Banana Lemon Cream Cake with Caramel, Coconut and Pecan Buttercream

Get ready to have your socks knocked off with my new Banana Lemon Cream Cake, made with banana cake layers, caramel sauce, banana lemon cream filling, toasted coconut and pecan buttercream.

Banana Lemon Cream Cake with Caramel Sauce, Toasted Coconut and Pecan Buttercream

I can’t even begin to explain how excited I am for you to try this Banana Lemon Cream Cake. Who knew that banana paired with a hint of lemon would create something so remarkable? Well, I’ll tell you – the restaurant Handle Salt Lake did!

About a month ago, Ryan and I joined some friends for dinner at HSL. Our friends raved about a dessert that they said was a “must try.”

This dessert was a small banana cake, soaked in caramel sauce, topped with banana cream, toasted coconut, and walnuts. Off to the side of the cake was a scoop of lemon gelato.

Lemon gelato?

With banana cake?

I was so intrigued! So you know I took my fork and grabbed a little bit of everything for my first bite. Wow! What a flavor combo! I couldn’t stop taking bite after bite. I was in love and knew I needed to create a cake based off this dessert.

Inspired by HSL, this Banana Lemon Cream Cake has banana cake layers, slathered in caramel sauce, topped with a whipped banana lemon cream, toasted coconut, and pecan buttercream (I don’t love walnuts).

How to Make Banana Cake

What is it about banana cake that ALWAYS sounds good! Is it just me? I could eat it any day, any time of day! In fact, I had a slice with breakfast this morning!

This banana cake is moist, tender, and full of flavor. I wouldn’t call it light and fluffy, however. With three mashed bananas going into this cake, it’s definitely “heavier” than some of my other cakes. But don’t let heavy scare you or confuse you. This cake isn’t what I’d consider dense. Dense, to me, is a cake that’s similar to a pound cake with a really “tight” crumb. This cake has a looser crumb, but feels or tastes heavier as the texture isn’t light and fluffy like a vanilla cake or yellow cake.

Ingredients You’ll Need for Banana Cake

  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt
  • Unsalted butter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Granulated sugar
  • Light brown sugar
  • Eggs
  • Buttermilk
  • Vanilla extract
  • Over-ripe bananas, about 3 medium

Tips for Making Moist Cake From Scratch

  • Start with room temperature ingredients – the eggs, butter, and buttermilk should all be room temperature before you start making the cake batter. These ingredients better blend together and are better absorbed by the dry ingredients, which helps your cake to rise well and stay moist.
  • When mixing the butter, sugar, and eggs, beat the mixture on medium-high to high speed until light and fluffy, almost the consistency of a fluffy buttercream frosting.  This should take about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Once you start adding the dry ingredients with the buttermilk, turn the mixer to low and mix until just combined.  Over-mixing will cause the cake to be dense and sink.
  • Watch the cooking time. Remember, all our ovens are different. My time is a guide, so check your cake toward the end of the bake time I’ve given. The cake is done when you insert a toothpick in the center and it comes out with just a few moist crumbs on it.

Whipped Banana Lemon Filling

So this is where this cake gets interesting. And by interesting, I mean, exciting!!!

The lemon!

It’s not much so don’t panic. Just a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice is all you need. It packs a powerful punch but doesn’t steal the show. The way the lemon gives a “fresh” feel to this cake is simply magical.

How to Make Homemade Salted Caramel

Making homemade caramel sauce is super easy. Make sure you follow the steps from THIS blog post.

NOTE: we’re using a little more cream in the recipe below so our caramel is a little thinner and spreads/soaks better into the cake. You’ll see in my pictures my caramel is a little thicker. We don’t want that. After I took pictures and we taste tested, I knew I wanted it to be a little thinner in order to soak into the cake layers better.

How to Make Pecan Butter

Homemade nut butter is as simple as it gets to make. Just add your pecans to a food processor with a little olive oil and blend until smooth. That’s it!

How to Make the Best Buttercream Frosting

To get a light and fluffy homemade buttercream frosting, I have a detailed post: HOW TO MAKE THE BEST BUTTERCREAM to give you in depth instruction for making your buttercream unreal! Here’s a quick overview.

  • Sift your powdered sugar
  • Use slightly cold butter and mix on its own for 2 to 3 minutes
  • Use heavy whipping cream
  • Beat for 5 minutes
  • Stir by hand
  • You’ll want to check out the post linked above for more details on each step to make sure you get the best buttercream frosting. And remember, these steps can be used for any buttercream recipe on my blog.

Convert This Cake

How to Make a Layered Cake a Sheet Cake or Cupcakes

I get asked almost every day if one of my layered cakes can be turned into a sheet cake or cupcakes. The answer? Yes!

For baking temperature and time, the temperature will always remain the same. The time for a 9″x13″ sheet cake will be about 10 minutes longer than listed and the time for cupcakes will be about 5 to 10 minutes shorter.

