The salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream frosting on the cake would have been delicious enough, but combined with the chocolate ganache poured over this moist and flavorful banana chocolate chip cake, it makes for a wonderful medley of caramel, chocolate and banana. It would make a great celebration cake for a birthday or just about any occasion.
I had banana chocolate chip cake layers in the freezer that I baked some weekends ago on a whim. Then I also happened to have some chocolate macarons that I froze from an earlier post. So I thought I might as well put them together and use up what I had.
So now all I had to do was make the salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream. It’s not as sweet and heavy as frosting made with powdered sugar. I like both kinds, and it’s just a matter of preference. Frosting made with powdered sugar would work better for basket weave designs as it can hold texture very well.
The silky smooth, shiny ganache takes hardly any effort to make. If you want something simpler than the salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream, just double the ganache recipe so you can fill and cover the entire cake with it. Or you can also use your favorite icing to frost the cake.
If you decide to pipe frosting swirls on top of the cake, an easy option to decorate would be with Oreo cookies instead of macarons. Or you can also top the swirls with malt balls or Hershey Kisses.
Let the ganache set before piping the swirls so the surface is not slippery; otherwise, the swirls might start sliding and won’t stay in place.
The banana chocolate chip cake is pretty easy to make. The texture is soft and the flavor distinct with banana mixed with chocolate.
The cake can be made ahead of time, wrapped well in cling wrap, kept in an airtight container and stored in the freezer. Macaron shells also freeze beautifully stored in an airtight container.
Bake this banana chocolate chip cake and you will likely keep this in your repertoire; a recipe that you can refer to for any special occasion. The salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream is also so very good and a perfect match to the cake and the ganache.
- 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 granulated sugar (300 g)
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ teaspoons vanilla extract (6 g)
- 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips (170 g)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (216 g)
- ¼ cup water (55 g)
- ½ cup heavy cream (110 g )
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 8 egg whites
- 1 ¼ cups granulated sugar (265 g)
- 3 cups unsalted butter at room temperature (6 sticks) (678 g)
- 2 teaspoons banana liqueur (substitute with 1 teaspoon vanilla extract if you don’t have banana liqueur for a total of 2 teaspoons including the vanilla extract below)
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips (1 ¼ cups)
- 1 cup heavy cream (220 g)
- 3 tablespoons butter (42 g)
- 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
- Spray three 8-inch round pans with non-stick cooking spray. Pre heat oven to 350°F.
- Sift together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda, ground cinnamon and salt.
- Combine and stir together the 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 until just blended. Add ½ of the remaining dry ingredients and all of the remaining buttermilk mixture. Beat again until just 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.
- Fold in half of the chocolate chips by hand using a silicon spatula.
- Divide the batter among the three cake pans. Sprinkle the other half of chocolate chips on top. Bake for 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, store in airtight food containers and freeze.
- Place 1 cup granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Add the water and swirl the pan to dampen the sugar.
- On medium heat, without stirring, bring the sugar and water to a boil until the color is dark golden amber.
- Remove from heat and slowly pour in the cream while stirring. Stir until smooth, then mix in the salt. Set aside.
- Place the egg whites and 1 ¼ cups sugar in a mixing bowl of a stand mixer over a pot of simmering water. Whisk the egg white and sugar mixture until warm and the sugar is completely dissolved. There should be no grittiness if you rub a bit of egg white between your fingers.
- Transfer the mixing bowl to the stand mixer and whip the egg whites on medium high until thick, glossy and has reached stiff peak stage. Continue whipping until the bowl is cool to the touch. Still on medium high speed, add butter one tablespoon at a time, whipping well after each addition. At one point, the buttercream will start to separate, but continue whipping and it will suddenly come together and have a smooth and creamy texture.
- Mix in the banana liqueur and vanilla extract. Slowly pour in cooled caramel, whipping to incorporate.
- Keep in an airtight container at room temperature if using within 24 hours or refrigerate for 3 – 5 days. Bring to room temperature before using and beat until smooth.
- Place the semi-sweet chocolate chips in a heat proof bowl.
- Place the heavy cream, butter and corn syrup in a sauce pan, stir and heat just until small bubbles appear around the edges.
- Pour the heavy cream mixture over the semi-sweet chocolate chips. Let sit for about 2 minutes.
- Starting in the center whisk until well blended and the ganache is smooth and shiny. Ganache will be loose at first but will thicken in about 15 – 20 minutes. Use before the ganache sets, while it is still pourable.
- Place one cake layer on a cake plate, spread about ¾ to 1 cup buttercream. Add the second layer and repeat ending with the third cake layer on top. Cover top and sides of cake with the rest of the buttercream. If you want to pipe optional swirls on top of the cake, reserve about 1 ¼ cups buttercream.
- Pour the ganache over the cake to completely cover the top and allow excess to flow down the sides of the cake.
- Let the ganache set first before piping optional swirls around the top of the cake.
- If piping swirls, place buttercream in an icing bag fitted with a large star tip. Pipe swirls around the edge of the top surface of the cake. Start at the outer edge of each circle going round upwards and towards the center about three times. Decorate each swirl with a macaron or any small cookie, if desired.
- Keep cake chilled in an airtight container and bring up to room temperature before serving.
Salted Caramel Buttercream and Ganache on Banana Chocolate Chip Cake