Roasted Banana Cake with Browned Butter Pecan Frosting

A couple months ago we discussed this pumpkin cake with a brown butter drizzle. A version of that drizzle, which is the shizzle by the way, won me $5000 in the Cooking Light Ultimate Reader Recipe contest .

I called it Browned Butter Pecan Frosting and it was perched atop the moistest (that’s not a word, but neither is shizzle), most wonderful banana cake ever…and it’s even lower in fat that most cakes. The bananas and fat-free buttermilk keep it uber-moist; but it’s roasting your ripe bananas first that really pushes this one over the top.

I promise you’ll love me for this one…and your hips won’t hate me in the morning.

Roasted Banana Cake with Browned Butter Pecan Frosting

Roasted Banana Cake with Browned Butter Pecan Frosting


Use brown-speckled bananas for this. If they're not ripe, they won't have good flavor.


2 cups sliced ripe banana (about 3 medium)

1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar

1 tablespoon butter, chilled and cut into small pieces

9 ounces cake flour (about 2 1/4 cups)

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 cup nonfat buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/2 cup butter, softened

1 1/4 cups granulated sugar

2 large eggs

Baking spray with flour


1/4 cup butter

2 cups powdered sugar

1/3 cup (3 ounces)1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup chopped pecans, toasted


1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. To prepare bars, combine banana, brown sugar, and 1 tablespoon butter in an 8-inch square baking dish. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes, stirring after 17 minutes. Cool slightly.

3. Reduce the oven temperature to 375°.

4. Weigh or lightly spoon cake flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Combine 9 ounces (about 2 1/4 cups) flour, soda, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Combine banana mixture, buttermilk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in another medium bowl. Place 1/2 cup butter and granulated sugar in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Add eggs to granulated sugar mixture; mix well. Add flour mixture to sugar mixture alternating with banana mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture.

5. Pour batter into a 13 x 9–inch baking pan coated with baking spray. Bake at 375° for 20 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool completely in pan on a wire rack.

6. To prepare frosting, melt 1/4 cup butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; cook 4 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool slightly. Combine browned butter, powdered sugar, cream cheese, and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer until smooth. Spread frosting over cooled bars. Sprinkle with pecans.

Image: Cooking Light

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