Slow Cooker Banana Bread Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce

I’ve never made a dessert in my slow cooker until now and it certainly won’t be the last.

But I’m trying to think of it as banana bread with a sauce rather than dessert or cake.

Slow Cooker Banana Bread Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce - Soft, tender banana bread with a caramely, brown sugar sauce that develops while the bread cooks!! If you've never made dessert in your slow cooker, start with this easy recipe!!

Sounds healthier so you don’t feel too badly when you’re eating it by the warm spoonful straight from the slow cooker with tons of sweet, juicy sauce in every bite like I did.

The banana bread is soft, tender, full of rich banana flavor, and the sauce that forms while the bread bakes is pure caramely heaven.

Slow Cooker Banana Bread Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce - Soft, tender banana bread with a caramely, brown sugar sauce that develops while the bread cooks!! If you've never made dessert in your slow cooker, start with this easy recipe!!

The sauce also helps keep the bread extra moist because there’s nothing worse than dry bread or cake and in a slow cooker things can dry out if you’re not careful, but no worries about dryness here.

Slow Cooker Banana Bread Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce - Soft, tender banana bread with a caramely, brown sugar sauce that develops while the bread cooks!! If you've never made dessert in your slow cooker, start with this easy recipe!!

I adore banana bread and am no stranger to it with 40+ different original banana bread recipes, and it’s hard to pick a favorite, but this one ranks right up there. The next time you have ripe bananas, this is a must-make.

Slow Cooker Banana Bread Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce - Soft, tender banana bread with a caramely, brown sugar sauce that develops while the bread cooks!! If you've never made dessert in your slow cooker, start with this easy recipe!!

Print Recipe

Slow Cooker Banana Bread Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce

Banana bread with a sauce. Sounds healthier than calling it a dessert or cake so you don't feel too badly when you're eating it by the warm spoonful straight from the slow cooker with tons of sweet, juicy sauce in every bite. The banana bread is soft, tender, full of rich banana flavor, and the sauce that forms while the bread bakes is pure caramely heaven. The sauce also helps keep the bread extra moist because there's nothing worse than dry bread or cake and in a slow cooker things can dry out, but no worries here. The next time you have ripe bananas, this is a must-make.

Yield: about 8 servings

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: about 1 1/2 to 2 hours

Total Time: about 2 hours

Ingredients:

Bread

  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 cups mashed ripe bananas (about 3 large bananas)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon, optional and to taste (I've made it with and without, both versions are good depending on preference)

Sauce

  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water

Directions:

  1. Line a 6-quart slow cooker with a liner if using one. I prefer to use liners for easy cleanup and storage, see step 7. Spray liner or base and sides of slow cooker with cooking spray; set aside. Do not use a smaller slow cooker because the bread rises quite dramatically and it will overflow.
  2. Bread - To a large bowl, add the eggs, oil, sugars, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  3. Add the bananas and stir to combine.
  4. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, optional cinnamon, and stir to combine. Turn batter out into prepared slow cooker and spread it into a smooth, even, flat layer; set aside.
  5. Sauce - To a large bowl (the same one you already used is fine, just wipe it clean with a paper towel), add the brown sugar, boiling water, and whisk to combine. Carefully pour the hot sugar-water mixture over the batter in slow cooker. Do not stir. This mixture turns into the sauce while the bread bakes; do not stir.
  6. Cover and cook on high for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours, or until the edges have set and are light golden brown and a toothpick inserted into center of bread comes out clean. Start checking at just over one hour to ensure you don't overbake. My bread was done in 95 minutes. All slow cookers vary so cook until bread is done. I have not tested the recipe using the low heat setting and can't speak to baking time or results.
  7. Remove the top portion of the slow cooker (the ceramic bowl the cake is cooking in) from the base (heating element) to allow bread to cool momentarily before serving. Bread is best warm and fresh but will keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days at room temp, noting the sauce absorbs into the bread by the second day. Storage is much easier if you use a liner because you can lift the entire liner out, bread and all, and place in an airtight container.

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31 comments

  1. OH MY GOSH THIS LOOKS SO GOOD! Crock pots are just wonderful in so many ways right?! You totally rocked this, girl! I would be all over this in a heartbeat. I can just imagine the smell that crockpot was giving off while it was cooking!!! :)

  2. I’ve gotta hop onto the slow cooker dessert bandwagon. I have a hard time seeing it for anything other than meat, and that’s just not the way it is! And brown sugar sauce? Sign me up!

    • I know, my lifelong resistance to slow cookers is because it’s usually a meat dish made with tons of salty premade sauces or condensed soups but I know it doesn’t have to be that way!

