On this blog Andy Warhol is becoming synonymous with tasty cakes (see my recipe for Tomato Soup Cake). Upside-down banana cake has become my new favorite dessert recipe which could also double for a really decadent breakfast bread. The crumb is moist and dense and yielded a tasty cake that is dangerously addictive.

Andy Warhol, Bananas, 1978
polaroid photography, Paul Kasmin Gallery

The Polaroid camera fit perfectly into Andy Warhol’s artistic methods of mass production. Warhol began working with Polaroid cameras in the early 1960s and according to him “There is something about the camera that makes the person look just right” (1). Often if Warhol particularly liked a photo he would turn it into an acetate before working with the image in his infamous mode of silkscreen reproduction. The ready-made nature of the Polaroid format was well suited to the pop icons captured as subjects. Although Warhol’s Polaroid photographs were never intended to be viewed as art but instead as a means to an end, the small body of work is perhaps the most revealing with regard to who Warhol was as a person.

Within the realm of upside-down cakes, the pineapple variety is perhaps the most famous. The upside-down pineapple cake is a product of the 20th century but the technique is much older with fruit on the bottom cakes made in a skillet dating back to the middle ages. Typically these cakes were made with apples and cherries and were called skillet cakes. In addition to the famed pineapple cake – the 20th century also brought with it the modern convenience of electric/gas oven baking and so the cake recipe adapted to its present form.

{Upside-Down Banana Cake}

adapted from Gourmet

3/4 c brown sugar
50 g (4 TB) butter
2 large bananas, sliced

1 1/2 c flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 mashed bananas
1/2 c buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 c vanilla sugar
1/3 c butter
2 eggs

Preheat the oven to 180C. Cream the 4 TB of butter and brown sugar with an electric mixer until it is fluffy. Spread on the bottom of a cake pan and arrange the slices of banana to cover the entire mixture.

Cream the vanilla sugar and remaining 1/3 c of butter in another bowl. Once fluffy add the eggs one at a time and then the buttermilk and vanilla extract and mix well. Add the dry ingredients and once incorporated stir in the mashed banana. Pour into the cake pan over the sliced banana.

Bake about an hour and fifteen minutes until a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean and the sides of the cake begin to pull away from the pan. Cool and then invert onto a serving platter.