Banana Chocolate Chip Upside Down Cake

My family is leaving for vacation tonight, but I thought I’d leave you guys with one more recipe to try. My friend Sitara came over the other day and there was a bunch of bananas on our counter that had turned completely brown. Clearly, the only practical  solution was to bake with them.

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And thank goodness we did. This cake was delicious and despite the ubiquitous heat that’s been plaguing my  town for the past week, it is best served warm (with ice cream, of course).

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If you find some gross-looking bananas on your counter, PLEASE make this!

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Banana Chocolate Chip Upside Down Cake

From David Lebovitz


For the topping:

  • 1/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons (60 g) packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water or butter; cubed, at room temperature
  • 3-4 ripe medium bananas
  • a few drops of lemon juice

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups (210 g) flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (30 g) melted butter, salted or unsalted
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 1 cup (250 g) banana puree (about 2 bananas)
  • 1/2 cup (120 g) sour cream, regular or low-fat
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) chocolate chips or chopped bittersweet or semisweet chocolate


  1. To make the topping, place the brown sugar and water or butter in an 8-inch (20 cm) square cake pan. Warm the pan directly on the stovetop over low heat, stirring until the sugar is thoroughly moistened. If using water, simmer the mixture for about 45 seconds. If using butter, stir just until the sugar is moist and bubbling, then remove from heat. (It won’t melt completely smooth, and there may be a few bare spots, which is normal.) Let cool to room temperature.
  2. Peel and slice the bananas in 1/4-inch slices. Arrange them in slightly overlapping rows over the melted brown sugar. Sprinkle with a few drops of lemon juice.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  4. Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl, making sure there are no lumps. Mix in the granulated sugar.
  5. In a small bowl, mix together the butter, egg, egg white, banana puree, sour cream, and vanilla.
  6. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and stir in the wet ingredients until almost combined. Do not overmix. Gently fold in the chocolate pieces.
  7. Scrape the batter into the pan over the bananas, then use a spatula to carefully spread the batter over the sliced fruit.
  8. Bake for 40 minutes, or until the cake feels just set in the center when you touch it.
  9. Cool the cake for about 20 minutes, then run a knife along the edges of the cake to help it release from the pan. Invert the cake onto a serving platter.

Serving: The cake is best served warm with whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or by itself as a snack. If made an hour or so in advance, it can be inverted on the serving platter, and left with the cake pan over it, to keep it warm. Otherwise is can be rewarmed in a low over, covered with foil. Or enjoyed at room temperature.

Storage: The cake can be made up to two days in advance, although it is best the day it’s made. To freeze it, wrap it securely in plastic wrap; it can be frozen for one to two months.

4 responses to “Banana Chocolate Chip Upside Down Cake

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