Chocolate Caramel Banana Skillet Cake

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Brown sugar caramel, ripe bananas, and a semi-sweet chocolate make up this amazing upside down skillet cake! 

Sometimes the question begs to be asked…

Would it kill you… ?

Would it kill you to pick up your dirty towels off the bathroom floor?

Would it kill you to sit down and eat your dinner instead of having me chase you every 2 bites?

Would it kill you to actually do SOME work and not stare into space every 10 minutes like an overgrown Mr Magoo?

Would it kill you to take a shower and wear deodorant so my nose hairs don’t burn off?

Would it kill you to remember my birthday and not try to pass off a DVD as a present?

Would it kill you to do your homework on Friday afternoons instead of Sunday night 5 minutes before your scheduled bedtime?

Would it kill you to keep your tantrums to a minimum once a week? And If you absolutely MUST throw a tantrum, can you please lower the decibel of your screams to one where my windows don’t rattle?

Winter is coming.

Winters are damn cold.

Would it kill you to make it just a little more “Riunite on ice” and a little less “nod and high five”?

Ladies… You know what I’m talkin’ about.

I mean, really… Would it kill you?

Would it kill you to make this cake?

Wait, wait, wait…

Would it kill you to make this caramel banana chocolate upside down cake?


Let me tell you… Let me tell you about this cake!

Ok, first… I’ve made it ten (10!) times.

And every single time this cake does not make it past the next day.

I’m going to tell you why…

Because it starts with a caramel. All good things begin with caramel in my opinion.

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Butter and brown sugar, people – until that motherjumper bubbles and caramelizes.

And then – And then a little vanilla extract is added to the caramel…

Just ’cause…

And then there’s banana slices. On top of the caramel!

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A chocolate cake batter.

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And the best part?

Do you really want to know?

All of this happens in one 10″ skillet.

From the caramel, to the bananas, to the cake…

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It all happens in a skillet.

It’s the easiest cake I’ve ever made – One of those flashy looking concoctions that make your skillz seem “Award winning pastry chef”  instead of “I burn boiling water” novice.

If that’s not reason enough to stop speaking mid-sentence, drop what your doing, and get that caramel bubbling, then I don’t know what is…

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I mean, really… Would it kill you?

This Chocolate Caramel Banana Upside-Down Skillet Cake has all the elements you look for in a great piece of cake! Chocolate - Check -- Buttery Brown sugar caramel - Got 'em! -- Ripe bananas - Heck yeah!  And this cake begins and ends in a skillet. Can't get better than that!


Chocolate Caramel Banana Upside down Skillet Cake


For the topping:

  • 1 ⁄2 cup 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 3 ⁄4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 ripe bananas peeled and cut into 1⁄4-inch-thick slices

For the cake:

  • 3 ⁄4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour scooped then leveled
  • 6 Tbs. unsweetened Dutch process cocoa powder
  • 3 ⁄4 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 ⁄4 tsp. salt
  • ½ cup 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ⁄3 cup whole milk


  • Make the topping: Preheat the oven to 350ºF. VERY LIGHTLY spray the edges of a 10" cast iron skillet with cooking spray. In your prepared cast iron skillet, heat the butter over medium heat until butter has melted and is foaming. Whisk in the brown sugar and cook, whisking constantly for about 2-3 minutes until the brown sugar has melted, the mixture has bubbled, and has thickened to a nice bubbling caramel. Add the vanilla extract, but be careful because the caramel will start to sizzle and possibly spatter. Whisk until the vanilla extract is fully incorporated. Remove from heat and set aside for about a minute to cool slightly. Arrange the banana slices in concentric circles on top of the caramel mixture and set aside. Make the cake: To a medium bowl, add the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt. Mix to combine and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and granulated sugar and beat on medium-high speed until fluffy, less than 2 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the sides after each addition. Turn the mixer to high speed and beat until the mixture is light and increased in volume, about 1 minute. Stir in the vanilla. At this point your mixture might looks to look sort of curdled. Its ok – We’re going to fix that. Reduce the mixer speed to low and stir in 1⁄2 of the flour mixture, followed by ½ of the milk. Repeat with the remaining flour and milk. Mix until just combined. You should still see some dried flour bits. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat the batter on high speed for NO LONGER THAN 8 SECONDS. I mean it! Pour the batter over the bananas and gently spread it into an even layer using an offset spatula. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes. Transfer the skillet to a wire rack and let stand for about 5 minutes. Place a plate over the skillet and holding the skillet and a plate together with oven mitts, immediately invert the hot cake onto the plate. Let the cake cool for 20 minutes and serve warm or at room temperature. This cake will last about 2 days, but its best eaten the day its made, as the bananas start to look funky after a day. Adapted from: Fine Cooking

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