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Homemade Banana Upside Down Cake is packed full of bananas! From the slices of banana that caramelize in the butter and brown sugar, to the mashed banana inside the cake. Flip this cake over (upside down) for a beautiful showstopper dessert.
Be sure and also try this Pineapple Upside Down Cake. Same idea but made with pineapple and cherries.
Banana Upside Down Cake Recipe
This fun banana dessert is made ‘upside down’ and then flipped over to reveal caramelized bananas in butter and brown sugar. It’s a showstopper dessert that is so impressive!
Homemade banana cake bakes on top of a buttery brown sugar banana layer. As it bakes, the bananas caramelize and provide this wonderful crunchy sweet texture.
My family loves this served with a dollop of whipped cream or some vanilla bean ice cream.
- Caramelized Banana Layer
- Melted Butter – I use salted butter.
- Light Brown Sugar
- 2 Bananas – Slice the bananas. For a fun look slice them diagonally.
- Banana Cake
- Oil – Canola or vegetable oil are the best choices.
- Granulated Sugar + Light Brown Sugar
- Large Eggs
- Vanilla Extract
- All-Purpose Flour
- Baking Powder
- Salt – I use kosher salt or sea salt when baking.
- Whole Milk or Half & Half – The higher the fat the better. These are the two best options for the milk needed in this recipe.
- Mashed Banana – You need 1 cup mashed banana which is about equal to 2 small bananas or 1.5 medium sized bananas.
How To Make Homemade Banana Upside Down Cake
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a round 9-inch cake pan with cooking spray or Baker’s Joy spray.
- Pour the melted butter into the round cake pan. Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly around on top of the butter. Arrange the banana slices over the brown sugar in a single layer covering the entire base of the pan. Set the pan aside.
- In a mixing bowl using an electric hand mixer, or you can use a stand mixer, beat the oil, sugar, and brown sugar until combined and fluffy looking.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat just until incorporated.
- In a smaller separate bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix on low speed until almost combined.
- Add in the milk and mashed banana, and continue mixing on low speed just until combined. Don’t over mix this batter.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan over top the banana slices. Some of the butter might come up to the top from the sides, and that’s ok.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean or with moist crumbs. If the top is getting too browned, loosely lay a piece of foil over top the cake pan for the last 15 minutes or so of the bake time.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it cool down in the warm cake pan for about 20 minutes. Run a thin knife around the edge of the cake and place a plate or platter, upside down, over the cake and flip it. Tap the pan and the cake should release. Take the cake pan off and reveal the upside down banana cake with the banana slices on top now.
FAQ’s + Expert Tips
- Banana Tip : The mashed bananas for the cake can come from ripe, browned bananas but it’s best to use yellow bananas (that are not yet over ripe and browned) for the banana slices on top of the brown sugar and butter mixture. You want the banana slices to be soft and ripe but still firm. Kind of like the type of banana that many people prefer to eat – yellow and ripe, but not super soft and brown.
- Serving Suggestions : This banana cake is so good served with a dollop of whipped cream (homemade or from a spray can) or vanilla bean ice cream for a richer dessert. The cake can also be eaten slightly warm or at room temperature. Even the cold leftovers from the fridge were delicious!
- How To Slice The Bananas : In the pictures it shows the bananas in diagonal slices. That works or you can just slice them regular into the coin shape. You will need about 2-3 bananas (sliced) to cover the bottom of the round cake pan. It just depends on how big or small the bananas are that you’re using.
- Mixing Tip : Careful not to over mix the batter once you add the eggs and the dry ingredients. Over beating the eggs can cause the cake to not rise properly. Only mix, on low speed, just until the eggs are incorporated into the batter. Same thing for the dry ingredients, only mix on low speed just until the flour is incorporated and there are no more streaks of flour in the batter.
- Texture & Flavor Notes : The texture of this cake is a light, rich tasting, moist cake with slightly crispy edges and topping from the caramelized brown sugar. The flavor notes of this cake are a warm cinnamon with sweet banana, and a buttery caramelized banana topping.
How To Store Leftover Banana Upside Down Cake
Room Temperature : Cover the cake with plastic wrap and leave it on the counter for up to 2 days. The cake will start to get too soft and mushy after that.
Fridge : Make sure the cake has cooled completely. Cover the cake with plastic wrap, or place it in a container with a lid, in the fridge for up to 5 days. Enjoy the cake chilled, bring to room temperature, or warm it up in the microwave.
Freezer : Cool the cake completely and then wrap it in plastic wrap, and then again in foil. Store it in the freezer for up to 2 months. Thaw overnight in the fridge before serving.
Banana Upside Down Cake
Caramelized Banana Topping
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter melted
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2-3 yellow bananas (sliced in coin shape or diagonally)
- 1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1 cup mashed bananas (about 2 small ripe brown bananas)
- Preheat the oven to 350℉. Spray a 9-inch round cake pan with cooking spray.
- Pour the melted butter into the cake pan. Sprinkle the light brown sugar evenly on top of the melted butter. Arrange the banana slices in a single-layer making sure to cover the entire base of the pan. * Only use the amount you need (2 or 3 bananas) until the base is covered with banana slices. Don't double layer them or anything. Single layer only to cover the entire base of the cake pan.8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar, 2-3 yellow bananas
- In a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer, or use a stand mixer, add the oil, sugar, and light brown sugar and beat on medium-low speed until combined and fluffy looking.1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil, 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
- Add in the eggs and vanilla extract. Beat on low speed just until the incorporated and no more.2 large eggs, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- In a separate smaller bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt together.1½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, ½ teaspoon salt
- Dump the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients bowl and beat on low speed until it's almost mixed. Add in the mashed bananas and milk, and continue mixing on low speed just until combined and a thick batter forms.1/2 cup whole milk, 1 cup mashed bananas
- Pour the cake batter into the pan over the banana slices. It's okay if some of the butter comes up the sides of the pan.
- Bake for 45-55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean or with crumbs on it. * If the top of the cake is getting overly browned towards the end of the bake time, loosely lay a piece of foil over top the cake pan for the last 15 minutes of the bake time.
- Remove the cake from the oven and allow it to cool in the warm cake pan for 20 minutes.
- Run a thin knife around the edge of the cake and place a plate or platter on top of the cake pan, face-down over the cake. Flip it upside down and tap on the bottom of the pan to release the cake. Pull off the cake pan and it should reveal the banana slices now on top!
- Serve warm or at room temperature with a dollop of whipped cream (homemade or from a spray can) or vanilla bean ice cream. Enjoy!