Sticky Banana Upside Down Cake

banana upside down cake
banana upside down cake

It’s not banana bread I promise. In fact whilst it may include the same ingredients this is a completely different bake and it’s a game changer.

The classic pineapple upside down cake is a family favourite in our household but so is banana bread and this hybrid is a force to be reckoned with.

Jump to Recipe
banana upside down cake

Baking with melted butter

The temperature of butter in baking is a key factor as to how it behaves in your recipe and alongside other ingredients. Theres always a reason why a recipe is specific about whether butter should be fridge cold, room temperature or melted and more often than not as baking is a science the answer is very black and white. However when it comes to cake batter I’ve come to realise it’s not such a simple answer. Traditionally butter plays a crucial role when adding air to cake mixture and you’ll find the majority of recipes will direct the ‘Creaming method” which “What Sarah Bakes” gives a very clear description of in her article all about it. In this method the sugar the crystals cut into the butter to create air pockets and it’s these air pockets that start the process to a light and airy sponge texture.

Controversially some recipes suggest adding melted butter, however it’s frowned upon as some say by missing this step you end up with a denser cake.

Whilst I agree that the creaming method works (after all baking is a science) I don’t wholly believe that missing it is a cardinal sin, and you can add air just as well when beating in the eggs. Instead, when melted, the role of butter changes and it becomes the hero for taste and moisture as opposed to structure and texture.

You’re most likely to find a direction for melted butter in recipes such as cookies, muffins or quick breads when the mixture requires gently mixing, and as Banana Bread is a quick bread that’s why you’ll find it here for this traybake banana bread.

If you want to bake this recipe but your bananas aren’t quite ripe enough yet then don’t wait days, simply read my Top 10 Baking Hacks and follow step 10 to ripen bananas in 30 seconds.

banana upside down cake
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
No ratings yet

Banana Upside Down Cake

It's not banana bread, it's better!
Prep Time20 minutes
Cook Time40 minutes
Total Time1 hour
Course: Dessert
Keyword: banana
Servings: 16 portions


For the banana base

  • 100 g butter, melted
  • 170 g soft brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 bananas, sliced in half

For the banana cake

  • 4 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 150 g unsalted butter, melted
  • 150 g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 200 g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder


For the banana base

  • Add your butter and soft brown sugar to a non-stick pan and melt over a low heat until you have a golden syrup mixture.
  • Prepare a 20cm square baking tin with baking paper, then pour the melted butter and brown sugar to the base, spreading it out to the corners so the entire base is covered.
  • Slice the bananas in half lengthways so you have 6 long pieces of banana and then gently place them down on the flat edge into the syrup mixture in the base of the pan.

For the banana cake

  • Preheat the oven to 180°C
  • In a large bowl add the 4 ripe bananas and mash them together, then add the melted butter, vanilla extract and eggs and whisk it all together until well combined.
  • Add the sugar and mix again for a few moments, followed by the flour and baking powder which should be folded in gently using a wooden spoon.
  • The cake batter will feel quite loose due to the melted butter but this is fine, simply pour the mixture on top of the bananas and syrup and spread it out evenly.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown. You will notice the top of the sponge will go quite brown but this is due to the melted butter in the batter.
  • Leave to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before tipping out upside down onto a serving board.
  • Serve immediately with cream, custard or ice cream
  • If you want to keep this for a few days, leave in an airtight container for 2 days maximum and reheat in the oven for 10 minutes or in the microwave.
Tried this recipe?Mention @mykitchendrawer or tag #mykitchendrawer!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating