I am an absolute shocker at buying bananas and then not eating them, which results in more banana baked goods than bananas being eaten in this household. I always have good intentions to make smoothies, or have them as a snack with some nut butter (which I love, I just always forget), so they inevitably end up weird and spotty, and I bake with them. It’s not the worst problem to have, seeing as I am married to someone with a banana bread addiction, so we always have some on hand in the freezer, pre-sliced, so rich can just pop it in the toaster when the need arises.
I’ve been wanting to work on a banana bundt cake for a while now, and a week or so ago we had an intense backlog of brown bananas, so I started testing. The testing process was actually quite quick, as my go-to banana cake recipe, which I use for a regular layer cake (super old photos, please excuse) and also a sheet cake, bundted like a champ, and I hardly had to make any tweaks. It’s always a little hit and miss when you try baking a recipe you know in a bundt pan - it either is a spectacular fail (like the first test of this cake), or it works first time and all is right with the world (this devil’s food bundt did exactly that and it was just the best day ever).
I topped these mini banana bundt cakes with a coffee caramel - infusing caramel is super easy as it is cream based, so to inject flavour all you have to do is infuse the cream. This time I steeped it with some coffee, and it came out great. Always remember that the flavour will be diluted once it is made into a caramel - I always get a bit worried for a second when the cream is super strong! The caramel was so lovely against the banana, and the coffee flavour complimented it perfectly. You definitely don’t need a caramel topping, but it looks amazing and is a little something extra!
I originally tested this in a regular sized bundt pan (I used this one), and it worked great, so if you don’t have these mini babies, then you can double the recipe - I have popped some instructions in the notes.
A few wee tips:
I made a single batch of this recipe twice so that I had 12 little cakes. I found flour settled in the grooves, so I just used some baking spray to help prevent sticking. I used this pan!
If you would like, you can double it and put it in a 10 cup bundt pan (I tested it in this), and bake for 55-60 minutes. Leave to stand for 10 min before turning out. Make sure the pan is well greased with baking spray and flour.
I like to give the caramel an overnight rest, which means it will likely have to be microwaved to get to the right texture once you are ready to use it, but if you like you can also make it before you make the cakes and leave it to cool while you bake them - if you put it in a shallow container to cool (rather than a jar) it will cool quicker because it has more surface area! I usually just pop it in a jar and leave in the fridge overnight because #lazy.
You want your bananas to be waaay on the ripe side for this if possible. Like, if you look at them and are like “ooooh that’s almost rotten” - that’s great. Regular spotty bananas work too!
This recipe has a slightly weird step in it - it gets you to dissolve baking soda in milk. This is how I’ve always done it, because this cake is adapted from the banana cake I grew up on. I think it may be to reduce the risk of baking soda bombs in the cake (when you bite into a lump), I guess NZ bakers are bad at sifting their baking soda, or it is to help it disperse? Anyway, it’s there because that’s how I’ve always done it, would love to know if you know the reason! If you don’t want to do this step you can probably just add the baking soda to the dry ingredients, and add the milk along with the vanilla and banana.
Mini Banana Bundt Cakes with Coffee Salted Caramel
- Makes 6 cakes -
Note: I made this recipe twice in order to give me 12 cakes - I baked them, then let the pan cool while I mixed up the next batch.
Cake adapted from "Edmonds Cookbook"
Coffee Salted Caramel
230g heavy cream
30g coarsely ground coffee
90g butter, at room temperature
2 tsp kosher salt
Banana Mini Bundt Cakes
125g butter, at room temperature
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
225g very ripe bananas (about two bananas), mashed
40g whole milk
1 tsp baking soda
250g all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
- PROCESS -
COFFEE SALTED CARAMEL
Place the cream in a small saucepan. Heat over gentle heat, until you start to see movement around the edges. Remove from the heat and add the ground coffee, stirring to combine. Cover, and steep for 20 minutes. Strain the cream through a fine mesh sieve, pressing down to get as much infused cream out as possible. Clean the saucepan. Weigh the cream, and top up to 120g if needed. Place over a low heat while you prepare the caramel.
Place the sugar in a medium sized heavy bottom saucepan. Heat on medium, stirring constantly. The sugar will start to form clumps, then begin to melt. Cook until is it amber in colour, then remove from the heat and immediately add all of the butter. Be careful as the caramel will bubble rapidly. Once the butter is incorporated, add the infused cream and stir well. Stir in the salt, and pour into a glass jar. Allow to cool completely - either in the fridge overnight, or for a few hours.
BANANA MINI BUNDT CAKES
Preheat the oven to 350°f / 180°c.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy, 3-4 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing until incorporated before adding the next. Add the vanilla bean paste and mashed bananas, and mix to combine.
Warm up the milk either in the microwave or in a very small pan, then add the baking soda and mix to dissolve. Add to the mixture and beat to combine.
In a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add to the mixer, and mix on low until just combined.
Spray a 6-well bundt cakelet pan with baking spray (see notes on making this a full sized bundt cake), and evenly divide the batter between them. Tap firmly on the bench to help remove any air bubbles. Place on a sheet pan.
Bake the mini bundt cakes for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.
Place the cooled bundts on a wire rack over a baking sheet. If your caramel has cooled, warm it up in the microwave slightly until it is a pouring consistency.
Drizzle the cakes with the coffee caramel, and finish with sea salt if desired.
Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature. If you aren’t planning on eating them all at once, you can store the caramel and cakes separately and assemble before eating to prevent them going too soggy.