I discovered something magical.

Upside Down Caramelized Banana Bread Skillet Cake I howsweeteats.com

It’s this little cart, hidden in a tiny nook in my (pitiful) local grocery store. It holds discount produce, and truth be told: most of it looks like it should have been throw out three days ago. It’s gross. It’s disgusting. And I’m not only saying that because it’s like, 100% vegetables. Which is gross and disgusting in it’s own right.


One morning I came across those bags of bananas. Do you know what bags of bananas I’m talking about? Apparently they are a thing – not selective to my own store. I was clueless. A tiny white paper bag stuffed with a ton of bananas and sold for some insanely cheap price… which I can’t remember. But it was seriously cheap. Like buy-this-boatload-of-bananas-for-pennies cheap. Not omg-this-$1475-purse-is-20%-off kind of cheap.

[Which BTW, is an excellent deal and an INVESTMENT. Much to my husband’s dismay.]

Upside Down Caramelized Banana Bread Skillet Cake I howsweeteats.com

I got so excited! I eat bananas every day. I freakishly adore them. I mash them and put them inside things. Um – food-type things people. Stop it right there.

I spread them with chocolate peanut butter and cookie butter and all these other ridiculous butters that our world has created. I freeze them and whip them in the food processor or throw them in smoothies. I slice them and cover them in chocolate and drop a few fingerfuls of coconut or salted peanuts on top and stick them in the freezer for what should be like, an hour… but ends up being about four minutes because I have the patience of a sleep-deprived toddler.

I like them. I really like them!

So I bought three bags. [Bananas… not $1475 purses.]

Upside Down Caramelized Banana Bread Skillet Cake I howsweeteats.com

Yeah. Three bags. Like over 30 bananas or some wackadoodle number like that. Sometiiiiiimes… I just get realllllly carried away. Two people live in my house. One person is really weird, and only eats bananas if they are a CERTAIN SHADE of green. They can’t be too green. But not green enough. They have to be perfect. So there’s like a 45-second good banana window.

I froze a lot. Are you hungry? Thirsty? Please come over immediately and I will make you four thousand smoothies. That should end well.

I left some sitting out, and considered a three-a-day banana diet. That couldn’t end well.

My world became inundated with fruit flies. That didn’t end well.

I did the next best thing, which was turn them into bread. I mean cake! I mean bread. I mean cake bread. Or something like it.

The only thing was? I made this bread slash cake slash cake slash bread right before we left on vacation. So I had to like, eat a lot of it so it wouldn’t go to waste. And about halfway through, I just started scraping at the bottom with a fork, devouring all of the caramely and sugar-crusted bananas.

This was a wise, wise choice my friends. For once, I did something right.

Upside Down Caramelized Banana Bread Skillet Cake I howsweeteats.com


Upside Down Caramelized Banana Bread Skillet Cake

Yield: serves 6-8, made in a 12-inch skillet


1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled + 3 tablespoons
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup loosely packed brown sugar + 1/3 cup
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 bananas, mashed (about 1 1/4 cups) + 2 bananas, sliced
1/3 cup milk


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.

Heat a cast iron skillet (min was 12 inch) over medium heat. Add 3 tablespoons of butter, and let sizzle and melt, then whisk in 1/3 cup brown sugar and add in the sliced bananas in a single layer. Cook for 2-3 minutes, then remove from heat and set aside while making batter.

In a large bowl, whisk together melted butter and sugars. Once combined, whisk in eggs and vanilla until smooth. Add in dry ingredients, stirring to bring together, then add in mashed bananas and mix. Add in milk and mix until combined. Pour batter over bananas in skillet and spread evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until cake is golden and set in the middle. Let cool for 5-10 minutes, then serve hot with ice cream.

Note: this same recipe will most likely work in a 10-inch skillet and just yield a taller cake. I would begin by baking for 30 minutes and check the cake. If you are using a smaller skillet, I would cut the recipe in half and start by baking at 20 minutes.

Upside Down Caramelized Banana Bread Skillet Cake I howsweeteats.com

Almost better than a purse investment.

share:    Pin It    

137 Responses to “Upside Down Caramelized Banana Bread Skillet Cake.”

  1. #
    Rodzilla — July 26, 2012 @ 7:03 am

    I will take a skillet please.


