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Banoffee Cake

I recently tried Banoffee pie for the first time and immediately knew I had to make a banoffee cake!!

Banoffee pie comes from England. Traditionally, it’s made with bananas, cream, and toffee.

The crust can either be a buttery biscuit base, or a mixture of crushed cookies and butter. Some variations even add in coffee or chocolate.

image of a slice of banoffee cake on a plate that's been cut into to show how moist and delicious it is

To stay true to these flavors, I made this cake with tender banana cake layers, a rich toffee filling, fresh banana slices, and whipped vanilla buttercream.

It’s such a fun cake flavor year-round, but I especially love it in the summer! I think the bananas make me think of sunshine and warm weather 🙂

Why is it Better to Use Overripe Bananas to Make Banana Cake?

Most banana cake recipes insist on using only the ripest bananas, including this one. But why are overripe bananas better to bake with??

image of ripe bananas, ready to be used to make banana bread

There are actually several reason! The first is that as a banana ripens, more of its starch is converted into sugar. This creates sweeter, more tender baked goods.

Another benefit of baking with super ripe bananas is that they’re super easy to mash up. This ensures your banana cake layers have a uniform, even texture without any unexpected chunks of banana.

Overripe bananas are also more aromatic and give baked goods a more intense banana flavor than yellow bananas.

image of banana bread batter being made with super ripe, brown bananas

The final and best reason (in my opinion) is that it uses up overripe fruit that would otherwise go to waste!

With all that in mind, this recipe will still turn out if you use yellow bananas. It just won’t have as intense of a banana flavor!

Baking Hack: How to Quickly Ripen Bananas

If you only have yellow bananas and want that intense banana flavor, don’t worry!

You can easily turn yellow bananas brown in a matter of minutes. Preheat your oven to 300 F / 150 C and place your unpeeled bananas on a foil-lined baking sheet.

image of unripe bananas that have been placed on a foil lined baking sheet to be quickly ripened in the oven

Bake them for about 15 minutes, or until the banana skin is uniformly dark in color.

Let them cool on that pan for 10 minutes, then carefully peel and mash them.

image of unripe bananas that have been placed on a foil lined baking sheet to be quickly ripened by being baked the oven

I use this hack all the time for banana bread and it works like a charm.

Substitutions and Swaps

While I love this banoffee cake recipe just the way it is, I know some of you might not have all these ingredients on hand!

image of a banana cake being filled with toffee and fresh banana slices

Below are some swaps and substitutions that can be made in this recipe:

  • Sweetened Condensed Milk – The toffee filling is a crucial part of this cake! If you can’t find any, try purchasing premade toffee/dulce de leche online or at the store.
  • Overripe Bananas – If you don’t have overripe bananas on hand, bake your bananas at 300 F for about 15 minutes or until the skins of the bananas are black.
  • Lemon Juice – Fresh lemon juice really enhances the banana flavor in this recipe and prevents the mashed bananas from browning. It can be left out if needed though!
  • All-Purpose Flour – This recipe turns out best with AP flour, but you can use a cup for cup gluten free flour blend in its place if needed.
  • Unsalted Butter – If you only have salted butter, on hand you can use it in place of the unsalted butter in this recipe. Just be sure to omit the salt that this recipe calls for. You can also use vegan butter in its place!
  • Baking Powder / Baking Soda – This recipe uses both leavening agents, and both are important to help this recipe rise correctly! Make sure both types of leavening agents are properly measured and haven’t expired.
  • Buttermilk – You can also use whole milk, full-fat yogurt, sour cream or alternative yogurt or milk (almond, soy, oat) if you’re dairy free.
  • Eggs – If you don’t have eggs on hand or can’t eat eggs, you can try using flaxseed eggs.
image of a dulce de leche toffee that's been made to fill a banoffee cake

Banoffee Cake Decoration

Now onto my favorite part of any cake, the decoration! I chose to use the leftover toffee and spread a thin ring of toffee around the base of the cake.

Then I drug the toffee up the side of a cake with a large offset spatula.

As I did this, I focused on keeping the angle of each frosting drag the same. This helps give the cake a cohesive look.

I also ended up going around the cake twice, to really blend together all my toffee swoops.

image of toffee being spread up the side of a banoffee layer cake to decorate it

I decorated the top of the cake with a ring of freshly slice bananas and a drizzle of warm toffee.

