Banana Pecan Caramel Layer Cake

This Banana Pecan Caramel Layer Cake is a delightful dessert that combines the flavors of ripe bananas, crunchy pecans, and rich caramel. It’s perfect for special occasions or simply when you want to indulge in a delicious homemade treat. The cake layers are moist and flavorful, complemented by a smooth Swiss Meringue Buttercream and a decadent caramel sauce.

Ingredients

For the Cake:

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed bananas (very ripe and spotty)
  • Chopped pecans (quantity as desired)

Vegan Caramel Sauce (or non-vegan):

  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup full-fat coconut milk or heavy cream
  • 1 Tbsp butter (vegan or regular)

Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups salted butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3-4 tbsp caramel sauce

Directions

For the Cake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Prepare three 6-inch cake pans by lining the bottoms with parchment paper and spraying the sides with non-stick spray. Alternatively, use two 8-inch cake pans.
  3. Sift flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and salt together on a large piece of parchment paper.
  4. In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, mix eggs, oil, sugar, and vanilla until smooth. Add mashed bananas and mix again.
  5. Slowly incorporate the sifted dry ingredients, mixing just until combined. Add chopped pecans and mix to distribute evenly.
  6. Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake for 40-45 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Let the cakes sit for 5 minutes, then remove from pans onto cooling racks.

For the Vegan Caramel Sauce:

  1. Combine sugar and water in a saucepan, simmer until golden brown.
  2. Whisk in coconut milk and butter until smooth.

For the Swiss Meringue Buttercream:

  1. Beat egg whites and sugar over a pot of boiling water until the sugar dissolves and the mixture reaches 160°F (71°C).
  2. Whip until stiff peaks form, then gradually add cubed butter until the mixture is light and fluffy.

Cake Assembly:

  1. Trim the tops of the cakes to level.
  2. Stack the cake layers with buttercream and caramel between each layer.
  3. For the drip, cool the cake and then pour caramel sauce over the cake, allowing it to drip down the sides.

Notes and FAQs

Notes:

  • Ensure that the bananas are very ripe for the best flavor and texture.
  • You can adjust the amount of pecans according to your preference.
  • Make sure the butter for the Swiss Meringue Buttercream is softened to avoid a lumpy texture.

FAQs:

Q: Can I use regular milk instead of coconut milk for the caramel sauce? A: Yes, you can use heavy cream if you prefer a non-vegan version.

Q: How do I store the cake? A: Store the cake in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Allow it to come to room temperature before serving.

Q: Can I make the cake layers ahead of time? A: Yes, you can bake the cake layers in advance and freeze them. Wrap each layer in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container. Thaw them before assembling the cake.

Conclusion

This Banana Pecan Caramel Layer Cake is a showstopper that will impress your family and friends. The combination of flavors and textures makes it a truly memorable dessert. Whether you’re celebrating a special occasion or just treating yourself, this cake is sure to be a hit. Enjoy the delightful blend of banana, pecan, and caramel in every bite!

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