This cake was seriously evil… in a very good way!
It was hubby’s birthday cake, so it had to be something special. I’d been planning it for quite a while, but managed to hold my tongue and keep it a secret from him – trust me, that was the hardest part of making it!
My husband’s not a fussy man, so when it comes to cakes he’s easily pleased! He does have a slightly softer spot for caramel though, so last year I made him a caramel cake that was OK, but nothing special. Since then, we’ve discovered banoffee pie… caramel, cream, banana… what a combo! So it was pretty clear what sort of cake I had to make.
And it didn’t disappoint! Hubby loved it, guests loved it… I loved it!
My favourites for this bake…
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Yield: 4 layer 8 inch cake
A moist banana cake with layers of salted caramel and cream, smothered in a whipped cream and cream cheese frosting, salted caramel sauce and topped with crushed pecans.
340g (1 1/2 cups) caster sugar
4 large eggs
150ml single cream
5 medium bananas (420g)
420g (3 1/2 cups) flour
4g (1/2 tsp) salt
3 tsp vanilla bean paste
4g (3/4 tsp) baking soda
12g (3 tsp baking powder)
150g (3/4 cup) brown sugar
50g (1/4 cup) caster sugar
240ml (1 cup) double cream
2 tsp good quality salt (I used sea salt)
Whipped Cream & Cream Cheese Frosting
400ml double cream
200g cream cheese
135g (3/4 cup) icing sugar
Preheat oven to 180°C/350° F/Gas Mark 4, and line an 8″ (20 cm) cake tin with baking paper.
Cream butter and sugar together until pale and creamy, then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
In a separate bowl, add the flour, salt, and baking powder and stir to combine.
Mash the bananas, then stir in the vanilla bean paste and baking soda and set aside.
Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture in three parts, beating well between each addition, and alternating with the cream so that you start and finish with the dry mixture.
Add the mashed bananas, stirring through until just combined.
Measure out four even layers (use a scale if you have one!) and bake each layer for 30 minutes.
Gently melt the butter and sugar in a saucepan over medium heat.
Once bubbling, remove from heat and stir in the double cream and salt.
Place back on heat and stir continuously, allowing mixture to bubble up for a few minutes.
Remove from heat and pour into a bowl ready to refrigerate. You will initially have quite a dark, runny caramel, but as it cools it will begin to thicken.
Stir your caramel every ten minutes or so as it cools. You will be left with a lovely thick, pale gold caramel – delicious! Just try not to eat it all before you build your cake!
Whipped Cream & Cream Cheese Frosting
Whip your cream until it begins to thicken, then add in 1/2 cup icing sugar. Continue to whip just until soft peaks form – careful not to over beat!
Beat the cream cheese until smooth, then add in 1/4 cup of icing sugar and beat until combined.
Gently fold the two mixtures together.
Assembling Your Banoffee Cake
Use a cake cutting wire to level your cake layers.
Spread a generous layer of caramel over one side of each layer, then place your first layer caramel side up in the centre of your cake stand.
Place another layer on top of your cake caramel side up so that there is a layer of caramel sandwiched between the two cake layers, then spread a large spoon of the cream mixture over the top caramel layer.
Sandwich the remaining two layers together as above, then flip the cake over so that it is caramel side down and gently place on top of your cream layer. You will get caramel on your fingers, but don’t worry, you can lick it off!
Crumb coat your cake with the cream mixture, then place in the fridge for 20 – 30 minutes.
Use the remaining cream mixture to cover your cake in a thick layer, smoothing it out like frosting with a palette knife. Clean off your palette knife, then take a small amount of caramel and, in gentle strokes, smooth it over your cream layer. I found it easier to take lots of very small amounts of caramel, rather than trying to smooth large amounts out over the cream – you don’t want to blend the caramel and cream completely!
Tip: You want the caramel quite thick when spreading over your cake layers to prevent it from running down the sides, so do this straight from the fridge (if it’s not too thick!). For the outer caramel layer it will be much easier to spread if it’s softer – leave the caramel at room temperature while your crumb coated cake sets in the fridge and you should have the right consistency when it’s ready.