If you don’t plan to eat this cake immediately, wait to add the bananas to the top of the cake or use banana chips.

image of a banoffee layer cake that's been decorated with swipes of toffee up the side of the cake

Tips for Making the Best Banoffee Cake:

  • Properly measure your flour (fluff, then spoon into the cup measure and level) or use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients.
  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better! Set any cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Use a scale to weigh your cake pans as you fill them. Make sure each pan has the same amount of batter so that cake layers bake to the same height and bake more evenly.
  • Bang the cake pans on the counter before putting them in the oven. This brings any air bubbles that are trapped in the batter to the surface.
  • Level the room temperature or thawed cake layers with a serrated knife to make them easier to stack.
  • Chill the cake layers in the freezer for about 20 minutes before assembling the cake. It makes it so much easier to stack and frost them!
image of a slice of banoffee cake on a plate that's made with banana cake layers, toffee and fresh banana slices

Making This Banoffee Cake in Different Sizes

I used 8″ cake pans to make this cake, but this recipe can be used to make different sized cakes. You can also half or double the ingredients to make a half or double batch!

You can make four 7″ or 6″ cake layers with one batch of batter. Bake the cake layers at 350 F / 175 C for 29-33 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.

image of chocolate chip banana cake batter in 8-inch pans that are ready to be baked

One batch of batter can also be used to make one 9×13-inch sheet cake. Bake it at 350 F / 175 C for 40-50 minutes and use flower nails or heating cores to help the cake bake evenly.

You can also use this recipe to make a Bundt cake! Bake time can vary based on the size and type of pan you use and can take anywhere from 45-75 minutes. I recommend using a toothpick to test for doneness and checking on it every 5-10 minutes once it’s been in the oven for 45 minutes.

The final variation of this recipe is cupcakes!! This recipe makes about 36 regular sized cupcakes. Fill 3/4 full and bake for 17-19 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few moist crumbs.

image of a bite of banoffee cake on a fork

Making This Banoffee Cake in Advance & Storage Tips

To speed up this process, make the toffee filling a day in advance!! An unopened can will stay good in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Make the cake layers in advance and freeze them. It breaks the process up and makes it more approachable.

Make the whipped frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.

This frosting can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months! Just be sure to give it a good mix once it thaws to make it nice and smooth again.

A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to 3 days. The buttercream locks in the moisture and keeps the cake fresh and delicious!

I don’t recommend freezing this cake, it gives the bananas a strange texture.

image of a banoffee cake that's been cut open to show its cross section of moist banana cake layers, toffee filling, banana slices and whipped vanilla buttercream

Let Me Know What You Think!

If you try this banoffee cake recipe, I’d love to hear what you think of it! Please leave a rating and comment below.

Also don’t forget to tag me @chelsweets and use the #chelsweets so that I can see your amazing creations on social media!

Yield: 24

Banoffee Cake

image of a slice of banoffee cake on a plate that's been cut into to show how moist and delicious it is

If you love banoffee pie, you'll love this banoffee cake!! It's made with fluffy banana cake layers, a delicious toffee filling, and whipped vanilla frosting!

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 6 hours
Total Time 7 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Toffee Filling / Dulce de leche

  • 14 oz. can of sweetened condensed milk, label removed (397g)

Banana Cake Layer Recipe (adapted from Sally's Baking Addiction)

  • 1 1/2 cups ripe bananas, mashed - about 3 large bananas (450g)
  • 2 tsp lemon juice (8g)
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour (375g)
  • 1 tsp baking powder (4g)
  • 1 tsp baking soda (6g)
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt (3g)
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature (226g)
  • 1 cup granulated sugar (200g)
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, packed (133g)
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature (168g)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (8g)
  • 1 1/2 cups buttermilk, room temperature (360g)
  • 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips or chopped up chocolate - optional (135g)

Whipped Vanilla Buttercream Recipe

  • 2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature (452g)
  • 3 Tbsp heavy cream or heavy whipping cream (45g)
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract (8g)
  • 1/2 tsp fine salt (3g)
  • 6 cups powdered sugar (750g)
  • 1/4 cup pasteurized egg whites from a carton - optional (60g)

Additional Filling and Decorations

  • 4-5 fresh bananas (optional)

