It’s not every day that your parents or (soon to be parents in-law) celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary. If that day occurs and there’s any sort of celebration to be had, it’s a darn good excuse to bake something overly indulgent to help mark the special occasion. That is why I looked through endless pins of lavish desserts on Pinterest to finally find the winner of my heart: Banana Caramel Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting. Hallelujah!
For the anniversary, Graeme’s brothers decided to put together an awesome surprise dinner complete with Thai food from their parents favourite Thai restuarant. The kicker though was the 20 minute drive around town…blindfolded! The boys asked their parents to get all dolled up only to be escorted around town by Graeme in blindfolds. (Note: do not attempt if anyone experiences motion sickness). In the meantime, the other three set the table and picked up the food. When their parents arrived back at the house (assuming they were now somewhere else, far, far away), the boys were all dressed to the nines in their suits, mocking French accents.
Once dinner was complete, we dug into dessert, but I must confess, I cannot take credit for the recipe. I found it at The Kitchn. I did change a few things though, such as the caramel itself. Since I’ve been knee-deep in finding a venue for our wedding, I skimped out on the homemade version and hit up the grocery store. But if you’re feeling extra Martha-y, knock your socks off! (And let me know how it goes.) Oh and I also only had two round cake pans to work with so instead of three layers, I stuck with two which meant the bake time changed. Lastly, I opted for only a 1/2 cup of caramel in the cake batter (split between the two pans), rather than the original suggestion of 1.5 cups. (Trust me, it is plenty.)
Banana Caramel Cake with Caramel Buttercream Frosting Recipe
3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened at room temperature for an hour
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
1 1/2 cups mashed bananas, from about 4 to 5 medium bananas
1/2 cup caramel sauce (I used store-bought)
Heat oven to 325°F and grease two 9-inch cake pans.
Using a mixer, cream the butter, brown and white sugars. Add the eggs and beat until combined to be a silky texture.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour with the baking soda and salt. Whisk the milk, vanilla, and mashed bananas in a separate measuring cup and add to the eggs and butter, alternating with the flour. Beat until smooth.
Pour batter into the greased pans. Pour 1/4 cup caramel sauce into each pan, and swirl with a knife.
Bake for 50 minutes, or until the centers are set and a knife comes out clean. Cool the pans completely before you remove the cakes for frosting. When they are cooled, run a knife along the sides of the pan to release the cake.
Caramel Buttercream Recipe
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1/2 cup caramel sauce
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
In the bowl of a stand mixer (or in a large bowl using a hand mixer) cream the butter with the caramel sauce, vanilla, and salt until smooth and fluffy. Slowly add the powdered sugar and beat for 3 to 5 minutes until very smooth and lightened.
To assemble the cake:
Wait until the cake layers are completely cool. Position the bottom layer of the cake on a plate or cake stand. Spread a thin layer of buttercream on the bottom layer. Repeat, and spread a swirled layer of buttercream on top. Drizzle the whole cake with warmed caramel sauce (so it pours easily) and serve with a sparkler!