Saturday, October 1, 2011

Caramel Walnut Banana Torte

I found this recipe in my Kitchen Aid Cookbook and thought I'd give it a whirl! It was a little more involved than a lot of the recipes I fact when I saw the long list of ingredients I almost gave up before I started. But on closer inspection I realized that most of them are basic baking ingredients and I really only had to buy 4 ingredients at the store! I did enjoy making a dessert that didn't require chocolate. I am a bit of a chocolate-aholic so I have been wanting to find some desserts that featured some different flavors!

The recipe is kind of like a combination of making banana bread and pineapple upside down cake. You start out by making a caramel sauce and lining the pan with it and the chopped nuts. Then you pour the cake batter over it, bake it, and invert it onto a platter. (That's why it reminded me of the upside down cake). I was a little skeptical about whether or not the cake was going to, in fact, come out of the pan. Quite a bit of the topping did stay in the pan but the cake came out great and had plenty of topping still on it. Also, since you are layering it with fresh bananas and cream you can cover up any mess-ups...and "who's to know"!

Another thing is that this recipe calls for 3 layers. But I, and most people, only have 2 of the same size pans. So...I used my springform pan for the 3rd layer. It was kind of a happy accident because it came out of the springform pan much better and made a great top layer! Also, while 3 pans fit in my oven the one closest to the door didn't bake as I had to bake them seperately anyway. So if you have a springform pan I would suggest using that and baking each seperately. I took pictures so you could see the differences! The first is out of a regular 9 in. cake pan.

This next picture is what it looked like coming out of the springform pan.

Both tasted great but appearance wise the second is much better! But bananas and cream topping can fix all!

Anyway, this turned out to be a beautiful cake and it tasted great too. The cake was a lot like banana bread and was a big hit with all the kids who tasted it! The fresh bananas and cream in the middle were delicious too. I think that swapping out the cream for banana pudding would be a time saving option as well! Anyway, I am just rambling on and on about this cake but lets get to the recipe! Like I said before it was from my kitchen aid cookbook so it includes directions for how long to beat things and at what settings! I'm going to leave those in because they were helpful no matter what type of mixer you may have.

Caramel Walnut Banana Torte
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup butter softened (divided)
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 cup mashed ripe banana (about 2 bananas)
1 tsp. vanilla
3 eggs
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 recipe Banana filling (to follow)
2 whole bananas (thinly sliced)
1/2 cup whipped cream-to top (optional)

Place brown sugar, 1/2 cup butter, and cream in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly, until butter melts. Divide among three 8 or 9 in. round cake pans, turning to evenly coat bottom. Divide walnuts among pans then set pans aside.

Place granulated sugar and remaining 1/2 cup butter in mixer bowl. Attach bowl and flat beater to mixer. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds. Stop and scrape bowl. Add mashed bananas and vanilla. Continuing on speed 2, mix about 30 more seconds. Continuing on speed 2, add eggs, one at a time, mixing about 15 seconds after each addition. Stop and scrape bowl.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Add half of flour mixture to sugar mixture in mixer bowl. Turn to speed 2 and mix about 30 seconds. Add buttermilk and remaining flour mixture. Gradually turn to speed 6 and beat 30 seconds. Spread batter evenly over topping in pans. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool in pans about 3 minutes. Invert onto wire racks and cool completely.

While cake is cooling make the banana filling. (Recipe is below). When cake is done cooling and banana filling has been refrigerated 1 hr. you are ready to assemble your cake! Place 1 cake layer, walnut side up, on large plate. Spread with 1/2 of filling. Arrange half of banana slices over banana filling. Top with second layer, walnut side up. Spread with remaining filling and banana slices. Top with final cake layer, walnut side up. Top torte with whipped cream if desired. Store in refrigerator!

Banana Filling:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 T. flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup low-fat milk (Please note this is the only low-fat thing about this recipe!)
1 egg (beaten)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 T. butter

Combine sugar, flour, and salt in a medium saucepan. Gradually stir in milk. Bring to boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Stir about 1/4 cup hot mixture into beaten egg in separate bowl. Pour egg mixture into saucepan. Cook until mixture is bubbly, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and butter. Cool slightly. Refrigerate 1 hr. while cake cools.


  1. Wow, I am impressed! This cake looks beautiful!

  2. Thanks Beth! Sometimes it's just fun to eat pretty food :)