Brown Butter Banana Cake with Brown Butter Bourbon Frosting is an overload of sinfully delicious flavors, in a super easy to make 9×13″ pan!

Brown Butter Banana Cake with Brown Butter Bourbon Frosting is an overload of sinfully delicious flavors, in a super easy to make 9x13" pan!

I don’t know about you, but I have kids who insist they will eat all of the bananas I buy, and yet somehow every week I am left with half of the bananas still sitting on the counter uneaten with spots that no one will consume. So they end up in the freezer, because I am unwilling to waste them or compost them. I suppose I could feed them to the chickens? Or attempt to… that is another experiment for another day. BUT I decided this time, to try a new cake recipe with them, and hot damn it did not disappoint. In fact, it blew me away! This banana cake recipe doubles down on the brown butter and then adds a hit of bourbon in the frosting.

Brown Butter Banana Cake with Brown Butter Bourbon Frosting slice with a corner cut out by a fork.

What is Brown Butter?

Okay, the prime ingredient in this is “brown butter”. So what is brown, or “browned butter”? Browned butter is made when butter is melted over head, brought to a simmer and the milk solids are separated and toasted to create a dark and nutty, almost caramelized smell. It is a very simple, but delicate, process.

You can see my brown butter step by step tutorial here. It is something that takes some time to do, but it very worthwhile and adds a great flavor dimension to any dish, sweet or savory. One handy thing to save time is even to make some, and then freeze it in handy portions for future use. Then bring it to room temperature for regular baking needs!

Brown Butter Banana Cake with Brown Butter Bourbon Frosting  slice with cinnamon chips sprinkled over the top

Ingredients for Brown Butter Banana Cake

  • Unsalted butter
  • Flour
  • Baking Soda
  • Kosher Sal
  • Cinnamon
  • Sugar
  • Eggs
  • Vanilla
  • Brown Bananas – The browner and uglier the better!!
  • Greek yogurt – or sour cream
  • Cinnamon Baking Chips – optional, but totally worth it if you can find them!

Ingredients for Brown Butter Bourbon Frosting

  • Unsalted Butter
  • Cream Cheese
  • Powdered Sugar
  • Vanilla Extract
  • Bourbon – if you choose not to use it, that’s fine! But it is a lovely addition!
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon

Helpful Hint for This Recipe

When making this recipe one things I found best to save time was to make ALL of your browned butter at one time, and then divide it to cool in portions – 1/2 cup for the cake, and 1/2 cup for the frosting.

Brown the total of 1 cup of butter in your saucepan, and then pour into two glass liquid measuring cups, making sure to also divide up the browned bits between the two evenly as well so that is key. You don’t want your batter to get more of the toasted milk solids and your frosting to get none! Allow them both to cool prior to using in yoru recipe.

That way, you won’t have to waste time browning butter twice. What. A. Pain!

Also, I recommend using a metal baking pan for this recipe. My favorite, for even baking, is my Crow Canyon Home lasagna pan. I have it in the blue, or gray, splatter pattern. (aff-link.)

Inspired Homemade Recipes to Try

Classic Homemade Banana Pudding

Banana Layer Cake with Cinnamon Brown Sugar Buttercream

Brown Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

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Brown Butter Banana Cake with Brown Butter Bourbon Frosting

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  • Author: Megan Keno
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 Minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
  • Yield: 16 Servings 1x
  • Category: Dessert
  • Method: Oven
  • Cuisine: American


Units Scale

Brown Butter Banana Cake

  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 2 cups Flour
  • 1 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
  • 1 1/4 cup Sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2 tsp Vanilla
  • 23 Large Brown Bananas, about 1 1/2 cups Mashed Bananas
  • 1 cup Plain Greek Yogurt, or Sour Cream
  • 1/3 cup Cinnamon Baking Chips, optional

Brown Butter Bourbon Frosting

  • 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter
  • 8 ounces Cream Cheese, room temperature – do not use low fat or other cream cheeses here
  • 4 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
  • 1 Tbsp Bourbon, optional
  • Pinch of Kosher Salt


To Brown Butter

Melt the butter in a medium skillet or saucepan over medium heat, swirling the pan or stirring with a spatula. The butter will melt and start to foam, and pop. When the butter starts to turn amber in color, and the milk solids begin to separate from the fat and turn brown remove from the stove and allow to cool. It will smell toasted, and nutty, even lightly caramelized. If it smells or looks burnt or black you will need to redo this step.

Divide the browned butter into two bowls with each 1/2 cup of browned butter, making sure each has an even amount of the toasted milk solids as well. Allow to cool prior to using in the baking.

To Make Brown Butter Banana Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×13 metal baking pan with non stick cooking spray and set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

In a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a hand mixer, beat together the browned butter and sugar until well combined and light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add in the eggs one at a time, at least 30 seconds in between to ensure they are evenly incorporated. Mix in the vanilla, then the bananas, and yogurt. Slowly mix in the dry ingredients, or if using a hand mixer, fold in the dry ingredients with a spatula until just a couple streaks of flour remain.

If using cinnamon chips in the mixture, fold them in here. Careful not to overmix.

Spread the mixture out into the prepared pan. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, checking at 23 minutes. Depending on your pan or oven it may take longer. Use a toothpick to test the doneness of the cake, only a couple of crumbs should come out on the toothpick. It should not come out completely dry.

Allow to cool completely prior to frosting.

Brown Butter Bourbon Frosting

To keep this fast, I prefer to make this frosting in a food processor. You can also make it in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment.

For a food processor – Combine all ingredients into an 8-cup (or higher capacity) food processor with a blade attachment), minus the bourbon. Turn the food processor on, and while it blends add in the bourbon 1 teaspoon at a time until it reaches the consistency you like. You may need to stop it and scrape the sides down, at least once. You can also add in a small amount of cream or milk to thin it out as well if desired. Use to frost cake once cooled.

To make in a stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat for about 5 minutes to add in the air to create a light and fluffy texture. To lighten and thin, add in bourbon 1 teaspoon at a time to desired consistency. Add in a pinch of salt to desired amount. Use as needed to frost the cake.


I HIGHLY recommend browning ALL of the butter called for in this recipe ahead of time to save time.