Of Birthdays, Cakes and Dreaming In Red.

Banana Caramel Cake with Mascarpone Frosting III

There are, I suppose, only two types of people when it comes to birthday cakes. There are the kind who are happy to have cake, any cake store bought or homemade, to celebrate the day they came into the world. And then there are the kind who would jump at the chance to make their own birthday cake.

Given how ridiculously fussy I am with the desserts- especially cakes- I do eat, it’s no rocket science figuring out which camp I fall into. I am so picky that there are actually only two store-bought cakes I will actually eat- the Hazelnut Royaltine cake at the Hilton in Singapore and the sticky date pudding date the bakery at David Jones in Melbourne carries occasionally. Everything else just sits in the fridge till someone else polishes it off.

So the chance to make my own birthday cake in place of a store bought cake I probably wouldn’t be a big fan of? Bring it on!

Banana Caramel Cake with Mascarpone Frosting II

Of all the cakes I’ve been longing to make, banana caramel cake was at the top of that list for reasons I think are pretty obvious. Banana. Caramel. Cake. Have you ever heard a more beautiful trio of words? I think not.

As it turns out, I ended up with two cakes- my dad snuck out during dinner to get me a cheesecake- which was not a bad thing at all. Between the seven of us, we polished off half of each cake. And trust me, it was a lot of cake. Very good cake.

Birthday Cakes and My New KitchenAid

As it also turns out, I am one very lucky and incredibly spoilt girl. I came back from dinner to find a Artisan KitchenAid Mixer in the kitchen waiting for me- in the exact, most gorgeous shade of fire engine red I would have gotten had I bought it myself- courtesy of my parents as well as my poor brother who had the great honour of lugging it from the store to the car and keeping it in his room, out of my sight.

So in short, I had a fantastic birthday weekend- one very delicious dinner, the best company one could ask for sans my baby sister, GT, J and C, two very good cakes and a spanking new mixer- what more can a girl ask for?

One thing’s for sure- I’ve definitely got my baking mojo back with that epitome of gorgeousness and perfection sitting in my kitchen.

Banana-Caramel Cake [adapted from Martha Stewart's Baking Handbook]

Banana Caramel Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

Ingredients
180g unsalted butter, at room temperature
2 3/4 cups plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
1/4 cup plain yogurt †
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups caster sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature

Filling
3 ripe bananas, sliced lengthwise
45g butter, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sugar

Mascarpone Frosting
500g mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
1 1/4 cup heavy cream

Caramel Sauce
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream

  1. Preheat the oven to 175C. Line the base of 2 9″ round baking pans with baking paper, grease the sides of the pans and set them aside.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer till light and fluffy. Add the eggs in, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the mashed banana, vanilla and yogurt in. Beat till just combined. Fold the flour mixture in until just incorporated.
  3. Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for about 30-40 minutes or till a skewer inserted into the middle comes out with dry crumbs clinging.
  4. To make the filling Melt the butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Sprinkle the sugar over the butter mixture and add the banana slices into the pan, in a single layer. Cook till the slices are golden brown and remove the pan from heat.
  5. To make the frosting Beat the mascarpone, cream and icing sugar with an electric mixer till soft peaks form.
  6. To make the caramel sauce Heat the sugar over high heat in a saucepan till the sugar melts and turns golden brown. Remove the saucepan from heat and slowly pour the cream in- it will splutter so be careful. Return the pan to heat and cook till a caramel sauce forms.
  7. To assembly the cake Place one cake on the cake board. Layer the banana slices on top of the cake and sandwich it with the second cake. Cover the entire cake with mascarpone frosting and serve with caramel sauce.
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18 Comments

  1. Love me

     /  April 15, 2009

    Awww.. I am glad you had a wonderful birthday without the most amazing people in the world! Love you sweet!

    Reply
  2. Happy Belated Birthday, Laureen!

    Kitchen Aid… what more can a baker ask for!!! Now I am jealous!

    Cheers
    Cookie

    Reply
  3. Happy belated birthday, dearie! Good to hear you had a great time :) And with a fire-engine red KitchenAid to boot… lucky you!

    And my oh my, what a perfect-looking banana caramel cake. If only I could get someone to make that for my birthday!

    Reply
  4. jealous of that beautiful red kitchenaid mixer u’ve got for ur birthday (:

    Happy Birthday!

    Been reading ur blog and really sucked in my the things u whip up! it’s awesome. hehe

    hope you had an awesome day!

    Reply
  5. happy belated birthday :) that cake looks delicious. i have to try it. Nice present you got :)

    Reply
    • Heh what to do, everyone but my parents have abandoned me. Boohoo. All that love right back at you, darling.

      Thanks for the birthday wishes, guys :D I have a feeling you’ll be seeing a lot more baked goods on this site the next couple of weeks :lol:

  6. Hi Laureen,
    *Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday to you,
    Happy Birthday to Lauuuu-reeeeeen,
    Happy Birthday to you!*
    Hope this little belated birthday song is still good enuf for you!
    The red KA is soooo beautiful! Everyone gets to have a KA on their birthday, isn’t that one of the best present to give?! Now you’ll have no reason not to bake anymore! Yippeeee! Then I’ll benefit virtually from your beautiful & tempting bakes! ;) Bring them on GIRL!!

    Reply
  7. happygrub

     /  April 16, 2009

    Happy Birthday!!

    And is it a mere coincidence we received not just the same birthday gift but in the same COLOUR?

    I love mascarpone frosting! So how old did you turn *cheeky grin*

    Reply
    • Aww, thank you Jane! You have just completely made my day :D

      Okay, Farhan. This is seriously getting creepy! But isn’t that shade of red just the most gorgeous colour ever? Haha you may have noticed the sneaky just one candle on the cake trick but because you asked so nicely- I turned the ripe of twenty three :D

  8. happygrub

     /  April 21, 2009

    Ya I thought you couldn’t be one!

    Oh my, you are so young!!! I thought you were older (like ovenhaven’s age), no offence there, but you have a level of maturity beyond your years!

    Reply
  9. Hi Laureen, Happy Belated Birthday and congrats for getting your new toy!

    Reply
  10. I’ve seen and lusted after this cake in MS’s book but was a little put off by the amount of time. It’s so darn hard to wait for all that deliciousness, which means I try rushing things thus making a stupid mistake(s).

    Thanks for posting. Good to know this isn’t one of her not so good recipes.
    ~ingrid

    Reply
    • Hi Ingrid. Oh believe me, I know exactly what you mean! This cake is definitely one of her winners- the flavour combination is just amazing! It’ll be well worth your time and effort, I promise you :D

  11. This cake sounds heavenly! i feel exactly the same about shop bought cakes- i always make my own too!
    <3

    Reply
  12. that sounds like it is worth the effort to make but i will enjoy everything about making it cause i love food and your recipes sound absoluty awessome

    it is really good because i am aspiring pastry chef but atm im just an appertince chef so yer no but that sounds reallly good i am so glad i found this blog :) :) :)

    Reply

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