Friday Fika – Banana Cake with Brown Butter Frosting and Thoughts on Nordic Baking

Growing up, my mom baked everything from scratch. I didn’t even know you could make cake from a box of cake mix until I was in college… Now, I will only ever make a cake from scratch, as it’s crucial to simple, Nordic baking and to the self-sufficiency sought in a simple lifestyle.

Nordic baking is about simple, wholesome ingredients and not taking ‘short cuts.’ Hygge in the kitchen is not just about coziness but self-sufficiency. We are often so dependent on things like cake mix in a box that we become detached from the experience of making things ourselves, and to make− whether it’s a blanket, a table or a cake, gives us satisfaction because it allows us to feel self-sufficient.

And what could be more hyggelig than a cake baked from scratch at the end of a long, long week?

cake nordic Scandinavian baking hygge Danish banana butter scratch

cake nordic Scandinavian baking hygge Danish banana butter scratch

Banana Cake with Brown Butter Icing

I adapted this cake from a recipe I found here, so credit must be given to them. We bake everything gluten free at our house, but if you’re not gluten free, you can simply use regular white flour in place of the gf flour mentioned in my version of the recipe below:


For the Banana Cake:

1-1/2 c. sugar

1 c. sour cream

1/2 c. butter, softened

2 eggs

1-3/4 (3 or 4) ripe bananas, mashed

2 tsp. vanilla extract

2 c. Gluten free flour blend (use one that has xanthan gum mixed into it)

1 tsp. baking soda

3/4 tsp. salt

1/2 c. chopped walnuts (Optional, I didn’t use these)

For the brown butter frosting: 

1/2 c. butter

4 c. powdered sugar

1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

3 Tbs milk


1. Heat oven to 375F. Grease and flour 2, 9-inch round cake pans. (Or, for more layers, fill each 9-inch cake pan only halfway, and then use a 3rd 9-inch cake pan, also filling only halfway. This gives you thinner layers, but looks pretty when you frost between each layer.) In a large bowl, beat together sugar, sour cream, butter, and eggs until creamy. Chop bananas into small, bite-sized pieces before adding them to the bowl. Blend in bananas and vanilla extract. Add flour, baking soda, salt, and blend until well-mixed. Stir in walnuts.

2. Spread batter evenly into pan. Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

3. After taking the cakes out, I made the frosting while the cakes were cooling. For the frosting, heat butter in a large saucepan over medium heat until boiling. Let the butter turn a delicate brown and remove from heat immediately.

4. Add powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Whisk together until smooth (it should be thicker than a glaze but thinner than frosting). Using a spatula, spread the brown butter frosting in a thin layer on the cake (the cake itself is already quite sweet, so you don’t need to lay it on thick)!

5. Enjoy a simple, homemade and delicious cake for a Fika moment this weekend..

What about you? Do you bake from scratch? What was baking like in your house growing up?


  1. Reply


    April 3, 2017

    I recently learned about Fika and think this cake would enhance any Fika time! Lovely post.

    • Reply


      April 16, 2017

      Thank you Jennifer! Let me know what you think if you try it! xx

  2. Reply


    April 29, 2017

    I have never made a cake from a box. My family made everything from scratch. The taste from homemade can’t be beat. I have tried a cake that was from box that someone else made and it wasn’t very tasty. It really doesn’t take any longer to make something homemade! Love your blog. It is so inspiring! Thank you!!