Do you flip for pineapple upside-down cake? Then you need to try this banana coconut version! If you had the impression that upside-down cake was tricky, this cake mix hack will turn that right on its head.

Not everyone loves pineapple, so we’ve traded the typical pineapple and cherry with banana and coconut for a taste that’s comforting and just a little bit exotic. A scrumptiously sticky layer of caramelized banana and tropical coconut glazes the top of a light moist yellow cake. The bananas commingle with an easy brown sugar sauce, caramelizing into a flavor that anyone who loves bananas foster will appreciate. We have a feeling that fans of banana bread will be looking for an excuse to eat this cake for breakfast.

You’re scrolling down to find for the rest of the ingredients, aren’t you? Stop looking–that’s really all it takes to make this upside-down cake. Just a box of yellow cake mix, bananas, shredded coconut, and a caramel sauce that’s made with brown sugar and butter. When you can’t be bothered to make a cake from scratch, upside-down cake is one of the simplest ways to dress up your favorite cake mix into something you’d love to share with friends. Of course you can always make the yellow cake from scratch if you want to be extra-impressive.

Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake coconut toppingTipHero

This whole recipe is backwards–you do the decorating first. Slice up a bunch of ripe bananas and arrange the banana rounds in the bottom of a cake pan. You’ll want to use bananas that fall into the sweet spot of the ripening spectrum. The riper they are, the sweeter topping they’ll turn into, but you want to avoid bananas that are overly mushy so that you can still slice them into those pretty coins. (So save the super-ripe nanners with black peels that you left languishing in the fruit bowl for banana bread.)

The magic of this upside-down cake is in the reveal: invert the cooled cake over a serving dish and that little flip does all the work for you. Upside-down cakes really are maximum impact with minimum effort. If the flip makes you nervous, we recommend taking a deep breath and inviting someone over to ooh and ahh at the moment you turn the cake over to unveil all of that scrumptiously glazed banana and coconut.

Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake top of cakeTipHero

This cake is so simply sweet that we didn’t feel like covering up the pretty presentation with a bunch of extra toppings. But if you want to take this dessert a step further, you could serve a slice topped with a dollop of fresh whipped cream, curls of toasted coconut, or even a scoop of vanilla ice cream and a sprinkle of nuts.

Banana Coconut Upside-Down Cake

Serves 12
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Total Time: 50 Minutes


  • 1 box of yellow cake mix
  • 4-6 ripe bananas, sliced ¼-inch-thick
  • 1½ cups shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter


  1. Preheat oven to 350℉ / 175℃. Spray two 8-inch round cake pans with cooking spray. Prepare cake mix per package instructions. Set aside.
  2. Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake bananas in panTipHero
  3. Evenly place banana slices on the bottom of each cake pan.
  4. Combine brown sugar and butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and stir until dissolved. Divide brown sugar sauce between the two pans, pouring evenly over the banana slices.
  5. Sprinkle half the coconut over the sugar mixture in each pan.
  6. Divide prepared cake batter between the two pans. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before inverting onto a serving plate.
Banana Coconut Upside Down Cake craveTipHero

We want to see photos of your big upside-down cake reveal! And we want to know your all your secrets to turning a plain old box of cake mix into an attractive dessert. What’s your favorite cake mix hack?