Banana cake with caramel frosting

What we really should be talking about today is hot peppers. It's been a week since I bought a huge bag of them—about a kilo's worth—for just €1.50, and you wouldn't believe all the lip-puckering, tongue-burning concoctions I've tried in the intervening days. But, we'll save that for next time.

Today, I have cake. We actually finished eating this cake (what feels like) a lifetime ago—way before the truckload of work that flattened me last week, way before the week-long road trip in Scotland—and it's still worth talking about. That's how good this cake is.

Look, I'm all for banana bread. There's a time and place for un-iced cakes, just like there are occasions that demand an unabashed hit of butter and sugar. That's where the caramel frosting comes in.

It feels like this recipe should have come up before, but I just spent awhile poking through the archives and came up with nothing. This is the frosting of my youth, the one my mom often used to frost a 9x13-inch pan of Myrna's chocolate cake. It's not a light or subtle frosting, but that's why I like it.

Oh go on already, take a bite. You won't regret it.

Banana Cake with Caramel Frosting
1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup salted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup golden brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup mashed or pureed bananas
1/4 cup plain yogurt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 1 1/2 cups icing sugar
To prepare the cake, preheat your oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit. Grease and line a 9-inch cake pan (square or round) with parchment paper. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together the cake flour, baking powder, baking soda and cinnamon. Set aside. In a second bowl, cream the butter and sugars. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the banana puree, yogurt and vanilla. Mix well. Stir in the dry ingredients, just until combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Let the cake rest in the pan for 15 minutes before flipping it out onto a rack to cool completely.

While the cake is baking, start preparing the frosting. Melt the butter and brown sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture begins to bubble. Remove from heat. Add the vanilla and milk in a steady stream, stirring constantly. Set aside the mixture until it reaches room temperature.

Once the mixture has cooled, add the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add additional icing sugar or milk, as necessary, until you reach the desired consistency. Lick the beaters, then frost away!

Sources: For the banana cake, I halved Deb's recipe for a two-layer banana cake over at Smitten Kitchen and made a few minor adjustments. The caramel frosting is from my mom's recipe file.