Funny story, this cake.
Finals start in 5 days, and for some reason, I’m not stressing out. Usually I get super panicked and nervous before midterms and finals, but this time I feel pretty calm and relaxed. Maybe it’s because APs and SAT IIs make it feel like the year is already over, or maybe it’s because most of my finals are focused on second half of the year. Either way, I am GOOD with less stress!
It’s also possible that this cake is the reason why I’m not a panicked mess. Instead of spending yesterday afternoon studying my butt off, I decided to make a cake instead. I don’t know about you, but I find cake baking pretty darn relaxing.
And this cake! It’s absolutely amazing. The cake is a pretty classic fluffy vanilla cake, but the caramelized bananas on top add a bit of moist sweetness that is to die for. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting it to come out this good after I messed up the order of the ingredients and had to just dump everything in late, but it was still completely delicious. Recipe foolproof, check.
Baking time over. Now it’s time to go study 🙂
Banana Upside Down Cake
Adapted from Baking Illustrated
For the topping:
1/4 cup of unsalted butter
3/4 cup of packed light brown sugar
2 ripe bananas, thinly sliced
Line the bottom of a pan with parchment paper. Place the banana slices on the bottom of the pan. In a saucepan, melt the butter. Add the brown sugar and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is foamy and pale, 3 to 4 minutes. Pour the caramel mixture over the bananas and swirl the pan to distribute evenly. Set aside.
For the cake:
1/2 cups (7 1/2 ounces) of all purpose flour
3 tablespoons of cornmeal
1/2 teaspoons of baking powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
8 tablespoons of unsalted butter
1 cup (7 ounces) plus 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
4 large eggs, separated
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla extract
2/3 cup of milk
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cornmeal, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
Using a separate bowl, cream the butter, then gradually add the sugar. Beat in the egg yolks and vanilla extract. Alternatively add in the dry ingredients and milk, using 3-4 batches of each.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the egg whites on low until frothy. Increase the speed to medium high until soft peaks form. Add the sugar and continue beating until stiff peaks form.
Fold a small portion of the whites into the batter to lighten. Add the rest of the whites and fold until no white streaks remain. Gently pour the batter on top of the bananas and caramel and spread evenly. Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the cake portion comes out clean. Let cool for 10-15 minutes, then flip out of the pan and enjoy!
This totally qualifies as brain food.