I know what you’re thinking – you’re thinking, “Sarah, you are supposed to help me get healthier with your recipes, not tempt me with evil sweet desserts.”
Yes, I get it. You see though, I don’t think we should only eat veggies and lean protein ALL the time, sometimes you have to live a little. Even though I like to take a walk on the dessert wild side, I still like to keep it as light as I can without losing flavor – and my friends, this is the real deal.
A traditional upside down cake is going to run you around 400 calories per slice with at least 1.5 cups of sugar, 1 stick of butter, and sometimes even shortening – I would never…
I cut that to the extreme and it tastes amazing. I kept the butter and the brown sugar in the glaze, because I had to, but I cut it back. I knew that as the bananas cooked down in the cast iron, they would soften up and the brown sugar would caramelize on the bottom. The extra moisture would soak into the cake without adding a bunch of butter or shortening to the cake.
I also did half and half whole wheat and regular white flour. Trust me, you will never know, my family didn’t.
You could do this in a regular cake pan, but the cast iron just adds a beautiful element and it releases from the cast iron so easily.
With a large cast iron, I cut this into 16 pieces, but even if you cut it into 8 pieces, the calorie count is still lower than a traditional cake. Add fresh bananas to the side and you have yourself some amazing dessert.
This is a perfect way to use up ripe bananas and will be a special treat for those times when you need to celebrate. We are not a dessert every night kind of family, so when I make it, it’s always a hit. My kids devoured this! Best served warm!
I mean, what is not to love about this?
- ¾ cup white whole wheat flour
- ¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs
- ⅓ cup canola oil
- ½ cup reduced fat 2% milk
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 3-4 medium sized ripe bananas
- ⅓ cup brown sugar, dark or light
- 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Mix the flours, sugar, baking powder, salt, eggs, oil, milk, and almond extract in a medium sized bowl
- Stir until just combined, do not over mix. Set aside
- Slice bananas into ¼ inch slices, either long ways or into "coins"
- Heat a 12" cast iron skillet over medium heat and add brown sugar and butter
- Heat just until butter melts and mixes with sugar, spread out evenly across the bottom of the pan and remove from heat
- Arrange bananas on top of the butter and brown sugar glaze in whatever pattern you desire
- Pour batter over the bananas and spread evenly
- Bake for 20 minutes or until the top starts to brown slightly
- Carefully remove from oven and within the first 5 minutes of being removed, take a large plate and place over the top of the cast iron skillet and flip it over (this may take 2 people if this is your first time)
- Allow the cake to cool or serve warm