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Banana Cream Cake with Browned Butter Frosting

You won’t even believe this frosting!

Sigh. This cake. It’s moist and fluffy and just oh so inviting. The cake itself takes its inspiration from one of our all time favorites, banana cream pie. We love a creamy, velvety slice of banana cream pie not only because it’s delicious, but also because it has a certain nostalgic appeal about it. There are days when we just want a bite of something sweet that feels like something Grandma would make, and banana cream pie usually fits that bill quite nicely. But there are also days when we just want the perfectly moist bite that only a cake can bring. This Banana Cream Cake satisfies all those cravings in one.

It has that perfect mellow banana flavor that you get from banana cream pie, but it’s topped with a browned butter frosting that you have been waiting your entire life for, you just didn’t know it yet. Butter is wonderful in its natural state of course, but when you melt it down and cook it just until it has browned…. oh lordy. It becomes nutty and toasted and it smells and tastes like heaven. Just imagine that flavor whipped into a frosting. It could probably make a piece of cardboard taste good. Take that frosting and pair it with a moist and mouthwatering cake that has just the right amount of delicate banana flavor, well that’s a combination that’s meant to be!

Serves 8-10

1 hour

  • Cake:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 package of instant banana pudding
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Walnuts, for garnish
  • Frosting:
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/4 cup whole milk (plus more as needed)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and grease and flour two round 8-inch cake pans.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
  3. In a separate medium bowl, cream together the butter and granulated sugar with an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in banana pudding mix and mix on low until dissolved, about 3 more minutes.
  4. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition.
  5. Add 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter/sugar mixture and mix to combine. Add 1/2 of the milk and mix until incorporated. Repeat, alternating with the remaining flour mixture and milk.
  6. Add 2 teaspoons vanilla extract and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  7. Pour batter evenly into prepared pans and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 30-35 minutes. Remove and invert onto wire rack to cool.
  8. While cake bakes, make frosting. Heat stick of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently.
  9. Once butter is melted, stir constantly. It will turn clear and yellow and then quickly become frothy, smell like caramel, and turn brown, at about 6-8 minutes.
  10. Once this happens, remove from heat and pour into a medium bowl. Add powdered sugar in 1 cup increments, beating with an electric mixer after each addition. Slowly add tablespoon vanilla and milk and mix until well combined.
  11. Chill frosting in fridge until it thickens and desired consistency is reached. After chilling, beat with an electric mixer again to make fluffy, about 2 minutes.
  12. Let cake cool completely before frosting. Garnish with walnuts, if using. Enjoy!

Adapted from The Kitchen Magpie.

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