Upside-Down Banana Bread Cake

I’m a sucker for banana bread anything. With 40+ banana bread and banana recipes and counting, what’s one more.

It’s an easy recipe that’s adapted from one of the most popular recipes on my site, Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread.

Upside-Down Banana Bread Cake - Don't settle for making another loaf of plain banana bread when you can have caramelized banana slices on top of soft banana cake!! A decadent spin on banana bread! The BEST use for your ripe bananas!!

Rather than baking it as a loaf, I baked it in an 8×8-inch pan, added banana slices, and a heavenly butter and brown sugar topping that caramelizes as the cake bakes.

Caramel sauce and bananas go hand in hand.

Upside-Down Banana Bread Cake - Don't settle for making another loaf of plain banana bread when you can have caramelized banana slices on top of soft banana cake!! A decadent spin on banana bread! The BEST use for your ripe bananas!!

If you’re looking for a light and airy banana cake, this isn’t it. It’s denser and the texture is like banana bread. I tried to cover all the bases by calling it ‘banana bread cake’.

The recipe uses oil rather than butter so there’s nothing to cream and no mixer to dirty. Oil keeps quickbreads softer and springier than butter and sour cream (or Greek yogurt) is extra insurance for a soft, springy, moist cake.

Upside-Down Banana Bread Cake - Don't settle for making another loaf of plain banana bread when you can have caramelized banana slices on top of soft banana cake!! A decadent spin on banana bread! The BEST use for your ripe bananas!!If you have 5 or 6 ripe bananas to make use of, I highly recommend this sweetly decadent spin on banana bread.

You can’t go wrong with a caramel sauce topping, thick banana slices, and soft rich cake.

Upside-Down Banana Bread Cake - Don't settle for making another loaf of plain banana bread when you can have caramelized banana slices on top of soft banana cake!! A decadent spin on banana bread! The BEST use for your ripe bananas!!

Print Recipe

Upside-Down Banana Bread Cake

It’s an easy recipe that's baked in an 8x8-inch pan with banana slices and a heavenly butter and brown sugar topping that caramelizes as the cake bakes. If you're looking for a light and airy banana cake, this isn't it. It's denser and the texture is like banana bread. The recipe uses oil rather than butter so there’s nothing to cream and no mixer to dirty. Oil keeps quickbreads softer and springier than butter and sour cream is extra insurance for a soft, springy, moist cake. If you have ripe bananas, I highly recommend this sweetly decadent spin on banana bread. You can't go wrong with a caramel sauce topping, thick banana slices, and soft rich cake.

Yield: one 8x8-inch cake

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: about 42 to 46 minutes

Total Time: 4+ hours, for cooling

Ingredients:

Topping

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • about 2 to 3 medium/large ripe bananas, sliced into thick rounds (about 1/2 to 3/4-inch thick)

Cake

  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil (liquid-state coconut oil may be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup cup sour cream (lite is okay; or Greek yogurt may be substituted)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 cup mashed ripe bananas (about 2 to 3 medium/large bananas)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8x8-inch pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
  2. Topping - To a large sauce pan, add the butter, brown sugar, and heat over medium heat to melt butter; whisk or stir nearly constantly to mix the sugar into the melting butter. Once butter has melted, allow mixture to come to a boil and boil for about 3o to 45 seconds. Pour sauce into prepared pan.
  3. Add the banana slices (slice them on the thicker side or they'll 'disappear' into the sauce as the cake bakes) in an even flat layer for complete coverage over the pan, with about 1/2-inch space between bananas. They don't have to be perfectly spaced out; set aside.
  4. Cake - To a large bowl, add the the egg, sugars, oil, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
  5. Add the bananas and stir to combine.
  6. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined; don't overmix.
  7. Carefully and evenly pour batter over the banana slices, smooth lightly with a spatula as necessary, and bake for about 42 to 45 minutes, or until cake is set in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter. In the final moments of baking I noticed the caramel sauce mixture bubbling up around the sides of the pan; watch your pan so nothing bubbles over or place pan on top of a baking sheet in the final moments. Allow pan to cool on a wire rack for at least 3 hours (I cooled overnight) before inverting and serving. If you line with foil, it's easy to lift cake out with foil overhang, place a cutting board on top of cake, and invert. Cake will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week.

