My obsession with upside down cakes hasn’t ceased, nor has my conviction that my mom makes the best banana bread on the planet. After travelling last month to the Southern Caribbean islands of Aruba, Curacao, and Bonaire, I was left dreaming of warm weather, white sand beaches, and all the tropical fruit (most of which I admittedly sampled via frozen drink).
I decided that my mom’s banana bread would make the perfect base for a cake that would allow me to remember my trip for years to come! I love that this cake requires no work after it’s baked - no icing and no sprinkles needed. I suppose you could get wild and top with some fresh whipped cream, but when I made this in our store last week, it was gone too fast to find out how delicious that might have been.
I also love baking in cast iron, so this was another opportunity do to so. I find that upside down cakes turn out especially well, because the cast iron’s ability to retain heat helps caramelize the sugar in the glaze and creates a beautiful crust.
Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake
Scroll down for a printable version of this recipe
For the base:
3 bananas, ripe, mashed
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 Tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of fine salt
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, if desired
For the glaze:
2-3 bananas sliced ½ in thick
1 1/2 cups shredded coconut
1 cup brown sugar
4 Tablespoons butter (I like to cut it up in smaller pieces to melt faster)
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
2 Tablespoons rum (if you wish!)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mash bananas with a fork.
3. Add the beaten eggs and mix well.
4. In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt.
5. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix to combine. Fold in nuts, if desired. Set batter aside.
6. For the glaze, slice bananas into half inch coins, and set aside.
7. In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, melt butter and brown sugar, until bubbly (careful not to burn).
8. Remove from the flame, and stir in the rum and vanilla bean paste.
9. Place sliced bananas on glaze (Careful - it’s really hot).
10. Sprinkle coconut on top of bananas.
11. Pour batter on top of coconut.
12. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes or until the top is golden brown and a knife inserted comes out clean.
13. Let rest for 5 min, before inverting onto a platter (it’s important to do this while warm).
With The Chopping Block's annual cookware sale in full swing, cast iron skillets (and all cookware!) are 20% off, so do yourself a favor and get one now. Lodge Cast Iron is both affordable and versatile, while Le Creuset is beautiful, durable, and easy to clean. You’ll be able to bake this cake, sear your steaks to perfection, and so much more! In fact, if you’re looking at learning how to cook with cast iron, come check out our classes that feature this great cookware: