Vegan banana upside-down cake

Culture Food and Drink

This vegan banana upside-down cake is absolutely delightful, with slices of caramelised syrupy bananas on top a fluffy chai-infused sponge. Perfect for afternoon tea!



Banana Layer

  • ¼ cup vegan butter
  • ¾ cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 3 tablespoons dark rum
  • 3 large ripe bananas, peeled


  • ⅔ cup soy milk
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ⅓ cup vegan butter
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ⅓ cup mashed banana (about 1 banana)
  • ¼ cup double-strength chai tea*
  • 3 tbsp aquafaba
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ginger
  • ¼ tsp nutmeg
  • Optional – A pinch of cloves, allspice, or cardamom powder


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C and grease an 8-inch round cake tin, and line the bottom. I used a springform tin to make it easier to unfold but a regular pan should work too.
  2. Place the butter, sugar, and cinnamon in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring frequently to dissolve the sugar. Add the rum and simmer gently on medium heat for 4 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes then tip into the base of the tin. I like to reserve a few tablespoons of this caramel to brush over the cake when it is done, but this is optional and if you prefer to keep it simple, just tip all of the syrup into the tin.
  3. Slice the bananas lengthways and place cut side down in the tin, trimming them to fit and cover the base. Set aside.
  4. In a small bowl, mix the soy milk and vinegar together. Leave this for five minutes to allow the milk to thicken. Meanwhile, cream the vegan butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy. Next, stir in the thickened soy milk mixture, mashed banana, chai tea, aquafaba and vanilla. Mix this well. Now, sift in the flour, baking soda, powder, salt, and spices together. Fold until just combined, taking care not to overmix. The batter should be fairly thick but still pourable.
  5. Gently pour the batter over the bananas, taking care not to dislodge them and even the top out with a spatula.
  6. Bake for 45-50 minutes until puffed and golden and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes then run a knife around the inside of the tin. Invert the cake onto a serving plate or board. Serve warm!


*To make the tea, I brew one bag of tea in 5 tablespoons of boiling hot water for 10-15 minutes, then squeeze all the water out of the teabag and measure ¼ cup of that liquid to use in the batter.

Image Credit: Sasha Gill

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