Paleo Banana Upside Down Cake
This Paleo Banana Upside Down Cake is an impressive and delicious cake that’s gluten-free and refined sugar free. Sweetened almost entirely with bananas, this is a banana lover’s dream! This post is sponsored by ONE Banana.
Yes, it’s still pretty much the first week of January and everyone’s still dieting, or at least trying/pretending to – right? Today, we’re keeping in theme with the rest of the world and having something a bit healthier.
No, it’s not a salad or soup or “detox” anything. Yes, I am giving you a cake as my one of my first posts of the new year – #judgeme. BUT, this is a cake that you could theoretically eat for breakfast without feeling guilty, so let’s embrace it, okay? The cake is gluten-free, refined sugar-free, Paleo-friendly, and absolutely FULL of bananas. Bananas are sort of magic when it comes to baking, particularly when they’re brown and yucky looking on the outside, but filled with sweetness on the inside. Bananas are the star of some of my all-time most popular recipes like my favorite Paleo Chocolate Chunk Banana Bread where bananas are the ONLY sweetener and these Vegan Blueberry Muffins, where bananas serve as an egg-replacer!
For the batter of this banana upside down cake, it’s best to use brown, super ripe bananas because bananas give all the sweetness the cake needs – there’s no other added sweetener except for the coconut sugar in the caramelized banana layer!
The batter is pretty much banana bread batter, but when you pour it over the banana slices nuzzled in a mixture of coconut sugar and coconut oil and let the bananas get golden and caramelized, you have to call this a cake.
Bananas are definitely the star of the show here – you’ll use at least five of them depending on their size – so this cake is for the true banana lovers. I used ONE Bananas, which I love because they’re organic, grown sustainably, and always sweet + delicious.
The true magic of this cake is revealed when you flip it over. The flip can be a stressful experience with any upside down cake, so to make my life easier I made the cake in a spring form pan. That way, when it’s finished you can take off the collar, gently flip it on to your plate, and peel off the bottom of the pan. Much easier than flipping and crossing your fingers it all comes out in one piece.
When the pan comes away, you’re left with a gorgeous cake topped with caramelized bananas that no one would ever guess is a healthier option. The cake is soft, moist, and plenty sweet. I devoured a slice with a cup of tea as an afternoon snack, and my dad inhaled three slices as dessert. It would be a fabulous, impressive brunch item too! Grab your bananas and get baking :) enjoy!
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Paleo Banana Upside Down Cake
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 40 minutes
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 10 slices 1x
- Category: Dessert
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- ½ cup coconut sugar
- 2 bananas (sliced)
For the batter
- 1½ cups mashed banana (3–4 bananas or 425 grams)
- 3 eggs
- ⅓ cup (105g) almond butter (or nut butter of choice)
- 3 tablespoons coconut oil (melted)
- ⅓ cup (57g) coconut flour
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¾ teaspoon baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9” springform pan and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment or foil.
- Combine the melted coconut oil and coconut sugar. Spread in the bottom of the prepared pan. Arrange the banana slices over the coconut sugar. Set aside while you prepare the batter.
- In a large bowl or mixer, combine the mashed bananas, eggs, coconut oil, vanilla extract and nut butter until fully combined.
- Add the coconut flour, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder, and sea salt to the wet ingredients and mix well.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread it evenly.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until the cake is lightly golden brown. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for about 20 minutes, and then carefully flip out onto a cooling rack to finish cooling.
This post is sponsored by One Banana. As always, all opinions are entirely my own! Thanks for supporting the brands that support Bakerita! :)
Oh man, I am SO ready to faceplant into this cake right now just looking at the gorgeous photos! All that gooey upside-down goodness just looks too amazing!
Thank you so much, Sarah!!
Do you think I could sub pumpkin purée for the banana in the cake??
I haven’t tested it that way so I can’t make any guarantees, but that should be totally fine!! Enjoy :D
This cake looks incredible! I love banana everything and could easily devour the entire thing!
What a gorgeous cake! Those caramelized bananas look amazing! And I love the fact that this cake is healthy – that’s unbelievable! Now I have an excuse to make this cake ASAP!
Bananas are so versatile and this recipe looks so good! I love the caramelization to bring out the sweetness. Sounds like a delicious treat and alternative to coffee cake!
