Bananas Foster Cake Recipe with Salted Caramel Sauce – January Cake of the Month

Whose idea was dry January?

If you are finding it a tough sell, let’s grab a little banana rum, bake a bananas foster cake, and stay on track. You are welcome!

This cake, to me, is the perfect mix of banana flavor (thanks bananas and oh yes, rum) to channel that Caribbean feeling (takes me back to the movie Cocktail…google if it you were born after 1988) yet vibes well with the salty caramel of wintertime.

You’ll be using these yummy recipes to create this Banana’s Foster Cake. I make a simple syrup with banana rum to baste the cake layers. Be as generous as you want with the banana rum flavored syrup. If you aren’t a fan of rum, you can leave this part out. I do find it adds a really nice layer of flavor, though. Follow that up with my pastry cream recipe to fill the layers of the cake. Frost this banana deliciousness with my classic faux swiss meringue frosting recipe and top it all off with to-die-for salted caramel sauce recipe.


1. Pastry Cream – Make Ahead.

You know I couldn’t leave you with out a few baking secrets and tips for making your pastry cream perfect. I’ve spent so many hours in the kitchen with my wedding cake business that I’ve been through it all and tried all the techniques. I’ve done the dishes to prove it!

First up is lumps. No one wants a lumpy pastry cream. If you have lumps in your warm pastry cream, strain it before putting it in the bowl.

Prevent the skin on the top of the pastry cream. Be sure to cover the top of the pastry cream with plastic wrap to prevent skin from forming in the first place. Place the plastic wrap directly onto the pastry cream right after you have poured it into a bowl. Cool the pastry cream with the plastic wrap in place.

Keep it cold! Your cornstarch must be dissolved in a cold liquid in order for it to work to properly thicken your cream. Also, make sure that you use cold egg yolks for the best results. With 20+ years as a professional baker, trust me on this one!

Also, you must use whole milk for the pastry cream. If you try to substitute a low fat or skim milk, you won’t get the same results. French pastry cream really needs the fat in the milk to set properly. 

I say this with all of my dessert recipes, but it is really true for this pastry cream. Make sure that you use the best possible ingredients that you can find when you’re baking anything. There are so few ingredients in this French pastry cream, so you want to make sure they are all the best

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Pastry Cream



  1. In a medium saucepan (heavy saucepan is best) over medium low heat, add milk.  Let cook for a couple of minutes to warm the milk.  DO NOT boil the milk.
  2. While milk is warming, in a medium bowl, whisk together yolks, corn starch, salt and sugar.  Whisk for 2 minutes until the mix is light in color.  
  3. Once milk is warm, slowly add a small amount to egg mixture whisking continuously.  Add all of the milk and whisk to combine.
  4. Add mixture back to the pot and cook over medium heat, whisking continuously for 2 minutes.  Mixture will thicken.  Once it “burps” and bubbles appear on the surface remove from heat.
  5. Add cold butter and vanilla.  Stir to combine.
  6. Pour pastry cream into a heat proof bowl and cover with saran wrap.  Store in the refrigerator.


  • If you have lumps in your warm pastry cream, strain it before putting it in the bowl.
  • Be sure to cover the top of cream with saran wrap to prevent skin from forming.
  • Cornstarch must be dissolved in a cold liquid in order to work.  Use cold egg yolks for best results.
  • Vanilla beans make a nice addition to the pastry cream.
  • Keep refrigerated for up to three- four days.
  • Use whole milk, substituting a low fat milk will not yield the same results.
  • If using salted butter, omit salt.

2. Bake The Cake

Don’t ever throw away over-ripe bananas. Toss them in the freezer (skin and all) and you’ll always have bananas for bananas foster cake, um, I mean healthy green smoothies. (Geez, I crack myself up).

So yes, I start with overripe bananas. If frozen, remove them from the freezer and let them come to room temperature. Remove the peel and you have a perfectly pureed banana. No mashing required.

Once your cake is finished, let it cool completely. TIP: Chill it in the fridge so it is easy to handle when it comes time to assemble.

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Bananas Foster Cake



  1. Preheat oven to 350º.  Line three 9” round pans or four 8” round pans with parchment and spray with a pan release agent.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter.  Add both sugars and beat on medium speed until light and fluffy.  
  3. Add bananas and mix until incorporated.  
  4. Add eggs, one at a time.
  5. In a separate bowl, whisk flour and soda to combine. Add to banana mixture alternately with buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour mixture.  Mix in rum and vanilla.
  6. If using nuts, coat with a light dust of flour to prevent sinking.  Fold nuts into batter.
  7. Divide batter between prepared pans. Bake for 30-45 minutes (depends on your oven and the size pans you are using) or until a toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.Cool cakes in the pan for 10 minutes.  Remove from pans and let cool on wire racks.  Wrap in saran wrap and store in the refrigerator if you aren’t using right away.


The riper the banana, the better the flavor. Freeze overly ripe bananas in the peel and let come to room temperature before using.  The banana will be as if perfectly pureed and requires no mashing.

Make sure all ingredients are at room temperature.

Pecan or walnuts make a nice addition to this recipe.

Banana cake freezes beautifully.

3. Make Simple Syrup with Banana Rum

You’ll use this to baste/soak the cake layers to give them a rich, deep flavor. If you don’t want to use rum, this step can be omitted.

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Simple Syrup



  1.  In a saucepan, add sugar and water and mix together.
  2. Over medium heat, bring to a boil and continue to cook until the sugar has completely dissolved, and the liquid has slightly thickened. 
  3. Allow to cool completely.  Pour into a container and store in fridge for up to four weeks.


