Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake & Salted Caramel Swiss Buttercream

If you think the title of this post is a mouthful...you should try this cake!!! An absolutely divine combination of moist cake and addictive frosting.

I had been wanting to make the frosting forever and finally decided to go for it this past weekend. After deliberating over what cake to pair it with, I settled on banana because I was wanting to try that recipe as well.

The cake is so incredibly moist! It has the flavor of banana bread, but with the light and fully texture of a cake. The frosting...oh man that frosting...I could eat a bowl of it by itself. It is a Swiss meringue buttercream and it's light and silky with a lightly salty & sweet taste. Hands down one of the best if not THE best frostings I have ever made. 

The cake recipe is an adaptation of one I found on i am baker, a blog full of wonderful recipes and beautiful pictures. The frosting is from Sweetapolita, who I have mentioned many times before and who I have an unabashed cake crush on! Check out both sites for many inspiring recipes!

Banana Chocolate Chip Cake
adapted from i am baker

  • 1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed (approx 4 medium bananas)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk
  • 1 cup mini chocolate chips
  • 2 teaspoons flour (for coating chocolate chips)


1.        Preheat oven to 300°.
2.        Grease and flour (2) 9” cake pans
3.        In a small bowl, mix mashed banana with the lemon juice; set aside.
4.        In a medium bowl, mix flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
5.        In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, appx 6 minutes.
6.        Beat in eggs, one at a time, then add vanilla.
7.        Beat in the flour mixture alternating with the buttermilk, beginning & ending with flour
8.        Stir in banana mixture by hand
9.   Toss chocolate chips with 2 teaspoons of flour to coat and then stir into batter.
10.   Pour batter into prepared pans and bake for 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
Let the cakes cool in their pans on a rack for about 15 minutes. When you remove them from the pans, wrap them gently in plastic wrap until you are ready to frost. I do this with all my cakes and it helps retain their moisture.

The frosting...how I love this frosting. When I made it originally, I used the recipe as written not taking into account that Sweetapolita intended it only as a filling. I considered just frosting my cake in a the casual open way pictured above as I've seen others do. But who am I kidding??? I'm a frosting girl!

So I went back and made another batch!! My 2nd batch ended up being even more delicious than the first and I didn't think that was possible!

I'm posting the recipe here already increased so you will have plenty to frost and fill your 9" cake. Also note, I used two 9" pans, but then I split each layer so that is how I end up with 4 layers...just a way to get more frosting in there ;)

Salted Caramel Swiss Buttercream
adapted from Sweetapolita


2 ¼ cups sugar (divided, 1 ¼ cup for the caramel & 1 cup for the frosting)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup heavy cream

generous pinch of sea salt**

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature and cut into tablespoon sized pieces

5 large egg whites

 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

To make the caramel: Place 1 ¼ cup of the sugar and the water in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring. Brush down the sides of the pot with a dampened pastry brush to prevent sugar crystals from forming. Stop stirring and cook until caramel is amber colored, gently swirling from time to time. The caramel will darken quickly so keep a close eye on it! Remove from heat, and slowly add cream, whisking by hand until smooth. Whisk in sea salt. Let cool.

To make the swiss meringue buttercream: Place egg whites and 1 cup of sugar into bowl over a pot of simmering water(not boiling--you don't want to cook the eggs). Whisk occasionally and gently until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160° on a candy thermometer.

Remove the bowl from heat, and place onto the mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium speed for 5 minutes. Increase speed to medium-high, and whisk until stiff, glossy peaks form (about 5-6 minutes). Once the bottom of the bowl is no longer warm to the touch, reduce speed to medium-low, and add butter, a little at a time, whisking well after each addition.

Switch to paddle attachment. With mixer on low speed, add cooled caramel, and beat until smooth (about 3-5 minutes).
**You can leave out the seal salt if you want regular caramel

Enjoy and Happy Baking!

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