Banana Caramel Layer Cake
Scrumptious banana cake with caramel cream cheese frosting, chocolate ganache drip, and banana walnut praline.. oh yeah!
This recipe was born out of a bowlful of overripe bananas and a desire to make something other than banana bread with them, mission accomplished! Banana, caramel, chocolate, there’s a reason why you see these flavour combo’s so often, because together they’re pretty magical. This is a great cake for entertaining, but if you’re not feeling that greedy then you could easily halve the recipe to make one smaller two layer cake instead.
– 225g unsalted butter, softened
– 1 cup caster sugar
– 4 eggs
– 4 med-large overripe bananas, mashed
– 3 cups self-raising flour, sifted
– 2 tsp bicarb soda
– 2/3 cup milk
– 2 tsp vanilla extract
Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting
– 500g cream cheese, softened
– 125g unsalted butter, softened
– 1 x 380g can Nestle Caramel Top N Fill
– 200ml thickened cream
– 1 cup icing sugar
– 250g dark couverture chocolate, finely chopped
– 100ml thickened cream
Banana Walnut Praline
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/3 cup banana chips, roughly chopped
– 1/3 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
Preheat oven to 190 degrees celcius. Grease and line two 7″ round cake tins.
Place butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until light & fluffy. Next, add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold through the mashed banana. Then fold through the remaining ingredients in thirds, alternating between the flour, and combined bicarb soda & milk. Pour the batter evenly between the two prepared cake tins, and bake for 45mins or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Leave in tins for 5mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cake is cooking prepare the cream cheese frosting. Place the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat on a low speed until light and fluffy. Add the Top N Fill caramel and beat until just mixed through. Then add the sifted icing sugar and beat for 1-2mins until combined. In a separate bowl whisk the cream to stiff peaks. Carefully fold the whipped cream through the cream cheese mixture until just combined, you may need to do this in two batches. Cover the bowl with clingfilm and pop it in the fridge for around 1hr to chill and firm up. (Variation: If you’d like to make this a salted caramel frosting then add some sea salt flakes to taste when adding the icing sugar).
To assemble the cake, cut each cake in half giving you four layers in total (use one of the cake bottoms as the top layer of your final cake so that it has a nice straight edge). Place the first layer on your serving plate and spread a layer of the cream cheese frosting on top. Continue to layer up the cake with the frosting, then cover the top and sides as well. Remember to reserve some of the frosting for the final piped decoration on top of the cake. Note that cream cheese frosting is a softer style frosting, so try not to work it too much as it may just start sliding off your cake, especially if it’s a hot day, feel free to keep it more rustic looking. If you find that your frosting is getting too soft, pop it in the fridge to let it firm up a bit before continuing. Once the cake has been completely covered, pop it in fridge for an hour or so to thoroughly chill and let the cream cheese frosting firm up.
To make the praline decoration line a baking tray with baking paper, and spray lightly with some oil spray. Spread the chopped banana chips and walnuts over the tray. Place the sugar and 1-2 tbsp water into a saucepan over a medium heat, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil, then boil without stirring until the sugar turns an amber colour. Pour the sugar over the nuts and then set aside for 20mins to set completely. Carefully peel off the baking paper and then break the praline it into shards.
To make the ganache topping place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a saucepan over a medium heat until it just comes to the boil, then pour the hot cream over the chocolate and leave it to sit for 1-2mins. Stir the mixture until it all comes together into a thick glossy ganache. If you find that any of the chocolate has not completely melted, then pop the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water and continue to stir until it has completely melted. Set the bowl aside to cool slightly.
Once the cake has chilled, pour the ganache over the top of the cake and spread it out, encouraging it to spill over the edges and drip down the sides. Pop the cake back in the fridge for 5mins to set slightly. Next place the leftover frosting into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, and pipe some decorations around the top of the cake before finishing it off with the praline shards.
Let the cake come up to room temperature before serving. This cake will keep well for up to 5 days stored in the fridge.