Make this easy Caramelized Banana Upside down cake recipe; flavorful, moist yogurt cake topped with caramelized banana topping, perfect for the Fall! Serve it with whipped cream on top or a scoop of ice cream on the side or enjoy it as is!
📖 What is Upside Down Cake
Upside-down cake is made with a layer of fruits or nuts at the bottom of a cake pan and the cake batter on top of it. After baking, the cake is flipped over to a serving plate. Therefore, it's called "upside-down cake". This way, the layer of fruits or nuts, which was initially to be at the bottom of the cake, now becomes a beautiful topping.
There are various types of upside cakes depending on the topping. This is a "Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake" because the topping is made of caramelized banana. You can substitute the banana with pineapple or strawberries to make Pineapple upside down cake or Strawberry upside down cake. Or, why not try my Pecan Upside down cake recipe?
🌟 Why this is the best recipe
- It's easy- Baking an upside down for the first time? I've got your back! You can simply follow this detailed guide to achieve the best result! This is a super easy banana upside down cake, I promise!
- It's quick - Although the actual baking time takes about 1 hour, the preparation is easy and quick! Since it's an upside-down cake, you don't really need to bother with decoration after baking because the topping is already the decoration!
- It's simple! - This recipe is simple and you can make it with easy-to-find ingredients!
- From-scratch recipe - Sure, Banana upside down cake with cake mix might sound easier. However, it does not always taste the best. If you want to have a deliciously moist, tender cake with the best flavor, it's better to make it from scratch. This recipe is proof that you can easily make a cake without any cake mix!
- It's so delicious- Upside down banana cake with caramel sauce sounds so good, doesn't it? A deliciously moist vanilla cake topped with caramelized banana gives a wonderful flavor in a single bite. You can also serve it with fresh whipped cream or vanilla ice cream!
📝 Ingredient notes
For the Cake
- Butter - For baked goods, I recommend only using the unsalted version of butter so you can adjust the saltiness level easily. I prefer the one with 82% fat content. Make sure that the butter is soft, but not melted so you can easily mix it.
- Flour - All-purpose flour works really well for this recipe. However, if you have pastry flour or self-raising flour at home, you can use it instead. To learn more about different kinds of flour, do check out my flour guide.
- Sugar - Granulated white sugar will be the source of the sweetness of this upside down banana cake. If you want to learn more about sugars, do check out my sugar guide.
- Vanilla - The base of this caramelized banana upside down cake is vanilla cake. So, vanilla will be required in this recipe. Try your best to use pure vanilla instead of artificial vanilla extract.
- Eggs - Only use room-temperature eggs as cold ones are difficult to emulsify.
- Milk - Milk is one of the liquids in this caramel banana cake recipe. Hence, it's important to measure it carefully and not add too much of it or the consistency of the batter will change.
- Yogurt - Try your best to find either full-fat Greek yogurt or Turkish-style yogurt. Remember that the yogurt needs to be at room temperature. If it's difficult to find the yogurt, try using sour cream instead.
- Baking powder - This baking ingredient will be needed in a small amount but it will make a huge difference. It is a leavening agent which is responsible to help the cake rise. Be sure to add it in the right amount so the cake will rise nicely. If you use self-raising flour, you can skip this ingredient as the flour already contain some leavening agent.
- Salt - You will need a pinch of it to balance the overall taste of this caramelized banana upside down cake!
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
For the Banana topping
- Banana - Slice 1-2 bananas into half (horizontally). Fresh or Ripe bananas both work
- Sugar - The topping of this cake is caramelized bananas. It means that we will need to prepare some caramel which mainly consists of sugar. No, you don't need any store-bought caramel sauce. You can use either granulated white sugar or light brown sugar or both.
- Butter - This ingredient will add some creamy flavor to the caramel! Use only unsalted butter that is high in fat. I use the one with 82% fat content.
🛒 You’ll find detailed measurements for all ingredients in the printable version of the Recipe Card at the bottom of this post
👩🍳 How to make this recipe
1. Step-by-step process
Making this Caramel upside down banana cake is super easy! Measure all of the ingredients and preheat your oven to 175 C/347 F (no fan).
