Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake


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Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake — This upside down cake is super moist thanks to the combination of sour cream, buttermilk, and vegetable oil. It’s so easy to make, and the caramelized banana flavor is impossible to resist! 

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

The Best Banana Upside-Down Cake

I love caramelized bananas. The depth of flavor is like no other. Browned butter, brown sugar, and the natural banana sugars create the best tasting bananas ever.

I wanted to pluck each and every one of the bananas off the cake. I used restraint while I served the cake at a party, but it wasn’t easy.

I had never had a banana upside-down cake but figured why not. This upside down cake recipe is a spinoff on my Pineapple Upside-Down Cake, which is one of my all-time favorites. It’s like having bananas foster, one of my favorite desserts, baked onto the cake.

The cake base is adapted from my favorite buttermilk coffee cake that I’ve used to make Blueberry Muffin and Buttermilk Pancakes CakePeaches and Cream Fluffy Muffin CakeCream Cheese-Swirled Cherry and Mixed Berries Cake, and more. I love this easy, no-mixer base because cakes always turn out supremely moist, springy, and fluffy thanks to the combination of buttermilk, sour cream, and oil. That trifecta of moisturizing and tenderizing ingredients makes it impossible to have a dry cake.

While baking, the bananas caramelize in a butter and brown sugar bath, giving the cake it’s signature glistening top. There’s so much rich browed butter and alluring caramel flavor, which makes the cake irresistible. Interestingly, there are no bananas in the cake base itself, just on top, adding a perfect amount of banana flavor that goes so well with the caramel.

The buttery caramel sauce seeps down into the cake after inverting, which adds even more moisture to an already very tender and supremely soft cake. Take the cake to the next level by drizzling salted caramel sauce over the top. May as well go all out.

I find that banana bread gets better on the second day after the flavors marry and this banana cake was no exception. If you have a few ripe bananas to use up, no one will complain when they see this come out of the oven!

slice of Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake on white plate with fork

Banana Upside-Down Cake Ingredients

For this ooey, gooey banana cake, you’ll need the following basic ingredients: 

  • Unsalted butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Ripe bananas 
  • All-purpose flour
  • Granulated sugar
  • Baking powder
  • Salt
  • Egg 
  • Buttermilk
  • Sour cream
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vanilla extract
Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake on white platter

How to Make Banana Upside-Down Cake

Melt the butter in the microwave, then pour it into a 9-inch springform cake pan. Use your fingers to make sure the butter is in every crevice of that pan, then sprinkle with brown sugar. Lay the sliced bananas over the brown sugar, making sure bits of banana are covering every inch of that pan. 

Then, make the cake batter by combining the wet and dry ingredients in two separate bowls, then stir them together. Pour the batter over the bananas and bake the cake on a cookie sheet (just in case anything leaks from the springform pan). 

You’ll know the banana upside-down cake is finished baking when it’s golden on top and the center is set. Remove it from the oven and let it cool for at least an hour before inverting and serving. 

How Ripe Should My Bananas Be? 

You actually don’t want your bananas to be too ripe when using them for this upside down cake. If you use bananas that are overripe, they’ll fall apart in this cake. Your bananas should definitely be on the riper side, and just barely starting to get brown spots. 

Should I Line my Springform Pan with Foil? 

Maybe! Older pans may be prone to leaking, which means your banana upside-down cake won’t have as much caramelized sauce on top. If you’re nervous about your pan leaking, feel free to line the bottom with aluminum foil to be safe. 

slice of Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake topped with caramel sauce

Tips for Making Banana Upside-Down Cake

If you don’t have sour cream on hand, feel free to use plain Greek yogurt instead. And if you don’t have regular buttermilk, you can use powdered buttermilk in its place (just add water to the batter to even things out. I’ve given instructions in the recipe card below). 

Note that it’s so important that you let this cake cool in the pan for at least an hour before inverting it. If you try to invert this cake too quickly, it’ll likely fall apart and you’ll have a huge mess on your hands. 

