My family has a long held affinity for chocolate-banana ANYTHING and wrapping those two into a tender, moist upside down cake, well, it’s positively swoon-worthy. I made this cake before the holidays and even posted the image on Instagram but like many things on my pre-Christmas to-do list, posting the recipe here fell by the wayside. Two plus months later and more than a few deep breaths, I’m dusting off that to-do list, rolling up my sleeves and digging in.
Two things topping my list: posting this cake recipe and cleaning off my office desk. The latter is way more time consuming, not nearly as much fun and clearly not as delicious so that task might take some time. While I conquer my dusty, file-cluttered desk, one section at a time, I give you this deeply chocolaty, banana-caramel topped gem of a cake. It’s amazing to me how a simple-to-make, single layer cake can pack so many flavors and be so incredibly satisfying to eat anytime of day.
Coming soon: Brown Butter Cake Bites, Creamy Lemon Tart, Updated Brownie Chocolate Chip Double Deckers and a fruit topped tart to welcome Spring.
Happy March everyone and remember that Everyday is a great day for baking!
Banana Chocolate Upside Down Cake
Serves 8 to 10.
Nonstick cooking spray or softened butter, for preparing the pan
For the topping
3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz./ 149 g) firmly packed brown sugar
5 Tbs. (2 1/2 oz./71 g) unsalted butter
2 medium, ripe bananas
For the cake
1 1/3 cups (6 oz./170 g) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 1/2 oz./42 g) unsweetened natural cocoa powder, sifted if lumpy
3/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. table salt
10 Tbs. (5 oz./142 g) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (7 oz./198 g) granulated sugar
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (80 ml) buttermilk, at room temperature
Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 350°F. Lightly grease the sides of one 9 x 2-inch round cake pan.
Make the topping
- In a small saucepan, combine the brown sugar and the butter. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until the butter is melted and the mixture is smooth. Bring to a boil and pour into the prepared pan, swirling to coat the bottom evenly.
- Peel the bananas and cut on an angle into 1/2-inch thick slices. Scatter the slices evenly over the caramel.
Make the cake
- Put the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl and whisk until blended. Put the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or in a large bowl using an electric handheld mixer fitted with wire beaters) and beat on medium speed until well blended and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and continue beating on medium-high speed until fluffy and lighter in color, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating briefly after each addition. Add the vanilla along with the last egg. Add half of the flour mixture and mix on low speed until just blended. Add the buttermilk and mix until just blended. Add the remaining flour and, using a silicone spatula, gently fold until just blended. Spoon large dollops of the batter over the bananas and topping and spread in an even layer.
- Bake until a pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 42 to 45 minutes. Immediately run a paring knife around the inside edge of the pan. Set a flat serving plate with a slight lip around the edge on top of the pan and, using pot holders, grip the pan and the plate and invert. Let the inverted pan rest for about 5 minutes to let the topping settle. Gently lift off the pan and set aside to cool. Serve the cake warm or room temperature.