Banana Cake With Burnt Sugar Buttercream
What makes this the best ever banana cake? You start with a cake mix, so it’s easy. It’s what I call semi-homemade. It may begin with a boxed mix, but it’s made glorious by the clever addition of some extra spices in the batter. The cake is simply delicious.
Then, cloak the cake in the best buttercream frosting to ever touch your lips. The rich, decadent flavoring of the frosting comes from the addition of burnt sugar syrup you make with just sugar and water. It’s so cool! Then, the whole frosted cake is sprinkled with brickle bits for a delightful bit of crunch.
How To Make Burnt Sugar Syrup It Will Amaze You
We’ll start by making the sugar syrup because it needs to cool before using it to make the frosting. When I try something new, like making burnt sugar syrup, I always wonder who was the clever person who thought it up.
I had never melted sugar before. In fact, I didn’t know you could, but this is downright fun to do. Start some water boiling in a pan or tea kettle as you begin; you will need it in a while.
This step is fun-part cooking, part science experiment. You start by melting plain old white sugar in a heavy pan on medium heat until it’s a beautiful golden tan. The sugar will begin to melt after about 5 minutes and start to turn a beautiful golden brown. Lumps will form as the sugar melts, so use a wooden spoon to smash them!
Once all the lumps are gone, the whole pan of sugar will be melted to a gorgeous suntan brown. This can take 8-10 minutes.
Now measure 3/4 cup of the boiling water into a heatproof glass measuring cup and drizzle it s-l-o-w-l-y into the melted sugar. Once you’ve added all the water, continue to cook and stir the syrup for another three minutes or so until all the sugar dissolves. BE CAREFUL because the melted sugar is very hot and will hiss and spit when you add water.
I can’t resist adding this picture because the syrup is so beautiful.
Finally, pour the syrup into a glass container and let it cool. It will get thicker as it cools. Yay! This recipe makes about a cup of syrup, enough for two batches of frosting, and it keeps well in the fridge! (Believe me, you’ll be glad you have it ready because you’ll want to make this cake again!)
How To Make The Delicious Semi-Homemade Best Ever Banana Cake
This part is so simple! Add the spices and baking soda to the dry cake mix and whisk it together. Next, add the oil, water, and eggs using the directions on the box. Finally, add the mashed bananas, stir them in thoroughly, and pour the batter into a greased thirteen-by-nine-inch cake pan.
Bake at 350 degrees for about thirty-five minutes. The cake is done when a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when poked into the center of the cake. This best-ever banana cake tastes better than any from-scratch banana cake I have ever tasted. I promise this recipe will not disappoint you.
Now let the cake cool while you make the fabulous frosting! The cake should be cool to the touch before you put the frosting on top.
Let’s Make Burnt Sugar Buttercream
I used a stand mixer, but you can use a hand mixer and a large bowl if you prefer. Beat the butter until it’s creamy, then add the burnt sugar syrup, vanilla, salt, powdered sugar, and milk or cream. Beat, starting at low speed until everything is incorporated. Then turn the mixer up to high and beat for about another two minutes.
You may need to add a little powdered sugar or a little milk or cream to get it to the right consistency for spreading. Don’t be afraid to add a little more salt if you like- maybe another 1/4 teaspoon. The sweet/salty thing works great on this cake!
Here’s how the creamy, delicious frosting looks when it’s all done and ready to spread on the best ever banana cake. As the baker, you have all rights to lick the beaters, and I hope you do!
Now slather that frosting on the cake! I sprinkled some brickle bits (Heath brand, in a bag in the baking aisle) on top for looks and a delicious crunchy element on this best-ever banana cake!
You will want to hold on to this amazing frosting recipe because there are so many wonderful ways you can use it!!
- 1 Box of yellow cake mix
- 1 tsp Baking soda
- 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
- 1 Pinch Cloves
- 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
- 1 cup water
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large ripe banana, mashed
- 1 tsp vanilla
Burnt Sugar Syrup
- One cup white granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup boiling water
Burnt Sugar Buttercream Frosting
- 1/2 cup burnt sugar syrup COOLED
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 1 cup butter (two sticks) softened at room temperature
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 Tbsp whole milk or half and half
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup or more of brickle bits for garnish, optional
- Burnt Sugar Buttercream Instructions
- Start some water boiling in a tea kettle or small pan as you begin.
- Put sugar in a heavy-duty metal saucepan on medium heat.
- After about 5 minutes, the sugar begins to melt and starts to turn a beautiful golden brown. Lumps will form as it melts; use your wooden spoon to smash them!
- Once all the lumps are gone, the whole pan of sugar will be melted to a gorgeous suntan brown. This can take 8-10 minutes.
- Now measure out 3/4 cup of the boiling water into a heatproof glass measuring cup
- .S-l-o-w-l-y drizzle it into the melted sugar. BE CAREFUL because it will hiss and spit when you do
- Once you've put all the water in, keep cooking and stirring for another three minutes or so until all the sugar is dissolved
- Now pour it into a glass jar with a lid and let it cool for about an hour in the refrigerator
- Beat the butter until it's creamy, then add burnt sugar syrup, vanilla, salt, powdered sugar, and milk or cream. Mix until everything is incorporated
- Turn the mixer up to high and beat another two minutes or so. You may need to add a little powdered sugar or a little milk or cream to get it to the right consistency for spreading.
- Don't be afraid to add a little more salt if you like- maybe another 1/4 teaspoon. The sweet/salty thing works great on this cake!
- 2. Banana Cake Instructions
- Whisk the dry ingredients together
- Add eggs, oil, vanilla, and water, then mix as directed on the cake mix box
- Mash the bananas, add to the batter and stir them in thoroughly
- Pour batter into a greased thirteen by nine-inch pan
- Bake for about 35 minutes in a 350-degree oven or until a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the center of the cake.
- Cool cake completely.
- Frost with burnt sugar buttercream icing and sprinkle with brickle bits, if desired.
A couple of years ago, I made a banana cake entirely from scratch, including homemade vanilla pudding between the layers. It was fantastic, but it also required a lot of work and dishes to wash! After I tasted this cake, I found I liked it even better!
It would be too tempting to have a whole cake like this in the house with only two of us to eat it! Once again, our son-in-law’s staff helped us out. They polished it off in record time and licked their forks when it was gone!
My husband is supposed to eat a banana every day to help with leg cramps, but somehow the bananas always ripen quicker than we think. I end up with lots of bananas to use in baking.
I simply peel them and pop them in freezer bags, squeezing out as much air as possible. We love banana anything, so I always have some on hand, ready to defrost and put to work! What are some of your favorite banana recipes?
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