So wow I’m actually pretty shocked by the number of requests I got for this recipe since posting it on our Facebook page. Since this made a big 9×13″ cake I took 1/2 of it to work today. I swear these people inhaled it. I had people actually fighting over it. I did have them in normal size pieces to which I literally had to cut those pieces even smaller just so everyone could have a piece.
*shrugs* I didn’t think it was a big deal as honestly I was just messing around with stuff. It was one of those ‘tings where I had ripe bananas and I swear I was going to lose it if I had to make 1 more loaf of banana bread. I’m at the point where I’m beginning to almost not like it anymore. God I’ll die if that happens with chocolate! *GASP!*
So lemme ‘splain how this works… Once it’s all made, you need to keep it in the fridge. Due to the type of frosting and other stuff, it needs to stay refrigerated. So what happens to shortbread when it gets cold? Yep, it gets hard. No worries. If you are serving this for dessert, cut and plate it before you sit down for your meal. Basically you want it to come to room temperature. I made the mistake of giving it to Mr. Fantabulous straight out of the fridge and the look of “Um, you got a chainsaw to cut through the bottom layer???” said enough. So the next piece I cut, I cut cold then let it sit out for a few minutes. The crust was then so tender… seriously, I LOVED this cake/bar/thingamajig.
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1/4 cup white sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Bean Paste
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon teaspoon ground cinnamon
- Cake Center
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 2 cups light brown sugar, packed
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3 eggs
- 3 ripe bananas, mashed
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
- 2 cups flour
- 1 cup caramel pieces (do not use ice cream topping – you want actual caramel chunks)
- Preheat oven to 350.
- For the shortbread crust, using a stand mixer and paddle attachment beat the 1/2 cup butter until smooth.
- Add in the sugar and vanilla beating well; scrape the bowl down to incorporate completely.
- Add in the flour and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon initially mixing on low then moving to medium. It will come together to make a formable “dough”.
- Dump the crust mixture in a glass ungreased 9×13” pan.
- Press the crust evenly on the bottom. If it sticks to your fingers, lightly wet them with water and press down.
- Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until light brown. It will be soft to the touch. You do NOT want it to be firm to the touch.
- Allow the pan to cool completely on a baking rack.
- Once the pan is cool, make the cake center.
- Using your clean stand mixer bowl and paddle attachment beat the 1/2 cup butter on med-high until smooth.
- Add in the brown sugar, baking soda, cinnamon and salt beating well; scrape the bowl down to incorporate completely.
- Add in the eggs, mashed bananas, milk and vanilla; beating well until combined.
- Add in the flour initially mixing on low then moving to medium.
- Fold in the caramel pieces.
- Evenly spread out the over the cooled crust.
- Bake 35-40 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
- Move the pan to a baking rack and allow to cool completely.
- While the cake is cooling make the frosting.
- In a large bowl, whip the butter and cream cheese with a hand or stand mixer.
- Beat on high until fluffy.
- Gradually add in the confectioners’ sugar and cinnamon.
- Once all mixed in, beat in the vanilla, milk and caramel. *If it’s too thin you can either add a tablespoon or so of more confectioners’ sugar to thicken it OR add in a teaspoon or so of cornstarch. If you add the confectioners’ sugar, watch the sweetness of it. If you don’t want that you can add more cream cheese/butter ratio.
- When the cake is cooled, frost it and serve.
*This should be kept in the fridge. If it’s cold the shortbread is hard but when it comes to room temperature it gets uber soft.