Monday, April 9, 2012

classic banana cake with brown butter frosting

idealistic me makes banana bread every week. it fills the house with good smells and i feed it to people i love and bring it to neighbors while wearing clean frilly oven mitts and life is full of banana bread love.

idealistic me uses the same perfected banana bread recipe that i have clearly memorized, and i don't use run on sentences.

bringing it back to real life...

i don't make banana bread every week. i don't have one memorized recipe that i always use.

and my oven mitts are not frilly. they're actually disgusting.

the other morning, i faced the ugly facts.
there must be at least 20 black, mangled, barely-even-bananas-anymore bananas piled up in my freezer.

that's too many.
i must accept that i am not a banana bread machine of a housewife and start to tackle this freezer space problem.

bread? no.. cake.
bundt? yesyes.
frosting? unnecessary
brown butter frosting? severely recommended.

i'm gonna go bring this to my neighbor now. i'll be wearing different colored socks, but i'll pretend that i'm wearing lipstick and have my hair in the perfect updo.

yes, an updo.

Classic Banana Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
from Baking: From my Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar (i used 1 cup white, 1 cup brown)
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
about 4 very ripe bananas, mashed (1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups)
1 cup sour cream

center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350. generously butter a 12-cup bundt pan. 
whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together. 
working with a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter until creamy. add the sugar and beat at medium speed until pale and fluffy. beat in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each egg. reduce the mixer speed to low and mix in the bananas. finally, mix in half the dry ingredients (the batter will curdle), all the sour cream, and then the rest of the flour mixture. scrape the batter into the pan, rap the pan on the counter to get the bubbles out and smooth the top. 
bake for 65-75 minutes, or until a toothpick or thin knife inserted deep into the center of the cake comes out clean. check the cake after 30 minutes or so, if the top is browning too quickly, cover it loosely with a foil tent. transfer the cake to a rack and cool for 10 minutes before unmolding onto the rack to cool to room temperature. 
the cake is even better on the second day, so if possible, wrap the cooled cake with plastic and allow it to sit on the counter overnight. 

Brown Butter Frosting

8 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
1 1/2-2 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
pinch or two of sea salt
2-3 tbsp milk

cut the stick of butter in half. in a small saucepan, melt 4 tbsp (one half) butter over medium heat until it browns, and browned bits form at the bottom of the pan. remove from heat and pour into a bowl, leaving any burned bits behind. let cool a bit. 
place the remaining 4 tbsp softened butter in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat. add 1 cup confectioners sugar, browned butter, vanilla, salt, and beat. add milk, a little at a time, and more confectioners sugar until desired consistency and taste is reached. 


  1. Delicious looking cake dear,well captured and nice presentation...

  2. Amazing! I made these last night and they were a huge hit. I cannot wait to attempt to make some other varieties.
    Janitor Seattle company