Caramel Frosted Banana Walnut Cake

Banana Walnut Cake with Caramel Frosting 550b

 Banana bread. Banana cake. Banana muffins. Freezing bananas.


Obviously I have a banana thing going on here.

Mostly, I buy too many bananas.

And when you buy too many bananas, you end up with brown bananas.

And then you have to find things to do with bananas.

And sometimes you need to switch it up.

So we’ve gone there, a few times, Caramel Frosted Banana Walnut Cakeyou and me.

And we’re going again.

With this cake.

Because, you know.

Too many bananas.


My sister and I had a mini-debate one morning, about whether it’s better to have a little sweet treat in the morning or later in the day.

She was a morning proponent, I was a later in the day proponent.

Let me just tell you – this cake refuses to abide by time regulations.

It pretty much has a voice and says things to you like, “Oh, I would be sooo good with your morning coffee,” and “Just have a little bite as you walk through the kitchen,” and “I’m made with bananas and whole wheat flour, for cripes sake – take two bites, and just park your fork right here on the cake plate for when you come back in five minutes. Why dirty more dishes??”

And you’ll realize, that unless you get it out of the house, you are going to be sneaking bites all day long, rationalizing that it’s just as easy to walk through the kitchen as it is to go through the living room, that laundry would be so much more peaceful if you had a slice as you folded, that what would really feel relaxing is to sit and read and have tea and banana cake, and that you’ve been eating so healthy lately, that what’s a little banana cake between friends – and by friends, I mean you and the couch.

So back to the debate. My in-depth studies have demonstrated this:

A piece of this cake in the morning will hurtle you down a wicked spiral all day long. The spiral may or may not be limited to banana cake.

But say you’ve been avoiding grains and sugar, and then you indulge in a modest square of Caramel Frosted Banana Walnut Cake.

All of a sudden you’re eating Goldfish Crackers and pre-packaged cookies for lunch and following it up with a late afternoon snack of french fries and coffee.

I know. Caramel Frosted Banana Walnut Cake


But it happens.

But let us not condemn the cake.

It is, in fact, an amazing little confection.

A single layer of walnut-studded banana goodness, topped with approximately a half-inch layer of rich caramel frosting.

In my personal opinion, the frosting to cake ratio is perfection. If you’re not a frosting person, then I would venture to say . . . don’t be stupid it’s probably not then, I guess. (But really??)

My advice would be:

Make this cake.

And carefully divide it into portions for friends to whom you can hand it off immediately.

Then they can do things like text you from their car moments after you’ve given it to them and tell you that they are eating it as they sit in the parking lot, sans fork, and oh – they hope they weren’t supposed to take any home to their family because, well – it’s gone.

It’s ok, friend. That was for you and only you. And sometimes I don’t use a fork either. I just face-plant in the cake plate and start chewing.

Caramel Frosted Banana Walnut Cake

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Yield: 16-20 small servings

This is a delightful single layer cake - which by nature of not stacking makes it easier. It's impressively delicious, and decidedly homey, which makes it perfect for company or simple after school snacking. It could potentially serve 20 people very modestly sized squares, however, it's probably best shared with no more than 16 - and you may want it just for you and three friends!


    For the Cake:
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted, room temp butter
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup well-mashed over-ripe banana pulp (about 2 bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • For the Frosting:
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cups firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup, plus 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 3+ cups powdered sugar (depending on preference for thickness)


Preheat oven to 350F.

Line a 9"x9" square baking pan with parchment paper.

Sift flours, baking soda, and salt into a medium bowl. Set aside.

In the bowl of a mixer, add butter and brown sugar. Beat until well combined and fluffy(ish).

Beat in the sour cream and egg until thoroughly combined.

Add in banana pulp and vanilla. Mix well.

Add in flour mixture and beat until combined.

Fold in walnuts.

Pour batter into prepared pan and place in oven. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Cake is done when a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out mostly clean.

Place on cooling rack and allow to cool completely.

When cake is cool, prepare the frosting:

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and brown sugar. Heat until it comes to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Cook at boiling for two minutes. Remove from heat and beat in the heavy cream, vanilla and salt. Beat in one cup of powdered sugar. Mix thoroughly. Add in another cup and mix well. Evaluate thickness. Add in more powdered sugar, one half cup at a time until you reach your desired consistency. (I like mine thicker, so I went with about 3.5 cups).

Pour frosting over the top of the cake, working quickly to smooth over the top. The thicker it is, the faster it will develop a dry outer layer.


Adapted by Sara| Home is Where the Cookies Are from The View From Great Island


15 thoughts on “Caramel Frosted Banana Walnut Cake

  1. Oh goodness, I am swooning–SWOONING I SAY–over that thick layer of frosting on top! And also cracking up over your description of sneaking bites of cake, which pretty much describes me with every baked good, ever. (Like, I purposefully cut brownies unevenly so I have to go in and “even them up” later. Because symmetry, right?) This looks like a winner and I can’t wait to buy too many bananas too so I can experience the magic!

    • Symmetry for sure. That’s an excellent excuse. I usually use that with rice crispie treats. I can wolf down 3/4 a tray of those on my own. But then I just feel like a ought to make it an even 4/4. I hear ya sister.

  2. I have to admit that I am not a frosting person *ducks DIY garbage bowl* BUT I think we can let me have this one, okay, you not-an-ice-cream-person, you!

    Bananas, though, I’ll take any day, and this cake looks delicious.

  3. For real?! Yum. I love banana anything and a thick frosting that’s the perfect sweetness (meaning not so sweet it’s burning your mouth), yes please. I love it.

  4. I gave this recipe to several of my co-workers knowing someone would have the time before I did to make it-wow, really good. Said she cooked it exactly 1 hour and 20 minutes and put it in the freezer like it said. There was nothing left at the end of the morning!

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