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!!
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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. (If you’re craving classic banana cake, try this recipe instead!)
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!
Banana Bread Cake Ingredients
To make the best banana cake recipe, you’ll need:
- Unsalted butter
- Light brown sugar
- Granulated sugar
- Canola oil
- Sour cream
- Vanilla extract
- All-purpose flour
- Baking powder
- Baking soda
Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.
How to Make Banana Bread Cake
This is a straightforward recipe that anyone can prepare! Follow these simple instructions:
- 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.
- Make the banana bread batter: Simply add the ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine.
- Bake 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.
- Let cool: The cake needs to cool for at least 3 hours before inverting it.
Yes, I’m sure you can double this banana upside down cake recipe and bake it in a 9×13-inch pan.
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.
The recipe uses oil rather than butter, so there’s nothing to cream and no mixer to dirty. Oil also keeps quick breads and cakes softer and springier than butter.
You should be fine to make this banana bread cake up to 2 days in advance. After that, the cake will begin drying out and I wouldn’t recommend serving to guests.
Tips for Making Banana Bread Cake
Banana slices: 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.
Caramel sauce: 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.
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- 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)
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350F. Line an 8×8-inch pan with heavy duty aluminum foil, spray with cooking spray; set aside.
- 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 30 to 45 seconds. Pour sauce into prepared pan.
- 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.
- To a large bowl, add the the egg, sugars, oil, sour cream, vanilla, and whisk to combine.
- Add the bananas and stir to combine.
- Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and stir until just combined; don’t overmix.
- 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.
- 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.
Make the Topping:
Make the Cake:
- 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.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 409Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 9gCholesterol: 52mgSodium: 177mgCarbohydrates: 60gFiber: 2gSugar: 43gProtein: 3g
More Easy Banana Cake Recipes:
Caramelized Banana Upside-Down Cake — Have ripe bananas? This cake has their name all over it! Dripping with rich, buttery, caramel sauce!
Slow Cooker Banana 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.
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! Now you know what to do with all your ripe bananas!!
Banana Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting – The BEST banana cake recipe because it’s soft, tender, moist, and bursting with banana flavor thanks to the 4 bananas used! Tangy-yet-sweet cream cheese frosting takes this cake over the top and makes it a guaranteed family FAVORITE! Fast and easy to make!
Glazed Banana Zucchini Cake — With sweet vanilla pudding mix, ripe bananas, and grated zucchini, this cake is fall-apart soft and tender. It’s a snap to make with just a whisk, one bowl, and is ready to be baked in just minutes!
Spiced Banana Apple Cake — Apple cake meets banana bread with a to-die-for glaze! Best ever!