Banana Cake with Browned Butter Maple Frosting

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I had bananas that were getting over ripe.  If I had a dime for how many times I said that before stating “so I started to think about what I could do with them”, I could probably be a rich girl.  :o)

So, for the big news of the Grumpy home for the new year?  Grumpy is being “forced” to change his eating lifestyle.  Yes.  I said forced, and not necessarily by me and not because of a new year’s resolution.  Just three days before we went on our cruise we found out that Grumpy is a diabetic.  He has type 2 diabetes.   He’s actually doing quite well making healthier choices for the most part.  This means I have a lot to learn when it comes to food and nutrients and what a diabetic should eat to maintain the optimal blood sugar levels.  After all, I want my Grumpy to not only live but be healthy!  
While I have baked with Splenda before, I tend to not want to because I never really have had a lot of luck with my baked goods turning out good.  So, when I realized that “I had bananas that were getting over ripe”, I decided that I would experiment just a little.  From what I have read carbohydrates are what really count when you are watching your blood sugar.  Sugar = carbs, as well as flour and potatoes – sorry Grumpy.  I’m in the process of turning my kitchen into a healthier kitchen ingredient wise and switching to whole grains are in the works.  This way, the carbs Grumpy does intake will be “healthy” carbs.    I have read that beans are good for diabetics so I’ve been thinking of ways to incorporate more into our diet.  I love them but Grumpy?   Not so much.  He totally surprised me recently by asking me to make my bean soup recipe so I will be doing that for him this week.  Hmm, I wonder if he’s been reading unbeknownst to me?  ;o) 
While cake isn’t something he can eat a lot of on a daily basis a little bit once and a while doesn’t hurt as long as we are keeping everything in moderation and basically eating healthy.  Being in the learning stages, he is checking his blood sugar at different times of the day so we can get an idea of how he’s doing.  Along with monitoring his levels, we are hoping that diet and exercise change will make things much better for both of us in the long run.  
This recipe actually turned out so good.  So good that I won’t be so afraid to work with sugar substitutes a little more.  I was a bit nervous to go with all Splenda, so I went with half Splenda and half Sugar.  That is my beginning.  The browned butter frosting is to die for!  I roasted some pecan halves in the oven and decorated the top of the cake with them after it was frosted.  The cake had a great banana flavor along with a moist, tender texture.  Absolutely perfect.  :o)

Banana Cake with Browned Butter Maple Frosting

Printable Recipe

2 eggs, room temperature
2-1/4 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup splenda
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup mashed bananas (about 3 medium)
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup butter, melted

Browned Butter Maple Frosting

2 – 2-1/2 cups powdered sugar
4 tablespoons butter, browned
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2-1/2 – 3 tablespoons half and half

In a large mixing bowl combine flour, sugar, Splenda, baking powder, baking soda and salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.

In a separate bowl mash bananas, add melted butter, eggs, vanilla and buttermilk.  Pour liquid over flour mixture and mix with hand mixer until well blended.  Pour in a 9×13 glass baking dish and bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near center comes out clean.  Cool.

To make frosting, brown butter in heavy saucepan.  Over medium high heat, melt butter.  Watch butter carefully and let it bubble.  It will begin to show brown bits in the bottom of the pan.  You will start to smell the aroma of the nutty buttery goodness.  Once it has browned, immediately remove from heat.  Pour butter over 2 cups of confectioner’s sugar.  Add maple syrup and the lesser amount of half and half.  Adjust with remaining sugar and half and half as needed to make frosting of a spreadable consistency.  Frost cooled cake.  Garnish with toasted whole pecans.  Makes 20 servings.


  1. says

    It does look delish! You can get whole wheat pastry flour from a website called (I got a 50 lb. bag from them!)–no matter how much you order, even by weight, shipping is always $4.49! (Just thought I'd pass that on, I have a hard time finding things like that around here.)
    I will be trying this cake!

  2. says

    Diabetes does create a bit more of a challenge but is easily managed. Looks like you are on the right track Shelby for the new year for both of you. Glad you enjoyed your cruise, although I can't imagine not being able to have all that was spread before me…wink.

  3. says

    Shelby that looks so damn good girl!
    Look at the bright side of the diabetes–it's so very treatable with diet. I've seen so many people literally get rid of diabetes just with diet alone!

  4. says

    Sorry he's got diabetes, but I know you're up to the challenge and I'll look forward to all the great recipes you'll come up with in the new year. This cake looks like a fabulous start.

  5. says

    So sorry to hear about Grumpy. Hard to get use to, when mom found out, it was impossible for her not to cheat, she would even hide cookies. Then I learned how to use splenda as you have then went to Stevia much better.I only adapted her most favorite which were biscotti and apple pie. Came out great no issue whatsoever in the texture, however getting her to eat smaller portions was impossible. The good news is she controled it by diet the rest of her life just fine.. I wish you both all the best in this new way to cook, it will be beneficial for you both in the long run! Happy New Year and happy new beginning of healthy cooking… let me know if there is anything i can do to help anytime.. xo Claudia

  6. says

    Sorry to hear about Grumpy being diagnosed diabetic. It's a good thing he has people who love him to take good care of him.

    Nice banana cake recipe! That should be a great start!

  7. says

    Sorry to hear about Grumpy. Watching his diet will make all the difference. Love this cake and it is great that the sugar is lowered. My next door neighbor has diabetes and this will be a good cake to make when they come over.


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