Banana Blueberry Upside Down Banana Cake

My lack of care for bananas when I was younger is so incomprehensible considering how much I love bananas now.

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When my siblings and I used to play golf regularly, mom always nagged us on eating bananas, the supposed superior and practical fruit. This nagging is of course always met with unhappy trudge to the kitchen to pick up bananas. Fast forward to college, I would hoard up to 10 bananas at a time. The fact that my housemates are all banana-hoarders doesn’t help either; we would have up to 30 bananas at a time!

Anyways, with the overflowing bananas, banana bread is a common commodity but I wanted to make something a little bit different and little bit more special. I have always had a certain fondness for upside down cakes but the cakes are usually very rich and buttery. Nothing wrong with that BUT sometimes you just want that breakfast-y bread with a little decadence.

I got the banana bread recipe from Lady and Pups and it is incredible! I substituted butter for applesauce, which might provoke some disappointment and anger. In my defense, I don’t have a microwave and was too lazy to take out another pan to melt it. Anyhow, you won’t miss it! I promise you wouldn’t even notice the lack of butter. I also stole the idea of using water as part of the caramelization at the bottom of the pan from David Lebovitz. As he mentions, you can definitely use butter if you are a skeptic but water really did work just fine!

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Banana Blueberry Upside Down Banana Cake
Adapted from David Lebovitz and Lady and Pups

For topping (or bottom, depends on how you look at it):
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tbs water
a handful of blueberries
1 banana

For the banana bread:
¼ cup oil
½ cup applesauce
3 very ripe bananas
1 large egg, lightly beaten
⅓ cup maple syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup whole wheat flour
½ cup AP Flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ginger
½ tsp salt

To prepare the topping:
Heat up the water and sugar in a saucepan until they form a pretty thick liquid. If it looks like a thick sludge, just add a little bit more water.

While heating up the water and sugar together, slice up the banana in half and then sideways. Pour the water+sugar mixture onto a loaf pan that is already covered with parchment paper. Line up the banana slices to cover the bottom of the loaf pan. Add blueberries as needed to cover up the bottom of the pan.

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For the banana bread part:
Preheat the oven to 325 F.

Dump the oil and applesauce in a bowl. Mash in the bananas into the oil mixture while preserving some of the chunks (I like having banana chunks in my banana breads). Continue to mix in the egg, maple syrup and vanilla extract.

In a separate smaller bowl, whisk together the rest of the ingredients until well-mixed. Fold in the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients (the oil, banana, egg mixture). Make sure to not overmix it.

Carefully, pour the banana bread batter onto the prepared loaf pan. Bake for about 40 minutes.

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