Banana Upside Down Mini Cakes (or not)

Which favorite recipe do you have stashed in your kitchen drawer for a quick and delicious treat? Maybe you are better organized than me and have cookies and pies stored in the freezer for unexpected guests? If your luck is anything like mine, then you’ve probably just finished eating the last freezer dessert and haven’t had a chance to restock before that surprise visit. Luckily, I always have ingredients on hand for these little cakes. It takes me about half an hour to make them and I serve them right away as they can be eaten warm. I love them hot and topped with ice cream!

I am usually intimidated by baking and I owe it to my mother. She couldn’t bake anything edible to save her life. Her sister gave her one-on-one baking lessons many times, but with no success.  I remember the last time my poor aunt Lucia tried to make a baker out of my mom. The choice was a pound cake, because you can’t mess that one up. Mom and aunt were working side by side each on their own cake. Mom followed my aunt’s every step: eggs into a bowl; beat the darn eggs; add sugar; beat some more and so on exactly to a T. They put their cakes into the oven at the same time. We sat quietly on the sofa waiting for mom’s first cake, already so proud of her like she was the next in line for coronation. Finally the cakes came out of the oven. One was looking suspiciously flat. While aunt’s cake turned out just as it should, moist and soft, mom’s was dense and dry. Aunt Lucia threw her hands in the air, her apron on the floor and concluded that mom was cursed never to be a baker. This event and all the cake-less Sundays of my childhood left a big impact. I am scared of baking. But I am competitive and a daredevil. Dare me something and watch me do it.

Making these is a piece of cake (or 4 in this instance) and if I can do it, anyone can. Except my mom – her curse has never been removed.


Serves 4

2 Bananas
3 Egg Whites
¾ cup Brown Sugar, packed
¼ cup Granulated Sugar
1 stick Butter, divided
½ cup Water
2/3 cup all-purpose Flour
1 cup Walnuts, ground (or finely chopped)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 teaspoon Baking Powder



Over medium heat stir and simmer 2 tablespoons butter, brown sugar and water in a small pan until bubbly and the mixture thickens slightly, about 10-12 minutes. Set aside.

In a small bowl combine the flour, baking powder and walnuts. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites, vanilla and sugar for about 5 minutes, but don’t over-work it. I didn’t even bother using my mixer. A whisk worked just fine. Add the dry ingredients and 6 tablespoons melted butter. Mix to combine.
Lightly grease 4 ramekins. Cut bananas in half and then cut each half lengthwise once or twice (there is really no rule on this). Distribute banana pieces evenly among ramekins. It is ok if they go up the side of the ramekins. Pour caramelized brown sugar over bananas.
Top with batter. Place ramekins on a cookie sheet in case the caramel oozes out and bake in preheated oven on 355 degrees F for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown in color. The reason I never give you exact cooking or baking time is because each oven varies and each dish used for cooking is different. If you are an experienced cook, you already know this and if you are not so comfortable in the kitchen, just keep an eye on your dish and you can’t go wrong.
Let the cakes cool just a bit before serving. Turn the cakes over on a plate and sprinkle with cocoa powder, powdered sugar, chocolate curls, whipped cream or even better – vanilla ice cream. For the “or not” version serve the cakes straight from the ramekins. For a nice presentation use oven-proof tea cups instead. Garnish as desired.


I’m entering this recipe into the awesome AlphaBakes challenge hosted by Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker and Caroline from Caroline Makes. Random letter for April is B.

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publisher and creative director at All that's Jas
Jas is a cheesecake addict and the author of Balkan Comfort Food cookbook available on Amazon. You can download a free excerpt of the book when you subscribe to All that's Jas newsletter updates or purchase the full version below. To learn more about Jas visit her About page.
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13 Comment

  1. Reply
    March 4, 2013 at 9:34 pm

    Yum! These look great. They look so simple to make. I love your photo’s, they’re so clear. What kind of camera do you have? I’m a new follower via Twitter. I hope you had a great weekend.


    1. Reply
      March 5, 2013 at 1:00 am

      Hi Nikki,
      thanks for visiting my blog and following me on Twitter. Returnig the favor and following you back.
      I have Canon EOS Rebel T3 camera with 18-55mm and 75-300mm lense. Thank you for liking my photos, I still have a lot to learn! 🙂

  2. Reply
    menopausal mama
    March 5, 2013 at 4:47 am

    Oh my goodness I shouldn’t be looking at your blog late at night when my sweet tooth is in full swing. I just want to crawl into these pictures and eat one! They look and sound so delicious!!!

    1. Reply
      March 5, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      haha, they are so easy to make and good news is you can make only one! Late night shouldn’t be your excuse MM! 🙂

  3. Reply
    Grandma Kc
    February 10, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    YUM!!!! I love to bake and I love finding new and easy recipes that I can share with my granddaughter — who just happens to love bananas — and baking! Just stopping by from the GRAND Social! Thanks for sharing.

    1. Reply
      February 11, 2015 at 3:06 pm

      Thanks for stopping by Grandma Kc! Spending time in the kitchen with my granddaughter is also my favorite thing to do! Hugs

  4. Reply
    February 12, 2015 at 12:09 pm

    These look delicious (and simple). Thank you so much for sharing in the GRAND Social. I’ve tweeted it out to the world. 😀

    1. Reply
      February 12, 2015 at 7:18 pm

      Aw, thanks Lisa! 😀

  5. Reply
    Kate @mrsdiggerhound
    February 13, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    These definitely sound yummy and easy enough to make. Will have to give these a go.

    Popped over from Funtastic Friday

    1. Reply
      February 14, 2015 at 9:09 am

      Thanks Kate for stopping by!

  6. Reply
    February 21, 2015 at 4:17 pm

    These are mouth-watering for sure. Thanks for linking up to Funtastic Friday. Hope to see you again this week.

  7. Reply
    April 30, 2015 at 4:14 pm

    Unfortunately I don’t like bananas so personally I won’t be making these but I do think they look amazing and are a great entry for Alphabakes, thanks!

    1. Reply
      May 1, 2015 at 9:55 am

      You could try it with peaches or other fruit Caroline 🙂

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