Here’s the thing about healthy living… you miss cakes. In my case not so much eating cakes but I really miss baking and photographing them. Baking has been my stress reliever for so long that I genuinely feel something’s not quite right if I haven’t baked anything in a few days. I have been obsessively updating my Pinterest boards with new recipes and ideas and in the end I kind of snapped and HAD to bake something, anything!!
Since we had a few bananas going brown that something had to be banana bread but I was in the mood for something a little fancier so I ended up with a three-layered Banana cake, spiked with rum butter (yum!) and filled with caramel cream cheese frosting. I mean if you are going to push the boat out you may as well go all out! I have testimonials from reliable witnesses that this tastes amazing – and I can vouch that the teeny-tiny bite I took was worth the calories!
The banana cake is a variation of my favourite recipe for banana bread and it is really so much more than that – packed with ground almonds, coconut and bananas it keeps moist for days and is the best thing ever. Add caramel to that and you are really onto to a winner! I used store-bought caramel but you can make it at home using this recipe if so inclined (leave out the cinnamon).
Caramel cream cheese frosting
150g | 5.3oz unsalted butter at room temperature, cubed
300g | 10.5oz full fat cream cheese
250g | 8.8oz icing (powdered) sugar, sifted
2 tbsp caramel sauce (store-bought or homemade)
1 tsp vanilla paste
Banana layer cake
Makes 3x20cm (8in) layers
4 medium ripe bananas
4 large eggs
160ml | 5.4fl oz coconut oil, melted (or vegetable oil)
300g | 10.5oz plain flour (you can mix in a little wholegrain flour if you like)
300g | 10.5oz light brown sugar
100g | 3.5oz ground almonds
100g | 3.5oz desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
2 tsp ground cinnamon
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
pinch ground cloves
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tbsp rum (or bourbon)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
3-4 tbsp caramel to drizzle
1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease three cake tins and dust lightly with flour (or use cake release spray).
2. Liquidise the bananas, eggs and oil in a food processor until smooth.
3. Sift all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the banana mix and fold in with a large spoon or spatula. Make sure there are no dry pockets of flour in the batter.
4. Divide the batter evenly between the three tins and bake for 25-30 minutes until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean. Cool in the tins for 5 minutes then invert on to a cooling rack.
5. Heat the dark brown sugar, bourbon and butter in a saucepan until butter is melted and sugar dissolved. Bring to the boil for a minute then cool slightly before brushing over the cake layers.
6. Smooth a generous amount of frosting over the bottom layer and top with second layer. Add another layer of frosting then top with third layer.
7. Smooth frosting along the top and sides – leaving the cake layers showing through for a ‘naked cake’ effect. Put in the fridge for 30 minutes (you can skip that if you are short on time).
8. Pipe the remaining frosting over the top and drizzle generously with caramel (heat for a few seconds in microwave to make it runny if it has set).