I originally published this post in April of 2015. It’s been such a hit around the internet, that I decided to update the post and photos. Enjoy!
When I was 12, my dad took my sister and me to Mexico. We stayed outside of town, our stucco house tucked between mangroves and the beach. We bought food at the supermarket and ate most of our meals home. We swam, kayaked, and snorkeled in the ocean, we read books under a thatched-roof patio, and relaxed in the sun.
One day, we visited local ruins. It was one of the hottest days I can ever remember. We lathered our pink bodies with sunscreen every two hours and sat in the shade under ancient stone monuments to keep cool. Then, on our way back home, we stumbled upon a small hotel.
It overlooked a small cliff and below it, a sandy beach. The building was painted white and had an almost mediterranean quality to it. It was beautiful.
Rebe and I swam in the outdoor pool for what felt like hours as our dad relaxed on a hammock overlooking the ocean. The air began to get cooler, and it was the beginning of a perfect night.
Soon we got hungry and asked Dad if we could stay for dinner. The outside deck had low tables and throw pillows for seating. The kitchen was run by a thai chef, so we ordered pad thai and ate it in 3 minutes. Like I clearly remember scarfing that thing down. And MAN was it good.
Then came dessert: bananas foster. Now, I had never been a huge banana fan up until this point in my life. But out came this hot skillet with caramelized sugar and bananas and, as they say, the rest was history.
I’m not sure if it was the heat or the exhaustion from swimming all evening, but it was one of the best meals of my life. The bananas foster was in fact so good that we ordered it again. AKA dessert round two.
So in honor of my love affair with bananas foster, I present this Caramelized Banana Upside Down Cake. I absolutely could not stop eating it today! It was one of those take-a-sliver-and-then-another deals.
But I’m not mad about it at all, because each and every bite was absolute heaven. The bananas are soft and sweet, the outside of the cake is perfectly caramelized and sticky, and the cake itself is light and moist.
This is one of my new go-to desserts. Without a doubt I will be making this for years to come!
For the upside down bit
- 12 tablespoons butter
- 1 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 4 bananas, sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips
For the cake
- 2 mashed bananas
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 2/3 cup plain, non-fat greek yogurt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9x13 pan with butter.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and brown sugar together until the mixture becomes slightly glossy, about 2 minutes (no more!). Pour mixture evenly into the pan. Place the sliced bananas on top of the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix together the mashed banana, melted butter, eggs, greek yogurt, sugar, and vanilla extract until combined. Stir in the baking powder and salt, then stir in the flour, mixing until just combined.
Spread the batter evenly on top of the bananas, and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until the top has started to turn golden brown along the edges and the brown sugar and butter bubbles up along the rim of the pan. Mmmmm.
Allow to cool for 10 minutes before inverting over a large tray. Cake is best served warm, possibly with a scoop of vanilla ice cream!