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Sticky Toffee Banana Cake

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This warm and comforting banana cake is loved by kids and adults alike.

sticky toffee banana cake

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

This warm, comforting banana cake is a twist on the classic English dessert, sticky toffee pudding—which is not really pudding at all, but rather a moist cake made with finely chopped dates covered in a sticky toffee sauce. Though it looks impressive, it’s easy to make, and it’s one of the most loved desserts on my website. In fact, one reader wrote to me that she came across the recipe looking for a bake-off contest cake. Trusting the reviews, she made it without doing a trial run and just entered it into the contest. Much to her delight, she won!

What You’ll Need To Make Sticky Toffee Banana Cake

ingredients

Step-by-Step Instructions

It’s important to use overripe bananas. The browner and spottier, the better. Begin by mashing them in a bowl, then set aside.

mashing-bananas

Next, whisk together the dry flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

dry-ingredients

In a separate bowl, combine the melted butter and sugar.

melted-butter-and-sugar

Beat until combined.

beating-butter-and-sugar

Then add the mashed bananas, eggs, lemon juice and vanilla.

adding-eggs-bananas-and-vanilla

Beat until combined.

beating

Then mix in the dry ingredients.

mixing-in-dry-ingredients

Transfer the batter to a greased and floured 8-inch square baking dish.

ready-to-bake

And bake for 35 minutes, until golden.

baked-banana-cake-1

Meanwhile, make the toffee sauce by combining the butter, heavy cream, corn syrup and brown sugar in a medium saucepan. Whisk until the sugar dissolves.

mixing-toffee-sauce

Gently boil the sauce, whisking occasionally, until thickened to a syrup consistency, about 15 minutes. If it seems too thin, don’t worry, it will thicken more as it cools. Spoon about 1/3 cup of the toffee sauce over the baked banana cake.

banana-cake-with-toffee-sauce

And return to the oven to bake until bubbling, about 6 minutes.

bubbling-toffee-sauce

Let the dish cool on a rack, then slice into squares when ready to serve.

sliced-banana-cake

Warm the toffee sauce and spoon generously over top. Top with fresh banana slices and chopped pecans, if desired. Enjoy!

Note: The idea for this recipe came from a sticky toffee banana pudding featured in Bon Appetit years ago. I tried the recipe as written but found the cake much too heavy and dense. The banana cake that I’ve used is actually a light and cake-like banana bread baked in a cake pan instead of a loaf pan; it’s much better! The toffee sauce has been modified as well.

sticky toffee banana cake
Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

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Sticky Toffee Banana Cake

This warm and comforting banana cake is loved by kids and adults alike.

Servings: 9-12

Ingredients

For the Cake

  • 1¾ cups cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled-off with a knife
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup very ripe mashed bananas, from 2-3 spotty bananas
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Toffee Sauce

  • 1¼ cups heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch salt

For Serving

  • Sliced perfectly ripe bananas
  • Chopped pecans

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8x8-inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the melted butter and sugar until blended. Add the eggs, mashed bananas, lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix well.
  4. On low speed, stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Do not over mix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden, and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Bring the heavy cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt to a boil in a heavy small saucepan over high heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a gentle boil, whisking occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. It should be the consistency of maple syrup -- it will continue to thicken as it cools. Remove the sauce from the heat and cool.
  6. Spoon ⅓ cup of the toffee sauce over top of the baked banana cake. Return the cake to the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbling vigorously, about 6 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for at least 30 minutes. Cut the cake into 9 squares or 12 rectangles. Serve the cake slightly warm or at room temperature with warm toffee sauce and top with sliced bananas and pecans, if desired.
  7. Note: Sauce can be made 2 days ahead. Cover and chill; then rewarm slightly before using. If it seems too thick, add more heavy cream to thin it to desired consistency.
  8. Freezer-Friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen (without the toffee sauce) for up to 3 months. Bake the cake for 35 minutes, let it cool completely, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap. Thaw on the countertop the night before you plan to eat it. Before serving, place the cake back in the oven with the toffee sauce and proceed with the recipe from there.

Nutrition Information

Powered by Edamam

  • Per serving (12 servings)
  • Serving size: 1 slice (nutritional data includes sauce but not optional toppings)
  • Calories: 402
  • Fat: 22g
  • Saturated fat: 13g
  • Carbohydrates: 50g
  • Sugar: 27g
  • Fiber: 1g
  • Protein: 4g
  • Sodium: 231mg
  • Cholesterol: 95mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

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Comments

  • I have made this cake several times- it is SO good. The first time I made it I did not have corn syrup, so for the toffee sauce I combined one half cup sugar (granulated/caster) with 2 TB water in the pot over medium low heat just until the sugar was (mostly) dissolved, a few minutes. I then continued with the toffee recipe as written and it turned out great. Like lick the spatula great. I make it that way every time since we all loved it so much. No need for corn syrup if you don’t have it or are looking for an alternative! Thanks for another great recipe, Jenn!

    • — Emily on July 18, 2023
    • Reply
  • hi Jenn,
    Awesome recipe. if I make the cake a day ahead, should i cover at room temp or in fridge. (not freezer) then bake 350 6 mins with warmed up toffee? If in fridge, bring it to room temp right? that will work? thanks!

    • — carol on September 8, 2022
    • Reply
    • Hi Carol, Glad you like it! You can store the cake on the counter overnight and then proceed as you’ve suggested above. 🙂

      • — Jenn on September 9, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn,

    Is toffee sauce the same as butterscotch? Can I omit the use of corn syrup? If I do, how much more sugar do I use? Help.

    Lucy

    • Hi Lucy, Toffee and butterscotch are similar but not exactly the same. And you can replace the corn syrup with honey. Hope you enjoy!

    • Delicious. I made this cake for my BookClub ladies. A hit!

      • — RL on March 8, 2022
      • Reply

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