Looking through the past few posts on my blog, I’ve noticed that I’ve been doing moreÂ savouryÂ dishes than sweet ones. I had made pumpkin cupcakes last week, but I lost the memory card that had those pictures on them so now I’m down to just one memory card and no pumpkin cupcake pictures! Sad time! But it’s okay, the recipe I had wasn’t the great, it made the cupcakes super super dense and they were just NOT good cold. It was weird. But this banana cake is by far the best, fluffiest, and most moist cake I’ve ever baked. EVER. Seriously. AND! I reduced the amount of processed sugar and butter in it by substituting half agave nectar for the sugar, and banana for the butter. It was deeeeelicious.
Now, I love bananas, but as I’ve mentioned before, I’m super particular about how I eat them. I love them perfectly yellow, or just tinged with green. That way, they’re firm and sweet, but not sickly sweet from being over-ripened. When those bananas start getting spots, it’s time to put them in some baked goods.
One of my friends, Cindy, randomly got three bunches of bananas. That’s a -lot- of bananas to eat. I can barely finish one bunch of bananas before they start to over-ripen. So Cindy wanted to bake with some of these bananas. We used up about 4 bananas making peanut butter banana bites covered in chocolate (I’d blog them but my chocolate didn’t melt properly so its just sliced bananas with dollops of peanut butter and chocolate on top. DELICIOUS and semi-healthy!). But we still had about 4 more bananas to use up.
I thought about doing caramelized banana cupcakes, but then I didn’t want to wait for the cupcakes to cool before icing them, and I didn’t want to make a full batch of icing, so I went with some good ol’ upside-down cake. Oh my gosh, this is the best cake I’ve ever made.
Even my mom ate it! And she doesn’t like sweets.
I made this cake just lightly sweet, the caramel on top was enough sugar for me, and even I found it almost too sweet. My roommate, her boyfriend, and Cindy all thought it was the right amount of sweetness, so that’s good enough for me.
Important things to know about baking a great and fluffy cake:
- ALWAYS ALWAYS cream the butter and sugar first. Fluffy cake needs that pale, creamy base of fluffy butter and sugar in order for it to bake nicely with moist little air pockets. It also develops a nice crumb for the cake.
- Try not to cut out the fat too much in a cake recipe. Originally it was 1 cup butter, but I reduced it by half and added a banana instead. Although the banana is less fattening, it still has those fattyish oils that keep the cake moist. Without any butter at all, you’ll have a gross, dry cake.
- Mix wet and dry ingredients together separately, and then mix them together. This is why I try to group all the wet ingredients first, then add the dry mixture. When you try to mix them all together all at once, it takes longer, and you’ll overwork the flour and you’ll get this gross, chewy/gummy cake. Not yummy.
- For this cake, the beaten egg whites add that extra dimension of fluffiness. It also adds stability to the cake, so when you’re incorporating them into the batter, Â it’s important to FOLD them into the batter, not beat them. That way you keep all those lovely bubbles you worked so hard to beat into the egg whites.
Recipe adapted from Denise’s recipe at From Brazil to You
A beautiful, moist, cake topped with caramel and bananas
30 minPrep Time
40 minCook Time
1 hr, 10 Total Time
- 1/2 cup butter
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 bananas, sliced lengthwise
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup agave nectar
- 1 banana, mashed
- 2 large eggs, separated
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup vanilla soy milk (I'm sure regular milk would be fine)
- 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp icing sugar
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Begin by melting the butter and brown sugar in a pot over medium-low heat. Add the spices and vanilla, then wait for the caramel to bubble and reach soft ball stage. (When you drip some of the caramel into a bowl of ice water, it'll form a nice, malleable ball, hence, soft ball stage)
- Pour the caramel into a 9-inch cake pan. Layer the bananas on top, and set aside.
- Begin the cake by creaming the butter and sugar together until you get a creamy and pale mixture. Add the agave nectar and banana (I substituted half the sugar and butter in the original recipe with these ingredients), and mix until incorporated.
- Add the egg yolks, vanilla extract, and milk and mix.
- In another bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, and salt.
- Gradually incorporate the dry flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
- Gently mix together until incorporated.
- With the egg whites, whip/whisk with 1 tsp icing sugar (just to stabilize it) until you get stiff peaks that point straight up when you lift the whisk. (kind of like meringue would)
- Gently fold the egg whites into the cake batter. You don't want to punch out all of the air from the meringue by mixing.
- Pour batter on top of the caramel/bananas and pop that badboy in the oven for about 40 minutes. The top will get nice and browned (I had to turn my cake around 25 minutes in because the heat is uneven in my oven). PUT A LARGE PAN UNDERNEATH! My cake pan is short, so the caramel started to drip out halfway through baking. Put the pan in or else you're going to have an unpleasant time cleaning the inside of your oven. Burnt sugar = not fun.
- Once the cake is done, take it out and let it sit for about 20 minutes. I know it's hard to wait, but if you pop it out right away, the caramel will just ooze everywhere and not be on your cake to put in your mouth. Sad time.
- Before you turn it over, quickly run a sharp knife around the edges to loosen the cake.
- Flip over onto a cake stand/plate and cut into that cake! Omnomnom.