Upside Down Banana Coffee Cake

This upside down banana coffee cake is the kind of thing you might bake to bring to potluck brunch or a book club gathering. It’s dense, flavorful, not overly sweet, and just plain delicious. Sort of the perfect cake alongside a cup of coffee, so if you choose to eat this for breakfast I will not judge you (I may be just as guilty after all). I used this bundt pan to bake in, making this pretty darn cute with basically no effort, but any bundt pan or a square baking pan will do.

I am a BIG banana bread fan, and this upside down banana coffee cake recipe, as the name suggests, is like if a coffee cake and a banana bread had a baby. Oh yes, it’s that good. If you use a bundt pan for baking you’ll get the upside down effect with the crumb topping baking on top, but then being served on the bottom (unless you want to serve your bundt upside down, which I suppose you could do). However, if that’s just too much for you, you could bake this in a square baking pan with the crumb topping baking and being served on top like a more traditional (American) coffee cake. Up to you. Both ways are divine. Just see my note in the printable recipe card below for slightly adjusting baking time if you do.

Also, do you already know how to quickly ripen bananas? If not, read this post. It’s easy and can take less than an hour in case of coffee cake emergencies.

And if you’re thinking, “Emma, I don’t have a potluck brunch to go to.” I think you should throw one. Or if you’re thinking, “Emma, I’d love to be in a book club but there isn’t one where I live and/or I haven’t been invited to one.” I think you sound like the perfect person to start one. Sometimes we have to make the life we want, yes? You got this.

Happy baking, friends! xo. Emma

5 from 1 vote
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Upside Down Banana Coffee Cake

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup softened butter
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 3-4 ripe bananas around 315 grams, peels removed
  • 1/2 cup sour cream or greek yogurt
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

crumb topping

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3-4 tablespoons cold butter

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars (not the sugar for the crumb topping though, we'll do that last). Stir in the eggs, vanilla, mashed bananas, and sour cream or greek yogurt. In a second bowl, whisk together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet until a thick batter forms.

  2. In a medium bowl, make the crumb topping by combining the sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Cut the cold butter into small cubes and add to the bowl. Use a pastry blender or your clean hands to combine. The mixture should be crumbly, but if you press it together in the palm of your hand it should hold together before crumbling again. Similar to a pie crust consistency, but a little dryer.

  3. In a bundt pan that has been lightly oiled or buttered add the cake batter. Sprinkle the crumb topping over the top. Bake at 350°F for 35-38 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the cake to test if it's done (it shouldn't have gooey, unbaked batter stuck to it when you pull it out). Allow to cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes before removing.

Recipe Notes

If you want to bake this in a square baking pan, like brownies, you can. Simply aim for 30-35 minutes of bake time instead. Again, it's best to test with a toothpick as all ovens can be slightly different (especially in high altitude).

Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Color Story Desktop.
  • Where’s the coffee on the recipe???? Is it a coffee cake without coffee? Is the coffee cake part just the crumble?? Please help.

  • I haven’t thought about bundt pans in a long time. This is gorgeous.
    Just reading the recipe, it seems like an awful lot of batter for a square pan. I can imagine it in a springform pan or two loaf pans. Just a thought. (Actually the voice of experience. I’ve done that – poured batter into a pan, realized I had too much, and had to transfer it to another pan. What a mess.) The recipe, however, looks great.

  • American coffee cake does not usually contain coffee but rather suggests that you would eat the cake with coffee. From wikipedia: “In the United States, coffee cake generally refers to a sweet cake intended to be eaten with coffee or tea (like tea cake).”

  • If one didn’t care for bananas in her coffee cake, if she left the bananas out would she need to sub anything in?

  • Emma, any thoughts on how this would bake with a dairy free yogurt? From your experience with this cake do you think coconut oil would sub well for butter or do you think I need to use earth balance? Thank you in advance for sharing any hunch’s you have!

  • I just had some friends moving from the States to Croatia. This sounds like a perfect comfort dessert for them (asside from your pumpkin pie, which I’ll make them when the first week-long fog hits them – I’m sure they’ll need all the comfort they can get :/)
    Thank you for sharing!!

  • Can i make it without the eggs (and add some lemon juice for the height)? Allso can i use soya yogurt instead of dairy yogurt?

  • I didn’t have a ton of luck with this one… my crumble didn’t stay a crumble at all. All the butter melted out and I ended up having to cook the cake for an hour because of all the extra moisture. Still taste delicious but it certainly didn’t come out like the picture!

  • I’m sorry why would you post a banana coffee recipe WITHOUT coffee?And anyways since many people came here for a recipe WITH coffee is there a chance that you post one?
    TIA

  • There’s way too much moisture in this. I baked it an extra 10 minutes and it was still raw. It’s back in the oven for some more baking.

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