Also, you should use a springform pan for this, not a regular 9-inch cake pan. A regular cake pan will likely be too shallow for this cake recipe, and you definitely do not want this cake to overflow in the oven! 

sliced Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake

More Banana Desserts: 

  • Six-Banana Banana Chocolate Chip Cake – Yes, 6 bananas in 1 cake means it’s super SOFT, moist, and has robust banana flavor with chocolate chips in EVERY bite!! EASY and one bowl! 
  • Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies — These cookies are soft, moist, and oh-so chewy. They taste like banana bread and chocolate chip cookies rolled into one dessert!
  • Fudgy Banana Bars with Vanilla Bean Browned Butter Glaze — Fudgy is the only word that describes these bars! They’re the banana equivalent of moist, fudgy brownies with zero trace of cakiness.
  • Six-Banana Banana Bread — Not sure what to do with overripe bananas you have on hand? Make this Six-Banana Banana Bread! This is the best banana bread recipe EVER — it’s so moist and flavorful! 
  • Upside-Down Banana Bread Cake — This is an easy recipe that’s baked in an 8×8-inch pan with banana slices and a heavenly butter and brown sugar topping that caramelizes as the cake bakes.
  • Pineapple Coconut Oil Banana Bread — This bread is incredibly moist and is ever so slightly coconut flavored thanks to the coconut oil in the batter. You’ll definitely want seconds of this easy banana bread recipe! 
Four picture collage of banana upside down cake
Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake — This upside down cake is super moist thanks to the combination of sour cream, buttermilk, and vegetable oil. It's so easy to make, and the caramelized banana flavor is impossible to resist! 

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4.67 from 27 votes

Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake

By Averie Sunshine
This banana upside down cake is super moist thanks to the combo of sour cream, buttermilk, and vegetable oil. That caramelized banana flavor is so good!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Cooling Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 55 minutes
Servings: 9 -inch cake
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  • ½ cup unsalted butter, 1 stick
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • about 3 extra-large ripe bananas or 4 small/medium, sliced in half horizontally and then sliced in vertically (if banana is ‘fat’, slice each half into 3 or 4 long vertical pieces)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • pinch salt, optional and to taste
  • 1 large egg
  • ½ cup buttermilk, or Powdered Buttermilk, use 2 tablespoons with the dry ingredients + 1/2 cup water added with the wet
  • cup sour cream, lite okay, or plain Greek yogurt may be substituted
  • 3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • salted caramel sauce for drizzling, optional (homemade or storebought)


  • Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9-inch springform cake pan with cooking spray; set aside. A regular 9-inch round cake pan is likely going to be too shallow and is not recommended.
  • In a small, microwave-safe bowl, melt the butter, about 1 minute on high power.
  • Pour the butter into the cake pan. Use your finger to run a bit of butter around the side of the pan to ensure it’s well-greased.
  • Evenly sprinkle the brown sugar over the butter.
  • Fan banana slices (cut side down) out from center of pan like the spokes of a wheel covering the entire pan with banana slices. The less gaps and space between bananas, the better. Use short pieces to fill in gaps.
  • Add 8 to 10 short banana pieces around sides of pan (cut side down), spaced uniformly; set pan aside.
  • In a large bowl, whisk together flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, optional salt; set aside.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the next 5 wet ingredients (through vanilla).
  • Add the wet mixture to the dry, mixing lightly with a spoon or folding with a spatula until just combined. Small lumps will be present, don’t overmix or try to stir them smooth.
  • Gently turn batter out into prepared pan, being careful to not disturb the banana slices on the bottom or sides of pan. Fill pan to about 3/4-full. If you have a little extra batter, discard it rather than overfilling your pan (was not a problem for me but pan sizes and depths vary).
  • Place pan on a cookie sheet as insurance to catch anything that may leak from springform pan and bake for about 38 to 40 minutes, or until center is set, not jiggly, lightly golden browned, and springy to the touch. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out clean or with a few moist crumbs, but no batter. Only go down about 1-inch with the toothpick, not all the way to the bottom where you’ll hit gooey caramelized bananas.
  • Place pan on a wire rack and allow cake to cool for at least 1 hour before inverting, slicing, and serving. Optionally before serving, drizzle with salted caramel sauce. Cake will keep airtight at room temperature for up to 5 days.


