Thursday, July 16, 2009

Easy Banana Cake with Quick Caramel Icing

Yellow cake mix gets a boost of banana, brown sugar and cinnamon, and is topped with a quick caramel icing and chopped pecans.

Easy Banana Cake with Quick Caramel Icing

This cake came about when I saw a from scratch, two layer banana cake that was just gorgeous and looked so darned good with a yummy butter and cream cheese icing and dotted with chunks of walnuts. I even bought the bananas with the intent of making it, but for some reason every time I thought about making it, I would look at the recipe and put it off. It seemed a bit daunting to me and I'm not a great layer cake baker.

Well, as bananas do, they were soon calling to be used, and knowing that I did have a couple of cake mixes in the pantry, I pulled out my trusty copy of the The Cake Mix Doctor and sure enough, there lay a recipe that I could shortcut! Yay!

I'll get around to a homemade banana cake when I'm in the mood, but for now this worked well and was excellent. I really love the caramel icing - very similar to my peanut butter icing in method, this would be a great frosting to liven up several kinds of different cakes.

Here's how to make it.

Recipe: Easy Banana Cake with Caramel Icing

©From the Kitchen of Deep South Dish
Prep time: 10 min |Cook time: 55 min | Yield: About 12 servings

  • 1 package yellow cake mix
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup of water
  • 1/2 cup of canola oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • Quick Caramel Icing
  • 1 cup of chopped pecans

Spray a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with Baker's Joy non-stick spray. In the bowl of your mixer, add the cake mix, brown sugar and cinnamon and whisk to break up clumps.

In a separate bowl, combine the bananas, water, oil and eggs until mixed together. Add to the dry ingredients. Beat on low for about 1 minute, stop scrape down the sides, and beat another 2 minutes on medium speed. Pour into the prepared pan and bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes, reduce heat to 325 degrees and bake another 25 to 30 minutes or until nicely browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Place on a wire rack to cool in the pan. Pour icing over the still warm cake and sprinkle the pecans on top while the icing is still warm.  Allow the cake to set for at least an hour to fully cool.

Variation: Make this an applesauce cake by replacing the bananas with 1 cup of applesauce. Thanks Lori!

Adapted from The Cake Mix Doctor


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©Deep South Dish
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Posted by on July 16, 2009
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  1. I really need to stop reading your yummy recipes at bedtime. I am rather hungry now. . .this looks so good.

  2. Wow, I was really excited finding your blog and all your yummy looking recipes but now I'm wondering if I'm gonna have to curtail my visits, ha ha.
    Can't wait to try this, I've been wanting something different.

  3. The cake looks good. I have never made a caramel icing to go with my banana cake--maybe I should try that. I have always made either a banana icing or a cream cheese icing. I truly hardly ever bake but I must say the one cake I can and do make from scratch is a banana cake recipe I got when I was in nursing school. It is so good. You know you can't bake when your husband tells you that you should buy family birthday cakes instead of baking them!! I agreed with him--I usually don't take the time to be so precise that is why I cook better than I bake!! Sheila in NC

  4. moist and tempting! Looks delish :D

  5. I love shortcut recipes! This looks amazing!

  6. I use the Cake Mix Doctor all the time. This one I havent tried yet. I surely will now. Looks fantastic!

  7. This is temptingly moist and delicious if appearances mean anything. This really does look delicious.

  8. Thanks gals! Hope y'all have a fantastic weekend.

  9. Oh this looks so darn good Mary!! What a great combination!

  10. no was the viewers online widget I installed a while back!
    I took it off and it is gone
    now....that looks wonderful and everyone here loves banana cake!

  11. Well, it sure looks like I'm going to have a new favorite cake recipe thanks to your post....I can't get enough caramel of anything! Thank you so much! Roz

  12. What do you do with the pecans?

  13. Hey Paul - thanks for pointing that out. The pecans are just sprinkled on top of the icing while it's still warmed, then the cake should be allowed to cool.

  14. I just made this cake! It is cooling as I type. Can't wait to eat it. My husband and kids won't get out of the kitchen. I'm sure it is wonderful. Everything you post is fantastic!!!

  15. Hello Mary,
    I am making this cake again today for the third time. I am sure my husbands family is going to love it after Thanksgiving dinner. Best wishes to you and your family this holiday season. I don't know what I would cook without your fabulous recipe blog.
    Teresa Lott-Swope

  16. Thank you so much Teresa & Happy Thanksgiving!!

  17. I made this for a potluck last night. It was so easy and SO GOOD! The entire thing was devoured within 30 minutes. Thanks!!

    1. Hi Lysa! Thank you so much for taking the time to come back and let me know!!

  18. I had not heard of the Cake Mix Doctor until I read this recipe. I tried it using a white cake mix because that is what I had on hand. Everyone loved it! m I found the frosting to be a little too sweet for my taste but I heard no complaints from anyone! I need to get this book!

    1. I find most boxed cake mixes and the powdered sugar icings pretty sweet myself, so I do understand that, but the caramel pairs so nicely with this banana cake. I personally prefer the buttercream icings - imagine that LOL!! Duncan Hines box mix isn't quite as sweet as some of the others. It's just nice to throw together a box cake dessert sometimes!!

      The Cake Mix Doctor I have is pretty old, so you can usually find it used, but I want to say that she has a newer cookbook out too from just a few years ago, plus a variety of others. It's a great cookbook to help jazz up boxed mixes. Thanks for taking the time to come back to comment Mary - I appreciate that!

  19. Printing this one too, love banana cake and this looks amazing!

    1. It is pretty good but I have to give credit to the Cake Mix Doctor cookbook! I hope you enjoy it.

  20. This was wonderful! I told my husband that I might use the icing on a regular yellow cake and he said "This is perfect. Why do you want to mess with this?" Thanks for sharing

    1. You're welcome! It's a simple little cake but it's tasty & we love it too. Glad your husband enjoyed it!!


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