Upgrade Your #QuarCooking With This Upside-Down Avocado-Banana Cake

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Photo: Henry Hargreaves

Banana bread, muffins, cookies, pancakes, and pudding...Chances are you've mastered them all, now that we're officially in month six of the pandemic. (We can all just eat our way through it, it's fine.) Maybe you've even experimented with making a little banana "nice cream," too. But you're not done with mushy bananas until you've made this truly next-level, upside-down avocado banana cake with a coconut caramel sauce.

The all-star of quarantine baking pairs perfectly with avocado. (What doesn't, really?) The recipe comes courtesy of Alessandro Biggi, Francesco Brachetti, and Alberto Gramigni, the co-founders of avocado-centric restaurant Avocaderia and the co-authors of a cookbook ($15.29) by the same name.

Watch the video below to see why avocados are such a nutritional goldmine:

"Avocados and banana were totally meant to be together," Biggi says. "In this case, avocados don’t impact directly on the flavor, but they add creaminess to the recipe and makes the cake even softer and more moist." Without everyone's favorite healthy fat, your upside-down banana cake runs the risk of tasting too dry.

Other ingredients in the cake include flour, coconut milk, lemon juice, cinnamon, and brown sugar—key, of course, to making any upside-down cake. One pro tip Biggi says to keep in mind when following the recipe is to be careful not to overcook the caramel sauce. "Otherwise, it will get too dark and bitter," he says.

While he's a stickler about not straying from the directions on making the sauce, he definitely encourages experimenting in other ways while following the recipe. "You can play with some ingredients to give the cake a little twist, for example, you can switch cinnamon for vanilla or add other spices such as cloves," he says.

Upside-down avo-banana cake with coconut caramel

Makes 1 6-inch square cake

1/4 cup plus 3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1/4 cup canned unsweetened full-fat coconut milk, plus more as needed
2 bananas, sliced lengthwise, plus 2/3 cup mashed ripe bananas
1/2 avocado, pitted and peeled
1 tsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
1 large egg
1 cup sifted cake flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line the bottom of a 6-inch square baking pan with parchment paper.

2. In a small saucepan, combine three tablespoons of the brown sugar and two tablespoons water and heat over medium heat, until the mixture starts to get syrupy and turns a deep golden brown. Stir in the coconut milk until combined, adding more as needed, one tablespoon at a time, until the mixture is thick but pourable. Pour into the prepared baking pan and top with the banana slices.

3. In a blender, combine the two-thirds cup mashed bananas, the avocado, and the lemon juice and blend until smooth.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, egg, remaining one-fourth cup brown sugar, and the avocado mixture until smooth. Whisk in the flour, baking powder, and cinnamon.

5. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan over the sliced bananas and bake until golden, about 50 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Check out the video below to get an inside look at Avocoderia with Ladies Get Paid founder Claire Wasserman.

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