Banana upside down cake
Difficulty: A wee bit harder
Time: 45 minutes + 45 minutes baking
We had some spare bananas so rather than making more banana bread like we always do I found a recipe for a banana upside down cake. The kids enjoyed chopping the bananas and organising them in the baking dish as well as all the mixing, measuring (and sampling!)
This recipe originally came from an what I assume is an American blog called sprinkle some sugar so rather than using scales most of the measurements are in cups. The caramelised banana topping is delicious on top of a tasty, moist banana flavoured cake so the next time you have some bananas turning black, why not try this.
1 cup brown sugar
85g unsalted butter
1.5 cups all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
¾ cup brown sugar
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium sized bananas)
½ cup buttermilk*
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup oil
* You can make a buttermilk substitute by adding 1 tbsp of vinegar or lemon juice plus milk to make it up to a cup.
Preheat oven to 180C and prepare your baking tin
Get your toddler to grease a 23cm round baking pan. Don’t use a loose bottomed tin like we tried as our topping started oozing out the side as soon as it went in the pan. We swapped to a solid oven proof pie dish and that worked well.
Make the topping
Get your child to measure out the butter (85g) and sugar (1 cup) and pop them into a small pan. Heat it slowly, stirring occasionally until it’s all melted and come together. Put the mixture into the bottom of your pan and press it down.
Meanwhile, peel and chop the bananas into 0.5-1cm pieces. This was a good bit for both the kids to help with. Even the littlest cooks can help peel bananas, and it doesn’t matter if all the bananas aren’t exactly the same size so it’s a good way to practice cutting skills.
Arrange the bananas to the top of your butter/sugar mixture – this will ultimately be the top your cake.
Make the banana upside down cake
Combine the dry ingredients
Get your toddler to measure the flour (1.5 cups) out into a cup and add it to a large mixing bowl or freestanding mixer.
If your little one is able to get them to add the baking soda (1/2 tsp), baking powder (1 tsp) and pinch of salt to the flour. If they don’t have a steady enough hand, just let them help you level the top of the spoon before adding it.
Measure the sugar (3/4 cup brown sugar and ¼ cup caster sugar) into a cup and then add to the flour.
Give it all a mix.
Add the wet ingredients
Get your kids to peel and mash the bananas. We weren’t too precise about how much we used. 2 bananas is about right (minus any that gets eaten along the way!). Add to your mixing bowl.
Pour the buttermilk into a cup (1/2 cup) and add to the bowl. Do the same with the oil (1/3 cup). Add the vanilla extract (1/2 tsp).
Finally, get your toddler to crack the eggs into a small bowl before adding to your mixing bowl.
Stir everything together until everything has combined and there are no more lumps.
Bake the banana upside down cake
Pour your mixture into the baking dish on top of the cut bananas.
Pop in the oven and bake for approx 45 minutes. It’s ready when it’s browned and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean (or with a few moist crumbs).
Leave the cake to cool for a few minutes and turn out onto a large plate or platter. Don’t wait too long or the caramelized sugar will stick to the pan.
The upside down cake best served warm with custard or ice cream and will keep for a few days in an airtight container.