Bananas Foster Butter Cake is a buttery yeast-risen cake topped with a layer of gooey, brown sugar deliciousness and boozy, caramely, rum-infused bananas foster sauce. Top the whole thing with scoops of vanilla ice cream, just because you can.
It's St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake meets Bananas Foster and it's a match made in heaven.
This recipe comes from a Stephanie Meyer novel
Hello. My name is Rebecca and I'm bookworm.
Our home has always been filled with stacks of books, in every room and on nearly every surface. So hallelujah for audiobooks because they've saved our home from being completely taken over by stacks of books.
Also, audiobooks are responsible for a lot of domestic chores getting done on a regular basis. That sink full of dirty dishes, un-mopped floor, and pile of laundry suddenly becomes an excuse to listen to whatever book I'm currently in the middle of.
Let's all just stop for a second and appreciate the fact that audio books have made scrubbing toilets something I actually kinda look forward to. This is something my younger self never could have imagined. But, there you have it.
A while back, I listened to The Chemist by Stephenie Meyer, which is a brilliant, can't-stop-listening-but-look-at-how-clean-our-house-is kind of book.
At one point one of the characters bakes a Bananas Foster Butter Cake.
I had to pause the book and think about that. What is a bananas foster cake??? I wasn't sure, but I was definitely going to make it.
What Is Bananas Foster Cake?
The first thing I had to decide when creating a Bananas Foster Cake Recipe was: What kind of cake deserves to be covered in bananas foster sauce?
I started poking through my stacks of cookbooks and honed in on a cake called St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake.
Some versions of St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake call for a basic yellow cake as the base with a cream cheese mixture for the topping. But, as I understand it, true St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake involves a layer of slightly sweet yeast risen dough with a gooey brown sugar and butter topping.
St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake sounded like the perfect match for bananas foster sauce.
Legend has it that St. Louis Butter Cake came about by accident when a St. Louis baker added too much butter to one of his coffee cakes. Instead of throwing it out, he cut it into squares and sold it anyway. It was such a hit that it became one of the city's signature dish.
Now that I've tried it, I understand why. This stuff is seriously delicious. I mean... St. Louis Butter cake is lick-your-plate-clean-and-go-get-another-piece-even-though-its-going-to-cost-you-another-hour-at-the-gym kind of delicious.
I've heard that St. Louis Butter Cake is often a breakfast treat. This is also something I can totally get behind. Actually, this is something I have gotten behind already, having had a piece for breakfast this very morning.
St. Louis Butter Cake Was Made for Bananas Foster Sauce
The bottom yeasty layer of cake soaks up all that brown sugar rum spiked sauce like that's its job. And the bananas sink down into the gooey butter topping all comfy like.
I don't know if this is what Stephenie Meyer had in mind when she wrote Bananas Foster Butter Cake into the storyline of The Chemist. But, GOD BLESS HER for the idea.
More single layer cake recipes
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For the Butter Cake:
- ½ cup (113 grams) milk, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 6 tablespoons (3 ounces/ 85 grams) butter, at room temperature
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt - OR, ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 ¾ cup (210 grams) all-purpose flour
For the Gooey Topping:
- ¼ cup (84 grams) honey
- 2 tablespoons (29 grams) water, at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 12 tablespoons (170 grams/ 6 ounces) butter, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (160 grams) dark brown sugar
- ¾ cup (150 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt - OR, ½ teaspoon table salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup + 3 tablespoons (143 grams) all-purpose flour
For the Bananas Foster Sauce:
- 8 tablespoons (4 ounces/ 113 grams) unsalted butter
- 1 cup (213 grams) dark brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt - OR ¼ teaspoon table salt
- ¾ cup (6 ounces/ 170 grams) heavy cream
- 3 large bananas, cut into slices that are approximately 1-inch thick
- ½ cup (4 ounces) dark rum
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Make the Butter Cake:
- Stir the milk and yeast together in a small bowl and set aside for about 5 minutes to allow the yeast to come alive.
- Add the butter, sugar and salt to a medium size bowl and beat with a hand held electric mixer until light and fluffy, 3-5 minutes. (See note) Add the egg and beat until thoroughly combined and the mixture increases in volume a bit, about 2 minutes longer.
- Add the flour and milk mixture in alternating additions: ⅓ of the flour, ½ of the milk, ⅓ of the flour, ½ of the milk, ⅓ of the flour. Beat each addition on medium speed for about 30 seconds, until thoroughly combined, before adding the next.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl after each addition. After the last bit of flour has been added, beat the dough for about 1 minute, until the texture is very smooth.
- Press the dough into an even layer in an ungreased 9x13 baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature until it's risen slightly, 3-4 hours.
Make the Topping:
- When the dough has risen, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and prepare the topping.
- Add the honey, water and vanilla to a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Add the butter, both sugars and salt to the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and beat on medium high speed until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. (Or beat with an electric hand held mixer.)
- Add the egg and beat for another minute to combine.
- Alternate adding the flour and honey mixture: ⅓ of the flour, ½ of the honey, ⅓ of the flour, ½ of the honey, ⅓ of the flour. Beat on low speed after each addition just long enough to combine ingredients. Be careful to not over beat.
- Spoon dollops of the topping across the cake and then use a spatula to smooth into an even layer. Be gentle - you don't want to press the air out of the risen dough.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes. The cake is done when the surface is a rich golden brown and the edges are set, but the center is still very jiggly. Don't worry - the center will set as it cools.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before slicing, topping with bananas foster sauce, and serving.
Make the Bananas Foster Sauce:
- Add the butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt to a medium sized heavy bottomed sauce pan. Cook over medium heat until the butter and sugar melt and boil, about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the cream and continue to cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture comes to a full boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and continue to cook, stirring constantly, for 5 minutes. Add the bananas, stir to coat and bring back to a boil.
- Stir in the rum and cook for another 2 minutes, stirring gently to not mash the bananas.
- Pour the sauce into a bowl and serve immediately. You can also store this bananas foster sauce for 2-3 days in the refrigerator.
- Let cool completely at room temperature before covering tightly and storing it in the refrigerator. Before serving, heat slowly in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
Why do the instructions for the cake call for a hand held electric mixer instead of a stand mixer?
You can use a standing mixer; however, they are generally a bit too large to whip this small amount of butter and sugar into a light and fluffy mixture. If you choose to use one anyway, just stop to scrape down the sides of the bowl frequently.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 516Total Fat: 24gSaturated Fat: 15gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 7gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 671mgCarbohydrates: 68gFiber: 2gSugar: 48gProtein: 5g