Banana bread isn’t the only option when you have a bunch of overripe bananas sitting in your kitchen. Sometimes you want something a little bit dressier than a plain loaf of banana bread and this Banana Cake with Orange Caramel Glaze is a great option. The cake is just as easy to make as banana bread (and it makes good use of those leftover bananas!), but it looks a little bit fancier when it comes out of the pan.
The cake is moist, tender and much less dense than most regular banana breads are, though it still has a wonderful banana flavor to it. It is baked in a 9-inch cake pan and kept as a single layer. It’s amazing how much just changing the shape of your baking pan can change the presentation for a dessert, elevating this banana cake from a brunch snack to a dinner party-worthy dessert. That said, this is simple enough to put together that I would typically make this to keep around my kitchen for snacking.
You could easily put a cream cheese icing on top of this cake, or even a thin layer of vanilla buttercream. I made a simple caramel glaze with brown sugar and orange juice that is drizzled over the top of the cake after it has cooled. The glaze has a slightly buttery, brown sugar flavor and just a hint of orange to it. I use light brown sugar in my caramel, but dark brown will give you a more intense flavor if you prefer to use that. Since the amount of glaze is quite small, I did not bother cooking it in a saucepan, but instead simply combined the ingredients in the microwave until the caramel was slightly thickened.
Banana Cake with Orange Caramel Glaze
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/4 cups mashed banana (2 med/large)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup buttermilk
Preheat oven to 350F. Line a 9-inch round cake pan with parchment paper and lightly grease.
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and salt.
In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until light. Beat in eggs, one at a time, followed by mashed banana and vanilla extract.
Stir half of the flour mixture into banana mixture, followed by the buttermilk. Add in remaining flour mixture, stirring just until no streaks of dry ingredients remain.
Pour batter into prepared pan and spread into an even layer.
Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Allow cake to cool in pan for 3-5 minutes. Turn cake out of the pan and re-invert onto a wire rack to cool completely before glazing.
Orange Caramel Glaze
1 tbsp butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp orange juice
1/8 tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a medium-sized, microwave safe bowl. Cook on high heat for 2- 2 1/2 minutes, until bubbling and thickened. This can also be done in a small saucepan.
Allow to cool slightly for 2-3 minutes, then pour over cake and spread into an even layer.