Sheet Cake

If I were making this cake into a sheet cake, I’d stack it just like I would the layered cake:

  • Cake
  • Caramel sauce
  • Banana Lemon Cream
  • Toasted Coconut
  • Buttercream (which, I’d pipe on top of the coconut)

Cupcakes

If I were making this cake into cupcakes, I’d fill and decorate like this:

  • Scoop a small hole out of the center of the cupcake
  • Fill with cream filling
  • Pipe with buttercream
  • Sprinkle on coconut
  • Drizzle on caramel (you could also drizzle the caramel over the cupcake after you add the filling)

Other Banana Inspired Cakes You’ll Love

Banana Lemon Cream Cake with Caramel Sauce, Toasted Coconut and Pecan Buttercream

Banana Lemon Cream Cake with Caramel Sauce, Toasted Coconut and Pecan Buttercream

5 from 3 votes
Tender and pillowy banana cake layers, soaked with caramel sauce, and topped with banana lemon whipped cream filling, toasted coconut and pecan buttercream

Ingredients
 

For the Cake

  • 3 cups (360 g) all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon (3 g) baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon (4.2) g salt
  • 3/4 cup (169.5 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons (20 g) vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups (300 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup (73.3 g) light brown sugar
  • 3 eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup (360 g) buttermilk, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons (6.3 g) pure vanilla extract
  • 3 medium-sized over-ripe bananas mashed

For the Whipped Filling

  • 1 1/2 cup (360 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 3 tbsp banana flavored INSTANT pudding mix
  • 1/3 cup (41.6 g) powdered sugar
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice about the juice of half a large lemon

For the Salted Salted Caramel

  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar
  • 8 tablespoons (120 g) water
  • 2 teaspoons (14 g) light corn syrup or honey
  • 1 cup (240 g) heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon (4.2 g) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon (6 g) salt

FOR THE PECAN BUTTER

  • 3 cups (300 g) chopped pecans
  • 1 tablespoon (13.6 g) olive oil
  • *Makes about 1 ½ cups butter

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • 2 cups (452 g) unsalted butter slightly cold
  • 6 cups (750 g) powdered sugar measured and then sifted
  • Pecan butter, recipe above
  • 3 tablespoon (43.3 g) heavy whipping cream
  • Pinch of salt
  • *This buttercream recipe makes enough to fill and cover your cake. If you want to add additional piping you’ll want to make an extra ½ batch.

Garnish and Filling

  • About 1 cup toasted coconut, I buy mine pretoasted from Orson Gygi

Instructions
 

For the Cake

  • Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. Spray three 8-inch pans with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and spray again. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  • In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, oil, and sugars on medium-high speed until pale and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Lower the speed to medium and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until each is fully incorporated before adding the next (about 30 seconds). Add the vanilla.
  • With the mixer on low, add the dry ingredients alternating with the buttermilk mixture into the creamed mixture, starting and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix until just incorporated and remove bowl from stand mixer. Using a large stainless steel whisk, stir/whisk the mashed banana into the mixture–you can use use some strength and blend well, ensuring all of the ingredients are well mixed. (If you don’t have a large stainless whisk, you can fold the banana mixture in using a rubber spatula until incorporated.)
  • Divide the batter evenly between the pans, using a kitchen scale for the best accuracy. (For this recipe, you’ll have about 20 ounces of batter in each of the three 8-inch pans).
  • Carefully smooth the batter with small offset palette knife, and bake until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean, about 30 to 35 minutes.
  • Let pans cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely.
  • When the cakes are completely cooled, level the cake layers if necessary. Using a fork, poke holes all over the cake layers. Drizzle about ¼ to ⅓ cup of caramel over all three cake layers and allow the caramel to soak in.

FOR THE FILLING

  • In a medium bowl, combine the heavy whipping cream, pudding, powdered sugar and lemon juice. Using whisk attachment, beat until soft to medium stiff peaks form. Cover and refrigerate until read to use.
  • Best made a day or more before using.

For the Salted Caramel

  • Heat the cream in the microwave for about a minute. Set aside.
  • Combine the sugar, water, and corn syrup in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir until sugar is dissolved and then stop stirring.
  • You want the mixture to cook on its own. Stirring creates crystallization. If you notice sugar crystallizing on the sides of the pan, soak a pastry brush in warm water and run the brush along the sides of the pan where the sugar is building up.
  • Once the mixture turns amber in color, remove the pan from the heat and slowly add the cream, while stirring the caramel.
  • Add the vanilla and salt, and stir to combine.
  • Cool to room temperature before using. The caramel shouldn't be too thick. We want this on the slightly runny side.
  • Caramel can be refrigerated for up to two weeks in an airtight container.

FOR THE PECAN BUTTER

  • Combine the pecans and oil in a food processor and blend until you’ve created a nut butter.

FOR THE BUTTERCREAM

  • In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter on medium-high speed for about 2 minutes.
  • With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the powdered sugar, followed by the pecan butter and cream.
  • Turn the mixer to medium-high speed and beat the buttercream for about 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Before spreading on your cake, spend a couple minutes mixing the buttercream by hand with a wooden spoon to push out the air pockets.

Assembly

  • Spread a small dollop of buttercream on a cake board or cake plate. Place the first cake layer, top side up.
  • Pipe a rim of buttercream around the edge of the cake. Fill the center with half of the banana lemon cream filling. Sprinkle a handful of toasted coconut over the cream filling.
  • Repeat these steps with the second layer.
  • Place the final cake layer, top side down, on the second layer of filling.
  • Cover the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Freeze the cake for 15 minutes to set the crumb coat.
  • Once the crumb coat is set, continue to frost the cake with the remaining buttercream.
Cuisine Cake
Course Dessert
Keyword Banana, Banana Cake, Banana Cream Filling, Banana Lemon Cream Filling, caramel, Caramel sauce, Lemon, pecan, pecan buttercream

Courtney Rich

I’m a self-taught baker, obsessed with cake.

I long ago ditched box mixes in pursuit of melt-in-your-mouth, to-die-for flavor combinations, fillings and textures. I believe cake must be decadent, life-changing and worthy of celebration! And I believe anyone should be able to bake that kind of cake – and I’m here to teach you just that!

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  1. If someone has nut allergies, is there another buttercream you think would pair well with this? The banana lemon caramel combo sounds amazing!!