Banana Cake with caramel frosting

About the time our son was a year and a half old, we decided that we wanted a little more room, which, when you can’t afford a bigger place in the big city, means that you move to the suburbs.  We had some friends who lived a little north of the city and really liked it, so we started looking for places there.  We eventually came upon this great old house with a half acre of property that was not well maintained or well-thought out design wise, but in a great location and had a lot of character.  My kinda place.  We moved in the summer of 2002.

We were soon invited to an annual corn roast that friends of ours had.  They had a large property even further north and kindly invited anywhere between 75 and 100 people every year.  Tents were set up outside and we spent the afternoon as all families enjoy: with each other and friends, playing games, and eating.

The first time we were invited, I didn’t know too many people.  At one point I turned to a friend and asked if she had seen my then one and a half year old son running around.  She turned to me and said “With Marla”.  I asked who this person was.  She pointed her out.  Marla had my son on her hip, while organizing food, helping people, and keeping things organized and flowing.  And just so you know, it wasn’t her corn roast.

I’m not sure why we were so fortunate to be instantly adopted by her and her family.  Perhaps the Italian in her liked the little blonde, blue eyed boy who was willing to be fed and carried around?  She had two children of her own, both around the age of ten at that time, and they were the perfect babysitters/playmates when we spent time together.   To this day, both of my children love, admire, and respect her children.

My friend is workhorse.  She’s worked full-time as long as I can remember and does all the things she can for her family that cannot be easy to keep on top of.  Everybody is well fed.  Laundry is always done.  Her and her husband are a team that can’t be beat when it comes to household management.

On top of that, she’s a great baker.  Her baked goods aren’t just for her family, they’re for friends and workmates too.  So when I was looking for some new, easy recipes, I went straight to her.

This banana cake was one of the recipes she gave me.  It’s fast and easy and soooo moist.  And since I always have rotten bananas lying around, either on my counter or in my freezer, I always welcome banana recipes. The original recipe is just the cake, which is great on it’s on, or sprinkled with a dash of sugar. Or add this super sweet frosting and make this simple dessert really wow your company.

Enjoy and share them.  Marla’s baked goods will never steer you wrong.



  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk


  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2 TABS milk
  • 1 cup icing sugar, sifted


CAKE: Beat together butter and sugar about 2-3 minutes or until well combined and bright yellow.  Add eggs one at a time and beat until combined.  Add bananas and vanilla.

In a separate bowl, combine flour and baking soda.  Add to bowl alternately with buttermilk.  Do not over-beat, just mix until combined well.

Pour into a greased 8×8 square baking pan.  Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool on rack 15 minutes and then carefully remove from pan to cool completely. 

FROSTING: Melt butter and brown sugar together on medium/low heat. Bring to a boil and boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add milk and bring back to a boil. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Whisk in powdered sugar until smooth. Cool.

When cake and frosting are cool, frost cake.

Serves 8

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