I never ever used to like banana cake, probably because I don’t really like banana’s but once I started baking banana cake I now absolutely adore it - although I’m still not a fan of bananas, strange I know! A couple of weeks ago I was honoured enough to make this lovely little 6” layer cake for a wedding - more about that to come, I promise! The lovely bride wanted something a little more rustic to go with the two other cakes so that’s how we came up with this - I love how simple yet striking exposed layer cakes are, they’re just so lovely and of course delicious with a generous drizzle of caramel sauce on top it’s just too perfect for words!
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Banana Layer Cake with Salted Caramel Buttercream
1 quantity of Banana Cake
1 quantity of Swiss Meringue Buttercream
1 quantity of caramel sauce
125g butter, softened
1 cup (175g) brown sugar
2 tablespoon vanilla essence
1/3 cup (115g) golden syrup or honey
2 cups, roughly 5 bananas, mashed
1 3/4 cups (225g) plain flour, sifted
1 teaspoon baking powder, sifted
1 teaspoon baking soda, sifted
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 160°C and butter and flour and line the base of three 6” cake tins. In a large mixing bowl, place the butter, sugar and vanilla and beat with a electric mixer for 8-10 minutes or until light and creamy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the golden syrup mix until combined, then add eggs in one at a time and beat well to combine. Add the mashed banana, flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix to combine. Measure out the mixture, 300g per cake tin, and pour into the prepared cake tins and bake for 25-35 minutes, or when a skewer inserted comes out clean. Allow to cool for 10 minutes in the tin before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Salted Caramel Swiss Meringue Buttercream
5 large egg whites (30g each–total 150g)
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons superfine granulated sugar
500g salted butter, cut into cubes to soften
2 tablespoons vanilla essence
Caramel Sauce to taste
Before you start you need to wipe the bowl and beater of an electric mixer with paper towel and vinegar, to remove any traces of grease. Add egg whites and sugar and whisk to combine, place over a pot of simmer water (not boiling). Whisking constantly, until the temperature reaches 140 degrees F - if you don’t have a candy thermometer, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very runny and the bowl is uncomfortable to touch.
With a whisk attachment on a electric mixer mixer, begin to whip on a medium speed until the mixture is thick, glossy and sift peaks have formed and the bowl is cool to touch. Switch over to paddle attachment and, while mixing on continuous medium speed, gradually add softened butter until combined, mix until it is silky smooth – if it start to curdle, keep mixing and it will come back to smooth. You can’t over beat this icing, it will just get silkier and whiter the longer you beat it. Add the to taste and mix well.
Assembling your layer cake
Once you’re cakes have cooled, using a bread knife gently level the cakes. Starting with the first cake, add a very small amount of icing to the cut side of the cake and stick it to the cake stand. Measure out 1/2 cup of caramel buttercream and place into the middle of the cake - very gently work the icing out to the edge of the cake, being careful not to ice the sides. Place the cake into the fridge for about 10min to allow the icing to harden, add the next layer and repeat the above steps until you have three layers. Once done, very gently swirl a little (or a lot) of caramel sauce onto the top of your cake - serve and enjoy!