Caramel Banana Upside-Down Cake

By Shiran

Moist sour cream cake topped with bananas and a thick caramel sauce. The cake is made upside-down, then flipped over after baking.

Caramel Banana Upside Down Cake | prettysimplesweet.com

Since we’re talking about bananas and caramel today, I hope you realize just how good this cake is!

Caramel Banana Upside Down Cake | prettysimplesweet.com

You know the traditional pineapple upside-down cake, right? I’ve basically replaced the fruit for a whole new flavor! Goodbye pineapple, hello banana! It’s not that I don’t love pineapples, because I basically love all food, but I really, REALLY love bananas – especially when they’re combined with caramel.

Caramel Banana Upside Down Cake | prettysimplesweet.com

When making this cake with pineapple, it always looks beautiful and impressive. Unfortunately, bananas prove harder to make quite as attractive. For this reason, I chose to bake this cake in a loaf pan. I’ve found that if you cut the bananas in half lengthwise, then cut each half into 2-3 pieces widthwise, it looks perfect and symmetrical.

This cake requires three simple steps. First, you need to make the caramel by combining butter and brown sugar in a saucepan and simmering for 3 minutes. Next, cut the bananas and place them upside-down in the pan, like this:

Caramel Banana Upside Down Cake | prettysimplesweet.com

The last step is to make the cake batter. I like to use sour cream for a slight tanginess in sweet cakes, and this cake is sweet 😉 Pour the batter gently over the bananas and caramel, and smooth the top.
While baking, the caramel will thicken and become sticky.

Caramel Banana Upside Down Cake | prettysimplesweet.com

Let the cake cool for five minutes before inverting it onto a plate. If you wait too long, the caramel will stick to the pan, and if you invert it right away, the caramel will be too hot and the whole thing will become one big mess. 5 minutes seems to be the magic number. The caramel might drizzle down the sides of the cake, and… Oh boy, I’m getting hungry! Good thing I have Nutella muffins baking in my oven right now. And no, I don’t have any more leftovers from this banana cake. Do you really think it would stay around for so long?

Caramel Banana Upside Down Cake | prettysimplesweet.com

Let the cake cool completely so the caramel will set. Don’t be impatient like I was. You’re better than that.

 

Caramel Banana Upside-Down Cake
Yields: one standard (9×5-inch) loaf pan
 

Moist sour cream cake topped with bananas and a thick caramel sauce. The cake is made upside-down, then flipped over after baking.
Ingredients
Banana Topping:
  • ¼ cup (1/2 stick or 50 g) butter
  • ½ cup (100 g/3.5 oz) light or dark brown sugar
  • 2 bananas, peeled
Cake:
  • 1½ cups (200 g/7 oz) all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup (1 stick or 115 g) butter, softened
  • 1 cup (200 grams/7 oz) granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup plus 2 tablespoons sour cream

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan.
  2. Make the banana topping: Melt butter in a small deep heavy saucepan over medium heat. Once it starts to bubble, add sugar and let simmer for 3 minutes until thick and smooth. Pour into prepared pan.
  3. Cut bananas in half lengthwise and, depending on the size of the bananas and pan, cut each half into 2 or 3 pieces widthwise. Place bananas over caramel, cut side down.
  4. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  5. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter and sugar for 2-3 minutes until light and fluffy. Occasionally scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. On medium speed, add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in vanilla extract. On low speed, beat in the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating it with the sour cream in 2 additions, starting and ending with the flour. Do not over mix.
  6. Pour batter carefully into pan over bananas and smooth the top. Bake for 40 – 50 minutes or until golden and a skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Let the cake cool for exactly 5 minutes on a wire rack, then invert it onto a plate and let cool completely.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature. Store cake in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

47 Comments on Caramel Banana Upside-Down Cake

  1. Anne
    June 16, 2014 at 11:00 am (2 years ago)

    Looks delightful Shiran!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 16, 2014 at 6:41 pm (2 years ago)

      Thank you Anne! 🙂

      Reply
  2. dina
    June 16, 2014 at 10:18 pm (2 years ago)

    it looks delicious!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 17, 2014 at 11:33 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Dina 🙂

      Reply
  3. Lilli @ sugar and cinnamon
    June 17, 2014 at 12:08 am (2 years ago)

    Wow this cake looks absolutely delicious! Banana and caramel are a match made in heaven 🙂

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 17, 2014 at 11:33 am (2 years ago)

      Yes they are! Thanks Lilli 🙂

      Reply
  4. Nicole ~ Cooking for Keeps
    June 17, 2014 at 2:31 am (2 years ago)

    My husband just looked over my shoulder and saw this, and asked why we weren’t eating it! 🙂 Looks sooooo good!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 17, 2014 at 11:34 am (2 years ago)

      You should make this then! Your husband will thank you 🙂

      Reply
  5. Svetlana
    June 17, 2014 at 10:01 am (2 years ago)

    This looks divine and just in time for some bananas I have on the counter. Thank you, I hope to attempt this with the same perfect result soon. x

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 17, 2014 at 11:32 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Svetlana! I can’t wait for you to try it! I’m sure it would turn out delicious! 🙂

      Reply
      • Svetlana
        June 17, 2014 at 6:01 pm (2 years ago)

        Just had my first slice and I’m contemplating whether to share any of it or not…. it’s so good ! Thank you again 🙂 I’ll definitely come back to this recipe.

