I made this cake as an experiment to see what a caramel frosting that didn’t require cooking would taste like. The only way I’d ever prepared it before was to heat a brown sugar/butter/cream mixture and then let it cool, which produced a very rich, albeit delicious, frosting. This one doesn’t require heating and produces a much lighter & fluffier frosting and I prefer it to the other.
I got the original recipe from my friend Cheryl, but I changed the yellow cake to a banana and used black walnuts b/c I absolutely love the combination of the two and thought they would pair well with a caramel frosting. My neighbor, who I gave a piece to, is still raving about it two months later. I think she just wants more cake. :)
Caramel Banana Cake with Black Walnuts
Adapted from Cheryl’s Caramel Yellow Cake recipe
1 (18.25 oz) Pillsbury yellow cake mix
1/3 cup oil
¾ cup water
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 cup mashed bananas (3 medium)
1 stick of butter
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup milk (I used evaporated)
1 stick of butter (room temp)
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup milk (I used evaporated)
16 oz. box of confectioner sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla
Caramel ice cream syrup
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour two 8 or 9-inch round pans and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine all cake ingredients and beat on low until moistened, then two minutes on medium speed (or two minutes by hand), occasionally scraping down sides of bowl with a spatula. Divide batter between prepared pans and bake for 34-38 minutes, or until a tester comes out either clean or with a few moist crumbs. Top will be golden brown, especially around edges. Turn cakes out onto wire racks to cool completely, about an hour.
Meanwhile, put the filling ingredients (except for the vanilla) into a saucepan and heat over medium until melted. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla. Pour into a metal or glass bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.
Prepare the frosting. Cream the butter with the brown sugar, then add the remaining ingredients & beat a few minutes, scraping bowl with a spatula, until creamy and well combined. If not using immediately , place plastic wrap directly on top of frosting and smooth flat with your hand all the way to the sides of the bowl, completely sealing it off from the air (otherwise it will develop a crust).
Once cake & filling are completely cool, level the cakes if they are domed on top. Put the first layer on a cake plate and spread the top with the filling. Put the second layer on top and frost the entire cake with the caramel frosting.
Press black walnuts into the sides and drizzle caramel syrup over the top.