Bananas Foster Upside-Down Cake


Makes 1 – 11-by-7-inch cake
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 3 bananas, halved lengthwise


  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • ⅔ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ cup dark rum


  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • ⅓ cup light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Grease an 11-by-7-inch pan with cooking spray.
  2. Arrange the bananas, cut-side-down, in the prepared pan and set aside.
    Arrange the bananas, cut side down, in the prepared pan a


  1. In a large pan over medium-low heat, combine the butter, light brown sugar, salt, and cinnamon. Cook, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted, the sugar is dissolved, and the mixture is well-combined.
  2. Add the rum and bring the mixture to a simmer.
  3. Using a lighter, stand back and carefully ignite the rum.
    Using a lighter, stand back and carefully ignite the rum.
  4. Shake the pan until the flames subside.
    Shake pan until flames subside
  5. Remove the sauce from the heat and pour over the prepared bananas. Set aside.


  1. In a large bowl, using a stand or a hand mixer, beat the butter, sugar, and light brown sugar together until creamy and lightened in color.
  2. Add the eggs, one at a time. Add the vanilla extract and buttermilk, and mix to combine.
  3. In a second large bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the bowl containing the dry ingredients, and mix until just combined, being careful not to over-mix the cake batter.
  5. Carefully spoon the cake batter over the bananas. Using an offset spatula or the back of a spoon, gently spread the batter, covering the fruit.
    Carefully spoon cake batter over the bananas and using an offset spatula orback of a spoon, gently spread batter, covering the fruit.
  6. Set an empty baking sheet on the bottom of the oven, or on a rack directly underneath where you will bake cake, to catch any foster sauce that may drip during baking.
  7. Bake the cake in the center of the oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center-bottom, near the bananas, comes out clean.
  8. Remove the cake from the oven and let the cake cool in the pan for 10 minutes.
  9. Use an offset spatula to ensure the sides of the cake are free from the pan. Place an upside-down plate or platter, large enough to hold the cake, on top of the cake pan. Carefully invert the cake onto the plate/platter to show off the caramelized bananas underneath.
  10. Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes before slicing and serving.

Chef’s Tips

  • If you prefer, you can also make your cake in a 8-inch cake pan or an 8-by-8-inch brownie pan. If you use a smaller pan, you will only need 2 bananas.
  • When mixing the cake batter, be very careful not to over-mix the cake batter, as doing so will result in a tough cake.
  • When testing the cake to see if it is done, make sure to test close to the bottom of the pan nearest the bananas to ensure cake is completely cooked.