If you’re loving the trends of upside down cakes AND sheet cakes, this one’s for you! A more decadent way to use up your bananas than banana bread, a slice of this served warm begs for a scoop of your favorite non-dairy ice cream! Sheet cakes take me back to being a kid. My mom often had one at the ready, usually a spice cake or a classic yellow with a smattering of chocolate frosting. Needless to say, nostalgia sparked some excitement when I caught wind of the returning sheet cake trend for 2018. Compared with dressed up layer cakes, sheet cakes hold their own despite their humble appearances. Plus, they’re less involved which means less time in the kitchen AND still enjoying a homemade dessert tonight. Or, breakfast in the morning? I won’t judge, promise.
Upside down cakes have been around forever, going back to something like the 1800’s and the upside down pineapple cake is, arguably, the most well-known retro cake. The beauty of these cakes is that almost any fruit is suitable and adds such a simple but pretty aesthetic. Bananas are an excellent choice because you won’t risk having a soggy cake considering they aren’t juicy. Now, up your game with a super-easy, no-fuss, no-candy-making-thermometer-needed, CARAMEL: silky smooth, sweet and hugging each crumb along the surface of the cake, and swaddling the creamy (almost custard like) bananas once they’ve been baked…oh my gosh, SO GOOD! And there you have it, Upside Down Caramel Banana Sheet Cake. Enough for a crowd, pleasing for kids and grown-ups alike, this might just be your new go-to cake!
Upside Down Caramel Banana Sheet Cake
For the Caramel & Banana Layer:
- ¼ cup full-fat canned coconut milk (no gums)
- ⅓ cup coconut oil
- 1 cup brown sugar
- 4-5 ripe bananas, sliced in half lengthwise (not overripe or bruised for prettiest presentation)
For the Cake:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 cup mashed ripe banana
- 1 cup plant milk
- ⅓ cup neutral oil (eg. avocado)
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line the bottom of a 9x13" cake pan with parchment paper, and grease the sides.
- In a small pan over medium-low heat, combine the coconut milk, coconut oil and brown sugar. Whisk until smooth and blended, about 2 minutes. Do not overcook. Pour the caramel into the pan, spreading out evenly over the parchment. Place the sliced bananas cut side down, arranging how ever you like but try to ensure there's minimum space between each slice as there will be even bigger gaps once baked. If the bananas are all the same length, placing them so they are spoon each other is the easiest way to arrange them.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer (or with a fork/whisk in a medium sized bowl), combine the mashed bananas, plant milk, oil, vinegar and vanilla, whisking until well blended.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add this to the wet ingredients and mix only until the flour is just wet. Do not over-mix.
- Drop the batter gently over the caramel and sliced bananas and smooth out the top with a spoon or spatula.
- Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown and a toothpick inserted comes out with clean or with a few cooked crumbs. Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes before inverting onto a serving tray. Enjoy!