Banana Upside Down Muffins

Quite a while ago I received a cookbook called Sweet!: From Agave to Turbinado, Home Baking with Every Kind of Natural Sugar and Sweetener by Mani Niall. I had thumbed through it several times and bookmarked quite a few recipes, but never found the time to make anything. I’ve been holding on to these pics for a couple of months now, so I thought I had better get these posted!

On a side note, there was an error in this recipe in the book. I contacted Chef Mani Niall through his website and he was super nice and very helpful with straightening things out :) The recipe below is correct.

As you’ll see from the picture below, I did have a couple of casualties when inverting the pan. LOL.

I love pineapple upside down cake and I love bananas. So when I saw the name of this recipe I knew it would be something I would enjoy. Even the kids liked the flavor of these muffins! So if you are like me and you get tired of making banana bread, try this delicious recipe on for size. These are perfect breakfast or brunch muffins!

If you prefer it as a dessert, pair it with some freshly whipped cream sweetened with powdered sugar and a little banana extract, sprinkled with cinnamon.


Banana Upside Down Muffins

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 18 minutes

Total Time: 33 minutes


  • non-stick cooking spray
  • 4 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup dark muscovado or brown sugar, packed (I used dark brown sugar)
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • Muffins:
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour, preferably organic
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup dark muscovado or brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 tbsp whole milk
  • 3 tbsp dark rum
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 375 F. Lightly spray a 12 cup muffin pan with cooking spray.
  2. To prepare the pans, place 2 teaspoons of the butter and 2 teaspoons of the brown sugar in each muffin cup. Bake until the mixture in each cup is melted and bubbly, about 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool for a few minutes. Peel the bananas and cut them on a diagonal into 48 thin slices. In each muffin cup, place two banana slices on the bottom and two banana slices along the sides.
  3. To make the muffins, sift together the flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt in a medium sized bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, oil, eggs, milk, rum, and vanilla. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, add the egg mixture, and stir just until blended. Do not overbeat. Divide evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling them as full as possible (be sure to divide them evenly, they will be about 3/4 way full).
  4. Bake until the center of a muffin springs back when pressed gently with your finger, about 18 minutes. Immediately invert and unmold the muffins onto a wire rack. Cool briefly and serve. The muffins are best the day they are made.

Notes from Amanda

Mani suggests using dark muscovado sugar for the richest carmelized layer. I used regular dark brown sugar and they were fabulous. I can only imagine how good they would have been with muscovado!


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43 Responses to Banana Upside Down Muffins

  1. 1
    JoeyfromSC says:

    these look so good!! a twitter friend tweeted about you and that's how I found you! lol
    (Thanks Mel4him)!

    I like the texture of these! thanks for sharing!

  2. 2
    Jennifer says:

    I love this idea! Ive done upside down with other fruits but not bananas! Yum!

  3. 3
    Katrina says:

    If ya know me, too, I love bananas! I made the bundt cake last week, but I made so many (tried to make it healthier)changes that it was a little dry. I turned slices of it in to banana bread french toast and everyone loved it!
    These muffins look awesome and I would have never thought of it. I love even the name alone!

  4. 4
    Chow and Chatter says:

    this looks amazing so funny you contacted the author LOL

  5. 5
    Leslie says:

    These look amazing! With caramelized bananas…how can you go wrong!

  6. 6
    meg says:

    These are beyond amazing! YUM!

  7. 7
    Barbara Bakes says:

    Reminds me of bananas foster only in muffin form – yum!

  8. 8
    biz319 says:

    Holy cow that looks amazing! Adding you to my blog roll!

    I work in Barrington – my husband grew up in the Schaumburg/Hoffman Estates area – it is a small world!

    Happy Monday!

  9. 9
    Therese says:

    Ok this looks like it's to die for. I can't wait to try it. Thanks for the recipe!

  10. 10
    Debbie says:

    What a great idea….they would be great with almond whipped cream!

  11. 11
    SUGAR B says:

    I have some leftover bananas and you have inspired me!

    Beautiful muffins!

  12. 12
    LilSis says:

    Wow! Those look great! I'll have to try them. I love anything with bananas. These remind me of the pineapple upside down cupcakes that I just made for the 4th of July.