Instructions

Toffee Filling

  1. The toffee filling needs time to cook and cool, so I recommend making it first or in advance. Remove the label from a can of sweetened condensed milk and place the can on its side in a large pot or large saucepan. Fill with water so that the water level is at least 2 inches above the can.
  2. Set the pot over high heat and let the water come to a simmer.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer for 2 hours. Check the pot every 30 minutes to make sure the water level stays above the can. Add hot water as needed to top it off.
  4. Carefully remove the can from the water using tongs or a large spoon. Set the can on a wire rack and let FULLY COOL to room temperature. It is super important that the can is fully cooled before opening, otherwise the can can explode due to the heat and pressure!
  5. Once the can is fully at room temperature, you can either open it and pour it into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or store the unopened can in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Banana Cake Layers

  1. Next, make the banana cake layers. Preheat the oven to 350°F/175°C and grease and line 3, 8-inch cake pans. Set aside.
  2. Mash 3 large bananas with either a fork or a mixer and stir together with 2 tsp of lemon juice. This prevents the bananas from browning. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk 3 cups flour, 1 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt together. Set aside.
  4. Use a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment to beat 1 cup of butter, 1 cup of granulated sugar, and 2/3 cup of brown sugar together. Mix on a high speed for about 3 minutes. The mixture should get lighter in color as air is whipped into it. Use a spatula to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  5. Mix in 3 large eggs and 2 tsp of vanilla extract on a medium speed.
  6. Mix in half of the dry ingredients on a low speed until just combined.
  7. Add in 1 1/2 cups of buttermilk and mix until incorporated, then mix in the remaining dry ingredients on a low speed. Be careful not to over-mix the batter once you've added in the flour. The batter will be on the thick side.
  8. Mix in the mashed bananas on a medium speed until just combined.
  9. If desired, carefully fold in 3/4 cup mini chocolate chips.
  10. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 28-32 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out (relatively) clean.
  11. Remove the cakes from the oven and set on a wire rack. Run an offset spatula around the edge of the pan to help release the cake layers from the pan. Let the cakes cool fully in the pan.

Whipped Vanilla Buttercream

  1. As the cake layers bake and cool, make the whipped vanilla buttercream.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat 2 cups of butter on a medium-high speed for 2 minutes with a whisk attachment. The butter should become lighter in color.
  3. Mix in 3 Tbsp heavy cream, 2 tsp vanilla, and 1/2 tsp salt on a medium speed until combined.
  4. Gradually mix in 6 cups of powdered sugar on a low speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
  5. Once all the powdered sugar has been mixed in, add in 1/4 cup of pasteurized egg whites (sounds weird but gives the frosting an amazingly smooth, light texture). Whip the buttercream on high for about 1 minute to make it nice and fluffy. The frosting should be rather thick, like whipped topping!
  6. Cover flush with plastic wrap to prevent crusting and set aside.

Banoffee Cake Assembly

  1. Stack and frost the cake layers on a 10-inch, grease-proof, cardboard cake round or flat plate.
  2. Spread a tablespoon of frosting in the center of the board to help keep the first cake layer in place.
  3. Spread a layer of vanilla frosting on top of the cake layer, then pipe a thick ring of whipped vanilla buttercream around the perimeter of the layer. Chill the cake in the freezer for about 5 minutes, until the frosting it firm to the touch. This will make it so much easier to spread the toffee on top of it!
  4. Use about 1/3 of the toffee filling to spread an even layer on top of the frosting. Top with fresh banana slices.
  5. Repeat with remaining layers. Make sure the toffee filling and bananas stay inside the frosting ring.
  6. Cover the cake in a thin layer of vanilla frosting. Smooth using a large offset spatula and bench scraper, then chill in the freezer (5 mins) or fridge (30 mins) until the frosting is firm to the touch. This helps lock in all the filling and makes it easier to get a perfect, 2nd coat of frosting.
  7. Next, add a second, thicker layer of frosting around the cake. Smooth using a bench scraper. You can see a full tutorial on how to frost a cake with smooth sides here.
  8. Spread a thin ring of toffee around the base of the cake, then use a large offset spatula to drag the toffee up the side of a cake at an angle.
  9. Top the cake with a circle of freshly slice bananas or banana chips and a drizzle of warm toffee (I heated the toffee in the microwave for about 15 seconds). Then enjoy!

Notes

If you want to make this recipe in a different sized pan, please see the "Making This Banoffee Cake in Different Sizes" section above 🙂

Tips for Making the Best Banoffee Layer Cake

  • Ingredients at room temp mix together better! Set out any cold ingredients ahead of time.
  • Properly measure the flour (spoon into the cup measure, then level). Or better yet, use a kitchen scale to measure your dry ingredients.
  • Use a scale to weigh your cake pans as you fill them. Make sure each pan has the same amount of batter so that cake layers bake to the same height and bake more evenly.
  • Bang the cake pans on the counter before putting them in the oven. This brings any air bubbles that are trapped in the batter to the surface.
  • Level the room temperature or thawed cake layers with a serrated knife to make them easier to stack.
  • Chill the cake layers in the freezer for about 20 minutes before assembling the cake. It makes it so much easier to stack and frost them!

