i have been desperate to make an upside down cake calling for fruit and marshmallows (yes, marshmallows) for some time now. months ago, i read about such a cake, using rhubarb, here, and although i had a bag of frozen rhubarb in my freezer, just waiting to be combined with marshmallows (okay, maybe not exactly) i was trying to think outside the rhubarb box. i mused for a while about a cake made with berries and marshmallows, but became fixated with the brown speckled bananas on my counter, instead.
i kept thinking about this banana cream pudding i had at a school potluck last year – from billy’s bakery, i believe – and how amazingly creamy and delish the pudding was with the softened vanilla wafers and the chunks of bananas. not to mention the fact that the banana rum icebox cake i developed for icebox cakes isn’t half bad either . . . but i digress: essentially, i saw the bananas on the counter and wondered what a banana marshmallow upside down cake might taste like, and decided to find out. i added brown sugar to the bananas for a caramel-y note, substituted some rum for the vanilla that i’d normally add to the cake, and combined a generous amount of sliced banana coins with an equally generous amount of mini marshmallows.
i covered the bottom of a baking pan with the bananas and marshies (this was going to be an upside down cake after all) and topped that with a pale-yellow (oil-based) cake batter (i love an uber moist, oil-based cake). i popped it in a hot oven for almost an hour. and i could not have been happier with the results. the cake was as fluffy and moist as i had hoped, with pockets of crispy caramelization from the marshmallows. the bananas were jammy and sweet, flavoring the cake with the most wonderful caramel banana essence. i served pieces of the cake fruit-side up, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. umh . . . yum?
truth be told, i did not give up on the berry marshmallow upside down cake concept either. instead, i gave that version of the cake a whirl as well. honestly, it turned out to be SO damned good (i made it with raspberries), that i had to post my recipe for that one too. but, really, i see no reason why that should bum you out. i’d say it’s a win/win all round: the more marshmallow upside down cakes, the merrier. at least in my world.
- 3/4 cup cake flour
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup, 2 tbsp, oil (i use a mild olive oil)
- 2 tsp rum (optional, you can use a tsp of pure vanilla extract instead)
- 1 large egg
- 1 yolk
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cups sliced bananas (sliced into 1/2 inch coins, preferably from brown freckled bananas)
- a generous 1 1/2 cup of mini marshmallows (and a few more for scattering on the cake before baking, optional)
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- preheat the oven to 350 degrees. spray an 8-by-8-inch pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- in a medium bowl, sift the flours, baking powder, and salt together, whisk briefly to insure the leavener is well incorporated. set aside.
- in a large bowl, whisk the sugar, oil, and rum, if using, vigorously, until well combined. add the egg and yolk, and whisk again. add the sour cream and whisk again.
- using a rubber spatula, add the dry ingredients and gently fold the dry into the wet, until no streaks of flour remain.
- combine the bananas, marshmallows, and brown sugar in a small bowl, stir together, and place in the bottom of the prepared pan. pour/scrape the cake batter over the bananas and marshies, spreading it with a small offset spatula if necessary. sprinkle the top with a few extra marshmallows, if using, and place the pan in the oven.
- bake for about 50 minutes or so, rotating the pan after 25 minutes. begin to check on the cake with a wooden cake tester after about 40 minutes. the cake is done when the tester comes out clean or with a moist crumb or two.
- let the cake cool briefly on a wire rack, and then use a serving spoon to scoop out pieces, flipping the pieces over on the serving plates, so that the fruit is facing up. dust with powdered sugar and serve with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dribble of heavy cream.
- the cake will keep covered in plastic wrap for a few days on the counter, but is best served the day it is made.