Adding liquor to the Simple Syrup


Adding a small amount of liquor to the simple syrup will add an additional layer of flavor to your cake.  The cake won’t necessarily taste like liquor, but it does up the flavor game.  Add a liquor that will complement the cake flavor, for example, if you are making an almond cake, add an amaretto liqueur to the simple syrup.


With the above measurements, I add 55 grams of liquor to the simple syrup.  Adjust accordingly to your taste.


To make a Rum Simple Syrup, add ¼ cup (55 grams) of rum to the above recipe after it has cooled.  Store in fridge for up to four weeks.


  • Add simple syrup to cake layers with a pastry brush.  It can also be sprinkled onto the cake layers
  • How much to use?  Don’t soak the layers.  A light brushing or sprinkling will give the desired effect.  
  • If you bake ahead and want to freeze the cake layers, you can add the simple syrup before placing the cake in the freezer or after the cake had been defrosted.
  • You can add an extract (vanilla, almond, etc.) instead of the liquor.  Start with 2 tsp. and add to taste.
  • This recipe can be cut in half to make a smaller batch or doubled to make a larger batch.  As long as you maintain the 1:1 ratio of sugar and water, you are good!

4. Make Faux Swiss Meringue Buttercream

This can be made a day ahead, too. I have put in many hours at the mixer to find the perfect frosting. I believe this Faux Swiss Meringue Buttercream is it, my friends. For years, I have tried recipe after recipe for a buttercream that will hold up to the decorating rigors and taste yummy. Some are too oily. Others are so sugary, your teeth hurt. Alas, look no further! This buttercream is a delicious mix of sweet and creamy and is loved by my clients. It is simple to make and easy to work with as a frosting, therefore, I know it will become a frosting staple for you, too. Oh, and be sure you ONLY use pasteurized egg whites for this recipe.

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Faux Swiss Meringue Buttercream



  1. Combine egg whites and powdered sugar in a heavy duty mixing bowl with whisk attachment.
  2. Whisk on low to combine.  Once combined, turn mixer to high and whisk for 5-10 minutes until stiff peaks have formed.
  3. Turn mixer off and switch from whisk to a paddle attachment.  
  4. With mixer on low speed, begin adding butter a few pieces at a time until all butter has been added.
  5. Mix on medium low until buttercream is creamy, about 5-10 minutes.
  6. Add extract of your choice and beat on low until incorporated.


  • Have ingredients at room temperature.
  • After adding butter, the mixture will break, or look soupy.  Walk away and let the mixer do its job.  
  • Store at room temp for 3 days, refrigerate for 2 weeks, freezer for 3 months.  Bring cold/frozen buttercream to room temperature and beat on low with paddle before using.
  • Don’t skimp on the flavoring!  This recipe will taste like whipped butter if you don’t add enough flavoring.  Liquors work great too! 
  • Pasteurized egg whites can be found in a carton in the egg department of most grocery stores.  Be sure to select a carton of egg whites only! 
  • Fresh egg whites are not suitable for this recipe because they have not been exposed to heat in order to destroy potential bacteria.
  • If the buttercream has a lot of air bubbles, microwave it in 10 second intervals until you see a small amount of melted butter around the top rim of the bowl.  Return to mixer and using the paddle attachment, beat on low. This will return the buttercream to a smooth and creamy state.

5. Make the Salted Caramel Sauce

I like to top this luscious cake with salted caramel sauce. OMG! SO GOOD! This has recently become a favorite flavor for a layer of their wedding cake for my brides and grooms, too. It is a fun surprise for guests along with the classic vanilla cake, of course.

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Salted Caramel Sauce



  1. Place sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat and stir constantly with a wooden spoon unit the sugar melts and is amber-colored liquid and no lumps remain.  6-8 minutes.
  2. Reduce heat to medium.  Add the butter carefully as it will bubble up.  Use a whisk to stir until the butter is fully melted and the mixture is incorporated.  1-2 minutes.
  3. Carefully pour the heavy cream in a steady stream into the mixture using your whisk to combine.  When the cream is fully combined, let it boil for one minute before removing it from the heat.
  4. Stir in salt.
  5. Let the caramel cool completely before using on the cake.


  • Caramel can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for two weeks.  Microwave in 10-second intervals to warm.
  • Have ingredients at room temperature and ready to go.  Once you start you have to stir, whisk, and keep your eye on it from start to finish.
  • More salt can be added if you prefer a saltier caramel.


  1. Brush cold cake layers with simple syrup
  2. Fill between layers with pastry cream and drizzle with salted caramel sauce
  3. Frost with Faux Swiss Meringue Buttercream
  4. Drip with Salted Caramel Sauce.
  5. Get yourself a fork!


This yummy cake must be stored in the refrigerator, though I warm it up or let it come to room temp right before serving. It will keep for 4 days but I doubt it’ll last that long. Cake layers (that haven’t been filled) will keep for two months in freezer. Wrap layers in plastic wrap and then heavy duty foil. To defrost, remove cake layers from freezer. Allow the wrapped cake layers to come to room temp.

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  1. Bunny says:

    I can’t wait to try your Banana Cake recipe!
    I drizzle all our cakes w/ flavor infused simple syrups, and adding Banana Brandy will be perfect for this cake.
    I’m going to fill it with a Banana Cream Mousse & frost it w/ either Rose’s Banana Buttercream or a Banana Brandy Mock Whip Frosting – to complement the Banana Brandy simple syrup.
    I make a buttermilk caramel glaze that’s poured over our signature Tropical Carrot Cakes, and I think that would be perfect as drip on the cake.
    I think I’ve found a new flavor to temp our brides, restaurants & resorts I bake for, and private clients. Thank you for new inspiration!

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