from page to plate

I had the chance to peruse The Baker a couple of weeks back, and as much as I adored the narrow depth-of-field composition and rustic homely styling, I must admit that I wasn’t as impressed by the few recipes I’ve tried as I was with the in-depth baking troubleshooting pointers it included in every chapter. And for that, most nights I ended up with the book on my lap, just reading through the detailed explanations behind common mistakes of perceived failed bakes;– an undeniably great appealing factor to both novice and experienced bakers, and perhaps, concurrently the book’s saving grace.

Amongst the less-than-a-handful recipes that actually tasted as good as they looked on the page was this upside-down banana cake. I considered it my last attempt to justify the immaculate photography with two thoughts in mind;– first, you can’t go wrong with banana cake, and second, I thought I’d give the bananas a different treatment than the much-loved 9 by 5 and the nondescript no-frills take. Even though you can’t really see the ‘upside-down’ treatment here (I only had two bananas for topping, so I had them sliced instead of halved), the cake was moist and fluffy, with a deep banana flavour enhanced by the brown sugar.

Upside-Down Banana Cake
(adapted from Leanne Kitchen’s The Baker)

Banana Topping:
50g butter, melted
60g (1/3 cup) brown sugar
bananas, halved lengthwise

125g butter, softened
230g brown sugar
2 eggs
185g (1 1/2 cups) self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 ripe bananas, mashed

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C (350F). Grease an 8-inch round cake tin.
  2. To prepare the banana topping, pour the melted butter over the base of the prepared tin and sprinkle with the sugar.
  3. Arrange the bananas in a single layer over the base of the tin. Set aside.
  4. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder into a bowl, and lightlyfold in the flour into the butter mixture with the mashed banana.
  6. Spoon the batter over the banana slices in the cake tin.
  7. Bake for 45mins or until a cake tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
  8. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin for 5 mins, before turning out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

29 thoughts on “from page to plate

  1. grace

    i’ve devoured many a batch of that ‘much-loved 9 by 5’ (i love that phrasing!) and many an upside-down cake, but a banana upside-down cake? that’s a first, and it looks great!

  2. ovenhaven Post author

    grace: Hehe, thanks! I’ve never heard of a banana upside-down cake either, till now πŸ˜›

    Nabilah: Woootz, another banana cake fan! πŸ˜€

  3. thecoffeesnob

    Oooh I’ve always wanted to bake an upside down cake but never got down to it. I have always seen pineapple ones when I thumb though cookbooks, never bananas- how unusual! I imagine this would be just as delish with the bananas cameralized first before they go into the pan.

  4. Barbara

    Here’s a new one! A banana upside down cake. I think I’m in love! And I think I have all the ingredients, including enough ripe bananas to make it a true upside down cake!

  5. liannelow

    wow. banana cake is one of my family’s favourite thing to have for breakfast or tea or anytime of the day really! (: I definitely have to try this one!

  6. ovenhaven Post author

    thecoffeesnob: I think it would look really pretty with caramelised bananas! That sounds like a great idea πŸ™‚

    Barbara: A refreshing change from the typical banana cake, isn’t it? πŸ™‚

    liannelow: Any time of the day is definitely spot on! I love how I can always fall back on banana cake if I don’t know what to bake πŸ˜›

    cakebrain: Hope you’ll like it! πŸ™‚

  7. ovenhaven Post author

    19thmayflower: It’d look more like one if I had enough bananas to cut lengthwise instead of slices! And it’s definitely not a sponge cake; it’s more dense like your typical coffee cake.

    faizuL: Thanks, dearie πŸ™‚

  8. fattydumpling

    I am so happy that this cake is as good as it looks because there are few things worse then a disappointing tasty-looking things, and this cake looks absolutely moist and delicious! When ever I think of over ripe bananas, my first idea would be to throw it in some banana bread–but why not go into full decadence mode and bake a banana cake? It looks like just the thing to treat oneself too with a good book ;] Or a silly mindless book. Or perhaps a movie…

  9. ovenhaven Post author

    I do believe a banana cake fits the bill for any occasion! Funnily enough though, now I’m craving for a banana bread, even if it’s just to compare where this cake stands πŸ˜›

  10. Julia @ MΓ©langer

    I have seen that book around myself, but not really flicked through. I do like the sound of a good detailed section of tips and hints on why things go wrong. Like you, like to curl up and read through things like that. I don’t often make banana cake, but I like the spin on this one.

  11. ovenhaven Post author

    The book’s definitely generous with all the troubleshooting tips. It reminds me of Nick Malgieri’s The Modern Baker in a way. A pity the recipes did not blow me away. Thanks for dropping by, Julia πŸ™‚

  12. Elizabeth

    I have loved banana cakes all my life, I have never tasted an awesome one though. I love bananas, and if someone can make it into a cake- it’s more GREAT!
    Looks wonderful and gooey πŸ™‚

  13. ovenhaven Post author

    I hope you’ll find THE banana cake one day! I guess for myself, I’m not that much of a banana cake connoisseur; it’s really simple to please me with any banana cake πŸ˜›

  14. peasepudding

    Sounds fabulous and upside down banana cake. I make many upside down cakes but have never thought of using bananas!


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