Home » Recipes » Desserts » Cakes » Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake

Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake

Bananas Foster is a dessert made from bananas and vanilla ice cream, with a sauce made from butter, brown sugar, cinnamon, dark rum, and banana liqueur. The butter, sugar and bananas are cooked, flambéed, then served over the ice cream. The dish was created in 1951 by Ella Brennan and Paul Blangé at Brennan’s in New Orleans, which at the time was a major hub for the import of bananas from South America. It was named for Richard Foster, the chairman of the New Orleans Crime Commission and a friend of restaurant owner Owen Brennan.  Little did anyone realize that Bananas Foster would become an international favorite and is the most requested item on the restaurant’s menu.

It’s absolutely one of my favorite desserts. The problem, if you can call this a “problem”, is that you have to eat it immediately. You can’t really make extra and save it for later. There’s no good way to double the batch and have some more tomorrow.  I really wanted to have the Bananas Foster flavors anytime, without having to become a fiery Julia Child. If you’d like to try the original sometime, scroll down to the bottom where I’ve included the Brennan’s recipe.

This particular situation calls for cake.

Bananas Foster Upside Down Cake

For the cake, I used a basic yellow cake recipe and added a little rum. You can also use rum extract, almond extract or even banana extract.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Prep the pan

Butter the sides of a Bundt pan. I used a round one this time, but I’ve also made it in my cool square Bundt pan seen here, and it’s pretty good in muffin tins, too.

Slice three medium bananas into about 1/8″ discs (no need to be super precise here, just not too thin.) Place slices into the bottom of the Bundt pan.

Roughly chop 1 cup of pecans and sprinkle them on top of the bananas.

Caramel Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Stir the sugar and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add cinnamon and whisk to blend.

Pour the caramel sauce over the bananas and pecans.

Cake

Ingredients

Directions

Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Mix milk and sour cream in a separate small bowl.

Beat the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed in a large bowl until light and fluffy, usually 2-4 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time, beating after each addition and scraping down the side of the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla and rum (or rum extract). Reduce the mixer speed to low and add 1/3 of the flour mixture. Alternate with 1/2 of the milk-sour cream mixture until all ingredients are incorporated. Mix just until blended.

Pour the batter over the bananas, pecans and caramel in the bundt pan, and spread evenly. Bake the cake until it is golden brown and bounces back when pressed and a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean when inserted in the center, 50 to 60 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the cake to separate it from the pan. Let cool in the pan on a rack until just cool enough to handle, 20 minutes or so. Invert a serving platter over the cake pan and, while holding them together, quickly flip them over so the cake unmolds, banana-side up. Let cool completely.

Cut into wedges, top with whipped cream and serve.

Tips:

  1. In a pinch, it’s perfectly fine to use a boxed cake mix. Make it more flavorful by adding rum or an extract in the same way as this recipe.
  2. No pecans? Walnuts are good, too. Omit them completely if you don’t care for them or someone is allergic.
  3. Ice cream is also good one top.
  4. Cut bananas longways into thin strips and lay in the grooves of a fluted Bundt pan for a cool look.
  5. Want a bigger punch of rum flavor?  As soon as the cake comes out of the over, poke holes around the top with a skewer. Drizzle in a rum syrup (1/4 c of rum mixed with 1/2 cup of sugar, boil a couple of minutes until clear. Cool mixture before using.)

 


Brennan’s Bananas Foster

Ingredients:Bananas Foster

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup banana liqueur
  • 4 bananas, cut in half lengthwise, then halved
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 4 scoops vanilla ice cream

Directions:

  • Combine the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a flambé pan or skillet.
  • Place the pan over low heat either on an alcohol burner or on top of the stove, and cook, stirring, until the sugar dissolves.
  • Stir in the banana liqueur, then place the bananas in the pan.
  • When the banana sections soften and begin to brown, carefully add the rum.
  • Continue to cook the sauce until the rum is hot, then tip the pan slightly to ignite the rum.
  • When the flames subside, lift the bananas out of the pan and place four pieces over each portion of ice cream.
  • Generously spoon warm sauce over the top of the ice cream and serve immediately.