Banana Cake with Brown Butter Frosting – a cross between a butter cake and banana bread, this is an easy to make, moist, tender banana cake with a slightly caramel-y flavoured brown butter frosting. Homemade at it’s best!
There’s something about this cake that just says homemade deliciousness. Perhaps because it evokes remembrance of warm fresh banana bread just like mom used to make, or the sweet butter icing reminds me of birthday cake as a kid. Whatever the reason, this is one cake worth making for its moist, tender texture and bold banana flavour.
While it’s fine to use over ripe bananas in this banana cake recipe, the only drawback is that they will slightly change to colour of the cake from paler to darker. As you can see from the photo of the cut slice below, this banana cake can have a fairly light colour inside that is quite a bit different from a darker banana bread style cake. If you want to maintain the paler colour, be sure to use bananas that are ripe but have not quite begun to speckle. Under-ripe bananas are to be completely avoided; be sure there is no green colour at all left in the peel. Don’t puree the bananas until the last minute either because the puree can darken if exposed to the air.
This home style cake is a terrific dessert recipe to use all year long; from summer BBQ’s to winter Sunday dinners.
If by chance you’d also like my mom’s recipe for an old fashioned banana bread, you can find it here. My kids still love it, especially when I add chocolate chips, just like mom did.
There is also a Brown Butter Cream Cheese Frosting that is excellent on this cake. You can find that one with our recipe for Sticky Toffee Pumpkin Cake.
Like this Banana Cake recipe?
- 3 cups all purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp baking soda
- 3/4 cup butter
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups freshly pureed banana
- 1/3 cup milk
- 1 cup brown butter
- 4 cups icing sugar powdered sugar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4-6 tbsp milk approximately
Lightly grease and flour two 9 inch round cake pans. Line the bottoms with parchment paper for easy release form the pans later.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Sift together the flour, baking powder and baking soda and set aside.
Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Beat in the vanilla extract.
Mix together the banana puree and milk.
Fold in the dry ingredients alternately with the pureed banana/milk, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. I generally add the dry ingredients in 3 portions and the banana in 2 portions. Be careful not to overmix or you risk toughening the cake texture.
Spread the batter equally into the prepared pans and bake for 35-40 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.
Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before turning the cakes out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
To brown butter just melt it in a small saucepan over medium heat and watch it carefully until the color turns light golden brown.
Pour it off immediately into a heat proof measuring cup, leaving the sediment behind. (Or most of the sediment, I actually add a 1/2 tsp or so of it to the frosting for flavour.)
Allow the brown butter to cool to room temperature and solidify.
Beat all ingredients together until smooth, fluffy, and a spreadable consistency. Use a couple of tablespoons of milk to begin and add more if need be, or of it becomes too thin, just add a couple more tablespoons of icing sugar at a time to get to the proper consistency.
Frost the middle and top of the cake. If you want to completely frost the cake sides too, you can double the frosting recipe.
2. I've decorated the cake in the photos with brûlée banana slices. These are best added just before serving because they don't hold up to humidity and moisture very long.
To make them I cut thick slices of banana and coat them in plain white sugar. I then put a slice at a time on a metal skewer and caramelize the sugar with a brûlée butane torch.