Banana Pecan Caramel Layer Cake


If you have a sweet tooth and a love for rich, decadent desserts, the Banana Pecan Caramel Layer Cake is an absolute must-try. This delightful cake combines the natural sweetness of bananas, the crunch of pecans, and the gooey richness of caramel into a dessert that’s perfect for any occasion. Whether you’re a seasoned baker or a kitchen novice, this cake is sure to impress. In this article, we’ll guide you through the steps to create this masterpiece and share some tips to make it even better.


For the Cake:

  • 3 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup chopped pecans

For the Caramel Sauce:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt

For the Frosting:

  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup caramel sauce (from above)


Making the Cake:

  1. Preheat Oven: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and flour two 9-inch round cake pans.
  2. Mix Wet Ingredients: In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the mashed bananas and vanilla extract.
  3. Combine Dry Ingredients: In another bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  4. Combine Wet and Dry: Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, alternating with the buttermilk. Stir in the chopped pecans.
  5. Bake: Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Allow the cakes to cool in the pans for 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Making the Caramel Sauce:

  1. Melt Sugar: In a medium saucepan, heat the sugar over medium heat, stirring constantly until it melts and turns a deep amber color.
  2. Add Butter: Carefully add the butter (it will bubble up), and stir until melted.
  3. Add Cream: Slowly pour in the heavy cream, continuing to stir until the mixture is smooth. Remove from heat and stir in the vanilla and salt. Let it cool before using.

Making the Frosting:

  1. Cream Butter and Cheese: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and butter until smooth.
  2. Add Sugar and Vanilla: Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Stir in the caramel sauce.

Assembling the Cake:

  1. Layer and Frost: Place one cake layer on a serving plate. Spread a layer of frosting on top. Drizzle with caramel sauce. Place the second cake layer on top and frost the entire cake with the remaining frosting.
  2. Decorate: Drizzle the top with more caramel sauce and sprinkle with chopped pecans for garnish.

Serving and Storage Tips for Banana Pecan Caramel Layer Cake:

Creating a Banana Pecan Caramel Layer Cake is a delightful endeavor, but ensuring it’s served at its best and properly stored for future enjoyment is equally important. Here are some tips to help you serve and store your cake perfectly.

Serving Tips:

  1. Optimal Temperature: For the best flavor and texture, serve the Banana Pecan Caramel Layer Cake at room temperature. Allow it to sit out for about 30 minutes before serving.
  2. Slice Cleanly: Use a sharp, serrated knife to cut the cake. Wipe the knife with a warm, damp cloth between cuts to ensure clean slices.
  3. Add Extra Toppings: Enhance each serving by drizzling additional caramel sauce on top and adding a sprinkle of chopped pecans or a dollop of whipped cream.
  4. Pair with Beverages: This cake pairs wonderfully with a cup of coffee, tea, or a glass of milk. For an adult twist, consider serving with a dessert wine or a bourbon-based cocktail.
  5. Presentation: Serve the cake on a decorative cake stand or platter to highlight its beautiful layers and caramel drips. A garnish of banana slices and pecans around the base can add an extra touch of elegance.

Storage Tips:

  1. Room Temperature: If you plan to consume the cake within two days, you can store it at room temperature. Cover the cake with a cake dome or an inverted bowl to protect it from drying out.
  2. Refrigeration: For longer storage, place the cake in an airtight container and refrigerate. The cake will stay fresh for up to 5 days in the fridge. Before serving, let it sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes to soften.
  3. Freezing: To store the cake for an extended period, freeze it. Wrap individual slices or the whole cake (without caramel topping) tightly in plastic wrap, then place in an airtight container or freezer bag. The cake can be frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to enjoy, thaw in the refrigerator overnight and bring to room temperature before serving.
  4. Preventing Dryness: To prevent the cake from drying out, ensure it is well-covered. If storing slices, wrap them individually in plastic wrap or foil before placing them in an airtight container.
  5. Caramel Sauce: If you have extra caramel sauce, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Warm it slightly before using to drizzle over the cake.

Variations for Banana Pecan Caramel Layer Cake:

The Banana Pecan Caramel Layer Cake is a versatile dessert that can be adapted to suit various tastes and preferences. Here are some delightful variations to try:

1. Chocolate Banana Pecan Caramel Cake

  • Chocolate Addition: Add 1/2 cup of cocoa powder to the dry ingredients for a rich chocolate flavor.
  • Chocolate Chips: Fold in 1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips into the batter.
  • Chocolate Ganache: Top the cake with a layer of chocolate ganache for an extra decadent touch.

