Really Good Cake

This cake is REALLY good, I wouldn't steer you wrong.

Banana Caramel Cake

This recipe actually comes from a book called, "The Cakemix Doctor."  I'm sure most of you have heard of it.  It focuses on taking store bought cake mixes and "doctoring" them up.  This actually reminds me a little bit of bananas foster with the banana caramel combo.  It's delicious.  The cake is very good and the icing is even better!

So here you go....

For the cake:
  • Solid vegetable shortening, for greasing the pans (I used butter)

  • flour, for dusting the pans

  • 1 package plain yellow cake mix, (18.25 ounces)

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed

  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

  • 2 medium-size ripe bananas, peeled & mashed (about one cup)

  • 1 cup water

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil

  • 3 large eggs

  • 2 teaspoons crème de banane liquer (optional-I used banana flavoring)

  • 1 cup pecans, chopped toasted (optional for topping frosting)

  • For the frosting I used a recipe I had used before since caramel icing can be tricky and I knew this one was easy and good.

  • This is the recipe I used for the icing: (or you can try the one listed with the cake here.)

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter 

  • 1 cup packed dark brown sugar 
    1/3 cup heavy cream, or more if needed 
    1 (16-ounce) box confectioners' sugar 
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract 
    1 cup chopped nuts, optional (I chose to leave this off but I'm sure it would be good with them)

    Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease two 9-inch round cake pans with solid vegetable shortening then dust with flour. Shake out the excess flour. Set pans aside.
    Place the cake mix, brown sugar, and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Add the mashed bananas, water, oil, eggs and crème de banane liqueur (if desired). Blend with an electric mixer on low speed for one minute. Stop the machine and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for two minutes more, scraping the sides down again if needed. The batter should look well blended and the bananas should be well pureed. Divide the batter between the prepared pans. Place the pans in the oven side by side.
    Bake the cakes until they are lightly browned and a toothpick inserted in the center of each layer comes out clean, 30 to 32 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and place them on wire racks to cool for ten minutes. Run a dinner knife around the edge of each layer and invert each onto another rack so that the cakes are right side up. Allow them to cool completely 30 minutes more.
    Prepare the Quick Caramel Frosting (ingredients and recipe below). This will take only 5 to 10 minutes; therefore, time the frosting preparation so that the cake has cooled enough and is ready to frost.
    When the cake layers are cool, transfer one layer, right side up, to a serving platter. Frost the top of the layer with the warm frosting, working quickly because it will firm up as it cools. While the frosting is still warm, you may want to sprinkle toasted pecans on top of the cake so that they cling to the frosting. . Place the second layer, right side up, on top of the first layer and frost the top and sides of the cake, making sure to work quickly with clean, smooth strokes. Let the cake cool at least one hour for easier serving.
    Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir in brown sugar and cream. Bring to a boil, and transfer to a mixing bowl. Add confectioners' sugar and vanilla. Beat with a handheld electric mixer until it reaches a spreading consistency. At this time it may be necessary to add a tablespoon of heavy cream, or more, if frosting gets too thick. Just be sure to add cream is small amounts because you can always "add to", but you can't take away. Frost cake and sprinkle top with chopped nuts, if desired. 


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