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Banana Upside-Down Cake

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close up overhead shot of a Banana Upside-Down Cake on a cake stand
This moist and gooey banana upside down cake is a great way to use up a bunch of ripe bananas.
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Table of Contents
  1. Banana Upside Down Cake Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Banana Upside Down Cake Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE
  7. More Dessert Recipes

Sweet, gooey, and delicious, everyone will go bananas for the moist texture of this banana upside-down cake. The upside-down cake recipe features a brown sugar-glazed banana topping over top of a sweet banana cake.

For more banana-y cakes to make at home, take a look at our banana pudding cake and this Southern-style banana split cake.

close up shot of a Banana Upside-Down Cake on a cake stand

Banana Upside Down Cake Ingredients

Banana Upside-Down Cake raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Topping

  • ⅔ cup of packed brown sugar
  • 5 tablespoons of salted butter, melted
  • 3 medium bananas, sliced into ⅓-inch slices

For the Cake

  • 1½ cups of all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon of baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon of baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup of brown sugar
  • ¼ cup of granulated sugar
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed (about 1¼ cups)
  • ½ cup of buttermilk
  • 1½ teaspoons of vanilla extract
  • ⅓ cup of oil
  • 2 eggs

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

BAKING SODA AND BAKING POWDER: These are two different things. It’s possible to make this recipe if you only have one, but you need to know that baking soda is three times as powerful as baking powder and substitute accordingly. If you’re using only baking soda (in place of powder), you’ll also need to add a squeeze of lemon juice to activate it.

BUTTERMILK: You can substitute buttermilk for regular milk, you’ll just need to add a teaspoon of lemon juice or vinegar.

COCONUT AND PINEAPPLE: For a tropical twist on this classic banana upside-down cake, add some flaked coconut and some canned pineapple chunks to the mixture.

ALCOHOL: Give your cake an extra warming flavor by adding a splash of bourbon, whiskey, dark rum, or banana liqueur

How To Make This Banana Upside Down Cake Recipe

STEP ONE: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9×2-inch round cake pan.

OUR RECIPE DEVELOPER SAYS

The pan must hold eight cups in volume. Don’t use an 8x8x1½-inch square pan, as this only holds six cups and it will overflow.

STEP TWO: First, make the topping. As this is an upside-down cake, the topping will sit at the bottom of the pan. Combine the brown sugar and melted butter in a bowl. When it’s well mixed, pour into the pan and spread out in an even layer with a rubber spatula. Place banana slices directly on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

banana slices placed on top of the butter and brown sugar mixture in a cake pan

STEP THREE: In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and ground cinnamon.

dry ingredients combined in a bowl

STEP FOUR: In a separate mixing bowl, add the brown sugar, sugar, mashed banana, buttermilk, vanilla extract, oil, and eggs. Use an electric mixer at medium speed to beat and combine.

wet ingredients blended together in a bowl

STEP FIVE: Add half of the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and mix together with a spoon. Add the remaining dry ingredients and stir until no white streaks of flour remain.

PRO TIP:

Don’t overmix the batter or your cake will be tough and rubbery.

dry ingredients folded into the wet ingredients

STEP SIX: Pour the cake batter over the top of the sliced bananas. Spread evenly in the pan.

batter placed on top of the banana slices in a cake pan

STEP SEVEN: Place into the preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes.

cake after being baked in a cake pan

STEP EIGHT: Remove from the oven and insert a toothpick into the cake to check if it’s done. If it’s done, the toothpick will come out clean. If it’s not done, put it back into the oven for a further three minutes and check again.

STEP NINE: Let the cake cool in the pan for five to seven minutes. To remove from the pan, place a large serving dish on the top of the pan and flip the cake over. Serve warm on its own or with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

cake flipped over so the banana slices are on the top

How To Serve

This amazing cake is divine on its own but you can add a dollop of whipped cream and a scoop of our no-churn vanilla ice cream for an extra decadent dessert. This cake is sure to impress with its beautiful layer of bananas on top and would be a perfect choice to serve to guests at a dinner party.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Banana upside-down cake can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days. You can eat it cold, but we recommend microwaving it for 30 seconds before serving.

