This banana toffee cake is so moist and full of banana flavor with the addition of chopped toffee, then covered in rich browned butter toffee buttercream.
Hey there! Before you scroll, there’s lot’s of important stuff in the post!…including the FAQ section, which may answer any questions you might have about this recipe. Enjoy!
Recently, I’ve had this huge craving for banana cake. I LOVE banana bread, but I was really looking for something a little lighter in texture, plus something I could add buttercream to. You know how I love buttercream.
I really wanted to make this banana cake go beyond your average banana cake with cream cheese icing. I can’t leave well enough alone, right? After much thought about how I could make this banana cake really kicked up, I came up with this Banana Toffee Cake with Browned Butter Toffee Frosting.
Wow, this cake packs a rich punch. It’s moist, full of banana flavor and is kicked up with chopped toffee.
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LET’S TALK ABOUT SOME OF THE INGREDIENTS IN THE BANANA TOFFEE CAKE:
CAKE FLOUR: This cake does require cake flour. I love using it because it just gives the cake a lighter texture than all purpose flour. Cake flour and all purpose flour are not really interchangeable. If you haven’t baked with cake flour, I encourage you to try it. I use Swan’s Down Cake Flour the most and really like it.
SOUR CREAM: The secret weapon for this cake is the sour cream. It’s really my favorite thing to add to cakes because it makes them super moist.
TIPS & THE MIXING METHOD FOR THE BANANA TOFFEE CAKE:
Now, this cake is a scratch cake and as you know, it’s important to mix scratch cake batter exactly the way the instructions say. Scratch cakes are particular that way. Just don’t over mix the batter and you’ll be fine.
My next important tip is to grease AND flour your pans. I’ve found the more moist your cakes are, the more likely they are to stick to the pan. So grease those pans and then coat them with flour.
If you’d like more tips on that subject, check out my post: Tips for Getting Your Cakes to Release
You’ll also want to make sure your bananas are very ripe. Ripe bananas will make it much more flavorful. By the way, if you have any bananas left, did you know you can freeze them? I just pop them in a freezer bag and into the freezer.
NOW LET’S TALK ABOUT THE BROWNED BUTTER TOFFEE BUTTERCREAM:
Whoa Nelly! (Do people other than Southerners, say that?) Anyway, this frosting will make you do a happy dance. My happy dance is the cabbage patch. Remember that? Maybe yours is the running man. (Ok, I’m showing my age now.) You’re just gonna do some kind of happy dance and if you’re really talented, maybe a back flip.
The icing is made by browning the butter first in a saucepan, then adding the toffee bits to the warm browned butter. You’ll let it sit overnight (you can pop it in the fridge if you want) and then you’ll add the other ingredients to finish it up.
The combination of the banana cake with the browned butter toffee frosting is to die for. I could hardly contain myself when I was putting this cake together.
I put this cake together, sprinkled more toffee on the top, took pictures and commenced to
eating the heck out of it trying a piece.
Ok, now that I’ve sufficiently given you a banana cake craving, onto the recipe!
***I write recipes using volume (cups) measurements because here in the U.S., this is what people are used to seeing and using. For weight in metric measurements, click the ‘metric’ button under the ingredients in the recipe card. The weights are converted by a program, not me, and it’s a best guess. Please note that because I develop recipes using ‘cups’ I can’t guarantee that weighing the ingredients will produce the exact same results.
Banana Toffee Cake with Browned Butter Toffee Buttercream
For the cake:
- 3 cups cake flour (not all-purpose flour)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ cup butter room temp (not warm)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- 1 cup sour cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- 1 ½ cup mashed very ripe bananas (about 3 bananas)
- 1 cup chopped toffee (I used Heath chopped toffee bits)
For the buttercream:
- 1 cup salted butter (room temp)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
- 2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (or vanilla extract)
- ¾ cup chopped toffee (I used Heath chopped toffee bits)
- 7 cups confectioner's sugar
- 3 tablespoon milk (or cream) (add another tablespoon if needed)
For the cake:
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease and flour your pans. This recipe will fill two, 8″ round pans that are 2″ deep.
- Using your mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add in the granulated and brown sugar and beat on low until combined, then on medium high for a couple minutes.
- Add in the eggs, one at a time and mix on low/meium after each addition, just until combined. Do not over mix.
- In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk to mix it a bit.
- In another bowl, mix together the sour cream, whole milk, mashed bananas and vanilla. Whisk well.
- Add your dry ingredients and your liquid ingredients alternately to the egg and sugar mixture. Start with a third of the dry ingredients, mix on medium after that addition, just until combined. Then add half of the liquid ingredients and mix on medium just until combined. Continue on with another third of the flour mixture. Mix just until combined. Add the last half of the liquid ingredients and mix. End with the last third of the dry mixture. It's important to only mix until each addition is combined. Do not over mix.
- Fold in a cup of chopped toffee.
- Pour into prepared pans.
- Bake at 350 degrees for approximately 45 – 50 minutes. Start checking at 40 minutes.
- Remove from oven and set on racks to cool for 10 minutes. Turn out the cakes onto racks after 10 minutes to cool completely.
- Ice with browned butter toffee buttercream.
For the buttercream:
- Melt the butter in a saucepan on medium low to medium setting approximately six minutes.
- Remove from heat and let it sit for about five minutes.
- Add vanilla bean paste or extract and stir.
- Stir in chopped toffee.
- Let the mixture sit over-night to cool or you can store in the refrigerator until it’s fully cooled down.
- Once it’s completely cool and room temperature, add to a mixing bowl. Beat on medium until fluffy.
- Add 3 cups of powdered sugar. Beat on low until combined and then on medium until well mixed.