  2. #
    the hungry mum — July 26, 2012 @ 7:04 am

    You ROCK! I have a bowl of rapidly fading bananas and I was just going to make my usual, ho hum but yum, banana bread. Instead I’m excited to try your recipe.


  3. #
    kim@hungryhealthygirl — July 26, 2012 @ 7:07 am

    I love bananas and cake/bread……..and really over priced bags! This bread/cake thing looks like it just might make the fact that I can’t afford a really expensive bag okay. The caramelized yumminess on top looks to die for.


  4. #
    chelsey @ clean eating chelsey — July 26, 2012 @ 7:08 am

    You could have just sent it over here instead of ttrying to eat it all before you left!


  5. #
    Liz — July 26, 2012 @ 7:13 am

    I say, invest in both a purse and that skillet cake. Purses are a must, as are delicious treats :)


  6. #
    Madeleine @ Teenie Baker — July 26, 2012 @ 7:14 am

    I think I will be making this, then eating it all with a spoon. Looks fantastic!


  7. #
    Linda — July 26, 2012 @ 7:18 am

    I havent laughed so hard in i dont remember how long.. Not only do you have thease wonderfuly delciouse recipes but, you should be a comedian! I am a novice baker/cook. Your recipes though inspire me and really make me want to try! Thank you for the laughs and smiles! Hugs, Linda


  8. #
    Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Peppers — July 26, 2012 @ 7:20 am

    Your upside down cake looks so good! Love the picture with the ice cream on top! I love when my store has the few day old banana’s. For some reason my store must have a lazy worker because when I get to the bottom of my bag the banana’s are green! Love that! I feel like I won a banana lottery.


    • Jessica — July 26th, 2012 @ 7:21 am

      Same here – it was very exciting.


  9. #
    Marci Johnson — July 26, 2012 @ 7:21 am

    I have to admit that I am super picky about my bananas as well. I can only eat them if they have a slight green tinge. Too much and the banana is bitter. And no brown spots please!! So naturally, I have a ton of bananas in my freezer…. I might have to make this soon as my frozen banana issue is starting to become a problem…..


  10. #
    Emily — July 26, 2012 @ 7:21 am

    YES! For some reason my husband won’t eat bananas with “marks” on them. Do you KNOW how hard it is to find juuust the right bananas? God forbid they aren’t eaten day of purchase, as they no longer pass the color inspection. Needless to say, I have alot of bananas. Too many bananas. But now…I will have cake! :)


  11. #
    Monet — July 26, 2012 @ 7:27 am

    Perfect and tempting. I just made banana bread…after stumbling on a big batch of overly ripe bananas. Thank you for sharing this with me. It’s 6am, but I totally want a slice of this for breakfast.


  12. #
    Simply Life — July 26, 2012 @ 7:29 am

    oh wow, this does look incredible!


  13. #
    Lauren at Keep It Sweet — July 26, 2012 @ 7:40 am

    We have a never ending supply of bananas in our apartment which means a growing bag of frozen brown bananas in the freezer. Looks like I have a new way to use them before freezing!


  14. #
    Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat — July 26, 2012 @ 7:44 am

    Mmm yes please! I love the discount produce shelf at my grocery store. While some of the stuff looks really sad and I wouldn’t dream of buying it, I’ve come across bags of greens in the past that have like one brown leaf, but the rest all look fine! Now if only someone would accidentally put cherries on the discount shelf with a discount sticker on them… then we’d be in business!


  15. #
    Julie H. of Spinach and Sprinkles — July 26, 2012 @ 7:44 am

    The purse would have been a good idea too ;) ….my husband is allergic to bananas so I would have a hard time trying to convince him of either option of bags. HA!
    Delicious idea, Jessica. Delicious!


  16. #
    aimee @shugarysweets — July 26, 2012 @ 8:13 am

    I love all things banana too. This cake looks divine, wishing I had a piece for breakfast. At any given day, I have over a dozen bananas frozen to put in smoothies, or my new favorite thing, coffee! I don’t know if my grocery carried nasty fruits and veggies, but I’m going to be scouting the corners now!


