Two fresh bananas may take the place of the plantain in this recipe. This is one of the recipes that shows Africans’ ingenuity with bananas and plantains. It is basically an upside-down cake that originated in Liberia and is a fantastic dessert.AD


cup sugar

cup water

2 cups sliced plantains or fresh firm bananas

2 cups all-purpose flour

tsp. salt

1 tsp. soda

1 tsp. ginger

1 tsp. cinnamon

tsp. cloves

tsp. nutmeg

3 oz. butter or margarine

1 cup molasses

2/3 cup boiling water or 1 cup sour milk (make by placing 1 tsp. vinegar into 1 cup milk)


Place the sugar and water into a saucepan, mix and bring to a boil over moderate heat, stirring constantly. Add the whole plantain to the boiling sugar syrup and cook for 5 minutes. Remove it, place it on a plate to drain and cool. Slice the plantain into coin shaped slices.

Butter a 9-inch square cake pan heavily. Spread the plantain slices evenly over the bottom.

Sift all dry ingredients together into a large bowl. Then place the butter and molasses in another saucepan and bring to a boil over moderate heat. Remove from heat. Add this heated mixture slowly to the dry ingredients and beat vigorously. Pour this batter over the sliced plantain (or bananas). Bake for about 50 minutes at 350F. Test middle of cake with a toothpick to see if it is done. No batter should stick to toothpick poked in middle top of cake.

Let pan stand 5 minutes on a rack, then loosen sides with a spatula and turn the cake upside down on a serving plate. This gingerbread is delicious served warm or cooled and extra special with a generous topping of whipped cream.


Serves 6.


country : Liberia

course : dessert


source : African Cookery / Annette Merson