Upside Down Cake

September 9, 2012

Hi all, Shannen and I have decided to take turns posting (weekly) from here on, the whole blogging business has been a bit overwhelming, for us. On top of running the bakery, cafe and deli?! So this is the plan and hopefully it works out and we can keep you updated regularly with recipes, on goings, and any breaking news we may have!

Last week we were up to our eye balls with cake orders, the cafe and bakery have been full for lunch and we found ourselves running low on retail cakes. We had to think fast… upside down cake has to be one of the most delicious quick cakes. The fruit layer bakes up into the top cake layer while in the oven, and once turned over on to a serving plate all the juices sink in and make a mouth wateringly moist tea cake. we used fruit we had on hand, nectarines and irish blueberries. This recipe is one I use in baking workshops, I’ve adapted it from one of David Lebovitz’s recipes, and it works a treat.

Historically, upside down cake is traditionally baked with tinned pineapple rounds and garnished with glace cherries. I love these flavours and the nostalgia behind them, but today we have more modern tastes and swap out the tinned for the fresh stuff, or mix it up with berries and stone fruits. Pears are another favourite in the bakery, mixed with a bit of fresh rosemary. pear and rosemary? Its amazing.

Note on recipe: this recipe was taken out of a mini cookbook I self printed at home called: ‘Simple Baking: base recipes for scones, muffins, custard tarts and upside down cakes.’ I’ve used it in my easy baking workshops. The recipe was originally adapted from a recipe by David Lebovitz, see link above. If you’re not reading his blog, you should! I’ve added a bit of maize meal and swapped the milk for buttermilk. use any fruit you have.

Upside Down Cake

One 10-inch skillet

Fruit layer

  • 3 tablespoons (45g) salted butter
  • 3/4 cup packed (135g) muscovado sugar
  • Fruit: sliced stone fruits and berries, sliced pears, sliced apples, or fresh pineapple slices


  • 8 tablespoons (115g) salted butter
  • 3/4 cup (150g) caster sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups (175g) flour
  • ¼ cup (35g) fine maize meal (polenta)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) buttermilk

Fruit Layer:

  • Melt butter and muscovado sugar in 10inch skillet till bubbly.
  • Arrange fruit neatly in double thick layer on caramel sauce


  • Sift together flour, maize meal and baking powder, set aside
  • Beat butter and sugar till light and fluffy, 2-3min by hand
  • Add vanilla and mix in one egg at a time till incorporated
  • Add half of reserved dry ingredients and fold in by hand, alternating with half of milk, then remaining dry ingredients and buttermilk


  • Pour batter over fruit and caramel and bake at 150C if using a fan oven, 170C otherwise for 45min to one hour. Till a tester inserted in cake comes out clean.
  • Cool 10-20 min, and place serving plate on top of skillet, and carefully flip upside down. Watch out for any hot caramel!
  • if any fruit sticks to pan carefully rearrange on top of cake.
  • Serve warm with whipped cream

Flavour Ideas:

Pineapple Upside Down
Use fresh pineapple or canned, don’t forget some glace/maraschino cherries if you have them!

Blackberry Plum
Scatter a handful of blackberries in caramel then place halved plums face down on top

Pear Rosemary
Use fresh pears. Slice ½ inch thick, then scatter ½ tsp rosemary tips around pan, fan pears on top. Also add 1 tsp chopped rosemary to batter


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2 thoughts on “Upside Down Cake

    1. Shannen Keane

      No Flicky…I’m afraid you’ll have to go to Toonsbridge to visit him…we were just working on the blog and decided to make a blasts from the past post 🙂


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