Roasted Banana Bundt Cake (and the World’s Best Frosting)

I was excited about this cake for about two hours.

See, it’s a fun twist on the traditional banana bundt cake. Instead of adding banana puree to a cake batter, the banana pieces are roasted with butter and brown sugar, then the golden bruleed bananas and their syrupy juices are added to the cake. Think of it like a Bananas Foster Cake, minus the booze and flames. Sounds great, right?roasted-banana-cake-1

It is great. Don’t get me wrong. It’s just that I was really feeling this cake while I was making the batter and sneaking little tastes left and right. I was psyched the whole time it was baking. It smelled awesome! I couldn’t wait to taste it. I was sure this cake and I would be soulmates.

But then…then I made the frosting.

roasted-banana-cake-2

This cake is frosted with a Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting. Once I tasted the frosting, the cake was dead to me, and all I cared about was getting more of that white stuff into my pie hole as quickly as possible.

Understand, I say this as someone who doesn’t particularly care about cream cheese frosting one way or another. It’s fine, but I’ve never particularly craved it or anything. But browning the butter brings this frosting to a whole new level. It adds a depth, a complex nuttiness, that perfectly complements the tangy cream cheese and vanilla flavor. It’s ridiculous, in the best way, and it made tasting my poor, sweet Roasted Banana Cake a little anti-climactic.

roasted-banana-cake-3

I hope I haven’t talked you out of the cake, because it’s not the cake’s fault it’s paired with such a fine specimen of frosting-hood. I stuffed my cake with cinnamon and semi-sweet chocolate chunks, and it was a lovely accompaniment to the main event. (That would be the frosting, of course.) You can always add nuts or dried fruit to the cake instead of chocolate, or just leave it plain and enjoy the chunks of roasted bananas. Just don’t leave off the frosting!

P.S. I’ve updated the Book page. My baby now has an official cover that I’m allowed to share! Feel free to take a peek and pet the screen, if you are so inclined. No judgment here.

Roasted Banana Bundt Cake with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting
yield: one bundt cake

Print this Recipe!

For the cake:
3 cups sliced bananas, very ripe (about 4-5 small bananas)
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1.5 TBSP cold butter, cut into small pieces
3-1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup + 2 TBSP buttermilk, at room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
6 ounces butter, at room temperature
1-3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chunks

For the frosting:
3 ounces butter
4 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups (12 ounces) powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 TBSP milk (or more to taste)
1/4 cup chopped, toasted pecans (optional)

To make the cake:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Spray a 10- to 12-cup bundt pan with baking spray or nonstick cooking spray.

Toss together the sliced bananas, packed brown sugar, and cold cubed butter in an 8×8 dish and roast the bananas for about 30-40 minutes. Stir every 15 minutes, and roast the bananas until they are bubbling and have golden brown spots. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees, and set the bananas aside to cool slightly until warm but not hot to the touch.

In a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon.

In a separate bowl, combine the buttermilk, roasted banana pieces, and vanilla extract. The banana pieces will be very soft and might start disintegrating a little, but some pieces should still hold their shape.

In the bowl of a large mixer, combine the softened butter and the granulated sugar, and beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until well-incorporated and smooth. Scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl.

With the mixer running on low, add a third of the flour mixture, and mix until it is almost incorporated. Add half of the buttermilk, again mixing until it’s mostly mixed in. Add half of the remaining flour, then the rest of the buttermilk, and finish by adding the rest of the flour. Stop before it’s entirely mixed in, and gently finish stirring everything together by hand. Add the chocolate chunks or any other mix-ins.

Scrape the cake batter into the prepared pan. Bake the bundt cake for 55-65 minutes, until the edges pull away and the center springs back when lightly pressed. Let the cake cool for 15 minutes at room temperature before carefully inverting it on a cooling rack and letting it cool completely.

To make the frosting:
Place the butter in a small saucepan over medium heat. Cook it, stirring frequently, until it is a medium brown color and has a nutty scent, about 7-8 minutes. Remove it from the heat and let it cool slightly.

Beat the cream cheese in a mixing bowl with a whisk attachment until smooth and free of lumps. Add the browned butter and mix well. Add the sifted powdered sugar and vanilla extract, and mix on low until the powdered sugar is moistened. Increase the speed of the mixer and beat until you have a very thick frosting.

Add the milk and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy. This will give you a lovely frosting that’s perfect for spreading on cakes. If you would like an icing that is easier to pour, continue to add milk, a spoonful at a time, until it is the consistency you want.

Spread the frosting on the cooled cake and sprinkle the top with chopped toasted pecans. This cake can be wrapped in plastic wrap and kept at room temperature for up to a week.

22 Responses to Roasted Banana Bundt Cake (and the World’s Best Frosting)
  1. Allison says:

    Congratulations on the book cover! I love the layout.

  2. Leslie says:

    Thanks a LOT for telling me that browned butter could be slipped into another baked good that I hadn’t yet figured out. It’s not like I wasn’t already obsessed by it, plus I’m in Paris and have no kitchen. Up until now I’ve been fine with it, so thanks for giving me a reason to not cry when my vacation is over.

    • Elizabeth says:

      I feel like we’re browned butter soulmates. I don’t think anything can make up for having to leave Paris, but maybe you can drown your sorrows in frosting once you get back?!

  3. Simply Tia says:

    Oh man! This cake looks really really delicious. I especially love the chocolate chips! Yum.

  4. Meg says:

    Ooh… this looks delicious! I’d love to bring it home for Easter. If I don’t have a bundt pan, can you suggest an alternative?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Meg,
      It should work in a 9×13 pan. There *might* be a bit too much batter for the pan, in which case you can do a 9×13 plus a few muffins or something. But I think it should work fine. Happy early Easter!