Making this Banoffee Cake in Advance and Storage Tips

  • To speed up this process, make the toffee filling a day in advance!! It can sit in the fridge for up to 3 months.
  • Make the cake layers in advance and freeze them. It breaks the process up and makes it more approachable.
  • Make the whipped frosting ahead of time or save any leftover frosting! It can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a month.
  • This frosting can also be stored in the freezer for up to 3 months! Just be sure to give it a good mix once it thaws to make it nice and smooth again.
  • A frosted cake can last in the fridge for up to 3 days. The buttercream locks in the moisture and keeps the cake fresh and delicious!
  • I don't recommend freezing this cake, it gives the bananas a strange texture.

Note: If you don't plan to eat this cake immediately, the bananas on the top of the cake will brown! To prevent this, you can either brush the bananas with lemon juice to prevent browning or use banana chips.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 595Total Fat 29gSaturated Fat 18gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 10gCholesterol 96mgSodium 248mgCarbohydrates 82gFiber 2gSugar 63gProtein 6g

Dawn

Friday 21st of April 2023

Made this cake for my daughter's birthday today, unfortunately it was very dense & looked like it hadn't cooked enough but didn't taste like it. According to my skewer it had. I not sure if the problem was me or the cake?

Chelsweets

Sunday 23rd of April 2023

Hi Dawn,

I'm so sorry to hear that! This cake doesn't rise much, so it does have a denser, more tender crumb that a classic sponge cake. But based on what you're saying, I'm assuming the layers were dense in an unpleasant way.

Dense cake layers can be caused by a few different things. The most common culprits are using ingredients that aren't fully at room temperature, over-mixing the batter, or using too much flour (if should be fluffed and leveled if using a measuring cup, or weighed with a scale). Do you think it could be any of those? If not, hopefully we'll be to figure out what it is together!

Tartelette

Friday 21st of April 2023

Hi, can I bake the whole dough in one pan and then slice it? I have only a one cake pan I don't know what to do in this situation

Chelsweets

Sunday 23rd of April 2023

Hi Tartelette,

Great question! I wouldn't recommend doing that with this cake recipe because it would take forever to bake and would over-brown on the sides.

You can bake one layer at a time and let the batter sit on the counter at room temperature for a few hours as you bake each layer. Hope that helps, happy baking!

Becky

Friday 17th of February 2023

This cake looks insane! I am making my best friends wedding cake and I’m going to do a trial run tomorrow and get her to taste it. It will be one of the tiers of a 3 tier cake. I just wanted to know how long can this be out the fridge for with the fresh bananas inside? Would it be better not put the slices in between the layers or reckon it would be ok? I also might swap the whipped cream for standard buttercream/Swiss/white choc ganache so it’s more stable. Especially with the weather in June on a boat in London hahaha

Thank you! :)

Chelsweets

Tuesday 21st of February 2023

Hi Becky,

That is the tricky part!! The fresh bananas do not keep well, and get kinda slimy / oozy if they sit for a bit. This is one of those cakes that best eaten as soon as possible after its made :/ However, if you skip the fresh banana slices between the layers it would hold up a lot better!

I definitely think it's a good idea to use a standard SMBC or white choc ganache instead of the whipped frosting to help the cake hold up in the heat. Hope that helps, happy baking!

Allesandra

Tuesday 4th of October 2022

This is seriously one of the best cakes I’ve ever eaten. And I make cakes regularly! I do have a question, I’m wondering if this would hold up as the bottom tier in a two layer cake?

Chelsweets

Thursday 6th of October 2022

So happy to hear that Allesandra!! This recipe should work great in a tiered cake as long as it's properly supported with dowels or thick plastic straws. Hope that helps, happy baking!

Jenna

Monday 26th of September 2022

Does the toffee have to be put in the fridge? Or can I leave it at room temp overnight?

Chelsweets

Thursday 6th of October 2022

Hi Jenna,

I would recommend putting the cake in the fridge overnight, just because the filling is soft, especially with the bananas! It can budlge as it sits otherwise. Hope that helps, happy baking!

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