bill granger's banana maple upside down cake

banana upside down cake

i know i have an overt reliance on the Big G, but i am a sucker for an upside down cake and when i found this recipe in bill's open kitchen i had to try it. bananas i wasn't so sure about, but i love his cakes, and the thought of it with just that bit of crunchy caramel that escapes from the bottom and crisps up at the top of the golden crumb, the gooey brown sugar fortified with maple melting into the fruit and cake was enough for me to not wait for our inevitable banana crop. i actually went out and bought bananas, although i bought the typical american type--large, honkin' large, a little too sweet and bland and pale, but that's the kind i think is called for in this recipe. i think the next time i make this cake i'll wait for our crop of manila bananas--small, yellowish fat fingers that are simultaneously sweet and tart, a bit like creamy, creamy apples. mm, yes, that would be the ticket.

as it was, the cake was fine. it reminded me of an elaborate banana pancake with the maple syrup and the light yellow cake. hm. actually, if i had this for breakfast i'd probably love it and then drop dead of a heart attack. it's funny because when i was looking for a recipe link online, i found that julie from a finger in every pie hated it so much it was part of her IMBB #12 taboo/hated food post. ah well. i think i could change her mind about this cake if i could somehow send her some home-grown island 'nanas....

banana upside down cake 2


Oh Santos, I love banana desserts. Yours look terribly good.

Oh yum! I love Manila bananas and can't find any in the States. I doubt that when my mom comes to visit that they won't let her bring any back with her. It has been far too long...

The type of banana you described eaten in the States is the only type we can get in Norway too. It's strange because it's the only type that is sold in all the supermarkets. I know of some asian shops that sell a different type and just one supermarket that sometimes sells different types of bananas but that's about it. When I was in East Malaysia I was really happy to see so many types of bananas. I do love them sweet though, there was this very small types I ate in Kuching City and (I kid you not) it actually tasted like honey. And I loved it. I also love savoury banana chips.
But anyway, this upside down cake looks delicious, I can imagine how this taste, I love all the ingredients in it, so I reckon I might like this one.

Oh, pretty! Is that a "wavey" spring form cake pan you have there young lady? It looks fantastic!

Santos, your cake looks scrumptious -- better than mine. I think too much of the maple caramel leaked out of my springform pan, and that left the cake with too much of the dreaded banana taste. I think you're right -- if I could find those sweet creamy little bananas instead of the gigantic Chiquita clones, I might have a different experience...

Hi Santos,

This looks really, really good. I think I would try this with apple bananas which have a bit of tartness to them. They'd probably taste really delicious in this cake.

BTW...I love bananas. =P

Hi Santos - I could eat this for breakfast no problem :) Looks perfect! I've got a couple of his first books, I quite like his kitchen by the way.

santos - this looks incredible! my mouth is watering! if only you lived a little closer... than half way around the world!... i'd be at your door with a plate and a fork!

What exactly are manila bananas? Lacatan, latundan, saba, etc?

hello umami--this actually improved with age. all the flavours sort of melded together and this semi-noxious hot banana scent disappeared. i will definitely do this one again, with tropical bananas, and maybe some macadamia nuts for texture.

hi ollie--you should be able to find some in latino shops or sometimes i see them at whole foods. so expensive! but worth it. aren't you in sd? there's a big banana farm there that has grows tropical varieties. i'll try to find out the name, maybe they sell them at farmers' markets.

hi oslofoodie--ooh. honey banana you say? that sounds deliiiiicious. what colour was the flesh? was the skin very thin? i must find this banana!

hi zarah! you know, i actually misplaced the bottom of my springform pan when i made the dulce de leche cheesecake--i hope it didn't fall in the crack between the oven and the cabinets! i used a rosette pan without a removable bottom, although you can buy ones with it.

hi julie--as i was saying to zarah, i didn't use a springform pan, which i normally don't use for upside down cakes because i have the same leakage problem. the banana part that was covered in sugar/maple was fine, but when i got to the banana part with the cake, i could def. smell that noxious scent you spoke of. do you think it has anything to do with the way they pack that particular banana before shipping? i seem to recall they get sprayed with something when they are green to retard ripening--does that scent have anything to do with chemicals and not the 'nana itself?

hi reid! the manila bananas i spoke of i think are the same as the apple bananas in hawaii. i agree with you, those would work well with this.

banana lover ;-P

hi keiko! are you talking about the kitchen with the gorgeous aquamarine cabinets or the all white one? i love them both! i think the aquamarine one might actually be a test kitchen for a magazine. i'll have to go through my back issues and books to check.

hi ctr--i see that it's snowing in paris! i'll be sure to have a warm slice waiting for you :-)

hi karen! omg, you think i should check to see if i have any comments waiting next time?! ;-) latundan bananas--the small fat ones with the thicker skin than the senoritas.what are the lacatans again? are they the orangey-yellow ones? i'll bet those would be great.

Hehehe! Lacatan are the orangey-yellow ones as you say. Almost like the Cavendish but not quite. Very tasty too.

Hi Santos, sorry about this late reply. I like his all white kitchen, it looks a bit like ours (well, not really) but ours has glossy white cabintes too. I'd like to have a big chunky limestone worktop one day, it's very unlikely to happen though... I've never seen the aquamarine one, sounds fantastic. Let me know if you find a source that you can see them.

Hi! Just bumped into your blog through nordljus (Keiko's blog) for this wonderful recipe. Unfortunately, it is no longer available. Would you mind posting it for us late-comers? Thank You!

hi! jumbo empanadas has the recipe on her blog.

This looks fantastic. I'm gonna have a go.