Prep time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 35 minutes | Serves: 6
If you've tasted an upside down cake, chances are it was of the pineapple variety. That's more to do with the fact that a couple decades after the advent of canned pineapple, Jim Dole and company ran a strong marketing campaign for pineapple upside down cake (similar to the way German chocolate cake was popularized) than it does with the fact that pineapples are the best, um, topping for cake that's made upside down.
Upside down cake is actually a centuries-old dish that was originally cooked in cast iron skillets on the stove, because, hey, there were no ovens. And it was made with fresh, seasonal fruit, because, hey, that's all there was.
Here at Eat Sip Trip we believe that fresh, seasonal fruit is always better than something out of a can, which is why we're a fan of this mixed berry upside down cake.
The process is pretty simple: cook the berries in a bunch of butter and sugar in a cast iron skillet on the stove, pour your cake batter on top, pop the skillet in the oven, then after it's done flip the pan upside down, and voila, your the fruit on the bottom is now on the top of your cake (and deliciously dripping down the sides).
If this isn't exciting enough for you, you can take pride in knowing that – oven aside – they've been making cakes similarly to this since the medieval times. So you're getting in touch with your inner knight. Or queen. Or, perhaps, more accurately servant. But who cares? It's delicious.
*Photo and recipe via The Food Channel
- 3/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed at room temperature, divided
- 1 1/4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/4 cups fresh mixed berries (raspberries, blueberries and blackberries) cut in half if large
- 3 teaspoons lemon zest
- 2 extra large eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/4 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup milk
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Using a 10-inch cast iron skillet over medium heat, melt 1/4 cup butter. Add the lemon juice, 1/2 cup sugar and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook and stir until mixture is thick and bubbly.
- Remove from heat. Toss the berries and 2 teaspoons of the lemon zest in a bowl and arrange over the sugar mixture in the skillet. Any cut berries should be placed cut side up.
- When mixing the dough, it's ideal to use a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Place the remaining butter and sugar in the mixer and beat on a high speed until the mixture is light and fluffy.
- Add eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Add the vanilla and the remaining lemon zest. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and remaining salt.
- Now add 1/3 of the milk and 1/3 of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and blend well with a low speed. Continue adding the milk and dry ingredients at this rate. Scrape down the bowl and beaters as needed and mix until the batter is blended. (Dough will be thick and heavy.)
- Spread the batter onto the berries in the skillet.
- Place the skillet on a rimmed baking sheet in the preheated oven. Bake for 35-45 minutes until the cake is golden brown in color and a toothpick comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool for 30 minutes. Run a small paring knife around the edge of the cake.
- Warm the skillet over low heat on your range for 2 minutes. Remove the skillet from the heat and invert the cake on a platter or cake stand. Dust the cake with powdered sugar and serve with ice cream or whipped cream.