In this showstopper, halved bananas are caramelized in brown sugar, rum, and vanilla bean paste and then covered with a luscious banana-packed batter. Once baked, it becomes the perfect blend of tender banana bread and aromatic, boozy bananas Foster.
Bananas Foster Upside-Down Banana Bread
- ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter
- 1½ cups (330 grams) firmly packed dark brown sugar, divided
- 5 tablespoons (75 grams) dark spiced rum, divided
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) banana liqueur (optional)
- 1 teaspoon (6 grams) vanilla bean paste*
- 1 teaspoon (1.5 grams) ground cinnamon, divided
- 3 firm large bananas (408 grams), halved lengthwise
- 2 cups (250 grams) all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons (10 grams) baking powder
- ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
- 1 cup (227 grams) mashed banana (about 3 very ripe medium bananas)
- ½ cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large eggs (100 grams)
- ¼ cup (60 grams) whole milk
- ½ cup (57 grams) chopped walnuts
- Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Spray sides of a 9-inch round cake pan with baking spray with flour.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter. Whisk in ½ cup (110 grams) brown sugar, and cook, stirring occasionally, until it starts to smell like caramel, 4 to 5 minutes. Slowly add 2 tablespoons (30 grams) rum and banana liqueur (if using); whisk until combined and smooth. Whisk in vanilla bean paste and ¼ teaspoon cinnamon. Pour into prepared pan. Place banana halves, cut side down, on top of caramel, cutting bananas to fit, if necessary.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a large bowl, whisk together mashed banana, melted butter, eggs, milk, remaining 1 cup (220 grams) brown sugar, remaining 3 tablespoons (45 grams) rum, and remaining ¾ teaspoon (1.5 grams) cinnamon. Whisk flour mixture into mashed banana mixture just until combined. Fold in walnuts. Pour into prepared pan on top of banana halves.
- Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 55 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool in pan for 5 minutes. Invert bread onto a rimmed serving platter. Serve warm or at room temperature.