Serving: 1, Calories: 443kcal, Carbohydrates: 61g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 9g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 64mg, Sodium: 232mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 46g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Even More Easy Cake Recipes: 

The BEST Tres Leches Cake  — This easy authentic three milk cake melts in your mouth and requires just 15 minutes of hands-on prep!!  This is a recipe your family will love! Perfect for Cinco de Mayo!!

Easy Yellow Cake with Buttercream Frosting — This is the easiest, from-scratch yellow cake and it tastes like a million bucks. This yellow cake recipe always turns out supremely moist, springy, soft and fluffy cake thanks to buttermilk, sour cream, and oil.

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Strawberries and Cream Poke Cake — This Strawberry Poke Cake uses just four ingredients and is a hit at parties and potlucks! It’s a moist, refreshing dessert you’ll definitely want seconds of! 

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Turtle Chocolate Poke Cake — This decadent poke cake is topped with whipped topping, salted caramel sauce, mini chocolate chips, and chopped pecans. It’s so easy to make, and a huge hit at parties!

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4.67 from 27 votes (15 ratings without comment)

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Please note: I have only made the recipe as written, and cannot give advice or predict what will happen if you change something. If you have a question regarding changing, altering, or making substitutions to the recipe, please check out the FAQ page for more info.

Recipe Rating


  1. Delicious! Very easy to make. It’s doesn’t look very appealing but tastes so good. Thanks for the easy step by step directions and the tip to place the cookie sheet under the spring form pan! Saved me a huge mess. The drippings from the pan were even good.

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! And so glad you used my pan-as-insurance tip!

  2. Made this for Easter and everyone loved it! I had made the caramel sauce but no one thought it needed extra with all the caramelized banana flavors! I used gluten free flours and it worked great. Would have been good with whipped cream or ice-cream too. Definitely will make this again!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you! Glad you didn’t even need the extra caramel and yes would be great with ice cream or whipped topping. Great to hear it came out nicely as GF!

    2. 5 stars
      Made this! All I can say it needs 10 stars! So delicious. Picture it gone. Also, it turned out just like your photo. Beautiful desert.

      1. My site isn’t equipped to add pictures to the comments but that’s wonderful your cake turned out just like my pics!

  3. Great idea! I made it tonight and was so happy to be able to use an entire bunch of overripe bananas. I guess I needed to cook it longer, because the bananas were still very soft and goopy. I was hoping they’d be more like candy. Still, delicious. Thanks!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and it’s hard to tell with bananas sometimes how long to cook them, and in this case, they’re upside down and hidden from view so it’s a blind guess. When I make this cake I use ripe bananas, but not OVER ripe, because the softer they are, the trickier it can be baking with them without them being mushy but sounds like the cake was delicious and you’re happy :)

  4. You always have the best recipes! I’ve made several of them and they’ve always come out great. I got a new cast iron skillet and wanted to bake something in it because I’ve never used a cast iron skillet for baking. I made your Pineapple Upside Down Cake in it and it came out beautiful and yummy! I have had people tell that the your Cream Cheese Filled Banana Bread is the best banana bread they’ve ever had! I can’t wait to try the Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I’m glad it came out great for you in a cast iron skillet! And thanks for all the compliments! So glad that the c.c. banana bread has gotten such rave reviews, too! Wonderful to hear :)

  5. Well, I’ve made the banana upside down cake again for a birthday, and considering the reactions, I think I’ll be making a lot in the next year.
    I also tried the recipe with peaches. I used frozen peaches due to a severe lack of fresh peaches in my area and so I had to bake it about 20 minutes longer. I did find the peaches turned to soft and limp putting them on the side of the cake was useless. Other than that it tuned out very wonderful and my grandfather in particular loved it!

