Sticky Toffee Banana Cake

Tested & Perfected Recipes Cookbook Recipe

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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

Cake ingredients including dark brown sugar, baking powder, and eggs.

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.

Fork mashing bananas in a bowl.

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

Whisk in a bowl of dry ingredients.

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

Melted butter and sugar in a bowl.

Beat until combined.

Electric mixer beating butter and sugar.

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

Eggs, bananas, and vanilla in a bowl with a butter mixture.

Beat until combined.

Electric mixer beating a banana mixture.

Then mix in the dry ingredients.

Electric mixer beating dry ingredients into wet ingredients.

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

Baking pan of cake batter.

And bake for 35 minutes, until golden.

Banana cake in a baking pan.

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.

Whisk in a sauce pan of 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 topped with toffee sauce.

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

Toffee sauce bubbling on a banana cake.

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

Banana cake missing a slice.

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


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


  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

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  • 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, 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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  • Hi Jenn
    Another hit out of the ball park recipe! My family thought I bought this desert from a fine bakery.
    Thanks again for another delicious recipe!

  • This was SO GOOD!! I’ve made caramel plenty of times but I’ve never made a toffee sauce. Next time I make this I’m going to add almonds or pecans. I’ve made a double decker Banoffee Pavlova in the past but used caramel because I didn’t know how to make a toffee sauce nor did I realize how easy it was. My Banoffee Pavlova was delicious but the recipe did call for pecans and chopped bittersweet chocolate. That may be another ingredient I add the next time. You know? Like a drizzle of the chocolate over the toffee? I ate my first piece with a tiny amount of cool whip (didn’t feel like making my own, lol) thinking it would help balance out all of the sweetness but you really don’t need it. Thanks for the recipe… 👍🏻👍🏻

  • I only recently found your page, and this is the second recipe I have tried. Absolutely delicious! Will definitely be making again, along with the strawberry cake, which was also delicious. Thank you for the recipes

    • — Carol Harrison
    • Reply
  • Hi Jenn

    I just ran out of flour. Can I use Pastry flour to make this cake? Is pastry flour interchangeable with all all purpose flour in all cakes and muffin recipes?

    Lucy Conway

    • Hi Lucy, for the best results, I’d stick with all-purpose flour. Sorry!

  • OMG! Jenn, this is one of my favorite recipes of yours. And I love so many of your recipes.. This is absolutely delicious! Thank you! You are the best!

    • Hi. Recently made an account here and I’ve been saving loads of recipes! Can’t wait to make all your soups and desserts! I was looking for a banana dessert to try tonight but I haven’t got any fresh lemon. That’s alright, I am going to Sprout’s tomorrow!

      • — Danielle on October 12, 2023
      • Reply
  • I have your cookbook with this recipe in it and looked at the recipe online as well. Both say in the introduction that it is made with dates. But I don’t see dates in the ingredients anywhere. I am kind of confused?

    • Hi Amy, I can see why that would be confusing! My recipe is a twist on the classic English version that uses dates however this one does not. Hope that clarifies!

  • Help Jenn!! It’s Xmas Eve and I can’t find corn syrup anywhere. What can use instead for this recipe? Honey?? Love this recipe.. total crowd pleaser!

    • — Terrie Williams
    • Reply
    • Yes, I think honey is your best bet. Enjoy!

  • This is a lovely cake recipe and so pretty to serve as illustrated – a big hit. I did have to extend the baking time but I used a glass pyrex cake dish and, as is my long-established custom, had reduced the oven temp by 25 degrees. Is this practice still recommended?

    • — Cathleen Smith
    • Reply
    • It depends on the recipe, but because glass conducts heat more efficiently than metal, that by reducing the oven temp/increasing the baking time, you lessen the chances of the edges of the baked good being done before the center. (And glad you enjoyed it!)

  • Another fantastic recipe! What are your thoughts about making this in a mini Bundt cake pan?

    • Glad you liked it! If you want to make this in a bundt pan, I’d suggest serving the toffee sauce on the side (or drizzled over top) when serving. I think that if you made it in a bundt the way the recipe indicates, that it may stick to the pan. Hope that helps!

  • Could you add some rum to the toffee sauce?

    • — Laurie Hoffman
    • Reply
  • Can l double the cake part for a 9×13 pan?

    • Sure, Kimberley, that should work. Enjoy!

  • Baked this today and was not disappointed … so light and full of flavour…. Thank you for another easy, tasty & full of yumminess recipe!

  • Do you think I can use very ripe bananas that I’ve frozen in this recipe? Thanks Jenn

  • Hi Jen,

    Congratulations on your new cookbook. I’m so excited for you and looking forward to it.

    Can I substitute some of the AP flour with ground oatmeal? If yes, how much oatmeal would you recommend?


    • Hi Janelle, I’ve never used ground oatmeal in this, so I can’t say from experience, but I suspect it will work (though the cake will definitely be a bit drier and more dense). I’d replace the flour with an equivalent amount of ground oats (and I’d suggest keeping the oats to no more than 1/2 cup). Hope that helps — I’d love to hear how it turns out if you make it this way!

  • Hiya this is my go to recipe for banana cake! So light and moist! I just wondered if I could use this mix to make cupcakes too?

  • Hi Jenn,
    I’d love to make this cake, but not a fan of using Corn syrup due to VERY high Fructose content; are there any healthier options to use? Would Maple syrup work?
    Thanks in advance! I’m a big fan of your recipes and just recently purchased your cookbook for myself and my “bestie” for her birthday (she is the one who introduced me to your site to begin with).

    • Hi Mary, So glad you like the recipes! I wouldn’t recommend maple syrup here but you could replace the corn syrup with Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Hope that helps and that you enjoy!

      • Thanks for your response, Jenn. However, I don’t think that Golden Syrup is any healthier than Corn syrup. I’ll have to figure some other option……………or simply enjoy the Banana Pudding without the toffee sauce 😊

        • Hi Mary Paul,

          I’m glad you asked this question. I, too, am not a fan of corn syrup nor golden syrup. Have you found a healthier substitute for it? Would greatly appreciate if you can share!

          Thanks much.

  • This was absolutely delicious! It looks fancy but is easy to make it – can’t wait to make it again!

  • Hi Jenn! I don’t have any Heavy Whipping cream (and only 3/4 cup Half and Half). Any substitutions that would work for the sauce?

    • — Leslie Biltekoff
    • Reply
    • Hi Leslie! I wish I could be more helpful but I think you need the cream here. It might work with half and half; if you try it I would cut the sauce recipe in half so you won’t be short (even with half the amount of sauce, I think you’ll have enough to make the cake taste really good).❤️

  • I’m very much a novice when it comes to baking and I’ve now made 3 of your cakes: boy bait, blueberry muffins and this banana cake, I followed your recipes as carefully as I could and wow! Each one was so delicious and they were really well received by anybody who tried them. Thank you so much for sharing. I am really looking forward to trying more of your recipes.

    • The recipe is perfect and the cake is fabulous.

  • Hi, I’m planning on making the cake today, but I see 2 TBS of lemon juice. I understand the reasoning, but not a fan of lemon. The original recipe called for Rum, would that make a good substitute and if so how much? Thanks, and of course I love all your recipes!

    • Hi Theresa, the lemon juice is included in the cake as an acid to help activate the baking soda (to help the cake rise), so I wouldn’t omit it. (I promise that it doesn’t make the cake taste lemony.) 🙂

      • My daughter agreed with you and you were both right. I couldn’t taste it and everyone loved the cake. Thanks

  • Made today . In the UK so used Golden Syrup . It was so light and the toffee yummy . I did look at the original and may add the rum next time . But this was delicious

  • Made today. In the UK so used Golden Syrup. It was so light and the toffee yummy. I did look at the original and may add the rum next time. But this was delicious.

  • Can I use light brown sugar instead of dark brown sugar? Scott

    • Sure, Scott, that will work. Enjoy!

  • Super disappointed that my cake collapsed in the middle. I’m becoming a fairly confident baker but I should have checked in several places with my toothpick. At the 34 minute mark it was beautifully browned and the middle came out clean. Now it’s sunken in the middle. I won’t rate this because it’s really my fault, just more of a cautionary tale to pay attention!

  • I was having some anxiety today and thought it would be a great evening to bake away my stress. Luckily I had bananas that needed to be used before they were too black to be tossed, and I had all the rest of the cake ingredients. In no time at all, the house was smelling like warm, comforting banana cake, and I was feeling so much better. Even better, the cake was absolutely light, moist and delicious. I didn’t add the topping, but I didn’t miss it. It was so good. Thank you so much for a delicious and comforting recipe! I got it from your cookbook, which I love!

  • Can I make this a day ahead (baked with the toffee sauce) and have it the next day? The reason I ask is that I’d like to take it along on our upcoming holiday (where I will have no access to an oven or kitchen for that matter). Will it still be as good?

    • Hi Maria, It’s best warm, but it will still be delicious the next day.

  • Oh my god I can’t believe how light this is!! This is it – I’ve found it – my new favourite banana cake recipe. I had some toffee sauce leftover so used that instead of the recipe one but it did a similar job and was so delicious! Making another one for work as the last one never made it out of the house! Oops!

  • Hi Jenn,
    I was thinking of making this and wondering if you could substitute maple syrup for the corn syrup in the sauce? Your recipes are always excellent and I appreciate all your work! Johanna

    • Hi Johanna, So glad you like the recipes! I wouldn’t recommend maple syrup here but you could replace the corn syrup with Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Hope that helps!

  • Everyone who has tried this loves it. I still get comments years after gifting this cake. When gifting, I do think it works better to put the nuts inside the cake. Right now the price of pecans is way too high, so I tried walnuts and like the slight bitterness in contrast to the sweetness of the topping.

  • Fabulous and completely yummy!!! Easy to make. Light and actually tastes like banana cake. The toffee sauce is a winner all on its own!! Can’t wait for my bananas to age so I can make this again!! 🙂

    • — Anne MacGregor
    • Reply
  • I have to give this recipe 5 stars because it TASTES amazing, which is the point, right? Well, yes and no. I have to say, it was a little challenging to take these to an event because I wanted the individual squares to be freshly drizzled with the warm sauce. I did everything right but of course it wasn’t warm anymore by the time they got to their destination. Additionally, they are a very brown dessert and so just don’t APPEAR even 1/2 as good as they taste. SO….I will make these again, but just for home use, not to take out. My husband loved this dessert!

    • — DallasColoradoBear
    • Reply
  • This cake is so easy to make and a crowd pleaser. Thank you Jenn for another great recipe 🙂

  • This was a tasty twist on banana cake. I also had issues with the cake not being done in 35 minutes. I think I had to bake it for an additional 15 min before my skewer came out “clear” of batter & it’s not my oven & I’m an experienced baker. 😊 I was worried about overbaking the sides but thankfully the sauce helps keep it moist. The batter definitely fills up the 8×8 pan so you get deep slices when cutting the cake. I added 1 tsp of cinnamon to the batter & served with the butterscotch/toffee sauce with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

    • Would you mind sharing the butterscotch recipe you used? I’ve made caramel, toffee (of course from this recipe, lol) but would love to make and have a great butterscotch recipe on hand. Thanks ahead of time…

  • Hi Jenn! Do you think making this in smaller portions, like muffins, would work? And then making a smaller quantity of the sauce and freezing the leftover muffins for next time?

    • Hi Elise, I haven’t tried it this way. I suspect it should work, but the muffins won’t dome very much; they’ll be flatter like cupcakes. Please let me know how it turns out if you try it!

  • Made this last night exactly as written and the family loved it. I have about half the cake and sauce left over and I’m having another couple for dinner in a week’s time. Can I freeze the cake and sauce to use for my dessert, and if so, how do I prepare it for serving? Love your cookbook, btw. Have even given it as a gift to rave reviews.

    • Hi Judy, glad you enjoyed it! Unfortunately, because you’ve already put some of the toffee sauce on the cake, I don’t think it would freeze well – sorry! If you make it again, you can freeze it, but it would have to be before you’ve stuck it back in the oven with the sauce. (And thanks so much for buying the cookbook for yourself and others!) 🙂

  • Made this recipe. Very delicious. Thank you!!! Will be making for a church potluck.

  • Can I use whole milk instead of cream?
    Is this stable enough to make a poke cake?
    Substitute for corn syrup?
    Using Whole Wheat flour, how much flour should I use?

    Thank you!

    • Hi MJL, For the best results, I’d stick with the cream. For a replacement for the corn syrup, you can use Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Regarding turning this into a poke cake, you could but it’s not necessary; the cake is plenty moist and the sauce is really meant to form a sticky top crust, rather than soak in. And if you’d like to use whole wheat flour, I’d suggest replacing just half of the all-purpose flour with whole wheat. If you use more than that, I’m afraid the texture of the cake would suffer.

  • Made this in a 9 inch round. When cool, I split the cake, filled it with fresh sliced bananas and frosted it with chocolate frosting. Everyone LOVED it. Great recipe, Jenn and super versatile. Thanks!

  • So good. So easy. My guests loved it! Thanks Jenn!

