I am so enamored with the flavor of banana mixed with chocolate chips and cinnamon that I thought last post’s cupcake recipe deserved another good turn, this time in the form of a layer cake with basket weave frosting. I used the same caramel frosting as with the cupcakes, but chocolate frosting would also pair well with this cake.
I made small heart cutouts to garnish the cake by simply pouring warm caramel sauce over chocolate. I used white chocolate cutouts for my recent cupcakes and I noticed that white chocolate can take the caramel sauce at a higher heat. With dark chocolate, the texture will turn out better if you whisk the caramel sauce for a few minutes to cool down slightly and then pour it over the chocolate while still warm. I whisked the mixture until smooth and spread it on a glass baking dish lined with waxed paper. I covered and refrigerated the dish overnight. The next day the chocolate was firm enough so that I could cut out shapes with a cookie cutter.
Here are the ingredients for the delicious banana chocolate chip cinnamon layer cake. It’s exactly the same recipe I used for these recent cupcakes.
Start out by sifting together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Stir the mashed bananas together with the buttermilk. Break the eggs into a bowl.
Beat the butter until smooth, add the sugar and mix until fluffy, and then add the eggs one at a time. Beat until each egg is incorporated before adding the next egg. For this particular recipe, I was more comfortable stopping the mixer then adding 1/3 of the sifted dry ingredients and ½ of the banana mixture at once, as opposed to leaving the mixer running and alternately adding the dry and wet ingredients. But of course, use whatever technique works for you.
- To assemble the cake, fill an icing bag with frosting. Using a coupler, without an icing tip, squeeze a border of frosting around the perimeter of the cake to form a dam and prevent the caramel sauce from spilling out the sides. Gently spread some caramel sauce on the first layer.
- Pipe frosting over the caramel sauce in a circular motion until the surface is covered.
- Gently spread the frosting with an offset spatula to even it out.
- Stack the second layer and again pipe a border of frosting around the edge.
- Spread caramel sauce on the surface.
- Pipe frosting over the caramel sauce.
- Gently spread the frosting to even it out.
- Place the third layer on top.
- Spread a layer of frosting directly on the cake. The top layer doesn’t need a layer of caramel sauce.
- Apply a thin layer of frosting all over the cake. It was just a crumb coat so I didn’t have to worry about all that jazz of making the surface smooth, flawless and crumb free.
It’s time for more fun. I covered the sides of the cake with the frosting in a basket weave pattern. It’s an old school Wilton technique that is really cute.
I used the chocolate cutouts to garnish just the center of the cake. I had quite a number of hearts that I was tempted to cover the top of the cake.
And again, there are many combinations that can be made with this cake. For one, you can eliminate the caramel sauce and just fill and frost the cake with chocolate frosting. I might just try that some time.
Once sliced, the caramel sauce will slowly start to trickle.
Just looking at it now makes me want to bake this cake again.
- 2 ½ cups cake flour (295 g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder (12 g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons baking soda (9 g)
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cinnamon (6 g)
- ½ teaspoon salt (2 g)
- 1 ¼ cups mashed ripe bananas (339 g)
- 1 cup buttermilk (196 g)
- ¾ cup unsalted butter (12 tablespoons) (170 g)
- 1 ½ cups sugar (300 g)
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract (6 g)
- 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (172 g)
- 4 ounces semi-sweet chocolate (113 g)
- ¾ cup caramel sauce (warm)
- 1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (226 g)
- ½ cup shortening (82 g)
- 8 cups powdered sugar (912)
- 1 cup caramel sauce at room temperature
- 4 tablespoons skim milk (57 g)
- Spray three 8-inch round pans with non-stick cooking spray. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
- Sift together cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon and salt.
- Combine and stir together mashed bananas and buttermilk.
- In a mixing bowl, using the flat beater of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth.
- Gradually add sugar and beat until fluffy.
- Add eggs one at a time, beating to incorporate each egg before adding the next.
- Add ⅓ of the sifted dry ingredients and ½ of the banana buttermilk mixture. Beat just until blended. Add ½ of the remaining dry ingredients and all of the buttermilk. Beat again just until blended. Finish with the last third of the dry ingredients and beat just until blended. Do not overbeat.
- Add the vanilla extract and beat just until incorporated.
- Add the mini chocolate chips and mix by hand with a rubber spatula.
- Divide the batter among the three cake pans. Bake for 20 – 25 minutes or until a wooden toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven, let the cakes cool in the pans for about 15 – 20 minutes. Turn out cakes from pans. To store for later use, wrap cake layers individually in plastic wrap, place in airtight food containers and freeze.
- Place semi-sweet chocolate in a heat proof glass bowl.
- Line a glass baking dish with wax paper.
- Make the caramel sauce. When desired color and consistency is reached, remove from heat and stir for about 2 minutes to cool down slightly. Pour about ¾ cup of warm caramel sauce over the chocolate.
- Swirl the bowl to cover the chocolate with caramel sauce. Let sit for about 2 minutes. Stir the chocolate with a wire whisk until smooth and well blended.
- Pour the chocolate mixture into the glass baking dish and level with an offset spatula. Allow to cool then cover and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight to let the chocolate firm up.
- Press any shape cookie cutter on the cold chocolate for a variety of shapes. Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
- Using the flat beater of a stand mixer, beat butter until smooth.
- On low speed, gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth.
- Slowly pour in room temperature caramel sauce and beat until creamy.
- Add skim milk 1 teaspoon at a time using only enough to reach desired consistency. If a softer texture is desired, add more milk 1 teaspoon at a time.
- Place one cake layer on a plate. Pipe a border of caramel frosting using the open end of a coupler, no icing tip, around the edge of the cake layer.
- Spread a layer of caramel sauce on the cake, within the border of caramel frosting.
- Pipe caramel frosting over the caramel sauce. Gently level the frosting with an offset spatula.
- Stack the second cake layer on top of the bottom layer and repeat steps 1 – 3.
- Stack the last layer on top and spread a thin layer of frosting on top and sides of the cake to form a crumb coat. Chill cake for a few minutes.
- Fill a piping bag with caramel frosting and use tip # 47 to pipe a basket weave pattern around the sides of the cake.
- Use a small star tip # 21 to pipe borders on the top and bottom edges of the cake.
- Garnish the cake with caramel chocolate cutouts.
Basket Weave Frosting on Banana Chocolate Chip Layer Cake