Upside-Down Banana Cake

Upside-Down Banana Cake

I can’t believe we are already reaching the end of April 2015. Easter is gone and the middle of the year is just around the corner. It is our third year here in Hobart and it feels like we arrived yesterday! We fell in love with this city that is known as the little hidden treasure of Australia. It is starting to get cold here, so I thought it would be a good idea to post a cake recipe as most of us crave comfy foods this time of the year in the Southern Hemisphere. Well in reality comfy foods are welcome any time of the year!

I once read somewhere that Brazilians are banana connoisseurs and this is a perfect statement to describe such an important ingredient of our cuisine. Banana is used quite extensively in Brazil both in baking and to make desserts. Also, this might sound a bit strange for non-Brazilians but banana dishes are eaten with savoury meals on a regular basis and believe me they taste so good. There is our crunchy banana a recipe in which bananas are crumbed with eggs and breadcrumbs, deep-fried and then served with our daily rice and beans. Banana crumb made with sautéed onions, garlic and cassava flour is also very commonly eaten and it goes really well with barbecued or roasted meats.

The upside down banana cake is a classic of our cuisine along with hundreds of other dessert recipes that have banana as the main ingredient. The fondest memory I’ve got of eating this cake is when I worked in a CD shop many years ago in the centre of Curitiba, a city located in the South of Brazil. A very lovely lady – I still remember her face but unfortunately I forgot her name – used to walk from one shop to the other to sell her home-made snacks which were very delicious and always freshly made. Her cooler pack included a great selection of salad sandwiches and fluffy cakes. She was a fighter, I remember she told me she had lost her job and had to find a way to support herself so she decided to use her cooking skills and sell her food on the street. She worked full time walking up and down the main street of the centre carrying a heavy load and entering in every shop to offer her products. If that wasn’t enough at night she also worked as a bartender! Her upside-down banana cake was the best I’ve ever tried but at the time I didn’t bother asking for the recipe. So it’s more work for me now; I had to test many recipes to get as close as possible to that beautiful cake I used to eat! Well, this is a good excuse to hide away in the kitchen and do some baking!

I said this before and I can’t help myself: I have to add my own touches to a recipe. I made this whipped cream with crystallised ginger to go with the cake but you can have it on its own, with whipped cream or vanilla ice-cream – yum!

Speaking of colder weather why not try some of my other comfy food like corn pasties, creamy heart of palm soup, when Brazil meets Australia lamb shanks and my carrot cake with chocolate topping.

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This is how you assemble the base of the cake:

Assemblying Upside Down Cake

Assemblying Upside Down Cake 2



Banana Cake

Unsalted butter, to grease

1 cup caster sugar

3-4 bananas (not too ripe), peeled, sliced 1cm thick

100g unsalted butter, at room temperature

1 ½ cup caster sugar, extra

1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla paste

3 eggs, separated

1 cup (250ml) milk

2 cups plain flour, sifted

1 tbs baking powder

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp salt

Whipped Cream with Crystallised Ginger (optional)

300ml whipping cream

3 tbs crystallised ginger, chopped


1 22 cm round cake pan

Baking paper


1. Preheat oven 180°C. Grease a round 22cm (base measurement) cake pan with butter. Cut a circle of baking paper and line only the base of the pan (see pictures above).

2. In a small saucepan over medium heat pour 1 cup of sugar, let the sugar melt a little bit and stir, keep repeating this for about 8 minutes or until all sugar is melted and golden. Pour the caramel evenly over the base of the pan and arrange banana slices close together over the caramel to cover the base of the pan. Set aside.

3. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks and reserve. In a bowl of a mixer, place sugar, butter, vanilla and egg yolks and beat until creamy and pale.

4. Add the milk, flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt and beat on low speed until all ingredients are combined. Fold in the egg whites. Pour the batter over the bananas. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Remove from oven and set aside in the pan for 25 minutes.

5. Whip the cream on medium speed until thick, stir in the chopped ginger. Carefully turn cake onto a stand and remove the baking paper. Serve warm or at room temperature with whipped cream with crystallised ginger if desired.

Serves: 8-10


Receita em Português

Bolo de Banana Caramelizada


Bolo de Banana

Manteiga sem sal, para untar

1 xícara de açúcar refinado

3-4 bananas (não muito maduras) , descascadas, cortadas em rodelas de 1cm de espessura

100g de manteiga sem sal, em temperatura ambiente

1 ½ xícara de açúcar refinado, extra

1 colher de chá de extrato de baunilha

3 ovos, separados

1 xícara ( 250 ml) de leite

2 xícaras de farinha de trigo, peneirada

1 colher de sopa de fermento em pó

1 colher de chá de canela em pó

¼ colher de chá de sal

Chantilly com gengibre cristalizado (opcional)

300ml de creme de leite fresco

3 colheres de sopa de gengibre cristalizado , picados


1 forma redonda de 22cm

papel manteiga

 Modo de Preparo 

1. Pré-aqueça o forno a 180°C. Unte o fundo da forma com papel manteiga. Corte um círculo de papel manteiga e coloque na base da forma.

