There’s nothing quite like the aroma of freshly baked banana bread wafting through the kitchen. But what happens when you take that classic recipe, turn it into a cake and add a rich and nutty brown butter frosting? You get a delectable chocolate chip banana cake that will have you rethinking baking a basic loaf again. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a newbie in the kitchen, this recipe is easy to follow and sure to impress. So grab your mixing bowls and let’s get started!
Easy and Moist Chocolate Chip Banana Cake
Banana bread was one of the few things that my mom baked when we were kids. It was a staple in our household. And rightfully so. It’s quick and easy to make, and typically fairly economical. When it was time to switch things up, mom would make banana cake. Her secret ingredient was always the zest of an orange. Just a little bit – enough to impart a touch of citrus, without being overpowering. She always added it directly in the batter of her banana bread, but for her cake, it only went in the icing.
I’ve made some changes to my moms banana cake recipe over the years. Important changes to satisfy the tastes of my little family. My husband is not keen on the orange zest, so we did away with that early on in our relationship. Chocolate chips are now a frequent addition, as is a nuttier frosting made with browned butter.
How to make Banana Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
Making Banana Cake with Brown Butter Frosting is just slightly more work than a traditional loaf. The addition of the brown butter frosting is what takes a little extra work, but it’s worth the effort.
- Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. This is best done with a stand or handheld mixer.
- Add in the sour cream and eggs and beat until just combined. Make sure you scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Next, mix in the mashed ripe bananas. You want the bananas to have lots of brown spots, or even be almost all brown. These banana have the most sweetness and banana flavour.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together all the try ingredients.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix until there are only a few streaks of flour left. Then, mix in the chocolate chips.
- Transfer the batter to an 8×8 baking dish, and bake for about 40-50 minutes.
Tips for making browned butter icing for Banana Cake
Making this browned butter icing for banana cake is fairly easy as well. It’s just like a traditional American buttercream, but with the added step of browning the butter first.
- Slice the butter into even pieces, to ensure even melting.
- If you can, use a pan that is light in colour on the inside. It’s easier to monitor the browning of butter.
- Use a medium-low heat. You want the browning to happen slowly. If it goes too fast, you risk it burning.
- The butter will foam up, then subside. You should start to see little brown flecks on the bottom of your pan and it should smell nutty.
- Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl to cool completely. You want the butter to be solid, but still soft.
- Once the butter is cool, beat with a stand/hand mixer. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla.
- Add in 1 Tbsp of milk at a time, until you get a spreadable and light buttercream.
Looking for other Banana Recipes?
- Spelt Banana Bread
- Peanut Butter and Banana Chia Seed Pudding
- Tahini Chocolate Chip Banana Muffins – Dish’ n’ the Kitchen
Banana Cake with Brown Butter Frosting
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup sour cream
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup mashed very ripe bananas
- 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips
Brown Butter Icing
- 1/2 cup butter
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 3-4 Tbsp milk as needed
- 1 tsp vanilla
For the Banana Cake
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line an 8x8 baking pan with parchment. Set aside.
- Using a stand mixer or handheld beater, beat together sugar and butter until fluffy and pale in colour. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Add in sour cream and egg and beat until combined. Scrape down bowl again.
- Mix in the mashed banana.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until you can still see some streaks of flour.
- Mix in the mini chocolate chips and stir until there are no more streaks of flour and chocolate chips are evenly distributed. Make sure not to over-mix.
- Transfer the batter to the prepared 8x8 baking pan.
- Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. A few crumbs on the toothpick is fine, you just don’t want it to come out covered in raw batter.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly in the pan. Then, remove from the pan and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.
For the Brown Butter Frosting
- Slice the butter into even pieces.
- In a medium skillet over medium-low heat, melt the butter, stirring occasionally.
- The butter will foam up and subside. At this point, watch carefully for brown bits forming on the bottom of the pan. At this point it should have a nutty smell. The brown bits can burn very quickly.
- Transfer to a bowl to cool completely. I transfer mine to the fridge and stir it every 10 mins or so. You want the butter to be solid and cool, but still soft.
- Once the brown butter is cooled, transfer to a bowl and beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla. Add milk, 1 Tbsp at a time, as needed, to achieve a soft, spreadable buttercream.
Frost the Cake
- Once the cake is completely cooled, frost with brown butter frosting.
Nutritional calculation was provided by WP Recipe Maker and is an estimation only. For special diets or medical issues please use your preferred calculator