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Fairtrade banana cake with salted caramel buttercream

Serves   15
Prep time: 45 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins

Help make a difference to the lives of millions of farmers and workers when you bake, by choosing Fairtrade. Visit www.fairtrade.org.nz to find out more.





  • For the cake:
  • 230g (8 oz) butter, softened
  • 1 1/2 cups fair trade organic unrefined sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tspn Taylor & Colledge vanilla extract
  • 4 ripe All Good bananas, mashed
  • 3 cups flour
  • 2 tspn baking powder
  • 2 tspn baking soda
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • (optional: 1/2 cup dates, chopped)
  • For the icing:
  • 75 g butter
  • 100g fair trade unrefined organic sugar
  • 50g golden syrup or treacle
  • 125 ml double cream
  • 1 teaspoon kosher or fleur de sel salt - NOTE - Iodized salt is really strong for this recipe. I use Kosher salt. If you dont have this or fleur de sel salt, add 1/2 tspn table salt to begin with, and taste. If you need more add little by little until you get the right balance.
  • For the salted caramel buttercream (this gorgeous fluffy recipe is adapted from Good Thymes and Good Food):
  • 230g butter, softened
  • 2 ¾ cups icing sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons caramel sauce (from the recipe above)
  • 2 tablespoons cream


For the Cake:
1. Grease two 23cm cake tins with butter and dust the inside with flour. Bang out excess flour. Set aside.

2. Cream the butter and the sugar together until light and fluffy and then add the eggs on by one making sure that they are incorporated well before adding the next. Add the vanilla and mix until mixed through. Fold in the banana’s and make sure that they are distributed evenly in the batter. If using dates, add these in with the bananas.

3. Sieve the flour and the baking powder into the bowl. Dissolve the baking soda in the milk and add also. Fold in gently until incorporated taking care not to over mix (if you over mix flour at this stage in cake making, your cake wont be as light)

4. Bake for around 40mins.

5. Test the cake by gently pressing the center with your finger, it will spring back. The tops of the cakes will be golden brown.

6. Cool on a rack in the tin. Then remove from tins and make sure they are completely cool before icing – otherwise the frosting will melt.

For the Caramel Sauce:
1. Melt butter, sugar and syrup and butter in a small heavy based pan and let simmer for 3 minutes, swirling every now and again.

2. Add cream and half a teaspoon of salt and swirl again, give a stir with a wooden spoon and taste – go cautiously so that you don’t burn your tongue – to see if you want more salt before letting it cook for another minute on the stove, then pour into a jug and set aside. Caramel must be cold before adding to the butter cream.

For the Salted Caramel Buttercream:
1. In standing mixer fitted with whisk attachment, beat butter at medium-high speed until smooth, about 20 seconds.

2. Add icing sugar and salt. Beat at medium-low speed until most of the sugar is moistened, about 45 seconds.

3. Scrape down bowl and beat at medium speed until mixture is fully combined, about 15 seconds; scrape bowl, add vanilla, caramel sauce, and heavy cream. Beat at medium speed until incorporated, about 10 seconds. Increase speed to medium-high and beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes, scraping down bowl once or twice.

To assemble the cake:
1. Invert one of the cakes onto a cake stand (so the flattest part of the cake is facing up) Top with 1/3 of the buttercream and smooth over the cake with a palate knife. Drizzle with a little extra caramel.

2. Top with the other cake, again, flattest part of the cake facing up. Cover the cake with the rest of the icing.

3. Drizzle a little more caramel over top of the frosting, letting some drip down the sides.