Lucy’s Brown Butter Banana Cake

My eldest daughter loves horses. Every year, for as long as I can remember, she requests the same cake for her birthday. It’s a banana white-chocolate chip cake, which we bake in a horse-head shaped baking pan. We decorate it with a peanut butter cream cheese frosting and chocolate ganache details, and lo is it a sight to be seen. This recipe, for Lucy’s Brown Butter Banana Cake, is an “everyday” version of her favorite birthday stunner, streamlined and with no frosting so that it can be enjoyed any day of the week. Don’t let it’s simplicity fool you though. It is every bit as delicious served at a dinner party as when your family is craving an after dinner sweet treat on a Tuesday.

Mashed bananas

Mashing the bananas with the sugar helps to break down the bananas.

Batter and white chocolate chips

Stir the white chocolate chips into the batter.


Spread batter evenly into the prepared pan.


Make Ahead Dinner Party

Lucy’s Brown Butter Banana Cake

Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Total Time1 hr
Servings: 8


For the cake:

  • 10 tablespoons butter
  • ¾ cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 large bananas
  • 1/8 cup Kahlua
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ cup white chocolate chips

For the chocolate cream:

  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate chopped or in small pieces


For the cake:

  • Preheat oven to 325. Butter an 8” round baking pan and line the bottom with a round of parchment paper.
  • In a large bowl, mash the bananas together with the brown sugar until no large lumps remain. A few small pieces of banana are fine. Set aside.
  • In a medium saucepan, brown the butter by placing it over medium high heat. It will start to bubble and sputter, but let it cook, stirring occasionally, until the milk solids have turned brown. It should have a nutty aroma. Pour into the banana mixture and stir well.
  • Add the Kahlua, salt, and cinnamon and stir. Whisk in the eggs and beat until thoroughly combined.
  • In a separate, small bowl, whisk the flour, salt, and baking powder together. Fold into the wet ingredients, being careful not to over mix. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Bake at 325 until the cake pulls away slightly from the sides of the pan and it is firm to touch on the top, about 30 minutes (begin checking it at 25 minutes so as not to over bake).
  • *At this point you can keep the cake in the pan, and gently warm it in a 250 degree oven before serving. Turn out onto a plate, remove the parchment, slice and plate individually with a drizzle of the chocolate cream.

For the chocolate cream:

  • Warm the cream in a small saucepan over low heat. When it just begins to bubble around the edges, add the chocolate and remove from the heat. Let sit 3 minutes, then stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. If all of the chocolate does not melt, place it back over low heat, stirring until melted. You can make this a few days ahead of time and reheat it in the microwave or stove top before using.

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