2. Banana Pecan Coconut Caramel Cake

  • Coconut Addition: Add 1 cup of shredded coconut to the batter for a tropical twist.
  • Coconut Frosting: Replace half of the cream cheese in the frosting with coconut cream for a coconut-flavored frosting.
  • Toasted Coconut Topping: Sprinkle toasted coconut flakes on top of the cake along with the pecans.

3. Spiced Banana Pecan Caramel Cake

  • Spices: Add 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon of cloves to the dry ingredients for a spiced flavor.
  • Maple Syrup: Substitute 1/4 cup of the granulated sugar with maple syrup for a warm, earthy sweetness.
  • Cinnamon Frosting: Mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon into the cream cheese frosting.

4. Banana Pecan Caramel Cheesecake

  • Cheesecake Layer: Add a layer of cheesecake between the banana cake layers. Prepare a basic cheesecake filling and bake it in the same size pan as the cake layers.
  • Caramel Swirl: Swirl caramel sauce into the cheesecake layer before baking.
  • Assembly: Layer the cheesecake between the banana cake layers and frost as usual.

5. Vegan Banana Pecan Caramel Cake

  • Egg Substitute: Use flax eggs (1 tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 2.5 tablespoons of water per egg) instead of regular eggs.
  • Butter Substitute: Replace butter with vegan butter or coconut oil.
  • Dairy-Free Caramel: Use coconut milk or a non-dairy cream for the caramel sauce.
  • Vegan Frosting: Make a vegan cream cheese frosting using vegan cream cheese and butter.


The Banana Pecan Caramel Layer Cake is a show-stopping dessert that combines the best of banana bread, pecan pie, and caramel sauce into one unforgettable cake. Perfect for birthdays, holidays, or any special occasion, this cake is sure to be a hit. Follow this recipe and tips for a delicious, beautiful cake that will leave everyone asking for seconds.

FAQ’s About Banana Pecan Caramel Layer Cake:

1. Can I use overripe bananas for this cake?

  • Yes, overripe bananas are perfect for this recipe as they are sweeter and more flavorful, adding natural sweetness and moisture to the cake.

2. What can I substitute for pecans if I have a nut allergy?

  • If you have a nut allergy, you can substitute pecans with sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, or simply omit them altogether. The cake will still be delicious without the nuts.

3. How can I make this cake gluten-free?

  • To make this cake gluten-free, use a gluten-free all-purpose flour blend in place of regular flour. Additionally, ensure that your baking powder and other ingredients are certified gluten-free.

4. Can I make this cake ahead of time?

  • Yes, you can bake the cake layers ahead of time. Once cooled, wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and store them at room temperature for up to two days or freeze for up to three months. Assemble and frost the cake the day you plan to serve it.

5. How do I prevent the caramel from hardening too much?

  • Toprevent the caramel from hardening, make sure not to overcook it. Store any leftover caramel sauce in an airtight container at room temperature or in the refrigerator, and gently reheat it before using.

6. Can I use store-bought caramel sauce instead of homemade?

  • Yes, you can use store-bought caramel sauce if you prefer. While homemade caramel adds a rich, authentic flavor, store-bought caramel is a convenient alternative that will still taste great.

7. What is the best way to frost the cake without making a mess?

  • To frost the cake without making a mess, place a small amount of frosting on the cake stand or plate to hold the bottom layer in place. Use a crumb coat (a thin layer of frosting) to seal in the crumbs, refrigerate for 15-20 minutes, then apply the final layer of frosting.

8. How can I store leftover cake?

  • Store leftover cake in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days or in the refrigerator for up to five days. For longer storage, wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and freeze for up to three months.

9. Can I add other fruits to the cake batter?

  • Yes, you can add other fruits like chopped apples, pineapple, or blueberries to the batter. Make sure to adjust the baking time slightly if the added fruits make the batter more moist.

10. What kind of frosting works best for this cake?

  • Cream cheese frosting is a classic choice that complements the flavors of the banana and caramel perfectly. You can also use buttercream frosting, caramel frosting, or even a light whipped cream frosting depending on your preference.

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