Upside-Down Banana Bread 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!!

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!!

Easy 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.

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.

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 quick breads softer and springier than butter, and sour cream (or Greek yogurt) is extra insurance for a soft, springy, moist cake.

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 banana upside down 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!!

What’s in Banana Bread Cake? 

To make the best banana cake recipe, you’ll need:

  • Unsalted butter
  • Light brown sugar
  • Bananas
  • Egg
  • Granulated sugar
  • Canola oil
  • Sour cream
  • Vanilla extract
  • All-purpose flour
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Salt

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!!

How to Make Upside-Down Banana Bread Cake

You’ll first need to make the caramelized banana topping. Add the butter and brown sugar to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Then, pour into the bottom of an 8×8-inch baking dish and lay banana slices on top in an even layer.

From there, it’s as simple as whisking together the banana bread batter like you normally would and then baking the cake. 

This banana bread cake needs to bake until it’s set in the center and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean or with a few moist crumbs but no batter. It then needs to cool for at least 3 hours before inverting it. 

Can I Double This Recipe? 

Yes, I’m sure you can double this banana upside down cake recipe and bake it in a 9×13-inch pan. 

Can I Freeze Upside-Down Banana Bread Cake? 

No, this isn’t a cake I’d recommend freezing. The banana slices on top of the cake turn black once frozen, and when you thaw the cake the texture is off. 

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!!

Tips for Making Banana Bread Cake

When slicing the bananas for the topping, I recommend slicing them on the thicker side otherwise they’ll ‘disappear’ into the sauce as the cake bakes.

Note that in the final moments of baking I noticed the caramel sauce mixture bubbling up around the sides of my pan. Be sure to watch your pan so nothing bubbles over, or place your pan on top of a baking sheet in the final moments.

For easier cleanup, I recommend lining your baking dish with aluminum foil before pouring the caramel topping into it. If you line with foil, it’s also much easier to lift cake out with the foil overhang, place a cutting board on top of cake, and invert.

Upside-Down Banana Bread 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!!

Yield: 9
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Cooling Time 3 hours
Total Time 4 hours

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

Instructions

    1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.

    Make the Topping:

    1. 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.
    2. Once butter has melted, allow mixture to come to a boil and boil for about 30 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.

    Make the Cake:

    1. To a large bowl, add the the egg, sugars, oil, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
    2. Add the bananas and stir to combine.
    3. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
    4. 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.
    5. 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.

Notes

  • Note: 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.
  • Cake will keep airtight at room temp for up to 1 week.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

9

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 177mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 2gSugar: 43gProtein: 3g

More Banana Desserts:

ALL OF MY BANANA BREAD 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!

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 Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookie Bars — A FAST and EASY dessert that is on the HEALTHIER side with only 1/4 cup butter and no oil!! Bold banana flavor, chewiness from the oats, and plenty of chocolate in every bite!!

Banana Cream Pie Bars – Faster and easier than making a banana cream pie and taste AMAZING!! A crunchy crust, tender banana slices, luscious banana pudding, and creamy whipped topping make these layered pie bars WINNERS!!

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!!!

Slow Cooker Banana Bread Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce — The banana bread is soft, tender, full of rich banana flavor, and the sauce that forms while the bread bakes is pure caramely heaven.

Banana Bread Pudding – Bread pudding meets banana bread in this EASY breakfast or brunch recipe that everyone will LOVE!! Firmer exterior with a custardy interior and an amazing vanilla sauce that is to-die-for!!

27 comments on “Upside-Down Banana Bread Cake”

  1. Do you think I could double the recipe for a 9 by 13” pan?

  2. Would this cake taste good if I froze it after baking? TIA

    • This isn’t a cake I would freeze because of the actual bananas on the top of it. They turn black-ish after being frozen. I would either make banana bread OR make another type of cake – this one isn’t the best choice for freezing.

  3. Came out perfect

  4. If I have to bake this in a 9×9 pan, how should I adjust the recipe/baking temperature and time?

  5. 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.

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

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

  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. 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!

  10. 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.

  11. Hey girl this looks really yummy!

  12. 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. 

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

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

  15. 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!

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