Adapted from Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread

Related Recipes

Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake – Have ripe bananas? This cake has their name all over it! Dripping with rich, buttery, caramel sauce!

CCaramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake - Have ripe bananas? This cake has their name all over it! Dripping with rich, buttery, caramel sauce!

Spiced Apple and Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze – Apple cake meets banana bread with a to-die-for glaze! Best.ever.

Spiced Apple and Banana Bundt Cake with Vanilla Caramel Glaze - Apple cake meets banana bread with a to-die-for glaze! Best.ever.

Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread – Banana bread that’s like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!

Cream Cheese-Filled Banana Bread - Banana bread that's like having cheesecake baked in! Soft, fluffy, easy and tastes ahhhh-mazing!

Fudgy Banana Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze –  The banana equivalent of moist, fudgy brownies! Best use ever of ripe bananas!

Fudgy Banana Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze - The banana equivalent of moist, fudgy brownies! Best use EVER of ripe bananas!

Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze – Banana bread in bar form with a glaze that soaks in and is just so.darn.good!

Banana Bread Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze - Banana bread in bar form with a glaze that soaks in and is just so.darn.good!!!

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting – Soft, fluffy and so much better than another loaf of plain banana bread!

Pumpkin Banana Bread with Browned Butter Cream Cheese Frosting - Soft, fluffy, super moist, and a perfect way to put those ripe bananas to use!! Easy, no mixer recipe!

Banana Bread with Vanilla Browned Butter Glaze – A secret ingredient keeps this bread so moist and soft! And the glaze is the icing on the cake!

Six-Banana Banana Bread – Six bananas in one loaf of bread means an extremely soft, moist, and richly flavored bread!

Six-Banana Banana Bread - Recipe at averiecooks.com

Browned Butter Buttermilk Banana Bread with Strawberry Butter – The browned butter and buttermilk add richness, softness, and moisture, and the strawberry butter makes it that much better

Banana Bread Donuts with Browned Butter Caramel Glaze – Banana bread in the form of soft, fluffy baked donuts and donut holes!! No-mixer recipe that’s as easy as making muffins! The glaze makes them IRRESISTIBLE!

Banana Bread Donuts with Browned Butter Caramel Glaze - Banana bread in the form of soft, fluffy baked donuts and donut holes!! No-mixer recipe that's as easy as making muffins! The glaze makes them IRRESISTIBLE!!

18 comments

  1. Oh boy. You really are the queen of banana desserts. I can look at this and already TASTE how incredible it is. Yay for caramel sauce!

  2. so hungry looking at it… banana cakes are always moist if you do them well..,

  3. This looks easy and delicious– especially the caramel sauce. I love a dense quick bread texture over an airy cake any day!

  4. I’m with you on the banana treats! This looks out of this world and I love how the flavor would be more rich and gooey than pineapple upside down cake. 

  5. Hey girl this looks really yummy!

  6. can i use frozen bananas? if you dont think that will fly… do you have a recipe you recomend for frozen ones?? thanks!!

    • No you need fresh here.

      Many of my banana breads where the bananas are mashed up and not lined up in pretty slices on top you could probably used frozen (and then well-drained) bananas. Or in smoothies. I don’t bake often with frozen bananas so can’t speak to the results personally.

  7. Hi Averie, I’d like to make this cake for an afternoon tea two days in advance. Do you reckon it keeps well for about 48 hours before serving? Thanks!

    • Fresh is always best but I think you could get away with 2 days. The more special the event is, the more likely I am to use the freshest of baked goods. Do what you think is best. Enjoy!

  8. I will get more bananas this week as I want to try this yummiest cake , it looks so delicious. Thanks for sharing such a nice recipe.

  9. Just made this and its AMAZING! So sticky and delicious! Warm with custard or ice-cream and its a winner

  10. I just made this, waiting for it to cool! I am excited to try this :) thanks for the recipe!

  11. Made this today and all I can say is wow! Simple ingredients but amazing flavor. I will add this to my muffin/quick bread recipes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *