We’ve got a new spin on a favorite dessert. Today’s banana upside-down coffee cake was inspired by the classic pineapple upside-down cake.
Most of the nutritional enhancements we make to recipes involve substituting ingredients, but today’s big recipe improvement comes from a paper product that you likely store with your foil and plastic wrap.
Enter parchment paper.
Parchment paper is a heavy, bleached or unbleached , non-stick, heat-resistant paper that’s great for lining sheet pans when baking cookies or roasting vegetables. It can also be transformed into a pastry bag or folded into a sealed pouch for steaming delicate pieces of fish and vegetables.
We used parchment paper to help release today’s cake when flipped rather than relying on generous amounts of butter. Most pineapple upside-down cake recipes I’ve seen call for half a cup of butter to be melted in the bottom of a baking dish to help release the cake from the dish. Unfortunately, that quantity of butter contains more than 800 calories and nearly 60 grams of artery-clogging saturated fat.
Our parchment paper trick worked beautifully. Just be sure to spray the bottom of your cake pan with cooking spray, then place the parchment paper round on top and coat the top of the paper with more cooking spray.
When baking, remember that wax paper is not a substitute for parchment paper. Wax paper’s waxy coating tends to smoke and burn and should not be used in the oven.
Most parchment paper can be safely used in the oven at temperatures up to 425 degrees, but be sure to check the guidelines from the manufacturer.
Finally, let me share one tip about today’s recipes. It involves the ripeness of the bananas. The first time I tested this coffee cake, I used bananas that were slightly underripe. Interestingly, the banana slices became chewy and were rather tough. For the second test, I used very ripe bananas and the texture was perfect.
Darlene Zimmerman is a registered dietitian in Henry Ford Hospital’s Heart & Vascular Institute. For questions about today’s recipe, call 313-972-1920.
Banana Upside-Down Coffee Cake
Serves: 8 / Prep time: 15 minutes / Total time: 55 minutes
Vegetable oil cooking spray
2 medium-size ripe bananas
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
¾ cup granulated sugar
½ cup plain or vanilla fat-free Greek yogurt
¼ cup skim milk
2 ½ tablespoons vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup white whole-wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
⅛ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch round cake pan. Coat the bottom and sides of the pan with cooking spray.
Place the round piece of parchment paper in bottom of pan and spray top of parchment with cooking spray. Slice bananas and place evenly around bottom of cake pan and sprinkle evenly with brown sugar.
In a bowl, stir together granulated sugar, yogurt, milk, oil, egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine all-purpose flour, whole-wheat flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Add dry ingredients to liquid ingredients and stir to combine, being careful not to overmix.
Pour batter evenly over bananas and brown sugar. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool cake on a wire rack for 15 to 20 minutes. Invert cake onto a serving platter, then carefully remove parchment paper.
Created and tested by Darlene Zimmerman, MS, RD, for Heart Smart®.
239 calories (19% from fat), 5 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat, 0 grams trans fat), 45 grams carbohydrates, 5 grams protein, 157 mg sodium, 28 mg cholesterol, 52 mg calcium, 2 grams fiber. Food exchanges: 2 ½ starch, ½ fruit, 1 fat.
Support local journalism and become a digital subscriber to the Free Press.