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  • Writer's pictureIdil Farah

Banana Caramel Peanut Butter Upside Down Cake

If you aren’t familiar with the concept of upside-down cakes, you’re in for a treat. Upside down cakes have been around forever, going back to the 1800s. The upside down pineapple cake is arguably the most well-known of them all. But trust me when I tell you that a banana upside-down cake reigns supreme.

Banana upside-down cake reigns supreme

There is something about the texture of bananas which just make this cake work. Bananas take on this almost custard-like consistency when baked, and we all know custard pairs so, so well with a fluffy sponge cake. Imagine, a silky smooth, sweet salted peanut butter caramel hugging each crumb along the surface of the cake.

Slices of bananas are baked in a pool of salted peanut butter caramel ( I use FATSO’s crunchy salted caramel peanut butter), all underneath a fluffy, pillowy banana sponge. When it is out of the oven, with caramel bubbling and the gorgeous lattice of caramelized bananas, all shiny with sticky syrup slipping down the sides of the cake, it is a sight to behold.

Gluten Free Baking

You won’t even know that this delicious treat is gluten free. What I have realized since going gluten free is that with some simple adjustments and armed with the right recipes, it is possible to enjoy all your favourite baked goods.

Gluten is a protein found in certain grains, principally wheat. However, it is also present in ancient wheat varieties too, including spelt, rye and barley. When not using wheat and gluten containing grains, there are large variety of flours to call on. These flours have different textures, properties and tastes, and easily sourced from most supermarkets. My personal favourite are ground nuts (almond, hazelnut and coconut flour) because they add this rich buttery taste to pastries and cakes.

Gluten Free Flours

Other flavours that I love are millet, teff, tigernut, sorghum, buckwheat, quinoa, amaranth, chickpea and lupin. These flours are highly nutritious but have more defined flavour. Less nutritious but with a neutral-tasting flavour are arrowroot, corn (maize), tapioca, potato and rice flour. Another option is commercial gluten free plain or self-raising flour, which are designed to be used 1:1 for regular flour. These flours can be used in various ways but they do not behave in the exact same way as ordinary flour. That is why flours are mixed with one another to create the perfect balance in recipes.

Ancestral Flour Mix

Today, I am using teff and tigernut flour, the ancestral ingredient super couple. Teff, is the smallest grain in the world and has long been an important element in traditional diets in the Horn of Africa (it is the most significant crop in Ethiopia). Not only is it the oldest grain in the world (identified as early as 1000BC), it’s also a heavyweight in nutritional benefits. It’s gluten free, high in fibre and protein, and packed with iron and calcium.

Tiggernuts on the other hand are in fact, not nuts but tubers. They have flavour reminiscent of both coconut and almond that is sweet and nutty. Nutritionally, tigernuts are high in protein, fibre, magnesium and potassium. They are especially high in resistant starch fibre which has been associated with reducing blood sugar spikes and keeping you fuller longer. It also benefits the gut by acting as prebiotic, stimulating the growth of good bacteria in the digestive track.

Combining teff, tigernut, almond flour and self raising flour may see like a lot but trust me this cake is worth the effort. Plus, I promise you once you start using these ingredients, they will become a stable in your kitchen.

Banana Caramel Peanut Butter Upside Down

SERVINGS 14 | TIME 35 | V | GF


  • 1/3 (95g) cup peanut butter ( I used the FATSO crunchy salted caramel peanut butter)

  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar (superfine)

  • 7 small ripe bananas

  • 1/2 cup (70g) gluten free self raising flour

  • 1/2 cup (80g) ivory teff flour ( I used @berhanteff)

  • 1/2 (90g) tigernut flour ( I used @addablooms)

  • 1/2 (60g) almond meal

  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

  • 3/4 cup (180ml) vegetable oil ( avocado oil)

  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten ( to make this recipe vegan use flax egg = 3 tbsp of flax meal + 7.5 tbsp of water)

  • 1/2 cup sour cream ( if vegan eliminate or add 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar to 1/2 cup of plant based milk allow to sit for 5 minutes and use in place of sour cream )

  • 7 small ripe bananas, whole

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/325F. Grease a deep, 22cm 8-inch round cake tin, and line the base and bottom. I used a springform tin to make it easier to unfold but a regular pan should work too.

  2. Place in a cup 1/2 of the and 1/4 of water in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat, without stirring for approx. 8 minutes or until you see a caramel colour. Remove from heat, add 1 tablespoon of the peanut butter and stir until smooth. Working quickly pour the peanut caramel over base of lined pan: swirl to coat base evenly.

  3. Slice 4 of the bananas lengthways and place cut side down over the caramel in the tin, trimming them to fit and cover the base. Set aside.

  4. In a small bowl, if you’re vegan mix the soy milk and vinegar together. Leave this for five minutes to allow the milk to thicken. Meanwhile, mash remaining 3 bananas with a fork in large bowl until smooth. Whisk in remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup remaining peanut butter, followed by sour cream ( the thickened soy milk mixture), oil and eggs ( or flax egg) . Mix this well. Now, sift in the flours, baking soda, and salt together. Fold until just combined, taking care not to over-mix. The batter should be fairly thick but still pourable.

  5. Gently pour the batter over the bananas, taking care not to dislodge them and even the top out with a spatula.

  6. Bake for 1 hour 15-30 minutes or until puffed and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes then run a knife around the inside of the tin. Invert the cake onto a serving plate or board. Serve warm!

If you need help with meal ideas or are looking to book a nutrition consultation to discuss further health goals, book an appointment with me at

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