  5. Jodie says:

    I converted to brown butter one time when I accidentally left butter in the pan too long while making a hootenanny pancake (don’t judge me). SO yum! That nuttiness can’t be explained. I want to try this frosting! Ok, and maybe I should make something for it to go on.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Ha, that’s awesome. That kind of discovery might be the culinary equivalent to accidentally splitting the atom.

      If you can’t be bothered to make something to accompany the frosting, a “friend” told me that it’s also good straight-up on graham crackers. I wouldn’t know about that personally, of course.

  6. lisa g. says:

    This was a total disaster! I followed the recipe. I’m an advise baker. However, it took forever to cook at 350F. I checked the cake quikly every 5 minutes starting at 60 minutes baking time. I was even using a cake tester. Finally after 95 minutes I felt per directions & cake tester usage it would be ok to remove it from the oven but with hesitations. Then I inverted the cake after 15 & it plopped out raw! I quikly turned it over to put back in the bundt pan. The oven wasn’t hot enough! It should have been left at 400F to bake & probably would have been cooked at 65 minutes! I’m upset cause I was baking it for Easter & now my oven won’t even re-heat for me to try & bake a sunken cake at 400F. Very upsetting. I’m giving the oven a rest & trying again later tonite, while my cake sits pathetic looking.

    • Elizabeth says:

      Lisa, I’m so sorry to hear that your cake didn’t turn out! Do you have an oven thermometer to monitor the interior temperature of your oven? My own oven is quite old (“vintage,” I call it) and it’s very useful to have a thermometer to see how the interior temperature matches what is on the dial and to adjust the dial accordingly.

      I have to say that I can’t imagine a 10-cup bundt cake still being raw after baking for 95 minutes at 350, which makes me wonder if the oven wasn’t quite a bit cooler than that?

      • lisa g. says:

        Elizabeth, I took your suggestion this a.m. & found my electric oven stopped heating completely! Wow, as a baker I wondered what was going on last nite. You’re right it shouldn’t take that long to bake. I was just upset, plus I couldn’t find the error last night. Thank you for helping. I’m getting the oven looked at. Also, I covered the bundt cake & placed it in fridge. Can I try re-baking it after the oven is fixed?? Happy Easter.

        • Elizabeth says:

          Oh no! I guess I’m glad it wasn’t a recipe fail, but that really sucks about your oven. You have my complete sympathy–and on Easter too! Hopefully it didn’t mess up your plans too badly.

          To be honest I haven’t tried re-baking a cake after a day in the fridge. My guess would be that it won’t turn out too well, but since it’s already made and partially baked, there’s no harm in trying, right? I would be really interested to hear how it turns out, so if you do give it a try, please let me know what happens!

          • lisa g. says:

            Hi Elizabeth, well I thought if I thawed the cake after being in fridge before going into a working oven, might work. No. It’s a goner. My landlord needs to fix or replace the oven. It wasnt a good idea thinking I could re-bake a raw partially baked cake. However I am gona attempt a new cake soon. I looked at a lot of banana bread & cake recipes online & I love this one due to uniqueness of recipe & its gauranteed to be delicious! I’ll be back & thx again for your help & recipes!

  7. Julia says:

    This looks absolutely amazing!

  8. Amber says:

    I made this cake last night for my husband to take into work for his co-workers today. He pulled the man card and left it at home. More for me I suppose. I can’t wait to try it, it looks inredible.

  9. Valerie says:

    This is my family’s new favorite cake. We substituted brown sugar Splenda and regular Splenda. It was to die for, especially the icing! Thank you SO MUCH for the recipe!

  10. Jessica says:

    How did you slice the bananas before roasting them??

  11. stephanie says:

    Ohhh! Love this! I like using bread flour in my banana bread, would it be okay here?

    • Elizabeth says:

      Hi Stephanie, I haven’t tried it with bread flour. I imagine it would work, but the cake might be a little tougher/denser because of the higher protein content of the bread flour. But if you’re used to subbing bread flour, you might like it just fine! Definitely be careful not to overmix the batter, though. And if you try it and it works, please let me know how it goes!

  12. Lisa Mangus says:

    I used a different bundt cake recipe however this frosting is awesome also I used 1/2 and 1/2 banana and almond extract also just a little something my nana cookies always did in the banana cake recipes and frostings when it calls for milk we always (I) use coffee creamer favors instead of milk OMG the cakes always come out so much more moist and tastier its like a marinade you could say I am like my nana though she has passed but I have six girls we all love to cook and bake I will usually follow a recipe step by step the first time if we like it then next time I change it up a little of this a little of that after that it never turns out the same and I can never do it again the same way sooooo it’s like a new recipe every time plus it’s fun to see what kind of magic will be in it each time it’s always a masterpiece though and it only gets better let me know if anyone would like me to share a couple originals I have and try the creamer thing don’t give up that’s the fun part of cooking and baking you never know what you could end up with although it may be a flop to you others may enjoy your masterpiece that’s how all inventions are made at first how do you think Martha Stewart and Rachael Ray began ??? Benjamin Franklin, Leonardo DaVinci, and so on trial and error and what you eat, how you prepare it, and put it together in my opinion is art!!!!!!!! If you enjoy doing what your doing follow your heart, make it your art, you don’t need to be smart, and when all is perfect it won’t fall apart, because if it does maybe you should try it yourself and just go ala carte’ , whatever you decide whenever you start make sure you have all your ingredients and only buy from the nearest Mart because if a gas explosion occurs and you smell a FART you’ll know it was your bananas and not your ass or your mouth wide open screamin it tastes like rotten tarts so try again as you may whip up something new and call it a day!!!!! Lol

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