixer for 3 minutes or until it’s smooth and fluffy.

Pour into two round cake pans that have been greased and floured. You can use a 9x13 but you may have to bake it longer. Place in a 350 degree preheated oven. Bake for 25-35 minutes or until done (when a toothpick comes out clean).

Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Place the layers on cake racks to cool a bit. When using a 9x13, I just leave it in the pan (glass pan, not metal).

At this point I start the icing.


6 tablespoons salted butter (no substitutes)
6 tablespoons milk (preferably whole)
6 tablespoons white sugar
6 tablespoons dark brown sugar (you can use light, the taste will just be milder—I used light in the pictures provided)
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 ½ cups powdered sugar, sifted

Place the butter and milk in a medium saucepan and place over medium heat. When the butter is almost melted, add the white sugar and brown sugar. Whisk to blend and continue cooking until it starts to boil. Boil for 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in vanilla. Add the powdered sugar and whisk until smooth.

Slowly pour ¼ cup of icing over the cake (I start in the center and move outwards), continuing with ¼ cup at a time until cake is covered. I usually do ¼ cup on one cake, do ¼ cup on the other, switching back and forth. It gives the icing a chance to harden a bit. It seems like when you pour it all on the cake at once, most of it runs off the sides.

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