Banana Peanut Butter Caramel Cake


Sep 16

Banana Peanut Butter Caramel Cake – Tender banana cake layers with banana cream cheese frosting, whipped peanut butter frosting and salted caramel.

Inspiration

A banana-based cake has been on my list for a while now, but I couldn’t decide what I wanted to pair it with. There are just too many options: chocolate, peanut butter, coffee, cream cheese… the list goes on and on.
While it sat on my list of cakes to make, my friend told me about a milkshake she had at the Shake Shack. The shake was made up of custard ice cream, bananas, caramel and peanut butter. After I lifted my jaw off the ground, I wrote it down and decided right then that it would be the inspiration for this cake.
 

Banana Peanut Butter Caramel Cake

My banana cake recipe is based off a recipe from Sweetapolita (cake goddess). The recipe, unfortunately, doesn’t work great in high altitude, so I made a few adjustments. The first change I made was to add more flour and reduce some of the sugar. Sugar always seems to be the culprit of sinking cakes, especially in high altitude. I also added a bit more buttermilk to ensure a super moist cake. The last thing I wanted was for this cake to be too dry and crumbly in texture and taste like a muffin!
I’m pleased to say, this cake is no banana muffin. It’s definitely banana CAKE. Flavorful. Moist. Delicious.

Banana Frosting

To add a little more banana flavor throughout the cake, I used Banana Emulsion in the frosting. Not too much, though. Just enough to amp up the flavor.

Peanut Butter Frosting

And what pairs better with banana than peanut butter?! Nothing! (Certainly not in my opinion.) This light peanut butter frosting is the perfect addition to this cake.
To top it all off, I added some salted caramel between each cake layer and on top of the cake. I also sprinkled the cake with THESE salted caramel crisps from Orson Gygi.  I think you’ll love how you get a hint of salt with each bite of the sweet banana cake and peanut butter frosting.
And here’s a quick video to show you how to assemble and decorate this cake.

Enjoy!

Banana Peanut Butter Caramel Cake

Prep

Cook

Inactive

Total

Yield One 4-layer, 6-inch cake or 3-layer 8-inch cake

Tender banana cake layers with banana cream cheese frosting, whipped peanut butter frosting and salted caramel.

Ingredients

For the Banana Cake

  • 3 cups plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup light brown sugar
  • 3 large or extra large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 medium-sized bananas, mashed

For the Banana Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3 cups powdered sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 1/4 teaspoon banana emulsion (or more if you prefer a stronger banana flavor)
  • pinch of salt 

For the Peanut Butter Frosting

  • 4 tablespoons heavy cream, chilled
  • 2 cups cups confectioners' sugar, measured and then sifted
  • 3/4 cups (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • Pinch of coarse salt 

For the Salted Caramel

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 4 tablespoons water
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

For the Banana Cake

  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Spray four 6-inch pans (or three 8-inch pans) with nonstick cooking spray, line the bottoms with parchment paper, and spray again. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.)
  5. Divide the batter evenly between the four pans, using a kitchen scale for the best accuracy. (For this recipe, you'll have about 15 ounces of batter in each of the four 6-inch pans or 20 ounces of batter in each of the three 8-inch pans). 
  6. Carefully smooth the batter with small offset palette knife, and bake until a toothpick or skewer comes out clean, about 25 to 30 minutes. 
  7. Let pans cool on wire rack for 10 minutes, then invert cakes onto racks, gently, peeling away parchment rounds. Let cool completely. 
  8. When the cakes are completely cooled, level the cake layers if necessary
  9. The cake layers can be made up to a week in advance. If you plan to make it in advance, cover each cake layer with two layers of plastic wrap. When you're ready to frost your cake, take the cake layers out of the freezer an hour before you decorate.

For the Banana Frosting

  1. Combine the butter and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat until combined, about one minute.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sifted powdered sugar, followed by the banana emulsion and salt.
  3. Increase the speed to medium and beat the frosting for 5 minutes, until light in color and texture.
  4. Continue to mix by hand using a wooden spoon to smooth out air bubbles. 

