This warm, comforting banana cake, recipe courtesy of Jenn Segal of Once Upon a Chef, is a twist on the classic English dessert sticky toffee pudding — which is not really pudding at all but rather a moist cake made with finely chopped dates covered in a sticky toffee sauce. Though it looks impressive, it’s easy to make, and it’s one of Once Upon a Chef’s most loved desserts. Servings: 9-12


For the Cake

  • 1¾ cups all purpose flour, spooned into measuring cup and leveled off with a knife
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick (½ cup) unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup very ripe mashed bananas, from 2-3 spotty bananas 
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

For the Toffee Sauce

  • 1¼ cups heavy whipping cream 
  • ½ cup dark brown sugar
  • ½ cup light corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch salt

For Serving

  • Sliced perfectly ripe bananas
  • Chopped pecans


  1. Heat the oven to 350°F. Butter and flour an 8-by-8-inch baking dish.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In the bowl of an electric mixer, mix the melted butter and sugar until blended. Add the eggs, mashed bananas, lemon juice, and vanilla extract and mix well.
  4. On low speed, stir in the flour mixture until just incorporated. Do not overmix. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, about 35 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Bring the heavy cream, brown sugar, corn syrup, butter, and salt to a boil in a heavy small saucepan over high heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook at a gentle boil, whisking occasionally, until the sauce is slightly thickened, about 15 minutes. It should be the consistency of maple syrup — it will continue to thicken as it cools. Remove the sauce from the heat and cool. 
  6. Spoon ⅓ cup of the toffee sauce over top of the baked banana cake. Return the cake to the oven and bake until the sauce is bubbling vigorously, about 6 minutes. Cool the cake in the pan on a rack for at least 30 minutes. Cut the cake into 9 squares or 12 rectangles. Serve the cake slightly warm or at room temperature with warm toffee sauce and top with sliced bananas and pecans, if desired.

Note: Sauce can be made two days ahead. Cover and chill, then rewarm slightly before using. If it seems too thick, add more heavy cream to thin it to desired consistency.

Freezer-friendly Instructions: The cake can be frozen (without the toffee sauce) for up to 3 months. Bake the cake for 35 minutes, let it cool completely, double-wrap it securely with aluminum foil or plastic freezer wrap. Thaw on the countertop the night before you plan to eat it. Before serving, place the cake back in the oven with the toffee sauce and proceed with the recipe from there. 

Top photo courtesy Once Upon a Chef.

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