“Think of this as banana bread but seriously leveled up. This cake is inspired by the pineapple upside-down cakes my mother always made around the holidays. Here, I replace the pineapple with ripe bananas and finish the top with a glossy, crackling sugar crust that shatters with the back of a spoon. Yes, it requires a kitchen torch to make (a broiler won’t fully melt the sugar and will instead adhere the cake to whatever baking sheet or pan it is on), but that’s a tool well worth adding to your kitchen tool kit. The batter itself makes the most of easy-to-find ingredients, with coconut milk, olive oil, and almond meal bringing extra flavor and rich texture to the party.” —DeVonn Francis
Watch DeVonn make this banana cake on our YouTube channel.
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Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into pieces, plus more for pan
cup (packed; 50 g) light brown sugar
tsp. Diamond Crystal or ¾ tsp. Morton kosher salt, divided
ripe bananas, halved lengthwise
cups plus 1 Tbsp. (195 g) all-purpose flour
cup (35 g) almond meal
tsp. baking powder
large egg yolk
cup unsweetened coconut milk
cup extra-virgin olive oil
tsp. vanilla extract
cups (250 g) granulated sugar, divided
Flaky sea salt
A 9″-diameter springform pan; a kitchen torch
Place a rack in middle of oven; preheat to 325°. Generously grease bottom and sides of springform pan with butter. Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until bubbling, about 2 minutes. Add brown sugar and ¼ tsp. Diamond Crystal or Morton kosher salt; cook, stirring constantly, until brown sugar is dissolved and butter is copper colored, about 30 seconds. (It’s okay if mixture doesn’t come together at this point.) Pour caramel into prepared pan.
Whisk together flour, almond meal, baking powder, and remaining ¾ tsp. Diamond Crystal or ½ tsp. Morton kosher salt in a medium bowl. Whisk egg, egg yolk, coconut milk, oil, vanilla, and 1 cup granulated sugar in a large bowl to combine. Add dry ingredients and mix with a rubber spatula until just combined. Pour batter over bananas and gently tap pan on counter to release any air bubbles.
Place pan on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and transfer to oven. Bake cake, rotating pan halfway through, until golden brown and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 45–60 minutes. Immediately run an offset spatula around edges of pan to loosen cake. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cake cool in pan 20 minutes; reserve baking sheet.
Invert baking sheet over top of pan, then flip cake over onto baking sheet. Remove ring from pan; carefully lift away pan bottom, running offset spatula between bananas and bottom to release (don’t worry if some of the caramel sticks).
Sprinkle remaining ¼ cup granulated sugar evenly over cake. Using kitchen torch, melt sugar until deep amber. Sprinkle cake with sea salt.