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and it’s fun to experiment with other fruits/variations and glad that overall the peaches worked for you. Fresh peaches stand up better to baking then frozen but I totally understand about it not being peach season! Glad that the cake was a hit judging by the reactions as you said!

  6. I just made the cake again and it turned out wonderful. I added a little more flour like you suggested and the resulting cake is golden, moist, and most importantly, fully baked. Everyone loved it, and I’m going to try it with peaches for my grandfather’s birthday in a few weeks. Thank you for the recipe and the help.

    1. Glad the 2nd time was a charm and that it came out great and was a big hit!

      I love the idea of peaches and how special, for your grandfather’s birthday! LMK how it goes!!

  7. I recently made this recipe, and the middle of the cake is a under-baked. I left it in longer than recommended, until the top was so dark it was almost black, but it’s still not as done as I’d like. Do you have any ideas on how to get it fully baked without it turning to charcoal? I’m definitely going to try it again, the bananas and edges of the cake were wonderful.

    1. Thanks for trying the recipe and I would suggest using a little less buttermilk/oil/sour cream or wet ingredients, and/or bumping up the flour a bit more. Basically create a less-moist dough going into the oven and that should hopefully help the situation out. Thanks for wanting to try again!

  8. Made this for my Christmas Eve dinner. Amazing! Gotta have the salted caramel sauce! Beware of lots of butter (possibly too much used in recipe?) leaking from bottom of springform pan while baking, so be sure to use foil-lined baking sheet under springform pan. Delicious! Highly recommended!

    1. The butter (if it doesn’t leak) all turns into the most decadent caramel sauce so there’s not really too much (plus you can never have too much butter…haha!) but if your springform pan is on the leaky or finicky side, this recipe could drive you bonkers. I have used this recipe with an older leakprone springform pan and had a total mess – I can totally relate! But in the right pan, it’s great! Glad you found the cake delicious and highly recommended and how nice it was your Christmas Eve cake!

  9. What a lovely cake! I’ve also had sweet buttery bananas on my mind lately. I was thinking of making banana fritters similar to the ones served in Thai restaurants. But I’m really tempted to make your cake too. I guess I’ll just have to make both. :-) I’ll let you know how it goes.

  10. I just made this for the first time and it is hands down
    my favorite upside down cake recipe.
    The cake turned out perfectly. Will definitely be trying out your other recipes!
    Thank you so much

    1. Make sure to check out the pineapple upside down cake then too! It’s one of my fave cakes I’ve EVER MADE! It’s linked in this post. So glad you loved the banana one!! :) LMK if you try other recipes!

  11. I took this cake to a friend’s house, she really liked it and so did I. The only minor issue is that it was a little too sweet for me. I might use a little less white sugar next time, but other than that, I wouldn’t change a thing! And I loved the consistency of the cake, great to use it as a base for other desserts. Thanks for a great recipe!

  12. Could this cake be any more gorgeous?! It’s 1AM and all I want is a slice of this cake along with your slushie!

  13. I had the worst memory of upside down cakes growing up. My mom was a great cook but we always had the one with canned pineapple and those super red fake cherries…I was not a fan. I made a peach, raspberry upside-down last year and it changed my mind. Who knew it could be anything you wanted? This however looks incredible!!! I will make this cake very, very soon!

  14. I just made this cake while visiting my boyfriends parents over the weekend. IT WAS AMAZING! I think it baked a tad too long, but because of how moist it was, it was perfectly ok. In fact, the edges were so crispy, I think it was a blessing in disguise! Now I want to make it in one of those lasagna or brownie pans that only makes edge pieces!

    1. Thanks for trying the cake and the first time you made it, it’s a little hard to gauge when it’s done but now you know you could maybe bake 5 mins less or so. Then again, sounds like you loved it as is! Thanks for trying the recipe & telling me you loved it!

  15. I actually find that pineapple upside down cake can be too sweet, so this is perfect!! I love bananas too.