Incredible easy recipe. Well done. Thoroughly enjoyed reading. Keep baking..Keep sharing! :)
Oh my gosh, this looks AMAZING! That caramelization on the bananas is just perfect. And who doesn’t love banana baked goods!?
Breakfast cake is my favourite type of cake! no guilt or judgement here!!
I’m a member of the pretending to eat healthy group! lol! Seriously though, I did try to eat healthy after the New Year but it lasted all of 20 minutes! So happy to come across your Paleo cake recipe because I have a bunch of coconut flour & coconut sugar that I need to use up, plus it’s guilt free. Now I can have my sweets and eat them too :)
Beautiful! I find upsidedown cakes to be so impressive, but I have never made one. That is a great tip about the springform pan. I’m also still trying to return to healthy eating, but it is hard because I still have a ton of chocolate hanging around the house! It is so nice to have a healthier dessert option :)
This is such a gorgeous cake, Rachel! I love that you used bananas in here! And I think I could devour this ALL in one sitting! :)
Happy New Year, Rachel! I don’t judge you one bit for starting off with a cake…you’re a baking blog :D This is one gorgeous-looking cake, I need to try an upside down cake…so delicious looking!!
I’m a banana fanatic, and I love that you made a healthy cake where bananas are the star! This is so gorgeous, Rachel — I can’t wait to try it!
Ooh, you had me at ‘banana’, Rachel! But add in ‘upside down’ and I’m sold!! This looks so incredibly delicious, and what gorgeous photos! :)
Ha this looks a lot healthier than the cake I posted right after the new year. This looks drool worthy though, and I am loving how it is even acceptable to eat for breakfast.
This looks SO good! I am always looking for easy gluten free recipes to keep on hand for family events — definitely saving this one!
This looks delicious! I don’t have coconut flour though, would any gluten free flour work? I do have brown rice flour… Thoughts?
Thanks for the recipe ideas
Hi Ayssa. Coconut flour is pretty different than most other gluten-free flours because it has a much higher absorption rate. You would need to use a lot more of different kind of flour which would mess with the other ingredients in the recipe. I wouldn’t recommend using a different kind of flour here – thankfully, coconut flour can be found pretty cheaply on Amazon, or at most grocery stores. Trader Joe’s also sells it for cheap. Hope this helps!!
This is one beautiful cake!! I love that you are a rebel with the New Year salad, smoothie and detox recipes :p
Wow, what a pretty upside down cake! I can’t believe I’ve never had/made a banana upside down cake before, but I’m gonna have to fix that! As usual, I can’t believe how clean and healthy you made this cake! :)
This cake is flawless! I would definitely eat it for breakfast….and then lunch and dinner :) It’s so gorgeous and I love that it’s paleo too!
I am kind of obsessed with coconut sugar right now! I love the depth of flavor it adds! And this is a seriously impressive cake! My husband is obsessed with peanut butter and bananas, so I think I need to do this with peanut butter and surprise him!
This would be SO good with peanut butter, Annie! He’d love it :) enjoy!
I am a banana freak, like I’m pretty sure I’m part monkey, so this cake is looking all sorts of amazing to me! Not only does it sound downright delish, it’s also gorgeous! I’ll eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thank you very much! ;) cheers, doll!
Haha thank you so much Cheyanne!!
I’m always impressed with how stunning upside down cakes are, and this recipe is no exception.
I love caramelized bananas! This cake looks incredible!
Those caramelized bananas are next-level! Love this cake :)
This is so cool! I love the idea of a banana upside down cake!! It sounds delicious! Happy 2016!
That cake looks scrumptious! Love all the wholesome ingredients, too. I may have to make this, if only to use up all that coconut flour in my pantry :)
Spectacular! I always have extra bananas on hand… looking forward to trying this. Could use a guilt-free dessert this month :)
This is such a beautiful presentation! I can think of no better way of starting the new year on your blog than with a cake:)
I LOVE this cake, looks amazing, healthy and delicious! It goes on “to do” list!
Hey Rachel I tried this recipe and it was great! Just wondering how u store the cake and how long, room temp or fridge? Thank u so much for this amazing yet healthy recipe!