IN THE FREEZER: To freeze this cake for up to three months, you should wrap each piece in plastic wrap or foil and then place them into an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the fridge, before warming in the microwave.

close up shot of a Banana Upside-Down Cake on a cake stand with a slice being removed with a spatula

We’re sure that you’ll love this banana upside-down cake recipe. Whether you make the classic version or add tropical fruit and liquor, this moist and flavorsome dessert is one that you’ll want to make again and again.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Can I use a square cake pan for this recipe?

This easy recipe needs to be made in a cake pan that holds 8 cups whereas most 8×8-inch square pans only hold 6 cups and you will end up with overflow.

How do I flip the cake without making a mess?

Let your cake cool in the pan on a cooling rack for about 5 to 7 minutes, then lay a flat serving plate upside down over the top of the cake pan. Carefully flip the cake over onto the plate. Bang on the bottom of the pan for good measure, then lift the pan off.

Can I freeze upside-down cake?

If you have any leftovers of this delicious cake, you can wrap individual slices in plastic wrap and then store them in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 months.

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close up overhead shot of a Banana Upside-Down Cake on a cake stand

Banana Upside Down Cake

5 from 59 votes
This moist and gooey banana upside down cake is a great way to use up a bunch of ripe bananas.
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

Topping

  • cup brown sugar, packed
  • 5 tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 3 bananas, sliced into ⅓-inch slices

Cake

  • cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 3 medium bananas, mashed (about 1¼ cup)
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • cup oil
  • 2 eggs

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease 9×2-inch round cake pan.

Topping

  • Combine brown sugar and butter in a bowl. Stir together and then pour into the round cake pan. Spread out evenly with a rubber spatula. Place banana slices directly on top of the butter and sugar mixture.

Cake

  • In a separate mixing bowl, combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, a pinch of salt, and ground cinnamon. Whisk to combine.
  • In another separate mixing bowl, add brown sugar, sugar, mashed banana, buttermilk, vanilla extract, oil, and eggs. Use a hand mixer to beat and combine.
  • Add half of the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and use a spoon to start incorporating. Add the remaining dry ingredients and completely incorporate until no white streaks of flour remain. Don't overmix the batter or your cake will be tough and rubbery.
  • Pour batter over the top of the sliced bananas. Spread evenly in the pan.
  • Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes. Check with a toothpick to make sure the cake is done in the middle and the toothpick is clean when checked. Cook for an additional 3 minutes, or until the toothpick comes clean.
  • Let cool in the pan for 5 to 7 minutes. Place a large serving dish on the top of the pan and flip the cake over so that the bananas are on the top of the cake on the serving plate.
  • Serve warm and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • The pan must hold eight cups in volume. Don’t use an 8x8x1½-inch square pan, as this only holds six cups and it will overflow.
  • Don’t overmix the batter or your cake will be tough and rubbery.

Nutrition

Calories: 737kcal | Carbohydrates: 112g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 31g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 82mg | Sodium: 249mg | Potassium: 656mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 74g | Vitamin A: 483IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 128mg | Iron: 2mg
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  1. Valerie says

    Hi! How would I change the measurements of the ingredients, particularly the baking powder and baking soda, if I were to only make half of what the recipe says? (I only have a small 6.5″ pan.)

    • Layne Kangas says

      Hi, Valerie – if you click the print option on the recipe card, you can reduce the servings amount to half and it will automatically adjust the measurements for you. Enjoy!

  2. William Young says

    I made this scrumptious recipe today with some bananas that almost turned liquidfied on my counter. Came out perfect. Delicious. Really smelled good while baking. Will make again and again. Thank you for your wonderful recipe indeed. 👍

  3. Christine says

    5 stars
    Just made this today. Amazing! No extra toppings needed. Used 3 bananas that I had thawed from the freezer. 2 large fresh bananas for the top. Will definitely make again.

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