Due to the endless tasks and stress that come with the holiday season and all the super-fun end-of-year tests that I will never, ever miss, I haven't been baking at all lately! As today is my first day of freedom, I took advantage of both my free time and the incredibly large value pack of bananas I got for no apparent reason last night. My bananas weren't ripe enough for banana bread (have no fear, that recipe's a'comin) so I started sautéing them with a little bit of butter and sugar. I decided to use the prehistoric Bundt pan we have in our pantry and make some form of an upside down cake.
I put the syrup in the bottom of the pan and poured on top a simplified yellow cake batter and, believe it or not, it came out pretty good! Just a big no-no to avoid, PLEASE remember to grease and flour the pan, or you’ll be eating the cake out of the pan with a spoon…Which actually doesn’t sound too horrible... Also, I’d definitely support serving this warm with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream on top (the real stuff; don’t cheap out on me here).
*for the bananas, “ripe” meaning with yellow with brown spots, not black please, save those for banana bread.
Alrighty kids, here we go:
4 ripe bananas *
1/4 cup (half stick) of butter
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons heavy cream (half and half, if it’s all you’ve got)
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter (softened)
3/4 cup white sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 oz. unsweetened applesauce**
**this is the same size as you would get in a kid’s-size cup of apple sauce that comes in a pack of 6, if that's easier.
- Slice the bananas lengthwise twice, so each banana should make three long strips (total of 12 strips). For half of the strips, cut them small so there are little squares, about the size of a walnut (about 8ish cuts). For the rest of the banana strips, slice them further apart, about four cuts. (The size doesn’t really matter, you just don’t want too big or too small). Put the slices aside.
- In a medium saucepan, begin to melt the butter on medium heat and add in the granulated sugar, cinnamon, and allspice. Once combined, add the banana slices and let them cook until they’ve turned a caramel color and smash easily when pressed on, stirring occasionally (maybe 8-10 minutes). Add the vanilla and cream and stir the mixture up, letting it cook for about 10 more minutes, or until it looks nice and gooey. Turn of the heat and set them pan aside.
- Grease and flour a Bundt pan well. Pour the banana syrup into the bottom of the ban and try not to move it around too much or it will take off the flour.
- In a medium bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg until just combined. Dissolve baking soda in buttermilk and add the sugar mixture. Add the flour in increments, alternating until they are both gone.
- Pour the batter on top of the syrup mixture in the pan (or plop, as the batter is pretty thick). Even the batter out with a rubber spatula and dip the spatula almost to the bottom and back out to get some of the syrup in between the batter. Do this in a couple places.
- Put the pan in the oven and bake for 20 minutes on 350 F, then lower the temperature to 325 F and cook for ten more minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Remove the pan and let it cool for AT LEAST 30 minutes (willpower, people, I know it’s hard). If you pop it out and some syrup sticks to the pan, no worries. Just scoop it out with a spoon and spread it back on!
- Now dig in; you deserve it, you star chef, you.
NOTE- if you want to double this recipe, I’d suggest doing two layers of syrup and batter, instead of double syrup on the bottom and double syrup on the top.