Sunday, March 24, 2013

Banana Upside Down Cake

Such a fun cake!!! I will definitely be making this again and again. I want to perfect my banana placing technique. Today's cake is for my grandma's birthday dinner. She'll be 88 years old!

We also had a salad with warm bacon-y mustard dressing, VERY GOOD maple mustard chicken, mashed potatoes and roasted asparagus.

Slightly adapted from A Cozy Kitchen

2 cups all purpose flour (I did 1.5 all purpose, .5 whole wheat)
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz (1 stick) butter, room temp
1/2 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup whole milk (I used 2%)

Banana Topping:
4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbsp bourbon, rum or whisky
2-3 medium bananas, sliced lengthwise

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a small to medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Next, in a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla; and then mix until the mixture is smooth.
3. To the butter and sugar mixture, mix in half of the flour mixture and the milk. Then, mix in the remaining flour mixture, being sure not to over mix.
4. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet (*see note 2), melt the butter over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar and salt and stir until the sugar begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Carefully add the bourbon (the mixture will sizzle!) and mix one more time. Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes to cool slightly. Next, arrange the bananas to your liking (*see note 1).
5. Pour the batter over the bananas, and spread the batter gently so it’s nice and even. (This part was a little difficult but it's okay if the bottom's not perfect. I used my fingers to spread the batter out.) Transfer the cast iron skillet to the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. To invert the cake, place a plate (I used a big pizza plate) on top of the cast iron skillet and turn both of them over; lift up the cast iron skillet.
7. Serve plain, warm, or with whipped cream and coffee. Or drizzle with chocolate or caramel sauce or whatever sounds good!
*Cozy Kitchen's Note #1: Before you start step #4, I’d recommend arranging your banana slices in the (dry and cool) cast iron skillet, and then transferring them to a nearby cutting board. This way you have a plan as to how you want them to be arranged once the pan is full of bubbling sugar and bourbon. Is this slightly OCD? Yes, but I want your cake to look pretty, too! So this is how.
*Cozy Kitchen's Note #2: If you don’t have a 12-inch cast iron, you can surely use a 10-inch cast iron skillet or a 10-inch cake pan. If you use a 10-inch cast iron skillet you may have a bit of batter leftover and the cake part will be thicker. No biggie! If you use a 10-inch cake pan, you’ll need to do step #4 in a skillet and then pour the caramel mixture into the cake pan. 

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