        Reply
        • Shiran
          June 17, 2014 at 6:24 pm (2 years ago)

          I’m so glad to hear that! Thank you so much for taking the time to write me how it turned out! 🙂

          Reply
  6. Jess
    June 17, 2014 at 5:34 pm (2 years ago)

    This looks so delicious! Love upside down cakes!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 17, 2014 at 6:24 pm (2 years ago)

      Thanks Jess!

      Reply
    • Shiran
      June 18, 2014 at 7:48 am (2 years ago)

      Thanks Lindsay 🙂

      Reply
  7. Gina
    June 18, 2014 at 4:04 pm (2 years ago)

    I am wondering if you could make this in a round pan and layer it? and instead of lenghth wise bananas cut them into coins what do you think ?

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 18, 2014 at 7:24 pm (2 years ago)

      Hi Gina! You can definitely make this cake in a round pan! Use same quantities of ingredients for a 8-inch round pan. You can even use a 9-inch pan, but the cake will be less tall. You can cut the bananas into coins or do the same as I suggested. Both options are great! You’ll probably need more bananas though 🙂

      Reply
  8. Gina
    June 19, 2014 at 7:08 pm (2 years ago)

    ok i tweeked it a bit I hope thats ok I added chocolate and peanutbutter and made it in a 9 in pan I will try to post a pic later just popped in the oven now

    Reply
    • Shiran
      June 19, 2014 at 10:13 pm (2 years ago)

      Gina, I’ve just seen the photo you posted and the cake looks great!! I like it round!

      Reply
  9. Florence
    August 5, 2014 at 4:04 am (2 years ago)

    Hi Shiran,

    First off let me say how pretty (delicious!) your cake looks. I tried to make this cake over the weekend and while the cake itself tasted pretty good, I had some problems with actually baking it.

    The caramel seemed to bubble up from the bottom and spill over the sides onto the bottom of the oven so once the cake was baked, there was very little caramel left. Also, the bananas the next day turned a purple-ley colour.

    I can’t figure out what I did wrong! If you could give me some insight it’d be great 🙂 Love the blog btw

    Reply
    • Shiran
      August 5, 2014 at 8:41 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Florence! What a lovely name you have 🙂 Thanks for the compliments, I appreciate that! I’m sorry to hear about the little disaster you had in your oven, baking can be tricky 🙂 I’ve made this cake twice now and it didn’t happen to me so I’m not sure exactly what went wrong. But – I can think about a few things. First, the oven might be too hot which causes the caramel to bubble – this can be solved by trying to lower the temperature to 325F and bake the cake for a longer time. Also, this cake batter is pretty moist and delicate, which might cause the bananas or caramel to bubble up through it. You can try use less liquid (sour cream) next time without changing anything else in the recipe. Start with 1/3 cup sour cream and add more as needed, until the consistency of the batter is pourable but thick and heavy. The cake will be a bit less moist, but the batter will be heavy enough to keep the caramel at the bottom. Hope this helps! 🙂

      Reply
      • Florence
        August 5, 2014 at 7:09 pm (2 years ago)

        Thank you, I’ll definitely try baking it at a lower temperature. I also think that my loaf tin itself may have been a little too small? I loved the cake batter though, very dense and moist! Yummo! Thanks for the insight 🙂

        Reply
        • Shiran
          August 6, 2014 at 7:21 am (2 years ago)

          No Problem! Sure, the size of the pan may also have an impact. I love this cake batter too! Don’t worry, it will be delicious and moist even if you use less sour cream.

          Reply
  10. Kate
    November 22, 2014 at 9:23 pm (2 years ago)

    What a wonderfully delicious recipe! Thanks so much for sharing. I actually tried this tonight but couldn’t past the first step. I tried three different times to makes the caramel but it never “came together.” Each time, the butter either stubbornly remained as a separate layer or when I poured it into the loaf pan it hardened to a toffee. I’d love any suggestions. Dying to try this, and I’d be thrilled to get it half as lovely looking as yours!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      November 23, 2014 at 10:39 am (2 years ago)

      Hi Kate! Thank you for the kind words!
      Do you have a small heavy-bottomed saucepan? It would work best here. About he process: First you need to melt the butter. Make sure the heat is moderate throughout the entire process. Once the butter has melted, add the sugar and whisk occasionally, until mixture is bubbling and sugar is completely dissolved. Boil it just a bit more, whisking occasionally, until it thickens. If the butter separates, just keep whisking the mixture vigorously until emulsified again. Next time, you probably need to either cook the mixture for less time, moderate the heat, or use a different saucepan. Hope it works out next time, let me know if it doesn’t!

