Upside-Down Banana Bread Cake

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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. (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!

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!!

Banana Bread Cake Ingredients

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

Note: Scroll down to the recipe card section of the post for the ingredients with amounts included and for more complete directions.

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 Banana Bread Cake

This is a straightforward recipe that anyone can prepare! Follow these simple instructions:

  1. 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.
  2. Make the banana bread batter: Simply add the ingredients to a bowl and whisk to combine.
  3. 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.
  4. Let cool: The cake needs to cool for at least 3 hours before inverting it. 
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!!

Recipe FAQs

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 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. 

Why use oil vs butter in cake?

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.

Can this cake be made in advance?

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.

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

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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4.42 from 36 votes

Banana Bread Cake

By Averie Sunshine
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!!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Cooling Time: 3 hours
Total Time: 4 hours
Servings: 9
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Ingredients  

Topping

  • ½ 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
  • ½ cup light brown sugar, packed
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup canola or vegetable oil, liquid-state coconut oil may be substituted
  • ¼ 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
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Instructions 

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

Make the 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 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.

Make the Cake:

  • 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.

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

Serving: 1, Calories: 409kcal, Carbohydrates: 60g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 18g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 52mg, Sodium: 177mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 43g

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

More Easy Banana Cake Recipes:

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!

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.

Overhead picture of Slow Cooker Banana Bread Cake with Brown Sugar Sauce 

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!!

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!

Best 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!

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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




Comments

    1. 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.

    1. I’m not sure since I’ve only made the recipe as written. But I would not change the temp, only the time.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

    1. 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!

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

    1. 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.

  5. 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. 

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

  7. 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!