Banana Cake With Penuche Frosting

This ultra moist Banana Cake With Penuche Frosting recipe was given to me by a nice viewer to share with you.

It was his beloved Grandmother's cake recipe and I am honored to share this delicious, old fashioned dessert!

Brad says,

"While there is no shortage of family recipes for banana cake, this one dates back to the 1950s."

It uses simple ingredients and is a terrific way to use up those brown bananas.

The best part about this recipe, without a doubt, is the frosting.

Penuche, also served as a standalone fudge, seals in the cake’s moisture and gives it a sweet contrast to this, not too sweet banana cake.

No one seems quite certain where Penuche Frosting originated.

I have read everywhere from New England to Spain.

"I can tell you it is very popular with the Amish and the Pennsylvania Dutch people, which is how it worked it's way into my recipe box by way of my Grandmother."

Grandma's Banana Cake
with Penuche Frosting Recipe

  • 2 cups flour

  • 1 tsp. baking powder

  • 1 tsp baking soda

  • ¾ tsp salt

  • ½ cup room temperature shortening (butter or Crisco)

  • 1 ⅓ cups sugar

  • ½ cup milk, room temperature

  • 1 tsp vanilla

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup over ripe bananas, mashed (takes 2 or 3 bananas depending on their size)

Fork mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together.

In a separate bowl, using an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat shortening and sugar until fluffy.

Add the eggs, one at a time.

Continue to beat.

Add milk and vanilla and mix on low speed.

Incorporate dry ingredients and mashed banana and mix on low speed.

Note: If you only have a hand mixer, that works just fine.

Or you can mix everything by hand.

Pour batter into a greased 9x13 inch pan, metal or glass.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes at 375 degrees.

While the cake is cooling, make the Penuche Frosting.

It is the only frosting my Gramma ever used on her banana cake.

I have also spread this Penuche Frosting it spice cake and apple cake.

It is a little sweet, but very delicious!

Penuche Frosting Recipe

  • ½ cup salted butter

  • 1 cup packed, light or dark brown sugar

  • ¼ cup milk, room temperature or lukewarm

  • 2 cups powdered sugar

You will need a heavy bottomed saucepan and a wooden spoon.

Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat.

Add the brown sugar and heat it until it boils, stirring constantly.

Be careful not to let it burn!

Boil 2 minutes.

Stir in the milk.

Remove from the heat and stir in the powdered sugar.

Beat by hand until it is smooth.

Keep beating until it is spreadable.

Pour frosting over cake and spread it quickly.

It may take a few tries until you get a feel for the right consistency to pour onto the cake. 

If you find it thickening too quickly, add a tablespoon or so of milk to thin it back out a tad.

All is never lost.

Worst case scenario, you eat it as fudge and start over with a new batch!


Banana Cake With Penuche Frosting Recipe and Photos courtesy Brad Nierenberg

Banana Nut Cake Recipe

  • 3/4 cup butter, softened

  • 2 1/2 cups sifted cake flour

  • 1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

  • 1 1/4 teaspoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 cup mashed, very ripe bananas

  • 2/3 cup whole buttermilk

  • 2 large eggs

  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

Stir butter just to soften.

Sift in the cake flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

Add the mashed banana and half of the buttermilk and mix just until all flour is moistened.

Beat vigorously 2 minutes.

Add the remaining buttermilk and eggs.

Beat 2 more minutes.

Fold in the nuts.

Bake in 2 paper lined 9" x 1 1/2" pans in a preheated oven 350F. for about 35 minutes until the two layers tests done.

Remove the pans from the oven and let the cake layers cool 10 minutes.

Then remove the cake layers from the baking pans and let them cool completely on a cooling rack.

Cocoa Whipped Cream Frosting

  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar

  • 1/3 cup cocoa 

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream, beaten stiff

  • 2 large bananas, sliced crosswise, for the topping

Spread bottom cake layer with 1/3 of the stiffly beaten Cocoa Whipped Cream.

Top with 1/2 of the round banana slices.

Add the second cake layer and top it with the other half of the banana slices.

Spread the rest of the frosting on the sides and the top of the cake.

Chill the Banana Nut Cake in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to firm it up well before serving.

You can serve this cake cold or at room temperature.

Related Pages

Easy Banana Bread

Old Fashioned Banana Cake

Return to Old Fashioned Cake Recipes


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