After that, follow these steps:
- Prepare a springform cake pan. To avoid a sticky Upside-down banana cake, grease the pan and line parchment paper on the bottom and side.
- Cut the bananas horizontally and arrange the bananas nicely at the bottom of the pan.
- Prepare the caramel. Cook sugar and butter together over medium heat. Stir well using a hand whisk.
- Pour the caramel over the banana and set it aside.
- Prepare the cake batter. In a big bowl, cream the butter and sugar using an electric hand mixer until fluffy.
- Add the vanilla and keep mixing.
- Add the room-temperature eggs to the mixture. Keep mixing with the electric hand mixer.
- In another bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder and salt. It's the "dry ingredients".
- In another new bowl, whisk yogurt and milk. Stir them really well. It will be the "wet ingredients".
- Fold in the wet ingredients and dry ingredients into the egg mixture in batches. Follow this sequence: wet, dry, wet, dry.
- Pour the batter into the cake pan (over the caramelized banana).
💡 Top Tip: Before mixing any of the ingredients, it's super important to make sure that they're all at room temperature. Cold ingredients just don't blend well and it can ruin the texture of the cake.
2. How to bake
Now that your Caramelized banana upside down cake is ready to be baked, check if your oven is ready. To do this, I recommend using a digital oven thermometer to check the interior of the oven before baking.
Then, follow these steps:
- Bake the cake batter at 175 C/347 F (no fan).
- The total baking time is 1 hour. However, don't rely on your timer Instead, focus on the texture of the cake. When it's close to the 60 minutes mark, check the cake. Carefully open the oven door. At this point, your cake should have nicely risen. Get a toothpick and insert it into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, you can take out the cake.
- Let the cake cool on a cooling rack (inside the pan).
- After that, grab a plate and flip the cake upside-down. Carefully remove the cake pan.
- If you want to make the topping super shiny, cook water and brown sugar together until it becomes syrupy then brush it over the banana top
- You can serve this gorgeous caramelized banana cake immediately, or store it at room temperature or keep it refrigerated for 2-3 days.
💡 Top Tip: After the baking process, do not remove the cake pan or flip it. Make sure to let the cake completely cool before doing so as it can easily break while hot.
🥜 Flavor variations
This Caramelized banana upside down cake is wonderful as-is! However, you can adjust the recipe to suit your personal preference!
You can modify the cake flavor and the topping!
To modify the cake flavor, you can simply add a teaspoon of a flavoring agent to the cake batter. Here are some ideas:
- cinnamon powder
- cardamom powder
- cocoa powder
- citrus zest
- ground almond
To modify the cake topping, you can simply replace the bananas with your favorite fruits or even nuts! Here are some ideas:
You can also mix both nuts and fruits in a single cake! For example, you can make Cranberry walnut upside-down cake or Pecan pineapple upside-down cake!
If you don't want too much sweetness in this banana caramel cake, you can reduce the amount of sugar in the batter. It won't be a 100% healthy banana upside down cake but it will contain fewer calories and fewer refined carbs for sure.
🥣 Equipment Notes
You will only need regular baking equipment to make this delicious cake.
First, before the baking process, you will need to measure the ingredients using a digital kitchen scale so you can achieve the most accurate measurement.
Then, to prepare the topping, you will need a hand whisk to combine to sugar and butter easily.
After that, you will need an electric hand mixer to whip the eggs and cream the butter really well. When incorporating the wet ingredients and dry ingredients, you will need a rubber spatula to avoid overmixing. Then, you will need an 8-inch/20 cm springform pan to pour the batter in.
Of course, you will need an oven. However, don't forget to check the actual oven temperature using a digital oven thermometer.
After the cake is done baking, you can let it cool down. For this purpose, use a cooling rack.
🎓 Expert tips
- Please make sure that all ingredients, including the milk, yogurt, eggs, and butter are at room temperature so they will incorporate easily.
- When preparing the caramel, cook it over medium heat. Avoid overheating or the sugar and butter might get separated. If this happens, remove the pot from the pan, stir it vigorously with a whisk, then return it back to the stove
- Greasing the pan and using parchment paper on the bottom and side of the pan will help you remove the cake easily after baking.
