This exceptionally moist banana-chocolate cake is soaked with molten caramel just as it comes out of the oven, rendering it—if such a thing is possible—even moister.
Resist the temptation, the authors note, to add more bananas than called for, as this will give the cake a gummy texture. Left as it is, the recipe will produce a tender cake that stays that way for days.
- Unsalted butter and flour for the pan
- 3 cups sifted all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 1/4 cups canola oil
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans
- 3 ounces 62 percent semisweet chocolate, chopped into chip-size chunks
- 1 1/2 cups diced (1/4-inch) ripe bananas (about 2 bananas)
- For the caramel:
- 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- 4 tablespoons (2 ounces) unsalted butter, cut into chunks
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour a 12-cup (10-inch) nonstick Bundt pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, salt, and baking soda.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the eggs, oil, granulated sugar, vanilla, and almond extract. Mix on medium speed until thoroughly combined, stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl if necessary. Mix in the dry ingredients, about 1/2 cup at a time, stopping to scrape the bowl as necessary.
Remove the bowl from the mixer and fold in the pecans and the chocolate. Carefully fold in the bananas; do not overmix.
Pour into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, or until a skewer inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean.
Meanwhile, about 5 minutes before the cake is done, combine the brown sugar, milk, and butter in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally as the butter and sugar melt. Once it is amber in color, remove from the heat.
Remove the cake from the oven and immediately, using a long skewer, poke holes all over the surface of the cake. Pour the hot caramel over the top, poking more holes and pushing the cake slightly away from the sides of the pan as necessary to allow the caramel to soak into the cake's top and sides. Place on a cooling rack to cool slightly.
When the cake has cooled, but is still warm to the touch, unmold onto a serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.