Banana Caramel Upside Down Cake

banana caramel upside down cake

Do you guys watch Silicon Valley on HBO? I really like that show and how geeky the characters are. Those nerds. And I’m not making fun of them! Friends and family can attest that, despite all my attempts to be cool and to use hashtags and be up-to-date on pop culture, I am a nerd deep down.

I love spreadsheets and schedules, Lord of the Rings and classic literature, trivia, and statistics. I am a klutz with bad motion sickness, I am a compulsive list-maker, and I am also very nearsighted with horrible astigmatism, which necessitates contacts or very thick glasses. #nerd4life

These are bad generalizations of nerddom, but these are the ones I mention because these are the traits I share with my favorite nerd, my dad.

caramelized banana upside down cake

Although if you ask his colleagues and co-workers to describe my dad, “nerd” is probably the last thing they will say. To them he’s their hard-working leader, their favorite COO, the charismatic head of a nonprofit, their Richard Gere with the brains of a genius economist, the ultimate family man.

To me, he’s all that and more. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always loved being compared to my dad. I love being introduced as his daughter, and being called a daddy’s girl. I love that I can call my dad anytime, anywhere, and that he will always be there to support me and encourage me. I love that my dad and I share the same giant sweet tooth, and even though we’re continents apart for Father’s Day this year, that he will still appreciate this banana cake I made for him.

My dad makes the best minatamis na saging, which is Filipino for “sweetened bananas” – it’s a dish of caramelized plantains, soft and tender, sticky and sweet. I love eating the warm plantains straight from the pan, or cold with a splash of milk, or with leche flan in halo-halo (a Filipino dessert with crushed ice, beans, and evaporated milk). It’s one of the dishes that I look for immediately whenever I come home, and I eat it every day until it’s gone.

banana upside down cake

I made this Banana Caramel Upside Down Cake in his honor. I used regular bananas, not plantains, and I used store-bought caramel (a jar of my favorite Salted Caramel from Trader Joe’s), but the end result is extra delicious. I tinkered with my recipe for Upside Down Cake and decided to use both buttermilk and sour cream for supreme cake softness. This yields a tender and moist cake, with a slight tang complimenting the sweet banana and caramel flavors.

This cake is very easy to make. You don’t need a mixer, or anything fancy (like a springform pan). You mix the cake batter in one bowl, and pour it into a cake pan that’s been spread with salted caramel and sliced bananas. Bake, let rest, and turn upside down.

It’s simple and no fuss, like my dad. Sweet, like my dad. Looks plain but is actually extraordinary, like my dad. And number one in my heart, like my dad.

upside down banana cake

Yield: 1 cake

Banana Caramel Upside Down Cake


Upside Down Topping

1/2 cup caramel (I used Trader Joe's salted caramel)
2 bananas, sliced into 1/4 inch discs


1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup sour cream
1 banana, mashed
1 large egg
1 tablesoon vanilla


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Butter and flour a 9-inch cake pan. You can also use a springform pan.
  3. Spread caramel on the bottom of cake pan. Arrange the banana slices on top in a circular pattern.
  4. Make the cake. In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the buttermilk, sour cream, mashed banana, egg, and vanilla, blending just until well combined.
  5. Pour the batter evenly over the top and bake for 40 minutes.
  6. Remove from the oven and cool the cake in the pan for 10 minutes. Turn the cake out onto a platter and serve warm.

My dad has also been wearing glasses for as long as I can remember, and in my mind he looks exactly the same over the years. Here is a quick series of pictures to show you how my dad looks like he hardly ages:

daddy and bianca monica fatima 80s


with me and my sisters in the 80s

garcia family pic 90s

our family in the 90s (we used to get annual family pics, thus the same studio background)

dad bianca milan 2010

my dad and me in Milan, 2010

garcia christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

dad and bianca red sox june 2014

Father’s Day Red Sox game, 2014

Happy Father’s Day, Daddy! I love you more than any cake could ever express <3

caramelized banana upside down cake slice

If you’d like to read more Father’s Day tributes and recipes inspired by my dad, check out these posts: Japanese Fried Cauliflower RiceSalted Chocolate Banoffee PieSteak on the Stovetop, and Nutella Banana Pudding.


17 Responses to “Banana Caramel Upside Down Cake”

  1. #
    Ashley posted June 15, 2015 at 10:42 am

    We just started watching silicon valley (and have been binge watching old episodes!) haha

    Love this cake! I’ve never made an upside down cake myself! I need to change that!

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted June 15, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      The season ender was last night! Too funny.

  2. #
    Sues posted June 15, 2015 at 11:19 am

    This is such a sweet post!! My dad’s a “nerd,” too and I’ve learned so much from him! This cake looks so delicious! :)

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted June 15, 2015 at 3:58 pm

      Thanks Sues. Nerd dads are the best :)

  3. #
    Sam @ SugarSpunRun posted June 15, 2015 at 12:53 pm

    What a sweet post!! And this cake looks absolutely amazing!

  4. #
    Monica posted June 15, 2015 at 2:28 pm

    Simple, no fuss, and sweet…sounds like a wonderful dad, indeed. I feel the kindness beaming off him in the pics. : ) Happy Father’s Day to him! Your cake is a great tribute.

    • #
      Bianca Garcia posted June 15, 2015 at 3:59 pm

      “I feel the kindness beaming off him in the pics” – I love that sentence, thank you Monica!

  5. #
    Tricia @ Saving room for dessert posted June 15, 2015 at 3:41 pm

    Very sweet post Bianca! Love this cake and the photo with your dad!

  6. #
    Kennedy Cole@KCole's Creative Corner posted June 16, 2015 at 11:16 am

    Mmmmmm! I love caramel. Especially salted caramel! I think I may make my own. Thanks for posting!

    I recently made a cooking and baking blog, too.
    I would greatly appreciate it if you would check it out!
    Thanks so much!

  7. #
    grace posted June 16, 2015 at 12:42 pm

    oh boy. this post has so much goodness, from the obvious (bananas and caramel!) to the sweet (your pops sounds great!) to the amusing (fellow nerd here). :)

  8. #
    Jess @ whatjessicabakednext posted June 16, 2015 at 1:35 pm

    This banana upside down cake looks divine, Bianca! Totally wishing I had a slice of it right now…:D

  9. #
    Mike@TheIronYou posted June 17, 2015 at 3:30 pm

    I love Silicon Valley, I never miss an episode: such a good show (and yes, I do feel a bit nerd saying this…)
    But what about this banana upside down? Looks so awesome

  10. #
    Joanne Bruno posted June 18, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Aww such a sweet post for your dad!! Also you’ve made me want to start watchign Silicon Valley…I might have to download a few for my long flight this weekend! AND THIS CAKE. THat banana caramel topping is fab.

  11. #
    Cat posted June 18, 2015 at 9:08 am

    Hi Bianca! This cake looks delicious! I’ve used to make a similar one but with apples! I will definitly try your version because is mouthwatering!
    It’s so nice of you that you did this for your father! You are so blessed having such a special relationship with your dad!

  12. #
    marcie posted June 24, 2015 at 11:20 am

    I’ve never seen Silicone Valley, and maybe I should start! I’m a huge fan of upside down cakes, and I love this version with the bananas and caramel! Your family photos are so nice, too. :)

Leave a Comment