Simply Homemade: Mom’s Banana Cake with Grandma’s Brown Butter Frosting

Many of you know that I am a very firm believer in the importance of family. My family is very close knit and I couldn’t love them more. But (yes… there is a but) that’s not to say our family doesn’t have its quirks. When I started this post idea I couldn’t help but think of the little quirks brought to light by this very dessert. So, before we dig into the deliciousness of this super soft banana cake with indulgent brown butter frosting, allow me to I introduce you to some of our quirkiness!

For starters, one of my older sisters has the audacity to dislike this dessert. Once you try it, you will be right there with me I’m wondering just what kind of disease her taste buds may be afflicted with to NOT love this cake. To be fair, that particular sister was born with the predisposition of absolutely despising anything and everything with bananas. I’m talking spit-her-baby-food-out-before-the-banana-hit-her-tongue kind of loathing. Thankfully for her, all is not lost with this recipe as the brown butter frosting portion is (almost as) equally delicious on other delightful dessert concoctions such as pumpkin bars. If she didn’t like the frosting we would have had to vote her off our sibling island for sure ๐Ÿ˜‰

Next, let’s talk about another sister who loves every part of this dessert except one crucial ingredient..the nuts on top. Luckily for her, she’s the baby of the family and therefore always got part of this cake frosted without nuts on top. Unluckily for her, that made it oh-so-easy for the rest of us to tease her mercilessly about her aversion and the obvious favoritism involved for specially making this “her way”. Keep in mind that this recipe doesn’t need to have nuts on top but I personally feel that anyone who prefers it without them is nuts (sorry sis!).

One more family quirk brought to light anytime we enjoy this dessert is that of my dad. Similarly to the first sister mentioned, he was born with this condition. That is…being ornery and unable to stop himself from making others around him smile/laugh. Also similar to my second sister mentioned, he was treated to a bit of favoritism being the only boy surrounded by sisters (and a twin to boot!). His parents and siblings really had not choice other than to let him have his way, right? His quirk is that he can’t seem to help himself from cutting the first piece of cake unlike anyone I’ve ever seen. His favorite method is to cut a piece from anywhere in the middle of the cake, never on the edge or in a corner. His next favorite is to cut a piece in a shape that will undoubtedly spiral into a bunch of other random pieces (a circle or a star preferably).

Do any of you who have blasphemous food quirks like these? I sure hope it’s not just me and my crazy wonderful family ๐Ÿ˜‰ Now, to give credit where credit is due, my grandma Joan brought this frosting recipe into our family while my mom brought the cake recipe. The combined marriage of the two recipes into one resulted in this being yet another instant family favorite. Meanwhile, the continued use of this recipe marriage resulted in the aforementioned family quirks coming to light. All in all, it was a fair trade to gain a new amazing recipe and to also have new material to tease a few family members about. It is my hope that each of you who tries this also finds a quirk in someone you love and that you treasure both that person and their quirk(s). Enjoy!

Mom's Banana Cake with Grandma's Brown Butter Frosting

  • Servings: 24
  • Print

Whether you enjoy both parts of this recipe as one delicious dessert or make one of them individually of the other, you are bound to enjoy!


  • 1/2 cup butter or margarine (stick)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup banana pulp (overripe bananas work best)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup milk plus 2 tablespoons vinegar plus 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups flour
  • Frosting:
  • 3 cups powdered sugar
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup butter (stick)
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts


1) In small bowl, add milk and vinegar and baking soda and set aside.

2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a 9″x13″ pan so it’s ready.

3) Add butter/margarine and sugar into bowl of mixer and beat on medium until creamed (combined well).

4) Add eggs and vanilla extra to mixer bowl and beat on high until mixture appears almost fluffy.

5) Add in banana pulp to mixture and beat until combined evenly and no lumps of banana pulp.

6) Next you will add half of the milk mixture that you set aside earlier and mix then add half the flour and mix then the other half of the milk mixture and mix then the last half of the flour and the salt and mix it all together.

7) Pour batter into greased 9″x13″ pan and place into preheated 350 degree oven to bake for 35-40 minutes (until toothpick inserted into middle of cake comes out clean).

8) Remove from oven and set aside to cool while you whip together the frosting.

9) In a small saucepan, melt the stick of butter over medium heat.

10) Continue heating butter while it changes from yellow to golden to light brown in color and remove from heat only when it’s browned.

11) Set aside saucepan with butter to cool and, in separate medium mixing bowl, combine the remaining frosting ingredients.

12) Add browned butter to the frosting mixing bowl and stir well to combine until it’s smooth.

13) Spread frosting evenly over cooled cake.

14) Top with pieces of pecans or walnuts and enjoy!

Step 1 to brown the butter: melt stick o’ butter…
Step 2: stir and watch closely as color transitions from yellow to golden…
Step 3: continue stirring and monitoring closely as color transitions again from golden to light brown then take it off the heat because your butter be browned!
Are you hungry yet???


  1. Jo says:

    Quirks…yes my husband Rick does not care for nuts, coconut, pineapple try to make a descent carrot cake with those tastes!! I love all those ingredients! โค๏ธYour family recipes and family!


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