Banana-Vanilla Cake with Caramel-Walnut Crunch

This cake was made by Spice House staffer Bridget Petritis for a Retail Therapy night. It's adapted from a recipe in the March 2008 issue of Bon Appetit.

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Banana-Vanilla Cake with Caramel-Walnut Crunch Recipe

Ingredients
  • FOR TOPPING:
  • nonstick vegetable oil spray
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 1 Tahitian vanilla bean
  • 1 1/2 Cups chopped walnuts
  • FOR CAKE:
  • 1 3/4 Cups cake flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 Tahitian vanilla bean
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 1/2 Cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 Cup mashed very ripe bananas (2-3 large bananas)
  • 3 Tablespoons sour cream
  • 1 Tablespoon dark rum
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
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Preparation Instructions

For Caramel-Walnut Topping:

Spray a 13x9 baking pan with nonstick spray.

Put butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium sauce pan, and scrape in 1 vanilla bean. Bring to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute after butter has completely melted. Stir in nuts and spread topping into prepared pan. Let topping cool.

For Cake:

Preheat oven to 350. Beat butter and both sugars in a large bowl until smooth. Scrape in second vanilla bean and stir until vanilla seeds are throughly mixed in. Be careful not to leave clumps, especially when using Tahitian beans. Beat in eggs, then add bananas, sour cream, rum, and vanilla.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually beat dry ingredients into wet ingredients. Spoon batter over cooled topping. Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes, or until tester inserted comes out clean. Cool at least fifteen minutes.

Run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Place a platter over the pan, and flip cake onto platter so caramel is now on top of cake. Let stand five minutes before removing pan from cake.. Cool at least fifteen minutes so topping has time to set.

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