Three layers of brown butter banana cake slathered with amazing brown butter cream cheese icing.
If there ever was a cake worthy of remaking for better photos it would be this one. I don’t typically like to make a huge cake (ahem, three layers) without an occasion, but this one was too good to hold off on. Originally I baked it for a friend’s birthday a few weeks ago but the pictures I took were semi-atrocious and just not worthy of the dessert. So when I finally had a big pile of extra-brown bananas again It was completely necessary for me to make this unbelievable banana cake just for the purpose of shooting and eating a gigantic slice.
The cake layers are moist, flavorful, and every bit worthy of standing alone. However, the frosting just made it. I’m a cream cheese icing lover, but this… this brown butter cream cheese icing… just another level. Those lovely brown specks that you can see throughout the frosting? They just carry so much rich and nutty brown butter flavor. But also, you can still taste the tangy cream cheese.
Generally my biggest pet peeve with bakery cakes is that the flavor is… sweet. And seriously, sweet is not a flavor. This cake? The flavor is banana. The flavor is tang. The flavor is BROWN BUTTER. I wish I could share a slice with every one of you but instead I guess I should just tell you to make it as soon as possible. Hoard those brown bananas!
- 113g (1/2 cup) plain Greek yogurt
- 10g (2 teaspoons) baking soda
- 320g (~3 cups) cake flour
- 2g (1 teaspoon) ground cinnamon
- 2 ½ g (1/2 teaspoon) salt
- 226g (1 cup / 2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned and cooled to room temperature* PLUS 28g (2 tablespoons / ¼ stick) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
- 530g (~2 ½) cups granulated sugar
- 200g (~4 large) whole eggs at room temperature
- 20g (~1 large) egg whites at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 570g (~2½ cups) mashed very ripe bananas (~4 large bananas)
- 227g regular or light cream cheese at room temperature
- 227g (1 cup / 2 sticks) unsalted butter, browned and chilled in refrigerator for one hour
- 640g (~4 cups) powdered sugar
- 5 milliliters / 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1g (1/4 teaspoon) salt
- Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees; grease and flour three 8-inch round cake pans
- In a small bowl, stir baking soda into Greek yogurt and let stand to dissolve
- In a medium bowl, whisk together cake flour, cinnamon and salt; set aside
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat sugar and butter on medium-high speed for several minutes until light and fluffy
- Add eggs and vanilla and mix on medium speed until combined; scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula
- Add bananas and mix on low speed; add flour and mix again on low speed low speed just until combined
- Remove bowl from mixer and fold in Greek yogurt
- Pour batter into prepared pans; bake 24-29 minutes or until a toothpick or knife comes out clean from the centers; set pan aside on a wire rack and allow to cool
- When ready to remove cake from pans; run a knife around the edges of cake and then carefully turn each cake pan upside down onto a cooling rack; allow to cool completely before frosting
- In the large bowl of an electric mixer, beat cream cheese and butter on low speed for one minute and then increase to high speed for two or until there are no clumps from the cream cheese
- Scrape the sides of the bowl and add one cup of powdered sugar; beat on low speed until combined; repeat with each additional cup of powdered sugar (make sure to mix between each cup)
- Add vanilla and salt; mix on medium speed for two minutes and then increase speed to medium-high for one minute
- Once cake has cooled and icing is ready, use a flat metal spatula to frost the first layer of cake (use ⅓ – ½ cup of frosting); repeat with second layer of cake and frosting then top with third layer and use remaining icing to frost outside of cake
Entire cake layers can be frozen whole wrapped well with seran up to one month; defrost at room temperature before frosting; cake is best enjoyed within two days of frosting
Store frosted cake in refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving
Leftovers can be wrapped well with seran wrap and frozen up to one month
*To brown the butter: Heat butter in a heavy duty saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, when butter turns to an amber/light brown color, remove from heat immediately (You should be able to smell the deeper more caramel flavor of the butter) pour browned butter immediately into a bowl
Make something from the blog? Be sure to share it on Instagram with the tag #KeepItSweetDesserts.
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Funny, I have a banana cake recipe scheduled for tomorrow! But it’s not browned butter, so naturally, I need to make this.
That frosting especially….omg…that frosting
I so rarely bake layer cakes in general and at the same time also fail to remember that browned butter makes everything magical. I need to step up my browned butter game. In other news my 30th bday is next week, wanna send me a slice??
I wish I could have! We still have some in the freezer so come visit;-)
I find myself with brown bananas much too often lately…and I know my hubby would LOVE this!
When a food blogger makes the same recipe more than once, you KNOW it is a good one. And really, you had me at brown butter cream cheese frosting.
Stupid question…How do you brown butter?
Not a stupid question at all… I can’t believe I hadn’t already included this in the post (now added)…
To brown the butter: Heat butter in a heavy duty saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly, when butter turns to an amber/light brown color, remove from heat immediately (You should be able to smell the deeper more caramel flavor of the butter) pour browned butter immediately into a bowl
This looks and sounds like heaven. I can only imagine how good this must taste! Can’t wait to try it out
Hello! this looks delicioud! I want to make it pretty as well, do you thing the icing would pipe well? any adjustments i should make if i plan on piping with it?
Hi Harley- Thank you so much for the nice comment! I think you should be able to pipe the frosting. However, you may want to make extra as sometimes you need more when piping a cake. Let me know how it turns out!
I am interested in making this cake for our little boys 1st birthday! My question goes along the lines of the piping question above, but would this frosting be suitable to add decorator food coloring to for decoration purposes? Thanks!!
Hi Erin- While the frosting would work for piping, I’m not sure how well it would combine with food coloring because of it’s brown tone. You could always frost the cake with this frosting and make some plain vanilla with food coloring for decorating. Let me know if you end up trying the recipe!