Banana Cake with Quick Caramel Frosting
The Cake Mix Doctor's Easy Desserts
You can store this cake, covered in plastic wrap, at room temperature for up to one week. Or you can freeze it in aluminum foil, for up to six months. Thaw the cake overnight on the counter before serving.
Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set pans aside.
Place the cake mix, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add the mashed bananas, water, oil, eggs and crème de banane liqueur (if desired). Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for one minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for two minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look well blended and the bananas should be well pureed. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Place the pans in the oven side by side.
Bake the cakes until they are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for ten minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up. Allow them to cool completely 30 minutes more.
Prepare the Quick Caramel Frosting (ingredients and recipe below). This will take only 5 to 10 minutes; therefore, time the frosting preparation so that the cake has cooled enough and is ready to frost.
When the cake layers are cool, transfer one layer, right side up, to a serving platter. Frost the top of the layer with the warm frosting, working quickly because it will firm up as it cools. While the frosting is still warm, you may want to sprinkle toasted pecans on top of the cake so that they cling to the frosting. . Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake, making sure to work quickly with clean, smooth strokes. Let the cake cool at least one hour for easier serving.
Quick Caramel Frosting
Place the butter and the brown sugars in a medium-size heavy saucepan over medium heat. Stir and cook until the mixture comes to a boil, about two minutes. Add the milk, stir and bring the mixture back to a boil, then remove the pan from the heat. Add the confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat with a wooden spoon until the frosting is smooth.
Use immediately (while still warm) to frost the cake of your choice or the frosting will harden. If it does harden while you are frosting the cake, simply place the pan back over low heat and stir until the frosting softens up.
The Cake Mix Doctor, c. 2000