2. Em uma panela pequena despeje 1 xícara de açúcar, deixe o açúcar derreter um pouco em fogo médio e mexa, repita o processo por cerca de 8 minutos ou até que todo o açúcar derreta e caramelize. Jogue o caramelo uniformemente sobre a base da panela e coloque as rodelas de banana uma ao lado da outra sobre o caramelo, para cobrir a base da forma. Reserve.

3. Bata as claras em neve e reserve. Bata na batedeira o açúcar, a manteiga, a baunilha e as gemas até que a misture fique cremosa e pálida.

4. Adicione o leite, a farinha, o fermento, a canela e o sal e bata em velocidade baixa até que todos os ingredientes misturem bem. Desligue a batedeira e misture gentilmente as claras em neve. Despeje a massa sobre as bananas. Asse por 1 hora e 10 minutos ou até que um palito inserido no centro saia limpo. Retire do forno e deixe descansar por 25 minutos antes de desenformar.

5. Bata o creme em velocidade média até ficar espesso (chantilli), misture o gengibre picado. Vire com cuidado bolo em um prato. Sirva temperatura ambiente ou morno com o chantilly com gengibre cristalizado, se desejar.

Serve: 8-10

  • Shoshanna Lee

    This cake looks fabulous 😀 Happy to see you’re back after a little gap 🙂

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks for stopping by dear. I would love to post one recipe per day, but have been way too busy for that! I will try to stick to my routine of 1 per week from now on 😉

  • anupama (MGGK)

    This cake looks lovely and sounds delicious, Georgina! I loved the flavor combination, with banana and cinnamon. How perfect for spring! I can’t wait to make this cake! Photos are outstanding too! 😀

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks a lot Anu, please let me know how it turns out 😉

  • Mira L

    Looks gorgeous Georgina! I never have luck with upside down cakes, but pinning this one and will try to make it!

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thank you Mira! Please let me know once you have a chance to try it 🙂

  • Ritu ahuja

    Lovely banana cake. It looks delicious Georgina. Beautiful combination and lovely flavors. I wish I could grab a bite 🙂

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks Ritu I am so glad you like it!

  • Olivia @ Olivia’s Cuisine

    You just made my day! I love upside-down banana cake and seeing your beautiful picture put a smile on my face! 🙂

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks that’s very kind Olivia, happy to know I put I smile on your face 🙂

  • Fox Mulder

    Hummm que delicia!!! Na roça eu comia todo fim de semana; bolo da vovó né…

    • GeorginaRibas

      Isso mesmo, bolo das antigas, muito bom! 🙂

  • Manali @ CookWithManali

    I love upside down cakes and this looks so gorgeous! Beautiful picture! 🙂

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks so much dear Manali!

  • Anupama

    I am very fond of banana in desserts – your cake is irresistible with cinnamon too! such bright and wonderful pictures!!

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks for the compliment and for stopping by Anu!

  • Nupur Mehra

    I couldnt have thought of this combo at all on my own! This just looks so irresistible Georgina. I am not very fond of bananas on their own but I love the taste in cakes and bakes. This one seems like a perfect opportunity to bake one this weekend. Love the photos !

    • GeorginaRibas

      That’s lovely to hear dear Nupur, thanks so much for your kind comments and if you get a chance please let me know how it turns out.

  • Joana Oliveira

    Beautiful! Funny thing: I was thinking of doing a gluten and dairy free upside down banana tart soon 🙂 Hope it will look as beautiful as yours 😉

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks Joana! Looking forward to seeing your GF/DF version of a banana tart!

  • Meri Rasoi

    Loved It Georgina.. I usually make pine apple upside down cake .. I will definitely give this a try.I will keep you posted:)

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks Meri, I love the pineapple version of it too. Please give it a try and let me know 😉

  • Jolly Homemade Recipes

    Perfectly mouthwatering recipe…drooling !!

    • GeorginaRibas

      Thanks Jolly, glad you like this one!

  • Caro

    I’m in the UK and made this cake yesterday.. I’m afraid I had a few problems with it..

    It has a lot of sugar in it, so burned easily, and this wasn’t helped by my being unclear about the temperature – 180C in a fan oven or 180C in a normal oven, 160 or so in a fan?

    The cake took a long time to cook – about 1 hr 30 mins – and needed a good 3 hours to cool down properly. We took it out of the tin after about 30 minutes – didn’t have time to wait any longer! – and the caramel was very sticky.

    I also used barely ripe bananas because you said “not too ripe” and they cooked to tough inedible discs.. So you probably meant “not really squishy” ..

    It has the potential to be a really lovely cake – it was light (possibly due to the incredible amount of baking powder!) and despite being burnt, everybody liked it. I might well make it again, but I’ll use much less sugar, much riper bananas, bake at a lower temperature and leave it until completely cool before taking out if the tin..

    We were having a Brazilian night and I also did your Passionfruit Mousse. I added the juice of a couple of limes to help it set and it was fabulous!