You’ll flip for this sunny upside-down cake

As the temperatures outside continue to be low and the days seem a bit on the dreary side, I found myself looking for a little sunshine on one of those gloomy days.

Thank goodness, the sun has made its presence known a few times over the past week, but I?m ready for spring and summer to hit.

Well, I found a little cheat for bringing the tropics into January this week when I tried out a recipe that?s anything but boring and gloomy: Banana Coconut Upside-Down Cake.

The main recipe for this cake comes from Christy Denney on her blog, ?The Girl Who Ate Everything.? You can find the original at http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2011/04/banana-coconut-upside-down-cake.html, but I thought it could use an actual banana cake under the coconut rather than a plain yellow cake, so I borrowed a technique to turn a cake mix into a banana cake from www.cakemixdoctor.com, so what you have below is a melding of the two ideas.

I would also suggest that, if you have a great banana bread recipe that you like to make, you could just substitute it in rather than using the cake recipe I have below. The banana-coconut mixture on top will take it to new heights.

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Banana Coconut Upside-Down Cake

Ingredients

1 yellow cake mix

3 large eggs

1/2 cup oil

1/2 cup water

3 to 4 mashed, very ripe bananas

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 teaspoon cloves

2 teaspoons ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

4 to 5 bananas, sliced 1/4 inch thick

1/2 cup butter

1 cup packed brown sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 and 1/2 cups shredded sweetened coconut

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine cake mix, eggs, oil, water, ripe bananas, vanilla cloves, ginger and cinnamon in a large bowl and beat until well-combined.

Spray two round cake pans (I used 9-inch pans) with cooking spray and arrange banana slices in a single layer on the bottom of each.

In a small saucepan, melt the butter and then add the brown sugar and lemon juice, stirring over heat until everything is completely dissolved.

Pour half the brown sugar mixture over top of the bananas in each pan.

Sprinkle coconut into each pan, evenly distributing all of it.

Pour the cake batter on top of the coconut, evenly distributing it between the pans and spreading it out to a smooth, even level.

Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let the cakes cool for at least five minutes and then invert them onto plates (if some of the banana slices stay behind in the pan, just use a spoon to place them back on top of the cake).

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Hopefully enjoying the flavors of banana and coconut will bring some summer into your life, too.

At least, if it doesn?t work to make you feel any warmer, you?ll still have something delicious to enjoy with a hot cup of coffee while you wait.

When not helping husband Joey with newspaper work, Lindsey teaches speech, debate and forensics at Haven High School. She can be reached at lindseyclarion@gmail.com.

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