  17. #
    Kim in MD — July 26, 2012 @ 8:13 am

    I only eat under-ripe bananas. Once they ripen they go into the freezer to make banana bread. This cake looks amazing! Oh- and I know what you mean about those pesky fruit flies. They seem to come home on the bananas!


  18. #
    Lissy — July 26, 2012 @ 8:23 am

    Ummm, I think you need to make banana ice cream!

    Now here’s how to make your own banana “ice cream”:

    Start with 2-4 ripe bananas. Peel your bananas and cut them into small chunks. Freeze for just 2-4 hours on a plate or in a plastic bag. Place into food processor and process (you can use a blender as well), making sure to scrape down the bowl when they stick. Again process the bananas until they create a creamy puree. Serve in a cold bowl or in a cone. Each banana will make ½ cup of “ice cream.”

    I add in cocoa, and honey…it is sooo good!

    Your recipe looks great too!


  19. #
    Rose — July 26, 2012 @ 8:30 am

    I love those discount bananas! I got like 15 perfectly ripe ones for ONE DOLLAR a few weeks ago!! They take up half of my little freezer! This looks so yummy and I might just have enough banners left for it :)


  20. #
    Meg @ Peaches and Cake — July 26, 2012 @ 8:31 am

    aaaaahahhahah love the “45-second good banana window”


  21. #
    Colleen @ Culinary Colleen — July 26, 2012 @ 8:45 am

    This looks way better than regular banana bread!


  22. #
    JulieD — July 26, 2012 @ 8:53 am

    Lol about the purse. We always try to convince the guys it’s “a good deal”. I am obsessed with banana everything & I have NEVER been interested in an upside down cake until this one. Looks so darn good!!


  23. #
    Paula @ Vintage Kitchen — July 26, 2012 @ 8:58 am

    There are never enough banana recipes because there are always too many bananas ripening away so quickly! Caramel just makes life so much better. Love this recipe!


  24. #
    Ann — July 26, 2012 @ 8:59 am

    I wrote about the discount banana section yesterday – too funny! I seriously cannot pass up bunches of bananas for 30 cents. I can pass up weird old peppers and lettuce, though, no one needs that.


  25. #
    Ashley — July 26, 2012 @ 9:18 am

    Skillet bread/cake is THEE BEST. Caramelized bananas on the bottom???? Oh no you didn’ttttttt. I know of these discount bags. They don’t come often but when they do I stock UP. Just like you. Because we’re twins. At least with our love for bananas.


  26. #
    Katie — July 26, 2012 @ 9:27 am

    Um, bag of bananas?! I’m officially on the hunt.


  27. #
    RavieNomNoms — July 26, 2012 @ 9:37 am

    Oh my deliciousness!


  28. #
    Kaitlin @4loveofcarrots — July 26, 2012 @ 9:45 am

    I NEED this now!!!


  29. #
    MelanieL — July 26, 2012 @ 9:53 am

    Your last photo…Lord have mercy, looks rediculously delicious!


  30. #
    Joelle (on a pink typewriter) — July 26, 2012 @ 9:54 am

    I’m SWOONING. Love/need this recipe.


  31. #
    Callie B. — July 26, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    This post reminds me of a Mitch Hedberg joke:

    “Do you want a frozen banana?
    “No. But I want a regular banana later, so…yeah.”


  32. #
    TidyMom — July 26, 2012 @ 9:58 am

    lol you crack me up girl!!……..this looks incredible, and how funny because we made caramelized banana french toast yesterday that I’ll be sharing soon. Banana lover here too!


  33. #
    Jacqueline — July 26, 2012 @ 10:02 am

    Uhhhh I almost stopped reading when I saw the title of the post because it was THAT. GOOD. I have a frozen banana smoothie addiction goin’ on right now so I’ll be over to take you up on that smoothie offer. Seriously though, this cake looks sooo good.


  34. #
    Annie @ Annie's City Kitchen — July 26, 2012 @ 10:17 am

    Wait, there’s a discount banana section at grocery stores?! This changes everything!

