Notes from the Test Kitchen:
Yum, yum, yum! We were unable to find banana cake mix in our area, so substituted a butter cake mix and 1 teaspoon of banana extract instead. The finished cake was simply divine.
brown sugar, firmly packed
butter, cut into small pieces
Kirsch (cherry brandy, optional)
bananas, peeled and sliced lengthwise
10 oz. bottle maraschino cherries, drained and lightly chopped
banana flavored cake mix, or a yellow cake mix with 1 teaspoon banana extract.
1Evenly spread the brown sugar and butter in the bottom of 9x13 cake pan. Pour in the optional Kirsch.
2Press the bananas flat side down into the brown sugar and butter. Sprinkle the cherries over the bananas.
3Prepare the cake mix according to box directions and carefully pour over the fruit. Sprinkle the poppy seeds over the batter.
4Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 40 minutes. Check with a toothpick or table knife and add a few more minutes if not done. It will pull away from the edges a bit when ready.
5Let it cool for 20 minutes and place a small cutting board on the cake pan and then flip it over. Serve from the cutting board.
Note: The alcohol in the Kirsch evaporates, leaving a slightly nutty cherry taste.