Friday, February 13, 2009

Banana-Caramel Birthday Cake

It’s not chocolate. That’s the unbelievable thing about this birthday cake. For years, every time I asked Kurt what kind of cake he’d like for his birthday, the only answer I heard was chocolate. Until this year. This year, he said he’d like something different. I was too confused to think, so I put some books in front of him and asked him to pick a cake. It took him longer than I thought it would. The lemon curd cake looked good, and so did the coconut cake. But, in the end, he chose this banana-caramel cake from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook.

The cake batter has lots of butter, some sour cream, and three mashed bananas. It makes a nicely sturdy cake that remains moist. Separating the layers, are three sliced bananas cooked in caramel. That alone would make a fantastic dessert, but it was even better as the glue between these layers. With six bananas in all, there’s almost a full serving of fruit in each slice of cake.

The frosting on the cake was mascarpone whipped cream which I’ll have to go on about for just a bit. First, it was so light and fluffy it seemed like it should be ok to go ahead and eat the entire bowl of it. The mascarpone, heavy cream, and confectioner’s sugar were mixed together all at once. I imagined it would be a little thicker and heavier like cream cheese frosting, but instead, the consistency was like puffy, creamy, light, pillowy stuff that’s really hard to stop eating. The second thing about it is that it’s lightly sweetened. It’s not tooth achingly sugary at all. That’s important because the frosted cake was then topped with caramel sauce. I already loved the frosting, and then it got some caramel. Dear, sweet, beautiful caramel. This cake was a very good choice.

It is a big, special cake, and it was splendid for a birthday celebration. You could simplify it by making one big layer, skipping the cooked bananas, and just frosting it without the caramel sauce. All the parts together, though, are so good. So Kurt’s another year older, and what am I doing with such an old man anyway? I think that every year until I catch up with him in a month and a half.


22 comments:

  1. My husband would go absolutely nuts over that cake! He is totally not a chocolate person which is hard for me to understand. I don't have that cookbook but looks like I have a good excuse to buy it now!

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  2. The caramel sauce looks magnificently perfect. Love how the bananas sit in the middle like that.

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  3. I have this book, and I've been eyeing this recipe for ages. Yours looks amazing!

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  4. that sounds delicious!! what a wonderful flavor combo!

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  5. I love the caramel goodness flowing over the cake on the last picture! This would be a perfect cake for my husband's birthday - he's ok with chocolate but he loves banana flavored desserts. Delicious!

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  6. Youre right, the bananas cooked in caramel alone would be so delicious. I can only image how they tasted in this lovely cake.

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  7. september 22, thats when I want one of these cakes...thank you in advance.

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  8. That birthday cake looks so fabulous! Love the caramel & the bananas! MMMMMMMM...

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  9. This looks so delicious! I like that it doesn't use vanilla cake and just adds banana and caramel. This makes the cake sound SO good!

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  10. Lisa, you stole my heart. This cake looks amazing. I love anything with banana's in it.

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  11. oh wow, what a cake! Love the caramel!

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  12. truthfully, i'd prefer this masterpiece to anything chocolate. that thick layer of frosting and caramel drizzle have won my heart. :)

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  13. What a beautiful cake. I have a special talent for almost ruining my husband's birthday cakes :) Happy birthday, Kurt.

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  14. That's a very beautiful cake and I love the caramel dripping down the side. I want to put my finger in it.

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  15. Banana cake is sooo good! I recently blogged about a chocolate banana cake I made for my son's first birthday. This caramel version sounds super yummy!

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  16. GOOD GAWD! i was just clicking through, because if i'm not mistaken, you have a great recipe involving coconut milk thai-style soup. this, however, stopped me dead in my tracks. hungry now, and craving fluffy sweetness.

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  17. My gawd, you are killing me here. Caramel bananas? PLUS mascarpone whipped cream? Oh my, oh my!! I want a slice right now.

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  18. What a great choice he made for his birthday cake. I think I've tracked down the recipe--I love the idea of cooked bananas between the layers. Beautiful photos!

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  19. This is a banana dream! I wish you would make one for me...hubby cannot cook for the life of him :)

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