It’s finally baking weather again, and I’m kicking it off with this glorious Banana Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce.
That’s right. It’s a banana cake, not a bread — though if you’re looking for a good recipe for that, try my banana bread with no added sugar.
Topped with a silky golden caramel sauce, this banana bundt cake is decadent. Your family will oooh and ahh at first sight, and the rave reviews will continue once they’ve had their first taste.
Banana Bundt Cake Recipe Tips
I imagine you could make this in a regular cake pan, or even a loaf pan, but I haven’t tried it. I bought a Bundt pan last year for one specific holiday recipe, but and wanted to come up with other uses for it to justify how much cupboard space it occupies.
Cake Recipes Need Room Temperature Ingredients
Cake recipes come out best when you start with room temperature ingredients. When butter, milk, and eggs are at room temperature, it’s easier to combine them in an emulsion which traps air. That trapped air turns into bubbles in the oven and produces a light, fluffy cake.
So, unless a cake recipe calls explicitly for cold, pull the ingredients out roughly thirty minutes before you start cooking. That gives them time to reach room temperature.
Fully Puree the Banana
Take the time to puree the banana in this recipe well. Chunks left in the batter will deflate the air bubbles and produce a tough cake. I used a hand blender, but you could use a regular blender or even a food processor if that’s what you have.
Why Separate Dry and Wet Ingredients?
Combining dry ingredients in one bowl and wet ingredients in another might seem like an unnecessary step that makes one more dirty bowl. It’s not.
By ensuring your dry ingredients and wet ingredients are each thoroughly blended in their separate bowls, you won’t have to stir as much when you combine them. Mixing batter too much produces a dense, tough cake — the exact opposite of what it should be.
You only need to stir for a half-minute or so — just until you don’t see streaks of dry ingredients in the bowl.
Tap the Pan After Filling
Between the pureed fruit and the regular sugar, this batter will cling an ungreased pan and won’t reach the proper height. So, even if you’re using nonstick bakeware, spray or butter it well before adding the batter. After filling the bundt pan, tap it on the counter a few times to help the dough settle into the grooves.
Don’t Skip the Cooling
Transferring cake out of a bundt pan too early tears the sides and ruins the cake. Let it cool in the pan on top of a baking rack for 20 minutes, so the cake releases itself from the container. Then, carefully turn it onto a plate and tip it back onto the baking rack.
If the cake sticks at all, loosen it by gently sliding a soft rubber spatula between the cake and the pan. While the Banana Bundt Cake cools, make the Caramel Sauce.
No Stirring the Sauce
Making Caramel Sauce is a breeze. You don’t even need to stir it, and it’s essential that you don’t. Stirring will cause the caramel sauce to crystallize, leading to a grainy result.
Instead of stirring, swirl the pan every thirty seconds or so. You’ll see the sugar start to liquefy at first, and then it begins turning a light brown color. Keep swirling. After three or four minutes, it’ll reach a lovely dark amber. That’s when you need to take it off the heat. Put it on a towel or potholder, then continue with the next step.
Finishing the Sauce
Have the second batch of pureed banana and butter ready to add to the sauce as soon as it comes off the heat. Immediately stir these into the caramel. It might sizzle a bit, and that’s fine — keep stirring until you’ve got it all mixed into a luxurious blend.
Add the Sauce in Two Stages
While the sauce is still warm, pour half onto the cooled cake. Drizzle it side to side, so you cover as much of the surface as possible. Wait 30 minutes for the sauce to soak in, then pour what’s left on and serve.
Ice Cream is Optional
After seeing this photo, a Facebook friend commented, “Needs ice cream.” I disagree — it’s already rich, moist, and delicious. I like it with a cup of tea or coffee, but it’s fantastic with a cold glass of milk, too.
One thing we can all agree on is that Banana Bundt Cake with Caramel Sauce is an excellent way to use those bananas that are turning brown on the counter.
Banana Bundt Cake With Caramel Sauce
For the cake:
- 1/2 cup butter - softened
- ¾ cup granulated white sugar
- ¼ tsp Kosher salt
- 2 medium bananas - very ripe
- 2 large eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ cup whole milk
- 1 1/3 cups all-purpose white flour
- ¾ tsp baking powder - bicarbonate in the UK
- ½ tsp cinnamon powder
For the sauce:
- 1 medium banana - very ripe
- ½ cup granulated white sugar
- 2 tbsp water
- 2 tbsp butter - softened
- 1 vanilla bean - sliced lengthwise
- ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
- Preheat the oven to 350°F / 180°C. Butter a Bundt pan very well and set it aside.
Make the Cake
- Cream the butter, sugar, and Kosher salt together in a large bowl.
- In a separate container, puree the bananas until smooth. Add eggs and blend well.
- Beat the banana-egg mixture into the creamed butter. Add vanilla and milk to the bowl and blend thoroughly.
- In a small bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon. Stir well.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet. Stir until just combined. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Tap the bottom of the pan on the counter a couple of times to settle the batter.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes (checking after 20) until the edges are dark golden and the cake passes the toothpick test. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 20 minutes then turn it onto a baking rack to continue cooling.
Make the Sauce
- Puree the banana until completely smooth.
- Add sugar, water, and cinnamon to a medium-sized saucepan with a heavy bottom. Scrape the vanilla bean seeds into the pan and toss the bean pod in as well. DO NOT STIR.
- Place the pan over medium-high heat and cook, swirling often. DO NOT STIR. Continue cooking and swirling until the sugar liquefies and turns a dark golden brown. Remove from heat and use a fork to fish the vanilla bean pod out of the caramel.
- Add the banana puree and butter to the warm sauce and quickly stir until fully combined and smooth.
- Pour half of the warm caramel sauce over the cake and wait 30 minutes for it to absorb. Pour the remaining caramel sauce over the cake and serve.