      Reply
      • Kate
        November 25, 2014 at 6:45 pm (2 years ago)

        Thanks so much for the reply. I’ll give it another go! In the meantime, I’m enjoying some delicious hard toffee haha. 😉

        Reply
        • Shiran
          November 26, 2014 at 11:02 am (2 years ago)

          You’re welcome Kate, and I hope that next time you’ll enjoy some soft toffee 😉

          Reply
  11. Chrissy
    December 30, 2014 at 3:52 am (2 years ago)

    this turned out brilliantly. I had a couple of left over egg yolks so added them to the recipe. And I used gluten free flour and dairy free spread and had a fantastic result. The taste was great. Thanks for such a fantastic recipe

    Reply
    • Shiran
      December 31, 2014 at 11:57 am (2 years ago)

      I always like to hear how different variations, such as gluten free, turn out. Thank you so much for sharing and I’m glad you enjoyed it!

      Reply
  12. Sheryl
    April 8, 2015 at 2:55 pm (1 year ago)

    I added 1 teaspoon of cinnamon to both the topping and the cake…was so good with a cup of coffee!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      April 9, 2015 at 7:15 am (1 year ago)

      I’m so glad you like it, Sheryl! Thank you for sharing 🙂

      Reply
  13. Nichole
    April 9, 2015 at 1:42 pm (1 year ago)

    I just found this recipe on Pinterest! I have some ripe bananas in the freezer and can’t wait to make this cake!

    Thank you!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      April 9, 2015 at 2:41 pm (1 year ago)

      You would love it, Nichole! It’s amazing! 🙂

      Reply
  14. Maria
    April 29, 2015 at 2:11 pm (1 year ago)

    I have just made two caramel banana upside down cakes and my kitchen smells heavenly. I plan to take the one to work tomorrow morning, would it be fine if I left it in a sealed plastic container but I do not refrigerate?

    Reply
    • Shiran
      April 29, 2015 at 5:25 pm (1 year ago)

      Hi Maria! Sure, it would be fine, you can either refrigerate it or leave it at room temperature. Both options are fine. Enjoy! 🙂

      Reply
  15. Emily
    May 29, 2015 at 2:12 pm (1 year ago)

    i just got done baking this and I have to say this cake is amazing!!!! SO GOOD. I think I will be eating this everyday for the rest of my life 🙂 thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      May 31, 2015 at 3:40 am (1 year ago)

      That’s great, Emily! Thanks for the sweet comment 🙂

      Reply
  16. Janelle
    July 13, 2015 at 6:59 pm (1 year ago)

    I just pulled this out of the oven! I think I overcooked my caramel sauce a smidge because it was a little chunky on the bottom of the loaf pan. And when I inverted some of my bananas stayed on the bottom of the pan, but no biggie, they weren’t stuck, I put them back where they were supposed to be. Me and my 3 yr old are waiting for it to cool so we can have a slice before dinner! I’ll come back and tell you how we liked it!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      July 16, 2015 at 1:14 pm (1 year ago)

      I hope you liked it, Janelle! Upside-down cakes get get messy sometimes, but they are delicious! 🙂 Next time, you can line the bottom of the cake pan with parchment paper, and then peel it off after inverting the cake, that way it won’t stick to the bottom!

      Reply
  17. Rotem
    November 30, 2015 at 5:56 pm (10 months ago)

    I made this cake today. It didnt turn out beautiful like yours but very tasty so who cares:-)
    Thanks for the recipe!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      December 1, 2015 at 4:30 am (10 months ago)

      My first cake didn’t look so good either! It takes practice 🙂 Thank you for your comment, Rotem!

      Reply
  18. Carol
    March 31, 2016 at 3:55 pm (6 months ago)

    Have you tried this with other fruit? I am thinking pineapple or peach. I like the size of this cake since it is just me and my hubby these days. We can never finish a full size cake. Thanks for the recipe.

    Reply
    • Shiran
      April 2, 2016 at 12:27 pm (6 months ago)

      I haven’t tried it but I’m guessing you can 🙂 Also, here’s my recipe for a great pineapple upside down cake.

      Reply
  19. Jill
    September 5, 2016 at 5:20 pm (3 weeks ago)

    I made this last night for a dinner party and it was a huge hit! The only changes I made were to add a tablespoon or so of cinnamon into the batter and a little salt into the toffee. Will definitely make again (maybe with double the toffee to pour on top when serving). Thanks so much!!!

    Reply
    • Shiran
      September 7, 2016 at 4:55 am (3 weeks ago)

      Cinnamon and salted caramel sound delicious! Thank you for your comment, Jill 🙂

      Reply

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