  • I made this for work colleagues and they can not stop raving over it. All want the recipe and a few said it was the ‘best ever’ banana cake they have had. Thank you so much for sharing. Couldn’t find corn syrup over here in Australia, so replaced it with honey – so delicious.

  • Hello! Do you think I could double the recipe and bake it in a 13 x 9 dish? I would much prefer that than having to buy another 8 X 8 baking dish. Thanks!

    • Yes, I-Rod, that should work – enjoy!

      • Thank you so very much! I doubled the recipe, baked it in a 9 x 13 glass dish, and it came out perfect. I also doubled the amount of toffee sauce, of course. My friends raved about it. I can’t wait for the release of the cookbook!

        • So glad it turned out well! 🙂

        • I jenn i would like to make this 9×13 pan too.i wan to make it double.
          How long will take?
          What’s going to be the temperature?
          Thanks again

          • Hi Fanny, I’d cook it at the same temperature for 40 to 50 min.

            • — Jenn
          • Thanks so much Jenn
            You’re awesome.
            I’ve been making all your recipes. They are the best!!

            • — Fanny
  • I had two spotted bananas I had to use up. This was delicious and the toffee sauce spectacular. Husband had about 4 pieces

  • Can i use thick cream instead of whipping.cream?

    • — Willanie cawaling
    • Reply
    • Yes, Willanie, I think that should work. Enjoy!

  • Hey Jenn,

    thanks for all your marvellous recipes. I’ve come to depend on your site for recipes for really any occasion.
    Also, I am really happy that you have started posting your recipes in metric units as well at some point.
    But, having made the Sticky Toffee Banana Cake this past weekend, I’d like to say that 1 cup of mashed banana is not equal 375 g. It took me 3.5 bananas to reach 375 g but because it looked to be a massive amount I then filled it into a cup, and hat a good 100 g leftover.
    So, for mashed bananas: 1 cup = 275 g..
    Well, we just went and had your banana pancakes with our afternoon tea 🙂
    What would have been the result, had I added the additional 100 g of mashed banana to the batter?

    But still, great cake!

    Thanks, Anna

    PS: Will your cookbook be cup measures only, or also include metric units?

    • Hi Anna, Thanks for your feedback! I rely on various sources for my metric measurements and obviously that was off! I’ve updated the recipe and I apprciate you bringing it to my attention. And to answer your question, I think the bread would’ve likely been a bit heavy and wet with the additonal 100 grams of banana. Glad you found a use for them!

  • Hi Jen
    What would be the best way to get a head start on making this for company? If I make the cake the day before is it best to make the toffee sauce right before they come and pop it back in the oven? Thanks

    • Hi Tina, This cake keeps really well so I’d just go ahead and make it completely ahead of time and then warm the cake and the sauce before serving.

  • Thoughts on making this 3 days before I need it? I can put sauce over it each day it’s in the fridge. Thanks for your help Jenn!

    • Hi Jelena, it should keep just fine for 3 days if stored in the fridge. No need to pour the sauce over it while you store it.

    • Hi, can this be baked in a 9 inch round pan? If so does anything in recipe need to be changed.

      Also is there a dairy free option for the toffee sauce?


      • Sure, Linda, a 9-inch round pan will work with no adjustments. And there’s not really a way to make the toffee sauce dairy-free. Instead, I’d look for a recipe specifically for dairy-free toffee sauce. Hope you enjoy!

  • This has become a family favorite for birthday cake choices. That’s a testament to how good this combo is-i never would have imagined banana cake as a top contender for special occasions but this entire recipe is that good!

  • This recipe is spectacular! I’ve got a gas oven, so I had to bake it longer than suggested (~45 min), but it came out perfect! Definitely my new go-to recipe for banana bread. And the toffee sauce….omg. It’s heaven!!! I’m in the uk so I substituted golden syrup for corn syrup (which doesn’t seem to be a thing here). I could have eaten the sauce straight out of the pan!

  • Amazing !! Great spin on the traditional banana bread that I’m kinda tired of making ! Tastes best warmed up slightly the sticky toffee makes this unique and yummy . So quick to make ! Directions on point ! Only change I made was that I added chopped pecans into the batter

  • How do I make this dessert with metric weights instead of American cups?

    • Hi Julia, This recipe actually has the ingredient amounts in metric as well. To view them, scroll down to the recipe and immediately under the recipe title on the right side, you’ll see a little toggle. If you move it from “cup measures” to metric, you’ll see measurements that will work for you. Enjoy the cake!

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