A customized print-friendly version of this recipe is available by clicking the "Print Recipe" button on this page.

Banana Cardamom Upside-Down Cake

in quick and easy whole grain dairy free gluten free overnight guaranteed classic

Author: Susan Reid for Gail Simmons

Banana Cardamom Upside-Down Cake Recipe

One of Canadian chef Gail Simmons' favorite company desserts is this upside-down cake. She says, "The appeal of this cake is the balance of familiar comfort food and elevated moment of 'wow' when it's inverted and served warm, oozing with caramel. The touch of cardamom brings in a layer of sophisticated flavor that often surprises guests. It's perfect with a little whipped cream or a scoop of ice cream." The Top Chef judge shared this recipe with Sift magazine in our Fall 2018 issue.

At a glance

one 10" cake
Nutrition information


Choose your measure:


  • 4 tablespoons (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt or 1/2 teaspoon table salt
  • 2 firm bananas, peeled


  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • about 2 medium bananas, peeled and mashed; enough to yield 1 cup banana
  • 3/4 cup full-fat sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. To make the topping: Melt the butter in a 10" cast iron or oven-safe skillet. Stir in the brown sugar and salt and cook over medium heat, stirring until evenly combined, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
  3. Cut the bananas in half crosswise, then cut each piece in thirds lengthwise. Arrange the slices, cut side down, on top of the caramel in the skillet.
  4. To make the cake: In a large bowl with an electric mixer, beat the sugars and butter at medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
  5. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then the mashed bananas, sour cream, and vanilla, scraping down the sides of the bowl between additions as needed.
  6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cardamom, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the banana mixture, mixing until thoroughly combined. Scrape the bowl and mix for another 30 seconds.
  7. Pour the batter into the skillet atop the bananas; smooth the top with a spatula.
  8. Place the skillet on a rimmed baking sheet and bake until lightly browned and a paring knife inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean, 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool completely.
  9. To serve, run a knife or thin spatula around the edge of the cake to free it from the pan, then place the skillet over very low heat for about 2 minutes to warm the bottom. Remove from the heat, place a serving plate top down over the skillet, and invert the cake onto the plate.
  10. Let the pan stay on the cake for a few minutes to let any caramel run down before lifting it off to serve.
  11. Store any leftovers, covered, in the refrigerator for up to five days.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size 1 slice, 122g
  • Servings Per Batch 12
Amount Per Serving:
  • Calories 334
  • Calories from Fat 117
  • Total Fat 13g
  • Saturated Fat 8g
  • Trans Fat 0g
  • Cholesterol 66mg
  • Sodium 217mg
  • Total Carbohydrate 52g
  • Dietary Fiber 2g
  • Sugars 34g
  • Protein 4g

* The nutrition information provided for this recipe is determined by the ESHA Genesis R&D software program. Substituting any ingredients may change the posted nutrition information.