Gluten Free Grain Free Banana Upside Down Cake Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on May 31, 2013

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If you have a sweet tooth and yet are trying to eat healthier (i.e. cutting back on refined sugar, grains, starches, and dairy) what you need is a guilt-free (as well as gluten free) indulgence now and again. In my opinion, a few planned indulgences will keep you moving on the road to good health longer than an austere diet of deprivation.

This Banana Upside Down Cake is sweet, indulgent and best of all, not bad for you. In fact if there was such a thing as dessert health food, this might be it.

The combination of almonds (in the form of flour), bananas, and coconut (from organic coconut palm sugar and coconut milk) is rich and slightly tropical; enough to make you feel relaxed as you indulge, but not so much that you feel you need to top a slice with an umbrella.

I am no paleo diet expert but I have been told by my strictly primal friend (she kind of reminds me of Wilma Flintstone actually) that this dessert qualifies as a paleo treat. Personally, I am staying out of the debate and will leave it at this – its gluten free, grain free, refined sugar free, packed with protein, can easily be made dairy free, and the primates in my household love it because it is ah-maz-ing!

If you can do dairy, some organic heavy cream whipped really puts this recipe over the top. Or you can make some whipped coconut cream as my friend Alisa explains here (scroll down to where she says “How to Make Coconut Cream”). Of course, it is really pretty fabulous all on its own too!

Gluten Free Grain Free Banana Upside DOwn Cake

Gluten Free Grain Free Banana Upside Down Cake Recipe


8 tablespoons organic butter, coconut oil, or dairy free butter substitute
1 cup Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, divided use
2 tablespoons pure vanilla extract, divided use
5 small bananas, cut in half lengthwise
¼ cup Spectrum organic palm shortening
2 cups blanched almond flour (I used Honeyville)
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon raw honey
½ cup coconut milk (full fat)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Melt the butter, coconut oil or dairy free butter in a 9 – 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add ½ cup coconut palm sugar, 1 tablespoon vanilla and heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat and arrange the bananas on the sauce, cut side down.

Beat the shortening with the remaining ½ cup of coconut palm sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing the egg in fully before the next addition. Add the almond flour and salt and mix well. Add the remaining tablespoon of vanilla, honey and coconut milk and mix to combine. With a spatula, scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl to make sure all the ingredients are combined. Pour the batter over the bananas and bake for 45 minutes or until the cake is browned and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool for 5 minutes, place a serving plate on top of the skillet, flip over and remove the skillet. Serve warm.


A gluten free recipe that serves 8

Ready for more dessert?

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Categories:    Dessert

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kiki June 2, 2013 at 3:07 pm

This recipe looks really delicious!
Did you know, though, that the huge demand for palm oil is causing massive rainforest destruction and will push orangutans to extinction?


Carol Kicinski June 5, 2013 at 11:59 am

Hi Kiki, that’s why I recomend Spectrum Palm shortening. Take a look at this –


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