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.

But!

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

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Upside Down Caramelized Banana Bread Skillet Cake

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

Ingredients:

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

Directions:

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.

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

  1. #
    101
    farmerswife518 — August 1, 2012 @ 12:47 pm

    Made this last night….so delish!!!! I served it with vanilla ice cream & this amazing caramel sauce http://consumer.darigold.com/Buttery-Caramel-Syrup.html . Thanks for another keeper recipe!

    Reply

  2. #
    102
    Lucia — August 1, 2012 @ 5:58 pm

    It looks wonderful! I also like banana cakes, I have just made one, this will be the next! :)

    Reply

  3. #
    103
    Heaher — August 1, 2012 @ 10:34 pm

    This is a wonderful recipe! I made a note to remember this as banana bread is my boyfriends favorite, and not a few days later I noticed the bananas in our house were pretty much past their prime, so I was excited to try it out! One day later it’s half gone between the two of us, oops, thank goodness for the gym!

    Reply

  4. #
    104
    Kavey — August 2, 2012 @ 6:53 am

    This post made me giggle and salivate. That means it’s gotta be good, right? Looks delish!

    Reply

  5. #
    105
    MelanieL — August 2, 2012 @ 9:03 am

    I made this last night in my new cast iron skillet! It was so good and the ice cream sent it over the top! I took almost half of it to the neighbors though, I could not be trusted with the entire skillet. As a result, I’ll probably make another one this weekend:)

    Reply

    • katelyn — September 4th, 2012 @ 7:03 pm

      same exact thing happened to me! new skillet, neighbors, and all. i saw this recipe and knew it was the first thing i wanted to make in it.

      Reply

  6. #
    106
    Carolyn — August 2, 2012 @ 9:57 am

    Looks delish! At what point do you turn it upside down?

    Reply

    • Kat — August 3rd, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

      Most upside down cakes you turn over to serve…
      You make the caramel in the skillet first, then add the cake batter, and the bananas are the last thing. So, you would think the bananas would be on top, but you flip the pan over onto a large plate so that the bananas are on the bottom and the caramel is on top.

      Reply

  7. #
    107
    Tasha Z — August 2, 2012 @ 5:25 pm

    I am dying like right now…. this is fantasticooooooo! I must make this like tonight! Thanks for sharing!

    Reply

  8. #
    108
    Marcie — August 22, 2012 @ 1:14 pm

    I feel like we’re constantly plagued with fruit flies and the best way I’ve found to get rid of them is to put about 1/2 inch of apple cider vinegar with a few drops of dish soap into a glass. It works like a charm, and is kind of gross because then you end up with a million fruit flies in a glass. Anyway, I love your recipes, they’re delicious and your blogs always make me laugh. Thanks:)

    Reply

  9. #
    109
    Lindsay — November 24, 2012 @ 11:14 pm

    Does this have to be served warm or can it be left out for a few hours before serving?

    Reply

  10. #
    110
    Hannah — December 29, 2012 @ 12:19 am

    I made this today. What a hit!! Very good middle between banana bread and cake.

    Reply

  11. #
    111
    Kelly — February 2, 2013 @ 7:50 am

    This was AMAZING. Honestly, one of the most delicious cakes I’ve ever had. My sister-in-law, who is the manager of a high end resort restaurant and been in the food industry for 20 years, took one bite and gasped at how good it was. Will be saving this recipe in my “impress people” folder! :)

    Reply

  12. #
    112
    JJ - 84thand3rd — February 13, 2013 @ 10:37 pm

    I’m one of those people who scours the discount fruit and veg table for over-ripe bananas because those are the only ones I’ll eat! The cake sounds spectacular. Like the the entire thing, don’t share, probably best that I don’t make it spectacular.

    Reply

  13. #
    113
    Jessica @ Peoplelikefood.com — March 4, 2013 @ 6:34 pm

    Oh my!!! That looks amazing! It’s all caramely on top! I’m definitely making this tonight!! Sorry for the excessive exclamation points ;-)

    Reply

  14. #
    114
    Lisa — March 20, 2013 @ 11:00 am

    I dont have a skillet. Can this just be baked like a cake?

    Reply

  15. #
    115
    Carly — August 13, 2013 @ 10:03 am

    This looks fantastic! I do not eat dairy though. Could I substitute soy or almond milk for the regular milk in this recipe?

    Thanks!

    Reply

  16. #
    116
    Juliana — February 25, 2014 @ 11:18 pm

    I’m in loooove with this cake…….is really really delicious

    Reply

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