  3. This looks yummy all around from the texture to the sauce! I’ve never tried anything like this but crock pots are so convenient when you don’t want to use the oven. I am anxious to see what else you come up with!

  4. I’m so obsessed with my slow cooker this season it’s not even funny! I’ve tried almost everything and this banana bread is totally going on the list. Love how moist and gooey it is

  5. This looks like Banana Cobbler (that’s the one with the bready topping, I think…?) and I’ve never seen that.  

    I’ve never made dessert in a slow cooker either, though I’ve read that you can.  It seems like a good idea, but messy.  Those baggy things are GENIUS.  Maybe not so eco-friendly, but since you don’t use water to clean it up, it’s probably the same difference.

    • Cleanup is a cinch and I cannot imagine making a sticky dessert without one! It would be like trying to make a cake without using cooking spray in your pan, times ten! Since it just get slow-cooked on for hours sticky stuff is caramelizing.

      This cake/bread was so good and so easy!

  6. I have never made dessert in a slow cooker either but this might be the first recipe I try!  It’s always good to have a few banana recipes on hand in case they get too ripe to eat by themselves.  :)  Thanks for sharing!

  7. Oh my holy heck. I might have to make this today. Seriously. BEST slow cooker dessert EVER.

    • It was so good! One of the easiest banana breads ever and the flavor was awesome. I know you have plenty of slow cooker desserts and now I am on the bandwagon. I found myself wanting to turn all recipes into slow cooker recipes for about 10 days (and my posts will show it the next few weeks..lol) til I told myself stop. Not everyone will be that into this :)

  8. It’s been a long time since I’ve made dessert in the crockpot–I may have to try again!  Yum!  I love both of my crockpots–I noticed you have some more recipes coming soon–I will look forward to them.  I tried crockpot yeast bread last summer–it came out resonably good–I wanted homemade bread but it was too hot to heat up the kitchen.  Sorry, I guess I’m in a rambling mood.  :)

    • That’s pretty awesome about yeast bread in a slow cooker. I have seen recipes online, wondering how the results were. I am sure it’s highly variable based on the slow cooker itself, kneading techniques, etc. but glad to know it works reasonably well. And yes quite a few more slow cooker recipes coming up!

  9. The bread doesn’t brown very well in the crockpot, but if you want, you can put it under the broiler briefly.  

  10. This recipe looks amazing! I don’t use my crock pot nearly enough, I need to start asap. :)

  11. Hi Averie!

    It’s Joanie, your loyal San Diego neighbor follower.

    This week is perfect for using the slow cooker, record breaking heat! I’m going to try this tomorrow. My question: do you think can I add walnuts? Or would they get soggy?
    Love all of your recipes!!

  12. Oh my lord, this banana bread looks amazing! My guys will gobble it up!

  13. What a creative way to make banana bread.  I love it!

  14. OHMYGERD!!!! I literally was staring at all the sad unhappy bananas I didn’t want to put in my freezer, but it was kinda late to make dessert (apparently my 3 am baking habit, while appreciated makes my husband fat he thinks…) So I remembered seeing this pop up in my email yesterday whilst running errands. BOOM. Instant happiness in a crock pot. Delicious and oh so easy. Thanks for a new way to cook at 3 am and not feel bad for forcing my husband to be fat :D

    • Thanks for trying this recipe Jen on the day I posted it! Or, 3am right after I posted it :) I’ve done so much baking over the years between midnight and 3am it’s unreal. Gotta get stuff done when you can sometimes! Glad you enjoyed this one!

  15. This looks delicious!! I don’t have a slow cooker ( I know, I should totally just get one) do you think I can bake this in a regular cake pan? It just looks so good!

    • Hmm, not sure. I don’t think it would turn out the best because there would be SO much extra liquid. I would recommend trying one of my other banana bread recipes that you can see linked within the post which are made for a bread pan.

  16. Slow cooker desserts! The most wonderful combination of 3 words. I have found my new obsession! Love it!

  17. I tried this last week and my family loved it! My only complaint was that there wasn’t enough sauce in the bottom. the cake was moist and great but I kinda wanted more. :) So, do you think I could double the sauce and it would still turn out? Do you think it would make the bread soggy at the bottom?

    • I think that you could add a bit more sauce, maybe not quite double it, but do like 1.5x the amount. I haven’t played around with it so can’t say for sure. Also some slow cookers are just hotter than others and things can dry out easily. Maybe you could cook a few minutes less, add a bit more sauce, and see what happens. With slow cookers, it’s never quite an exact science but glad you loved the recipe!

  18. What size crock pot should I use? Is 3 Quart too small?

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