Hi Alyssa! So glad you like the recipe. I would recommend keeping it in the fridge because it is so moist. It only lasted 2 days in my house, but in the fridge it will probably last up to 5 days.
I was looking for a way to use up some overripe bananas and this looks AMAZING! I don’t have a spring form pan though – what do you think of lining the bottom of a 9″ cake pan with parchment paper? Thanks!
Hi Melissa, that would work! I mostly just used the springform pan because it makes getting the bottom off intact much easier, but parchment lined pan or just a really well greased pan will also do the trick. Enjoy!
Just made this and it is absolutely the very best banana cake I have ever made/eaten. I used tahini instead of nut butter.
So happy to hear that, Stefanie! Thanks for sharing your feedback :)
Can you suggest an alternative to using the coconut oil, flour,etc. I can’t eat coconut but this picture looks so yummy!
Hi Karen. Butter can be subbed for the coconut oil and brown sugar can be subbed for the coconut sugar, but coconut flour is has very unique absorbent properties and unfortunately I can’t suggest any other flours that would work 1:1 in this recipes. I haven’t experimented with any other flours in this recipe, but you would likely need a larger amount of another flour to compensate for the coconut flour – since I haven’t tried it, I can’t give any specific recommendations. Sorry about that!
This recipe is amazing! Everyone loved it – even 2 people who don’t like bananas! I would eat this every day!
I just made this and I can’t wait for it to cool enough to taste! Yours is a little prettier, my banana slices were not all round, some were diagonal, some round, but I expect the taste to be amazing! Thank you for this recipe!
I hope you love the recipe, Carol! Doesn’t matter so much how it looks, but how it tastes – right?! :)
Great Looking cake! Im going to have to try it. One question though…. How would I go about making this without using the sugar? How would it turn out if I only used the sliced bananas on the bottom?
Hi Sean, you could skip the sugar, it just won’t be as caramelized on the bottom. Enjoy!
Im going to try it !
It’s in the oven right now. Smells good!! But I think the oil has spilled out the bottom. Will this affect the cake?
Hi Ellen, you just mean a little out the side of the springform pan, right? That should be fine! Hope you enjoy it.
This is an amazing recipe! Absolutely love how gorgeous it is, how delicious it tastes, and how healthy it is!
Thanks so much for your feedback! So glad you’re loving it, Amber.
I made this but with coconut palm sugar(brown sugar sub). I also ran out of baking soda so I doubled the powder. Perfection!
So glad you enjoyed it, Kristy! Thanks for the feedback.
From the top min cake looks the same but it collapsed ;( any ideas why?
Hi Aleks, my guess is that it wasn’t baked long enough, that’s generally the reason why a cake will collapse. Did a toothpick come out clean when inserted into the center? Also, it should bounce back if you press it when your finger, not leave an indent. Sorry that you had trouble! Hopefully it still tastes good.
Thanks for your reply Rachel! Yes, the toothpick came out clean, it was baked. Everyone at work loved it anyway ;)
I’m going to bake it again, less banana and less cocounat oil in the bottom!
Made this today and it was SUPERB! WOW! Looks AND tastes like art!
I make a lot of desserts and this is now my “go to” recipe crowd pleaser. I used cashew butter (only because I didn’t have almond butter on hand) and was fantastic!
So thrilled to hear it was a hit! Thanks for the feedback :)
Made this for brunch today. My coconut oil was like a brick and would not cooperate so I ended up using butter. I think that played into mine not looking exactly like your pictures. However, the flavor was awesome even with the texture being a little off. It ended up being more of a buttery pudding cake. Next time I will be better prepared so it turns out even better! Thanks for another healthy and awesome recipe! :D
Glad you enjoyed it, Mi! You can always soften the coconut oil with about 10-20 seconds in the microwave :)
Hi! Made this tonight and it’s SO delicious!!! We loved it. How should we store this? Countertop or fridge, and for how long?
Hi Elizabeth, it can stay on the counter for a day or two, or in the fridge for up to 5ish days! Hope this helps and so glad you’re loving it!
What can you use other than nut butter? I can’t have nuts and didn’t know if that could be left out or substitute for something else?
Hi Mandi, a seed butter like sunflower seed butter would be perfect here.