- You will need about 1 hour to bake this caramelized banana upside down cake. It can be slightly more or less. To make sure that the cake is ready, carefully open the oven door and insert a toothpick into the middle of the cake. If it comes out clean, the cake is ready.
- Get creative and adjust the topping to your preference! You can add some nuts or even totally replace the banana with apple, peach, or berries!
Unlike banana bread recipes that typically use overripe bananas, this cake is best when the bananas are ripe enough, but not too ripe. In this recipe, the banana will be the topping, so you want them to look nice and slightly firm after baking. For this reason, avoid using overripe bananas.
For upside-down cakes, cool the cake upside down (the way how you baked it). You want the bottom part of the cake, which will be the upside part later, to be as flat as possible. So, after the baking process, let it cool the way it was in the oven and flip it over when it is cooled.
Once the cake is completely cool, grab a serving plate and carefully flip the cake over, in this way the cake won´t break and the fruit part will be beautifully even.
For this recipe, you can prepare the caramel by cooking some sugar and butter, combining it well, and pouring it over the sliced banana. They both will be "cooked" further during the baking process, resulting in the caramelized banana topping.
You can keep it in a closed container either at room temperature (for example on your kitchen countertop) or refrigerated for 2-3 days.
Wrap this caramelized banana upside down cake with plastic wrap and aluminum foil. Then, freeze it for up to 2 months.
🍰 More Cake Recipes
Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake (VIDEO)
For the Cake
- 150 g (⅔ cups) Unsalted butter 82% fat, room temperature (soft)
- 200 g (1 cups) Granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 2 Eggs room temperature
- 110 g (½ cups) Yogurt thick full fat Greek or Turkish style yogurt at room temperature
- 45 g (⅕ cups) Whole milk room temperature
- 240 g (2 cups) All purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoon Baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
For the Caramel Banana topping
Brown sugar syrup glaze after baking (optional)
- 40 g (⅕ cups) Brown sugar
- 40 g (⅕ cups) Water
US customary cup measurement is an indicative figure only. Measure the ingredients with a digital scale by weight (gram). Baking is art but also science which requires precision and accuracy.
- Cut the bananas horizontally and place them on the bottom of the baking pan
- Heat sugar and butter and cook for 1-2 minutes over low-medium heat mixing it with a hand whisk to avoid butter separating, then pour it over the bananas and set the pan aside
- Prepare the cake by creaming soft butter and sugar with an Electric hand mixer for a good 3-5 minutes until fluffy, then add in vanilla
- Whip room temp eggs into the mixture very slowly while your Electric hand mixer is still on
- Sift dry ingredients together: flour, baking powder and salt
- Mix room temperature yogurt and room temperature milk together for a few seconds, this will be your dry ingredients
- Switch to a Rubber spatula and fold the dry ingredients and wet ingredients into the mixture in 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry
- Pour cake batter on top of the caramel banana layer
- Bake the cake for 1h at 175 C / 347 F. The cake is ready when it has a nice rise and when a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean
- Let the cake fully cool before flipping it over and removing the tin
- Optionally, cook brown sugar and water for a few minutes until the texture is syrupy, then using a pastry brush, brush the banana side of the cake with this syrup for extra shine
- Store covered at room temperature for 2-3 days
- Use always unsalted butter in desserts
- All ingredients must be at room temperature to properly emulsify: eggs, butter, yogurt, milk, etc.
- Feel free to substitute banana with apples, pears, plums
- Digital scale is required for a consistent, happy baking experience
- Worth to use parchment paper on the bottom and side as well of your pan so you can easier remove the cake when turning it upside down
- Mixing the cake batter is super quick and simple however please follow the recipe in regards to 1. every ingredient should be at room temperature 2. whisk butter and sugar until fluffy then slowly add the egg in o the mixture 3. remaining wet and dry ingredients should be added to the mixture in 4 steps: wet, dry, wet, dry using a spatula. Do not use a mixer at that point
- When melting the butter and sugar, make sure not to over-heat the mixture as the butter would separate in that case. You can save it by using a whisk and try to emulsify them back together
- Always pre-heat your oven and consider using a digital oven thermometer for the best results
- Baking will take a rather long time (1 hour in my oven). Focus on the texture, not the time, and apply the toothpick check (it should come out clean) to avoid raw cake