Gluten-free Banana Upside-down Cake

There are banana farms all over the Atherton Tablelands, Australia. Those who work on the farms are always stocked on bananas. They have more than they know what to do with.

A friend of mine seems to always have over-ripe bananas on hand, so she gives them to me knowing that I enjoy baking and could probably use them. I’ve made pancakes and this banana upside-down cake.

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I’ve only ever made and tasted pineapple upside-down cake but never the banana version. I could only imagine that it tasted just as good as banana bread. I was right except it has more of a subtle flavor.

At first, I was worried about the results of the cake thinking that the overpowering flavor and density of ripe bananas would result in a mushy top layer and an overly dense pastry. This was hardly the case. The brown sugar caramelized the bananas and formed a nice glaze for the cake, while the actual pastry was perfectly fluffy. Depending on the gluten-free flour you use, the baking times may vary. Make sure the cake is cooked all the way through. If the center is still doughy, let bake for 5-10 more minutes.

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Naturally, gluten-free desserts are, for the most part, slightly denser than other pastries, but sometimes this can be a good thing. Sometimes you’ll taste the best gluten-free chocolate cake you’ve ever had in your life, and other times, the chalky after-taste of other chocolate cakes will have you wishing gluten didn’t exist. But that’s what makes the gluten-free journey an actual journey.

Now go grab yourself some self-raising gluten-free flour and get to baking!

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup oil (for brown sugar glaze)
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 3-4 bananas sliced
  • 1/2 cup oil (for cake)
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups gluten-free self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (177ºC)
  2. Grease a 13×9″ cake pan.
  3. Combine 1/4 cup oil with brown sugar and mix well. Spread the brown sugar mixture evenly into the bottom of the cake pan.
  4. Top with sliced bananas, placing bananas in a single layer.
  5. In a mixing bowl, cream together 1/2 cup oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add milk and vanilla and beat until combined.
  6. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, and mix until just combined.
  7. Pour cake batter evenly into pan and bake for 30-35 minutes until the center is set.
  8. Cool for 15 minutes and then run a knife around the edges of the cake and carefully flip onto serving pan.

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