Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cake

This cake is an obvious showcase for my love affair with bananas and peanut butter.  That being said, let me make it clear that I enjoy peanut butter with only the one fruit.

‘What about apples and peanut butter?’ you ask.  Well, that may be a thing, but it’s nothing to me.  Hah, I crack myself up.  Something about the crisp yet juicy flesh of a good apple seems counterproductive when paired with the salty slickness of peanut butter.  The two practically separate in my mouth, leaving me wondering why I didn’t just pick one or the other.

Baking apples and peanut butter together is perfectly acceptable, but only because both parties lose the inherent qualities that make them like matter and anti-matter in my mind.  Ugh, all this talk of apples makes me crave fall.  Is it September yet?

Ok ok, I’m getting to the cake already.  We’ve got caramel, bananas and peanut butter all wrapped up into one shiny package.  How can you say no to that?

I had been waiting to make this cake ever since I bookmarked it, and I was pleased with the result.  For some reason, my first batch of caramel seized like crazy, but the second one was fine.  The cake is dense and moist, and the bananas smothered in their caramel casing are sweet, but not overly so.  Very scrumptious, and highly recommended.

Caramelized Banana Peanut Butter Cake

Adapted from Scientifically Sweet

Makes one 8” cake (about 10 servings)

For the caramelized banana layer:

2 medium ripe, but firm bananas, peeled and sliced into ¼” thick pieces

1/3 cup sugar

¼ tsp white vinegar

¼ cup heavy cream

For the cake:

1 cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup whole wheat flour

1 ½ tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

1 medium banana

½ cup packed brown sugar

¼ cup creamy peanut butter

¼ cup peanut oil

1/3 cup whole milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line or grease an 8” round cake pan and set aside.

In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, spread the sugar in an even layer and drizzle 1 Tbsp of water over it.  Cook, without stirring, until it begins to bubble.  Swirl the pan periodically for even heating.  Continue to cook until the sugar liquefies and turns golden amber.  Remove pot from heat and carefully pour in cream while stirring constantly.  Add sliced bananas and return caramel to the heat for 20 seconds.  Pour bananas and caramel evenly into the bottom of your prepared pan and set aside.

In a medium bowl, sift together flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.  Add the bran left in the sieve from the whole wheat flour.  Whisk it all together to blend evenly; set aside.

In a large bowl, mash the banana.  Whisk in the brown sugar until there are no lumps.  Whisk in peanut butter until smooth.  Add the egg and whisk until blended.  Whisk in oil, milk and vanilla until well incorporated.  Fold in dry ingredients until just combined.

Pour the batter over the bananas in the pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean, about 40 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes or so, then carefully invert the cake onto a platter.  Peel off parchment if you used it.  (I greased my pan with cooking spray and nothing stuck to the bottom.)  Serve warm or at room temperature.

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