Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting

Let me tell you about this fabulous cake.  Even if you don't like bananas, even if you don't like caramel or heck, even if you don't like cake!  You will love this!
Every night we do a dessert buffet.  And every time this cake is on the buffet, we get rave reviews and the question "will you share the recipe?"  
This little gem is from The Cake Doctor by Anne Byrn and if I ever met Anne, I would give her a great big THANK YOU!  It's on page 72&73 and if you open the Inn's copy of that book, chances are it will fall open directly on those pages.
We truly believe that the trick to this cake's deliciousness is the caramel frosting.  We've tried to make it in a bundt pan with a cream cheese frosting and it just isn't the same as the layer cake with the caramel.   Yum!
--- INGREDIENTS ---

 1 package of plain yellow cake mix
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 medium size ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about one cup)
1 cup water
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons creme de banane (we do not add this--just a note)

 --- DIRECTIONS ---
Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350.
Lightly grease two 9 inch round baking pans with your choice of  either shortening or spray.  Dust lightly with flour and tap our excess flour.  Set the pans aside.
Place the cake mix, brown sugar and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl.
Add the mashed bananas, water, oil, eggs and the liqueur if you decide to add that.
Blend with an electric mixer on low for one minute.  Scrape the sides of the bowl and increase speed to medium and blend for two minutes more.
Divide the batter between the two prepared pans.
Bake until lightly browned (30 to 32 minutes).  Remove and cool on wire racks for about 10 minutes.
Run a dinner knife around the edge to loosen and invert onto a rack and then again so that the cakes are right side up.
Allow to cool completely.
When layers are cool, frost with Quick Caramel Frosting (this will firm up very, very quickly as it cools so work fast!)

Quick Caramel Frosting
(Makes 3 cups--enough to frost a two or three layer cake)
1 stick of butter
1 cup packed brown sugar (Note: the original recipe calls for 1/2 cup light and 1/2 cup dark but we only have light.   It has worked nicely with one cup of the light).
1/4 cup whole milk
2 cups sifted confectioners sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the butter and brown sugar in a medium size heavy saucepan over medium heat.
Stir and cook until the mixture comes to a boil (about two minutes).
Add the mix, stir and bring the mixture back to a oil and then remove the pan from the heat.
Add the confectioners sugar and vanilla.
Beat with a wooden spoon until the frosting is smooth.
Use immediately while still warm to frost or the frosting will harden quickly.  If it does harden, just place on low heat until it softens.
- The William Henry Miller Inn http://www.millerinn.com Lynnette Scofield Bed and Breakfast Foodie
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