Banana Cake with Gooey Cinnamon Filling

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I’m not one to ever turn down banana bread, especially when it is in cake form and is this Banana Cake with Gooey Cinnamon Filling. The cake is just sweet enough with an intense banana flavor. The filling is gooey, sweet, and filled with cinnamon. It basically melts in your mouth and adds moisture and delicious-ness to the cake. The cake has a ton going on, so the frosting is simple, but still interesting. It is a brown butter cream cheese frosting that is tangy and a little nutty. The tang offsets some of the sweetness from the cake while the nuttiness adds warmth and so much flavor. This cake is great for banana and banana bread lovers and is honestly super easy and will impress anyone you make it for.


To make this recipe, you first preheat your oven and prepare your baking pan. Then brown the butter for the frosting and then set it aside in the fridge to cool down. Then we make the filling and set it aside while we make the cake. Once the cake batter is finished, add half of it to your pan, layer the filling on top, and then add the rest of the batter on top. Then stick the cake in the oven to bake and make the frosting in the meanwhile. Once the cake is done baking, let it cool down completely before frosting and serving.


QUICK TIPS:

Room temperature ingredients: using room temperature wet ingredients while baking (unless otherwise specified) is super helpful since it ensures that the wet ingredients combine well together and that everything is the same temperature going into the oven.

Measuring flour: the key to any fluffy and tender baked good is accurately measuring your flour. Typically when you just scoop out the flour straight from the container, you end up measuring way too much much flour. This is because when you scoop the flour straight from the container, you are packing it down too much, meaning that your measuring cup is filled with dense flour. Measuring too much flour can ruin almost any baked good, so I recommend using a kitchen food scale when possible since this will provide the most accurate results. However, if you do not have a food scale the most accurate way you can measure your flour is by spooning the flour into your measuring cup until it is full. Then with the flat side of a butter knife, swipe the excess overflowing flour off. This method is called spooning and leveling your flour.

Don’t over mix: you want to mix until the batter is just combined. This means that you mix until there are no flour steaks or clumpy bits. This is because over mixing your batter can lead to a dense and tougher final cake.

Work quickly: while pouring the batter and layering the filling into the loaf pan, you want to work quickly. This is because we want to develop as little gluten as possible in the cake before it goes into the oven. Gluten develops when flour is mixed with a liquid and the longer it sits the more gluten develops. Developing gluten in a cake recipe can lead to a chewy and dense cake which is why you want to work somewhat quickly.

Dollop the batter: after layering the filling on half of the cake batter, dollop the other half of the batter on the filling. This way it will be easier to spread out into an even layer instead of just pouring it all in the middle.

TOTAL TIME: 1 hour 30 minutes SERVINGS: 9 large slices

INGREDIENTS:

Cake:

5 very ripe bananas (should have lots of brown spots and be very mushy)

2 2/3 cups all purpose flour (315 grams) - spooned and leveled

1/2 cup yogurt

6 tablespoons softened unsalted butter

¾ cup brown sugar

¼ cup granulated sugar

1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

3/4 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Filling:

½ cup brown sugar

½ cup all purpose flour

3 tablespoons melted butter

2 teaspoons cocoa powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Frosting:

8 oz. softened cream cheese (leave it at room temperature for ~3 hours out of its foil cover)

½ cup butter (1 stick)

1-2 cups powdered sugar (sweeten to taste)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

METHOD:

  1. Preheat your oven to 375° F and line an 8x8 inch baking pan with parchment and cooking spray.

  2. First, we are going to get started on the brown butter frosting. In a small pot or saucepan, preferably with a light colored bottom, start melting your butter on medium low. Stir continuously for 3-5 minutes. It will start to foam up and maybe even boil, bring the heat down and keep stirring until it starts to smell nutty and turns a shade of amber. Then pour it into a heat safe bowl including all of the brown bits at the bottom of the pot and place the butter bowl in the fridge while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

  3. Then, mix together the ingredients for your filling and set it aside while you make the actual cake.

  4. In a bowl, cream together your butter and sugars (the amount allotted for the cake) for 2-3 minutes with a stand mixer or electric beater until fluffy. You can also cream them together by hand with a whisk, but it will take much longer, instead I recommend melting the butter and just mixing it with the sugar. The cake won’t be as fluffy, but it will still be great.

  5. Add in your yogurt, bananas, and vanilla. Mash the bananas, yogurt, and vanilla into the butter mixture until all of the bananas are smooth and there are no banana chunks left. Mix the banana, yogurt, and vanilla with the butter mixture until everything is smooth and completely combined.

  6. Measure out your flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until just combined. Make sure not to over mix, but also make sure to fully incorporate all of the ingredients so that there are no flour streaks in the mixture.

  7. Pour about half of the batter into the baking pan and spread it out into an even layer, you want to work somewhat quickly. Then sprinkle over all the cinnamon filling and make sure it is in an even layer as well. Lastly, pour the rest of the batter into the pan and spread it out evenly.

  8. Bake the cake for 40-45 minutes at 375° F.

  9. While the cake bakes, get started on the frosting. Remove the brown butter from the fridge. By now it should have solidified a little. It should still look a little runny, but it should be thicker and more solid than before. If not, place it in the freezer for 5 minutes.

  10. Add your brown butter and softened cream cheese to a bowl or stand mixer and beat for 3-5 minutes until super fluffy. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Then add in your sugar and vanilla. Beat until there are no lumps and the frosting looks fluffy and smooth.

  11. Once the cake is done baking, let it cool down completely before frosting it. To frost it, just dollop on the frosting and use an offset spatula or a spoon to spread it all over the top of the cake. Dust with some cinnamon before serving.

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