Amie MacGregor’s Brown Butter Banana Bread Sheet Cake

Editor’s note: This recipe comes from Amie MacGregor’s new book Dream Desserts: 60 Over-the-Top Recipes for Truly Fabulous Flavor, which is one of our favorite dessert books of the year. We love the addition of brown butter to Amie’s banana cake, because it softens the musky notes of the banana with a nutty complexity. A creamy ganache frosting elevates the cake to something special. Here’s what Amie has to say about this cake:

“There’s nothing quite like a dessert that is easy to make, incredibly delicious and simple to decorate and transport! Sheet cakes tick every one of those boxes. The best part? The creamy, intensely chocolatey ganache frosting on top!”

Makes 1 (9 x 13–inch[20 x 23–cm]) sheet cake


Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  • 1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
  • ¾ cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 6 tablespoons (85 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 6 ounces (170 g) semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • ¾ tsp vanilla extract

Banana Bread Sheet Cake

  • ½ cup (114 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 cups (250 g) all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp (9 g) baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • ½ tsp table salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 ¼ cups (275 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoon (260 ml) mashed overripe bananas
  • ¾ cup (180 ml) sour cream
  • ½ cup (120 ml) vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1½ tsp (8 ml) vanilla extract
  • 1 banana, sliced, for decorating
  • 1⁄3 cup (39 g) walnuts or pecans, for decorating


Make the Chocolate Ganache Frosting

  1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine the cream, sugar and butter. Heat until the mixture begins to bubble.
  1. Put the chopped chocolate in a medium heat proof mixing bowl, then pour the hot liquid over it. Stir lightly with a spatula, then let the mixture sit for 3 minutes to melt the chocolate. After 3 minutes, add the vanilla and then whisk the ganache until smooth. Cover the ganache with plastic wrap, then place it into the fridge to cool for at least 3 to 4 hours, or preferably overnight.

Make the Banana Bread Sheet Cake

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring the butter to a boil. Continue heating, stirring constantly, until the butter has turned a nutty brown color. It may be hard to see the color if your butter is foaming a lot, so periodically take it off the heat to check the color. Remove the butter from the heat and place it in a heatproof bowl to cool for 15 minutes.
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Prepare a 9 x 13–inch (23 x 33–cm) baking sheet with cooking spray and parchment. In a medium bowl,combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Whisk until well combined. Set aside.
  1. In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the browned butter, brown sugar, mashed bananas, sour cream, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla, then whisk until well combined. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, then whisk until a smooth batter comes together. Pour the batter into the prepared baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Allow the cake to cool completely before frosting.
  1. Remove the ganache from the fridge and transfer it to a stand mixer. Beat on high with the whisk attachment until fluffy. Smooth the ganache over the cooled cake with a spatula and garnish with the sliced banana and nuts.

Reprinted with permission from Dream Desserts by Amie Macgregor, Page Street Publishing, Co. 2021. Photo credit: Amie Macgregor                               


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Pastry at Home is a hub for elevated dessert recipes for home bakers. Our editors Tish Boyle and AnnMarie Mattila strive to bring you the best curated content to help make you a smarter baker and dessert maker. If you want to be a part of our community, please contribute on the Submit a Recipe page. Or if you have another contribution idea or product you think we would like, shoot us an email at info@pastryathome.com. We would love to hear from you!

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