Caramelised banana and coconut cake

“Never stress the could haves. If it should have, it would have.”

I like baking with bananas and while I have seen several recipes involving caramelised bananas , I stayed away for two reasons : 1. I am an innately lazy person and often (not always) I tend to skip over recipes that involve several steps or bowls. 2. Caramel and I have a strange relationship. We have had a passing encounter once in a way , but usually we dont like to cross paths. Frankly , it causes me great stress . Is the sugar clumping instead of melting ? Is it smoking ? Is it too dark ? Too light? Is it burnt already ? Will it burn me ? Too much stress , I tell you!

But when a talented baker from my baking group tried this cake and raved about it , I definitely knew I had to take  her suggestion and give it a try . And ofcourse it turned out well or it wouldnt be on here! The caramel did give me a little heartache but only temporary . 

This cake brings together banana and coconut and caramel in a wonderful way. It does involve the extra step of caramelising the bananas (and then waiting for it to cool!) but the end result is well worth it . The butterscotch flavour balances out the banana and it really is quite scrumptious!

Caramelised banana and coconut cake
A light cake with the wonderful flavours of banana , butterscotch and coconut!
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  1. 250 grams or 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
  2. 170 grams or 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  3. 2 teaspoons baking powder
  4. 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. 2 eggs
  7. 30 grams or 1/2 cup dessicated coconut
  8. 120 ml or 1/2 cup milk
  9. 120 ml or 1/2 cup oil
  10. 1 teaspoon coconut essence (use vanilla if you can't get coconut)
  11. 14 grams or 1 tablespoon butter
  12. 1 tablespoon water
  13. 1 large ripe banana ( about 100 grams ) , chopped or mashed
  1. To make the caramel, heat 3/4 cups (150 grams ) of the sugar with one tablespoon water in a saucepan until the sugar melts and turns an amber or deep yellow colour . Swirl the pan occasionally but don't stir at this stage.
  2. Add the butter and chopped/mashed banana , and continue heating on low stirring occasionally.
  3. Once all the banana is broken down , take off heat and let cool completely.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F . Butter a Bundt pan and dust with flour well. You could also use a loaf pan or 8 inch square pan.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the remaining sugar , oil and eggs until light and the sugar is dissolved.
  6. Add the caramelised banana , coconut , milk and vanilla and continue beating until smooth.
  7. Add the flour mixture and beat until just incorporated.
  8. Pour batter into prepared pan
  9. Bake for 30 minutes if using a Bundt pan , 38 to 40 minutes if using a loaf pan or square pan. A toothpick inserted in the centre should come out dry.
  10. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and slowly invert out to cool completely on a wire rack.
  1. This cake stores well at room temperature for 3 to 5 days.
  2. If you dont have dessicated coconut , toast shredded coconut spread out on a baking pan in a preheated oven at 180 C for 8 to 10 minutes. I just stir mine in a dry pan over low heat for few minutes.
  3. The caramelised banana will be dark and turn thicker and sticky when it cools. A few specks of caramel may remain after beating it in. No problem! The end batter is on the thinner side.

This cake is a lot different from the other banana cakes I have tried . For starters , it is really light and not as dense as many banana cakes tend to be. And then the taste of banana is not so pronounced that it gets too much. Know what I mean? Plus there is the crunchy coconut and the nutty caramel . Yum is the word!

Affiliate links : Just so you know, I have baked this banana and coconut cake in my trusty Morphy Richards 52 Litre Oven .

Happy baking !

20 thoughts on “Caramelised banana and coconut cake”

    1. Hi Hemlata… banana is one of the main ingredients here. If you really want to skip it , you should consider adding 1 or 2 more eggs , you can use the same amount of caramel sauce , increase the sugar by 2 tablespoons or 1/4 cup . You could use homemade caramel sauce and adjust the sweetness of the cake accordingly !

  1. I tried this and it was so lovely that I tried again today. Unfortunately the caramel behaved differently. I followed the same steps – low heat, no stirring but I now have some liquid and some rock caramel. Any idea why and can it be revived?

    1. Hi… I am not sure.. Maybe there was some liquid in the pan or the heat was too high without you realising it? I assume its too late to discuss revival, but pls let me know if you managed to rescue it..

  2. Just wanted to say that you write lovely , you bake delicious and like the frosting on the cake, you mention quantities in grams and also specify the liquid ml too ..finding your site is like hitting the jackpot for me .much love. xoxoxoox

  3. Hi Akshatha, coconut and banana cake sounds delicious, I would love to try. Do you think I could make this one and your banana chocolate chip one to a layer cake with maple frosting?

    1. Sorry for the really late reply! I would recommend the banana choc chip one for a layer cake. This coconut n banana cake can also be used but might be too sweet with maple.. Hope this helps!

  4. Hi,
    desiccated coconut r generally unsweetened right? Will the cake taste good if I substitute it with fresh grated coconut?

  5. Hi,

    Great recipe! Do you think this cake would hold up in a design which needs carving? I have a dino cake coming up in two weeks!

    Looking forward to hearing from you!

      1. Thank you for the reply! One more doubt (pls don’t mind)- does this cake freeze well? Was wondering if I could make the cakes in advance!

          1. Hi,

            Thought to let you in on the outcome! My “make- ahead ” plans didn’t got to plan and I was scrambling to get things done at the last moment. Since I was making a tall dino cake, I needed to quadruple the given quantities. Making the caramel was a disaster and I had to chuck it.Instead just put the mashed bananas , some sugar and butter and sautéed it till caramelised.Thats the only change I made to the recipe. And ppl were raving abt the taste. Even the die-hard chocolate fans came back for seconds!! This is surely going in my files! Thank you for the recipe and also for all the prompt responses!

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