Banana Bourbon Upside Down Cake

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You guys let’s just get this out of the way, can I first start by telling you this time of year sucks?  Mother Nature plays her sneaky tricks on us for at least a month.  We get glimpses of spring with sunshine and warmer weather followed by days of dreary rain and continued chilly temperatures.  It is the. worst.  And, don’t even get me started on the dismal display of fresh fruit at the grocery store.  I long for the days of strawberry rhubarb pies, sour cherry galettes and pillows of blackberry buttercream.  Soon, my friends, soon.  Until then, let’s console ourselves with the ever faithful banana and a healthy splash of bourbon.

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I don’t know what it is about banana bread, but I could probably eat it every day and never get tired of it.  It’s moist, just the right amount of sweet and the perfect accompaniment to a hot cup of coffee.  I found this skillet cake to be a very interesting take on the oldie, but goodie.  Caramelized sugar, bourbon and butter form a satisfying crunchy top layer  with a still moist cake that looks so perfect on my new cake stand.   And, the baking process actually turn the bananas slightly pink.  How cool is that?

So, until strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, cherries and all the other delicious summer fruits start making a comeback I do suggest you console yourself with the above on one of those dreary, cold spring days.  It’ll warm you right up, promise.

*recipe from A Cozy Kitchen

Ingredients

Cake:

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt

4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature

1/2 cup white granulated sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

3/4 cups whole milk

Banana Topping:
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine-grain sea salt
3 tablespoons bourbon
2-3 medium-sized bananas, sliced lengthwise

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a small to medium bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Next, in a medium bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla; and then mix until the mixture is smooth.
  3. To the butter and sugar mixture, mix in half of the flour mixture and the milk. Then, mix in the remaining flour mixture, being sure not to over mix.
  4. In a 12-inch cast iron skillet (10 inch works fine, you may just have extra batter), melt the butter over medium heat. Mix in the brown sugar and salt and stir until the sugar begins to bubble, about 1 minute. Carefully add the bourbon (the mixture will sizzle!) and mix one more time. Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes to cool slightly. Next, arrange the bananas to your liking.
  5. Pour the batter over the bananas, and spread the batter with a spatula gently so it’s nice and even. Transfer the cast iron skillet to the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean.
  6. Remove the cake from the oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes. To invert the cake, place a (large enough) plate on top of the cast iron skillet and turn both of them over; lift up the cast iron skillet and there you go, your cake awaits consumption!
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