Sometimes you just don’t want a big commitment. Saturday, I went on a 16 mile hike up the highest peak in Orange County. That was a big commitment; there was snow at the top of the mountain.. in Orange County…
I was totally ok with that commitment.
But sometimes, dessert can be a big commitment, especially cakes.
Because of this, I think my 6 inch cake pans were a great investment, and I think this banana cake has been my greatest creation from them so far.
I actually made this twice, so I can tell you with confidence that it’s doubly tasty.
Little Banana Cake with Caramel Filling
adapted from Epicurious
1 cup + 1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp corn starch
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) butter
1/2 cup sugar, heaping
1 ripe banana, mashed
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp whole milk
1/2 tsp vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup sugar
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp cream
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Pre-heat oven to 350F.
Sift together flour, corn starch, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Cream together butter and sugar until fluffy (about 3 minutes). Add in egg, continue to beat for another minute or two. Beat in mashed banana, milk, vinegar and vanilla. Add in flour mixture until well combine.
Pour batter into 2 (6 inch round) cake pans (greased, floured and bottom lined with parchment paper). Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden and cooked through (mine took 25 mins, but yours might differ based on your oven so start checking after 20 mins). Allow to cool completely.
Make caramel filling. Melt sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat. Once sugar starts to melt turn flame to low. Work out any clumps by stirring. Once the sugar syrup is a deep amber color, remove from heat stir in butter (mixture will foam a lot but keep stirring), stream in cream as you stir, then stir in vanilla and salt. Set aside to cool a bit.
Level off each layer using a serrated knife. Place your bottom layer crumb side down on a plate (put some pieces of parchment paper around the edges to get a clean frost). Spread half the caramel in the middle of the cake. Put second layer on top and spread with remaining caramel. Caramel should still be warm to the touch but not pourable. You’ll have to spread it with the wooden spoon and it will smooth out on its own (if you let it cool too much you won’t get a smooth top. Alternatively if the caramel is too hot, it might flow over the edges, no biggie, you can cover that with icing).
Next make frosting. Beat half a cup of heavy cream, once it starts to form soft peaks add in sugar and vanilla. Continue to beat until it forms firm peaks. Frost the cake as desired. If you plan to frost the entire thing (including the top) and decorate, double the frosting. I only frosted the sides
then used a piping bag with a star tip to decorate the edges to leave the caramel exposed. Both are great, tasty options.
If you’re ready for a big commitment (aka a full size cake), double the recipe and bake in two 8 or 9 inch cake pans.
Either way, store this cake in the fridge until about 45 minutes before you’re ready to serve it. Don’t come complaining to me that your caramel is too hard if you take it out of the fridge and slice it immediately. Like all commitments, that part needs time too.
What’s your next commitment?
Please tell me it’s this little banana cake!