For the Peanut Butter Frosting

  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and peanut butter. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, about 45 seconds.
  2. Add the powdered sugar to the bowl and mix in, slowly at first until incorporated, then increasing the mixer speed to high. Blend in the vanilla extract, salt, and cream. Continue to whip on medium-high speed until very fluffy, about 4-5 minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

For the Salted Caramel

  1. Mix the sugar, water and corn syrup in a small saucepan.
  2. Bring the mixture to boil over medium heat, but DO NOT STIR! (Stirring encourages crystallization). Let the mixture cook until it turns to a golden brown/amber color. It happens quickly, so keep an eye on it.
  3. Remove the caramelized sugar syrup from the heat and very slowly stir in the cream, pouring it in little by little, to temper the cream and sugar syrup. If you pour it in all at once, your sugar will turn into hard candy. You can start adding more and more as you go along.
  4. Once the cream is mixed in, add the salt and vanilla. Stir to combine and then set aside to cool to room temperature before using.    

Assembly

  1. After you've leveled each cake layer with a cake leveler or serrated knife, place the first cake layer, top side up, on a cake board.
  2. Cover the cake layer with about 1/2 cup banana frosting.
  3. Drizzle with salted caramel and place another cake layer on top.
  4. Repeat these steps until you get to the final cake layer, which you will place top side down.
  5. Apply a thin layer of frosting around the entire cake to lock in the crumbs. Freeze for 10 minutes.
  6. After the crumb coat is set, continue to frost the cake with the peanut butter frosting and add the caramel drip.

Courses Dessert

Cuisine Cake

20 thoughts on “Banana Peanut Butter Caramel Cake

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I adore all your recipes, this one is no different! The link isn’t working on the banana emulsion you recommended and I was wondering what you prefer using? If you don’t mind me asking anyway, I haven’t been able to find one I enjoy…

    Same goes for Almond Extracts now that I’m bugging you 😉 Do you have a favorite? I am all about natural flavors and I know you feel the same! Thanks again for everything you share; your mad skills and recipe development, it’s truly inspiring!

  2. I made this cake for my moms birthday! We haven’t eaten or decorated yet. My cake rose in the oven but then was flat and dense. I realized I forgot the brown sugar. Is this going to ruin the flavor of this cake?

    1. Oh no! Yeah, it’s definitely going to have a different flavor than it’s supposed to. Probably also a reason it fell. Also, old baking powder and over mixing the batter causes it to do that too.

  3. Wow!!! I had some leftover bananas and was looking for something new besides the same old banana bread. So glad I found this!!! I even left out the banana frosting and salted caramel (just used peanut butter frosting). Amazing. Will definitely be making this again!

  4. Omg this looks delicious! I do have one quick question, are the high altitude changes still in the recipe? (I live at 5300ft)

    1. I think you’ll be good to go since I make this cake in high altitude as well, but if you want to be extra safe, take out three tablespoons of sugar. Sugar tends to weigh cakes down in high altitude.

  5. Are there any adjustments for making his in 8 in pans? And just an FYI- the assembly instructions don’t clarify difference between the banana frosting and the peanut butter frosting.

  6. Is it correct that this recipe is for 3 6-inch cake pans? Normally your recipes are for 3 8-inch pans, your pictures show 4 layers, and the ingredient amounts are similar to your other 3 8-inch pan recipes. Just want to be sure I am prepped for the pan sizes and quantities. 😁

  7. Is this recipe for 3 6-inch cake pans? Just want to double check since your recipes normally make 3 8-inch cakes, your picture shows a four layer cake, and the ingredient amounts seem close to your typical 3 8-inch recipes. Thanks!

  8. Hiii Courtney!! I want to try out this Banana cake and i was wondering if, is it possible to make cupcakes with this batters instead??

    Would love to know! Thank you!!

    Love you and your cakes!!💕