- Add in 2 – 3 tablespoon of cream or milk and mix well.
- Add in the other 4 cups of confectioners sugar and mix well. If the buttercream is too stiff, add in more cream, a tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired thickness.
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there is no eggs listed in the ingredient list, but there is in the directions. how many eggs do I need
Oh my goodness! Thank you for bringing that to my attention! There should be three eggs listed there. Can’t believe I missed adding that!
Hi there Kara ! Would you please be able to suggest a substitute for the eggs ? I do a lot of vegan baking thats why … thanks…
Hi there, no problem, I have some suggestions. I’ve heard of using applesauce in place of eggs. I just looked it up and read you could use 1/4 cup of unsweetened applesauce in place of one egg. You could also use flax eggs. I’ve heard that works very well. Here’s a link to the recipe for making flax eggs: https://minimalistbaker.com/how-to-make-a-flax-egg/ I haven’t tried this yet, but have heard good things about it. The Minimalist Baker has lots of good vegan recipes and I also follow another vegan baker on YouTube who really knows her vegan baking stuff. Her website is here if you want to check it out: https://www.gretchensveganbakery.com/ I’m not a vegan baking expert, so I defer to them on that subject. I’m always interested though to find new ways of baking…it’s always fascinating to me. Hope this helps!
Should I use light or dark brown sugar in your Banana Toffee cake, or doesn’t it matter? I can’t wait to make this. My bananas are ripening as I await your answer.
Hi Cindy, either should work, but I used light brown sugar for this cake. Let me know how you like it! 😉
Hi, I am currently pulling out all of the ingredients to make this yummy looking cake. Is the butter called for in the cake portion of the recipe salted or unsalted? Thanks
Hi Maggie, the butter for the cake should be unsalted.
Hi- can I make this ahead and freeze it?
Yes you can. I would make the icing separately though and ice it the day of or the day before the event. I have a post on freezing cakes if you want to check it out. I have tips there for not getting freezer burn on them: https://iscreamforbuttercream.com/freezing-cakes-and-cupcakes/
can you please figure out how to make this cake using a boxed cake mix? thank you in advance!
Hi Shannon. Thanks for your request. I’m not sure if I’ll get around to doing that, but I will definitely keep it in mind! 🙂
Do the toffee bits “melt” into the mixture for the buttercream, or does the buttercream end up with chunks in it? Thank you!
It’s pretty much melted, but I added a bit on top to give it some crunch.
I have followed the directions exactly except I had to use gluten free flour. The cake is very good, but I could not make the icing as directed. Toffee bits melted mostly into the butter but when cooled I could hardly get it out of the pan. The toffee was harder than caramel. How do you whip this when it turns so hard???
Hi Dee, glad you liked the cake. As far as the frosting goes…I’m not completely sure I know what happened there. It’s normal for the toffee bits to melt in the butter, but I haven’t had the mixture harden like that. Was it stored in the fridge for an extended period of time? You need it to cool down only to room temperature, but you don’t want to necessarily make it cold. You’ll just put it in the fridge long enough for it to cool down a bit. Also make sure (and I’m sure you did) that you use two cups of butter for the frosting. If there isn’t enough butter, then maybe that could have made a difference. The only other thing I can think of is that it might turn hard if the butter and toffee were boiled together. That would potentially have made a type of candy that would perhaps harden when cooled. If you try it again, make sure just to melt the butter, pull it off of the burner for about 5 minutes, then stir in the toffee bits and let it cool, but if you cool it in the fridge, make sure only to cool it down only enough so that it’s room temperature. Let me know how it goes.
Hello! Do you have any pointers for baking this recipe into cupcakes using a standard 12-muffin pan? Temperature/time alteration suggestions or any other guidance would be greatly appreciated!
Yes I think these would be fine baked as cupcakes. Mix them up the same way and you can bake at the same temp (350 F). Fill the cupcake liners probably a bit over halfway full (maybe 2/3 full). I’d probably start checking them at about 20 minutes or so, but I think you’ll probably need to bake them for about 5 – 10 more minutes. Let me know how it goes and I hope you love them!
Has anyone ever added nuts, like walnuts or pecans to this?
Kim, you can add nuts to this.
The cake was divine and had a lot of flavor. The icing on this recipe was not my favorite. It lacked flavor and was very sweet. I believe you end up using a 1/2 lb of sugar once the cake is complete. Next time I make it I will add almond extract or even banana extract to the icing to give it some personality. Overall it was a hit with those I shared it with.
Thanks for the review!
Hi. I’m planning on making this for my sister’s upcoming birthday 🥳 Can I use chopped pecan nuts in stead of toffee bits? Or will this change the soft crumbly texture of the cake?
No, I don’t think it would change the texture. I think that would be just fine. Now the buttercream will taste a little different without the toffee in it, but should still be good.
Does this actually have 2 cups of butter in the frosting?
Yes that’s correct. This makes a good amount of buttercream, so if you don’t need that much and don’t want a thick layer, you could always cut the buttercream recipe in half.
Hello, I cannot wait to make this!
Can you tell me about the toffee bits you use? Do they have chocolate on them or are they just plain? I am worried the chocolate would make the buttercream icing look muddy.
Thank you for sharing this.
Hi Kellie, there is a link to the toffee bits I used. If you click on the ingredient, it should take you there. I don’t believe it has the chocolate on it. It’s the ‘bit of brickle’ kind. I think the regular kind with the chocolate on them would be fine too, but you’re right, it would make it a little muddy.
Thank you, I will get the plain bits. I was just confused because your photo shows the chocolate covered ones on top of the cake.
Thanks for the speedy response.