Don’t let the multiple layers of vanilla sour cream, caramelized bananas, homemade caramel and candied pecans intimidate you. This Caramelized Banana Butter Pecan Cake recipe starts with boxed cake mix and each step is quite basic…but combined…oh my heavens whoever eats this treat will think you’re quite the pastry chef. And admit it, you are!
Start by preparing the cake batter and baking individual cakes. While the cake is cooking, you can prepare the layer ingredients.
Whenever I bake cakes, I use boxed cake mix and add in a box of sugar-free instant pudding. Call it cheating if you want, but it turns out perfect every time. For the Caramelized Banana Butter Pecan Cake, I used butter pecan cake mix and banana pudding. I added in some melted butter and milk to amp up the richness.
You could bake this as a full-size cake, but I like the presentation of single-serving cakes. It makes each recipient feel extra special. I baked these in 8-oz. Le Creuset mini cocottes.
The vanilla sour cream is the easiest layer. You just mix together sour cream, powdered sugar and vanilla.
The bananas are also a breeze. Melt butter and brown sugar in a skillet and let the bananas party in the pan.
The candied pecans need a watchful eye. When the sugars begin to melt, reduce the heat and stir until the sugar coats the crushed pecans. If you have extra pecans, they’re great on salads, pancakes or yogurt.
The sauce isn’t hard to make, it’s just hard to ignore your instinct to stir. If you stir it during cooking, it will turn grainy. But if you just stir together the sugar and water and leave it alone to caramelize for about 15 minutes, it will be perfect when you add in the butter and cream.
- 1 box butter pecan cake mix
- 1 small box sugar-free instant banana pudding
- 4 eggs
- ¼ cup melted butter
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- ¾ cup milk
- ¾ cup water
- 1 8-oz. container sour cream
- 2 tablespoons powdered sugar
- ½ tsp. vanilla
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2 bananas, sliced into 48 slices
- 1 cup chopped pecans
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- ¼ cup cream
Preheat oven to 375F degrees.
Place the cake ingredients in a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer and mix well.
Line six 8-oz. oven-proof ramekins with parchment paper and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Evenly distribute the cake batter into each ramekin and place on a sheet pan.
Bake in a 375-degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool.
Remove the cakes from the pan and slice each cake into three pieces. Slice off a portion of the top, if it’s too rounded. Flip each cake over so the bottom is now the top.
Spread sour cream on the new bottom and middle layer. Top with the two layers with 4 caramelized bananas per layer.
Stack the three layers. Place on a baking rack set over a sheet pan.
Ladle caramel sauce over each cake.
Sprinkle candied pecans on top and serve.
Place all of the ingredients into a medium bowl and stir to combine.
Melt the butter and sugar in a skillet over medium heat, until the sugar dissolves. Add the banana slices in a single layer and warm for about 3 minutes. Shake the skillet occasionally to coat the bananas.
Place the sugars and pecans in a large skillet. Heat over medium heat until the sugar starts to glisten. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook, stirring often until all of the sugar is melted. Don’t let it burn. Remove from heat.
Place the sugar and water in a saucepot. Stir until the sugar is wet. Remove the spoon from the pan.
Cook over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes, until it starts to turn amber. Do not stir it during this time.
Once it’s golden, turn off the heat. Using a clean spoon, stir in the butter until melted. Stir in the cream. It will start to bubble and thicken.