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*You’ll have to click through to Youtube to watch the video if you want to see it.

Gwen Stefani is older than I and has given birth to two children in the last six years, while I have not given birth in over ten.  That doesn’t have anything to do with this post, I just thought I’d point that out.  I’m both impressed and envious at the same time.  I know she has trainers and her body is part of her business, but I could work-out non-stop from now until eternity and never look like that.  So, good for you Gwen, you look fab and totally rock that leotard/majorette thing you’re wearing in the video.  Since I’ve accepted my body and it’s genetics, along with my complete lack of motivation to work-out right now, I’m going B-A-N-A-N-A-S in my own way.

Banana cake with caramel frosting.  We went to a party Saturday night and needed something to bring.  We had an overabundance of ripe bananas and not much else.  I didn’t want to make banana bread because, frankly, I’m tired of it. I wanted something else, so I turned to my trusty The Cake Mix Doctor and found exactly what I wanted.  I happened to have everything I needed on hand in my well-stocked baking pantry.  Therefore, it was also economical because we didn’t have to buy anything new.  It was easy to whip-up, too.  I baked it in a 9 X 13 pan that has a lid for easy transport and serving.  I thought it was delicious.  The crumb was very fine, giving the cake this amazing, silky texture.  The caramel icing was a perfect counterpoint to the banana and made a really good flavor combination.  In a word – yummy.

Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting from The Cake Mix Doctor

(with slight alterations)

1 18.25 oz. package of plain white cake mix (no pudding added i.e. Duncan Hines or Kroger store brand)

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1 tsp. cinnamon

2 medium size ripe bananas, peeled and mashed (about 1 cup)

1 cup water water

1/2 cup vegetable oil

3 large eggs

2 tsp. pure vanilla extract (I used vanilla made with bourbon instead of vodka, but you can use whatever you have)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease pan (2 9″ rounds, 1 9 X 13, 24 cupcakes, etc.) and lightly flour.  Set pan aside.  Place the cake mix, brown sugar, cinnamon, mashed bananas, water, oil, eggs and vanilla in a bowl.  Using either a stand mixer or hand mixer, blend the ingredients for one minute on low speed to combine.  Stop the mixer and scrape down the sides of the bowl.   Blend again for two minutes on medium speed.  Your batter should look well-blended and smooth at this point.  Pour batter into pan(s) and baked for 25-30 minutes, depending upon size of cakes.  I start checking at the 15 minute mark, though, and turn the pan because my oven bakes on the hot side.  It will all depend on your oven.  Once it’s finished, place on cooling racks for 10 minutes, or so, before turning out of the pan, unless you’re serving from the pan like I did at the party.  In that case, leave it on the cooling rack until it’s ready to frost.

Caramel Frosting

(I made a half batch for my cake in the pan, just enough to cover the top.  If you want to frost layers or cupcakes, make a full batch)

8 Tbsp. (1 stick) butter

1/2 cup packed light brown sugar

1/2 cup packed dark brown sugar

1/4 cup whole milk

2 cups confectioner’s sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Place the butter and brown sugar(s) in a heavy medium-sized saucepan.  Stir and cook until the mixture comes to a boil, about 2 minutes.  Add the milk, stir and bring back to a boil.  Remove the pan from the heat and add the confectioner’s sugar and vanilla.  Beat with a wooden spoon until the frosting is smooth.  As soon as it’s done, start to frost your cake. This stuff starts to set-up quickly and turns to a fudge-like consistency. If it gets too hard, just put it back on the warm burner for a minute to soften it again.  Sometimes I just pour it over the cake for a drippy effect.  It’s not very pretty but it’s efficient.  Also, I usually only use light brown sugar (1 cup total) because that’s what I normally have around. Regarding the confectioner’s sugar, you don’t have to sift it, but you’ll have to beat it like the devil to get the lumps out.  It’s better to take the time to sift.  I hate sifting, though, and sometimes I have pent-up aggressions that need released, so I’ll go hard-core and just dump it in.  Either way, it’s still going to rock your world while you stand there and lick the pan clean, I guarantee.

If you try this cake, let me know if you get the same amazing texture that I did.  I’d never made it before so I don’t know if it’s always that good or if it was just a fluke.  Let me know!


About sugarshellandbutterknife

I am a work-at-home mother of two, daughter K who is 16 and son N who is 12. I live in a 1956 mid-mod ranch with my children and the love of my life, J. We're slowly renovating our house on a budget and love all things DIY. I hope to make this a place where frugal-minded folks like myself can exchange ideas, gain inspiration and find encouragement to tackle whatever life throws our way.

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