Banana Butterscotch Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

banana-cake

There are almost always bananas in my house– if not for eating out of hand (I like them best when there’s still a touch of green at the tips), then at least in the freezer, where I stash them when they get too brown for snacking on. There they sit until it’s time to make banana muffins for my daughter’s school snacks… unless, as happened this time, the freezer is full and there’s already a bag of blueberry muffins for her to eat, leaving no room for more!

What to do? What I always do, of course– make dessert.

I decided that I’d make a basic cake to bring to work– nothing layered, just something I could bake and carry in a 9×13″ pan. But I couldn’t just bake a basic banana cake… no, I had visions of a butterscotch glaze, and maybe a frosting on top of that to gild the lily further.

Honestly, I think that I may have gone a little overboard– not because the combination wasn’t tasty, because it was, but because the flavor profile was basically overpowered by the cream cheese frosting. I think the cake would’ve been better without the frosting– the flavor of the brown sugar glaze would’ve come through more, along with the subtle sweetness of the banana. But if you’re a lover of cream cheese frosting, feel free to try this recipe as-written!

Banana Butterscotch Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Cake (from Sally’s Baking Addiction)

1 1/2 cups mashed ripe banana

3 cups flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. salt

3/4 cup butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

3 eggs, at room temperature (if they’re cold your batter will split)

2 tsp. vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups buttermilk, at room temperature (substitute: 1 1/2 cups milk with 2 tbs. white vinegar)

  1. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugars until fluffy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla, scrape down bowl, and beat until smooth.
  4. Add mashed banana and beat until well-combined.
  5. Alternately add one third of the flour mixture and half of the buttermilk, beginning and ending with the flour (flour-buttermilk-flour-buttermilk-flour).
  6. Pour batter into a greased 9×13″ pan and bake at 350 degrees F for about 45-50 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean.
  7. Upon removing from oven, immediately poke holes all over the cake with a toothpick, then leave to cool while you make the glaze.

Glaze

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup heavy cream

heavy pinch salt

1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

Bring all ingredients except vanilla to a simmer in a small saucepan and let bubble for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add vanilla. Let the glaze sit for about 10 minutes before pouring over the still-warm cake. Let the whole thing cool completely in the pan.

 

Frosting

8 oz. cream cheese

1/2 cup butter

3-4 cups powdered sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

pinch salt

Beat the butter and cream cheese together in a mixer until smooth. Add vanilla and salt and continue beating. Add powdered sugar one cup at a time until the frosting reaches your desired consistency. Spread over the cooled and glazed cake.

banana-frosting

banana-cake-toppings

Notes:

  1. The reason I have you let the glaze cool for 10 minutes is that if you pour your glaze while it’s too hot, it’ll just run down to the bottom of the cake– that keeps the cake very, very moist, but also makes the glaze fade into the background. If you let your glaze cool and thicken a bit it’ll sit on top of the cake more. Try for the consistency of hot fudge, then it’ll be ready to pour.
  2. The cake is pretty moist on its own regardless of the glaze. I honestly think you could reduce the butter and sugar a bit and still have it turn out great– I’m betting that you could use only 1/2 cup of butter and 1 1/4 cups of sugar total, making it marginally healthier and perhaps a bit sturdier.
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