A delicious Pecan Banana Cake with Rum Sauce, that has the flavour of your favourite banana bread, with the added texture and flavour of toasted, ground pecans and is topped of with a warm butter rum toffee sauce. A perfect winter dessert!
Imagine the flavour of your favourite banana bread. Now add in the texture and great flavours of toasted, ground pecans. Then top it off with a warm, buttery, rum-flavoured toffee sauce. Are you still with me? Great, because now you know just how delicious this cake is! It reminded me a bit of sticky toffee pudding … but different. In a just as good way :)
The cake itself is bursting with the flavour of toasted pecans, which are ground up and combined with some mashed ripe banana into the batter. The pecans add both great flavour and texture to the cake, while the bananas add taste and ensure a great moistness to the cake. On top is poured a warm sauce of brown sugar, butter, cream and a touch of rum. (Of course, if you’re feeding kids, you could leave out the rum and it would be just fine.)
I had thought I might put a little sprinkling of Maldon salt on top of the cake to finish it off, but that thought apparently left me somewhere between the kitchen and the photo shoot. I still thought it was a nice touch when I remembered again, so added a bit eventually. If you’re so inclined and you remember, it’s a nice addition for sweet/salty lovers. A dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream would certainly not be out of place with this cake, as well.
While you can enjoy this cake anytime, I think it’s a perfect Winter dessert and especially nice for entertaining. You can make this cake ahead, as well as the sauce. Just wait until just before serving to pour the sauce over top. You will have some extra sauce, so pass it around to add a bit more to your slices, if desired (and who wouldn’t?).
Pecan Banana Cake with Warm Butter Rum Toffee Sauce
For the cake:
- 2 cups pecan halves
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar, packed
- 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cup mashed, very ripe bananas
- 1 Tbsp golden rum
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp . baking powder
- 1 tsp salt (use 3/4 tsp. if you used salted butter)
For the sauce:
- 7 Tbsp salted butter
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup heavy 35% whipping cream
- 2 Tbsp golden rum (optional)
- 1/4 tsp vanilla
- 12 pecan halves
- Course salt (such as Maldon or Fleur de Sel)
For the cake: Preheat the oven to 350° F.
Prepare a 9-inch cake pan by greasing with butter and lining the bottom with a round of parchment paper (for easy removal!). Set aside. *Note: If you only have 8-inch cake pans, you can use, but you will have to hold back some of the batter. The cake doesn't rise much at the sides (it does dome). You'll only want to fill the pan to about 80% of the height. Note that cooking time may be less so check often.
Spread the pecans on a baking sheet and toast in the 350° oven until fragrant, about 8-10 minutes. Remove from oven (leaving oven oand allow to cool. Once cool, process in a food processor until ground. Set aside.
In a large bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the butter with the brown and white sugar until light and fluffy (several minutes). Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the mashed bananas and rum and beat to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add to the batter and beat until just combined, then beat in the ground pecans until well incorporated.Spoon batter into prepared cake pan.
Bake in pre-heated 350° oven for 40-45 minutes, or until a tester comes out with just a few crumbs clinging to it.
Remove cake from oven and allow to cool in pan for 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and remove to a cooling rack, leaving the parchment paper intact and cooling parchment paper side down. Once cool, use a serrated knife to carefully slice off the domed top of the cake level with the sides of the cake. Discard (or snack on :) the removed slice of the cake. Invert the cake on to your serving platter or stand and peel off and discard the parchment. *Note: a cake stand or platter with a rim or raised edge is best to keep the sauce around the cake and so it won't spill over the edge.)
For the sauce: In a medium saucepan (not too small, as mixture bubbles up considerably!), melt the butter over medium heat. Add the brown sugar and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Stir in the cream, rum and vanilla and simmer sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Taste and add a bit more rum, if you like, to taste. Cool sauce to just warm (so it will thicken more and stay on the cake when you pour it over). If making sauce ahead, refrigerate until needed then re-warm in saucepan or microwave when serving. *Note: don't over-heat, as the sauce will be too thin. Heat to just warm.
Very slowly, pour the warm sauce over the cake, starting with a puddle in the middle and add more slowly, so it spreads over the top of the cake and spills down the sides a bit. Reserve remaining sauce to serve with the cake slices.
To garnish cake, place 12 pecan halves equally in a ring around the top of the cake. If desired, sprinkle with a pinch of a coarse salt, such as Maldon or Fleur de Sel.
Serve as is, or with a dollop of lightly sweetened whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.