  13. 13
    Alisa - Frugal Foodie says:

    Those look sooo incredible! Wow, I never would have thought of banana upside down cakes. Yum.

  14. 14
    Amanda says:

    Thanks Joey, and I thanked Mel too for referring you here! :)

    Jennifer – before this I've only done raspberries and pineapple, these were a definite keeper :)

    Katrina – hope to see you blog that banana cake, the french toast sounds awesome!

    Chow and Chatter- It doesn't hurt to try! I figured if I could find the author I would get a faster response than the publishing company LOL

    Leslie and Meg – Thanks! They were awesome :)

    Barbara – Ooooohhh bananas foster… mmmmm

    biz39 – wow, it is small! I lived in Hoffman Estates when I was in 4th through 6th grade!

    Therese – Hope to see you blog about them if you try them :)

    Debbie – oooooo almond! yummy!

    SugarB – Let me know if you try them! :)

    LilSis – I LOVE LOVE LOVE pineapple upside down cake. I haven't tried cupcakes yet though :) YUM!

    Alisa – Thanks! They had definite yum factor!

  15. 15
    Morta Di Fame says:

    These look so gooey and fantastic! Thanks for investigating the recipe!

  16. 16
    pinkstripes says:

    I so need to make these. They look amazing!

  17. 17
    TeaLady says:

    Those look sooooo good. I love banana muffins, but these are above and beyond.

  18. 18
    Pam says:

    Oh…gimme!….gimme! some…please!



  19. 19
    Mags says:

    Arrived here through Tastestopping. First of all, your photo is beautiful and secondly, I cannot wait to try these muffins. What a neat idea.

  20. 20
    comfycook says:

    I am not a great banana fan but these have a lot of appeal.

  21. 21
    Jelli Bean says:

    Amanda, I just found your blog this week and can I tell you how in love I am? I love the recipes, the crafts..Give me more! I can't wait to continue exploring.

  22. 22
    wholesomewomanhood says:

    I made these for our breakfast this morning. So delicious!!

  23. 23
    Cookin' Canuck says:

    What a fantastic idea! These look sticky and sweet – everything an upside down cake (or muffin) should be.

  24. 24
    Heather Davis says:

    Wow these look amazing! I am definitely making them.

  25. 25
    Amanda says:

    wholesomewomanhood – so glad you enjoyed them!! :)

    Canuck and Heather – thanks guys, they were really good :)

  26. 26
    Megan says:

    Looks like a perfect little breakfast goodie to me! Love that caramel goodness.

  27. 27
    Amanda says:

    Megan – definitely good for breakfast!

  28. 28
    sophistimom says:

    What a great recipe. I love natural sweeteners, too, but a lot of the time, I'm too chicken to experiment with them. Thanks for posting this, it looks delicious.

  29. 29
    Bill says:

    These definitely look delicious would like to try think I will try to make them as sugar free as possible

  30. 30
  31. 31
    Veronica says:

    i cant stop eating them my friend made them got me addicted to them and now i cant stop maken them so i could eat them. thanks for the recipe there really awesome

  32. 32
    Amanda says:

    Thanks everyone, so glad you are enjoying them!

  33. 33

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  34. 34
    Patricia says:

    Just tried making this today. It’s ohhh-so-yummmy! You can never go wrong with bananas. Thanks for sharing. :)

  35. 35
    MJ says:

    Is the rum a necessity?
    I want to try these and have everything but the rum!

    • 35.1
      Amanda says:

      No, you can remove the rum and use a teaspoon of rum extract instead. If you don’t have that either I believe it would be safe to leave it out altogether.

  36. 36

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  37. 37
    Cindy says:

    My stomach is already grumbling….I don’t have rum….what can I use in place of the rum?

    • 37.1

      Hi Cindy :) 1 1/2 (one and a half) teaspoons of rum extract is a good substitution for the 3 tablespoons of dark rum. Brandy is also a good substitution in equal amounts to the rum. If you don’t have either and are not concerned about the flavor enhancement that the rum can offer, you can use 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla or even 3 tablespoons of water or apple juice. :) Enjoy!

  38. 38

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