Caramel and Banana Cake

A super quick, super tasty banana tray bake. I am sure most of you know that Dulce is Italian for Sweet. I came up with this one night sitting in front of the telly half watching TV. I thought of my old job in fashion, I thought of a famous Italian design duo and well, then I thought up the name of this cake!

Prep time: 30 minutes
Oven time: 45 minutes
Makes 9 squares
Prep time: 30 mins
Time in oven: 35-45 minutes


    • 50g (2 oz) butter + extra for greasing
    • 50g (2 oz) soft light brown sugar
    • 150g (5 oz) butter
    • 175g (6 oz) soft light brown
    • 4 medium eggs
    • seeds of ½ vanilla pod (or a couple of drops of vanilla extract)
    • 100g (4 oz) self-raising flour
    • 75g (3 oz) plain wholemeal flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 3 tsp ground ginger
    • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    • 1 tbsp treacle
    • 1 handful of pecan nuts (about 50g (2 oz))(optional)
    • pinch of salt
    • 2 small firm bananas
    • 1 tbsp of calvados (optional)


  • 20cm (8 in) square tin
  • small pan
  • baking tray
  • large bowl (or food mixer)
  • large flat plate


  • Softly whipped cream or ice cream


  1. Grease and line a 20cm (8 in) square tin with baking parchment and grease again. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F / Gas Mark 4) with the middle shelf at the ready.
  2. First make the sticky topping. Place the butter and soft light brown sugar in a small pan over a medium heat. Once the butter is melted, turn up the heat and let the mixture bubble away for a few minutes, until it begins to thicken slightly. Stir it frequently so it does not catch on the bottom. Then pour the mixture into the bottom of the lined tin and tip the tin back and forth to spread it out evenly. (The mixture will eventually solidify in the tin so make sure to spread it out now).
  3. Next, tip the pecans (if using) onto a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5 minutes. Remove the pecans nuts from the oven one toasted and set aside to cool.
  4. Now make the sponge mixture. Cream together the butter and the sugar in a large bowl (or food mixer) until it becomes a little lighter in colour. Then add the eggs one at time, beating hard between each addition. Split the vanilla pod open, scrape the seeds out and add (or add the vanilla extract). Then fold in both flours, the baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, treacle and salt and set aside.
  5. Take the bananas and slice them into 5mm thick pieces. Arrange them in a single layer in the bottom of the tin. I line them up so they are nice and straight but of course it is fine to do them in any old order too, pack them all in tight so they don’t move around once the cake mix goes over. Then drizzle over the calvados (if using).
  6. Roughly chop the pecan nuts and stir them through the cake mix. Now, carefully dollop the cake mix over the bananas and gently spread it out with the back of a spoon or palate knife, levelling the top. Then pop it into the oven for about 45 minutes or so to cook.
  7. After 35 minutes, remove the cake from the oven and insert a metal skewer or the blade of a small knife right into the centre (but not touching the bottom. It should come out completely clean. If there is some cakey gooeyness left on it just pop it back in the oven for another 5 minutes or so.
  8. Once the cake is cooked remove it from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for about 10 minutes. Then put a large flat plate over the top of the tin and holding the tin and the plate, flip the whole lot over so that the tin is now upside down. Gently remove the tin and peel off the baking parchment to reveal your very tasty Dulce and banana underneath!
  9. Cut into squares and serve warm of cold with your choice of crème anglaise, softly whipped cream or ice cream.