    Also, I can’t decide which I’m craving more: the actual banana bread or that giant scoop of ice cream.


  35. #
    Allison — July 26, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    What if you don’t have a cast iron skillet? T_T


  36. #
    Christine — July 26, 2012 @ 10:38 am

    Before I learned self control (when I was in highschool) and ate whatever I wanted… I would eat a banana, not be satisfied and then eat 2 more.. who eats 3 bananas in one sitting??

    I can keep it to one banana nowadays. My ass thanks me.


  37. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — July 26, 2012 @ 11:26 am

    that last shot is pure evil genius. i want!


  38. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — July 26, 2012 @ 11:30 am

    “caramely and sugar-crusted bananas” — yes, yes and YES! And I use bananas in everything too.. esp in my smoothies. Makes them so incredibly creamy, like ice cream!


  39. #
    Kris — July 26, 2012 @ 11:31 am

    awwwwww, maaaaan (you cannot tell, but this is my whiney type).

    I want this for breakfast right now!! no matter that I Just Ate Breakfast, and am Not Hungry. my stomach just growled. really? really.

    and unless they are in baking, frozen, smoothie form… basically if I am meant to eat a banana AS IS, it must be green. I know that 45 second window well.


  40. #
    Katriel — July 26, 2012 @ 11:47 am

    I’m dying to try this recipe, but I know I’ll add chocolate chips and walnuts and eat the whole skillet while watching chick flicks…but then I wouldn’t fit into my wedding dress.
    Still…I think I’ll try it.


  41. #
    Destinie — July 26, 2012 @ 12:17 pm

    Oh wow! This looks insanely delicious!!


  42. #
    Laurie — July 26, 2012 @ 12:23 pm

    Hi, maybe a dumb question, but did you use baking powder or soda? Your ingredient list and directions say two different things. Thanks!


    • Jessica — July 27th, 2012 @ 7:14 am

      Oops sorry – powder!


  43. #
    Kelsey @ K&K Test Kitchen — July 26, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

    I’ve been on a serious banana kick lately, which is weird because until like 2 months ago the only way that I’d eat a banana was if it was in banana bread or cake form. Thanks for snapping me back to the reality of the best way to eat bananas ever, with cake + caramel.


  44. #
    Kare @ Kitchen Treaty — July 26, 2012 @ 12:27 pm

    Cake, bread, whatever … yum. And brilliant!

    I do agree with the just-right-shade-of-green thing. A banana has to be just right to be eaten straight from the peel. :)


  45. #
    Sam @ Better With Sprinkles — July 26, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    Clearly, those sort of purses at a 20% discount is a must-buy-right-now. Everyone knows that. :-)

    I’ve never tried to make an upside down cake/bread. Or a skillet cake. I need to make this so I can pop two culinary cherries at once!


  46. #
    Averie @ Averie Cooks — July 26, 2012 @ 12:53 pm

    It looks so good – and I just did that with bananas – bought soooo many and then had to get all creative about what to make with them! You clearly did a fabulous job with them!


  47. #
    Justin — July 26, 2012 @ 12:55 pm

    Looks great! More things should be cooked upside down.


  48. #
    Cait's Plate — July 26, 2012 @ 1:21 pm

    There are no words for how delicious this looks. Thank your discount fruit bin for me next time you pass it.


  49. #
    Erin @ The Food Doctors — July 26, 2012 @ 1:57 pm

    mmmm… I just might forgo the cake and skip right to the caramelized banana goodness.


  50. #
    Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes — July 26, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

    I’m obsessed with bananas too. I think all stores should sell ripe bananas at a discount price for people that want to put them in recipes – such a great idea!


1 2 3


  1. Pingback: Caramel Banana French Toast | TidyMom

  2. Pingback: This and That | Two Peas & Their Pod

  3. Pingback: Friday favorites « Seeking Style

  4. Pingback: Make this: Upside Down Caramelized Skillet Banana Cake — South Jersey Locavore

  5. Pingback: Upside Down Caramelized Banana Skillet Cake | How Sweet It Is | Pots, Pans and Proverbs

Leave a Comment

Current ye@r *