Banana bread has been the go-to snack for generations. As we all know, when these fruits start to become overripe you’ve got to use them up quickly. Banana bread has been the default recipe for this purpose and just happens to be rather delicious. But, we’ve recently grown fond of another dish that is heavy on the banana: inside-out banana bread.
This yummy “bread” is more like a skillet cake and features bananas not only in the batter, but also sliced on top of the cake. It makes for a great presentation and is a different way to bake with bananas, especially if you’ve perhaps overused your trusted banana bread recipe in the past few months.
This recipe calls for 4 ripe bananas smashed up and mixed into the batter. This not only adds that rich flavor we all love so much, it also ensures the finished cake is nice and moist. Lemon zest in the batter adds balance to the banana, which can be cloyingly sweet if there is nothing to contrast with the sweet flavor.
After the batter is poured into a greased skillet and then set to bake, the fun really gets going. In addition to the bananas in the batter, sliced bananas on top really add another punch of sweetness. You dip the banana slices in cinnamon sugar while the cake does its first 10 minutes of baking and then place them on top and return the cake to the oven. For the best presentation arrange the slices overlapping and fanned out in a circular pattern so that each bite has a good amount of banana slice topping.
If you want the bananas on top to look more yellow and less brown (or if you don’t like cinnamon) you can omit the cinnamon altogether. The topping will still be delicious dipped in only sugar.
You could also add nuts to this recipe, but we find that the simplicity of the cake and the bananas really lets all the flavors shine through.
This recipe makes a great dessert, but also a decadent breakfast treat and goes well with a hot cup of coffee. The next time you’ve got a bunch of bananas that need using, try this wonderful inside-out banana bread for a delightful change of pace.
Inside-Out Banana Bread
serves 6-8; 20 minutes prep, 40 minutes cook time
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 4 ripe bananas, smashed
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 3 bananas, sliced for topping
- 1/2 cup cinnamon sugar
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Grease a 10-inch cast iron skillet with butter, making sure sides are greased as well.
- In a large bowl cream together butter and sugar using an electric mixer. Add in eggs and mix well. Add smashed bananas and mix again. To finish making the batter add in flour, baking soda, salt, and lemon zest and stir well.
- Pour batter into skillet, making sure that the pan is only half filled up with batter. Bake for 10 minutes.
- While pan is in the oven dip each banana slice into cinnamon sugar to coat all sides.
- Remove pan from oven and arrange banana slices on top of bread in a fanned out pattern. Bake for 30 minutes more.
Recipe adapted from Le Creuset.