The Classic Upside Down Cake gets a Creative Spin

March 28th, 2014

Not many desserts bring out a warm sense of old fashioned home cooking as much as an upside down cake. Think classic with those rings of pineapple, bright red cherries and oozy buttery brown sugar.

Upside down cakes are pretty straight forward: gooey sugary business on the bottom, topped with fruit then cake batter. Bake, flip and serve!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake
Here’s the Classic
! But we are going to get creative!

From peaches to pears to pineapple, almost any fruit can get the upside down treatment with this cake. And you can get creative with the cake batter too, like with my Spiced Pear Ginger Bread & Hazelnut Upside Down Cake, it’s unusual in several ways. For one thing, the cake layer is a gingerbread batter. For another, it’s baked in a Bundt pan. And it’s highly spiced and aromatic — ginger along with cloves, nutmeg and lots of cinnamon. And did I mention the cake’s enriched with hazelnuts?

Or for a morning treat how about a Breakfast Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake. This moist cake is not too sweet and is a real treat for a weekend brunch. My testing and tasting team even liked it topped with a pouf of yogurt.

If sweets aren’t your thing, try my Savory Onion Upside Down Cake made with caramelized onions, fresh thyme, baked up with an olive oil and herb studded quick bread topping. Perfect along with a green salad or a hearty bowl of homemade soup!

So, consider upside down cakes for your next breakfast, supper or dessert. –Kathy

Spiced Pear Gingerbread Hazelnut Upside Down Cake
Makes 1 Bundt cake, serving 10 to 12

Pears
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups 1/2-inch-diced, firm, ripe pear with skin, cored (about 2 pears or one very large pear)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Batter
3/4 cup boiling water
3/4 cup molasses
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 cups flour
1/8 tsp ground cloves
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/8 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/4 tsp baking powder
6 Tbsp (3/4 stick) unsalted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp very finely minced fresh ginger
1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare the pears: In a 10-inch skillet, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium high heat. Add the diced pears, 1/4 cup sugar, and 1 teaspoon cinnamon to the pan. Sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until the pears are slightly caramelized and somewhat soft. Spoon mixture into the bottom of a 10-cup, non-stick Bundt pan.

To make the cake batter: In a medium bowl combine the boiling water, molasses, and baking soda. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, dry spices, salt and baking powder, and mix well. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until fluffy. Add the egg and fresh ginger, and mix well. Add molasses mixture and reserved dry ingredients, alternately, beginning and ending with the liquid, and mixing after each addition. Finally, add the chopped hazelnuts.

Spoon batter gently into Bundt pan over the pears and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until cake tests done. (When done, cake may not entirely fill the Bundt pan. Don’t worry; this is normal for this recipe.)

Cool to room temperature before inverting.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Breakfast Oatmeal Apple Upside Down Cake
Makes 1 10-inch round cake, serving 8 to 10

Batter
2/3 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup golden raisins
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup boiling water
2/3 cup, packed, brown sugar
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup flour
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

Apple layer
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 Tbsp flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 Gala apple, cored, skin on, sliced in thin wedges
—————————–
vanilla yogurt (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 10-inch round cake pan with vegetable cooking spray, and set aside.

Mix oats, raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg in a heat-proof container, and pour measured boiling water over mixture. Let sit for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare the apple layer: In a small bowl, mix together the 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 tablespoon flour, and the pecans, and pat out into the bottom of the cake pan. Then lay the apple slices out evenly on the brown sugar mixture. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine the 2/3 cup brown sugar, granulated sugar, egg, and oil, and mix well. In a small bowl, mix together the 1 cup flour, soda and salt, then add to sugar mixture. Add plumped oat mixture and stir well.

Without disturbing the apple layer, add batter into the cake pan carefully, and then lightly rap pan on counter to release any bubbles. Bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until cake tests done.

Let sit 5 minutes after coming out of the oven, loosen sides of cake from pan with a table knife, and then immediately invert cake onto a large plate.

Serve warm or at room temperature, topped with dollops of vanilla yogurt if desired.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Savory Caramelized Onion Upside Down Quick Bread
Makes 1 10-inch savory cake, about 8 servings

Onion layer
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp butter
2 large white onions, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
1/2 cup garlic cloves, halved
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
1/4 tsp salt
1 Tbsp white wine
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar

Batter
2 cups flour
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup whole milk
2 eggs
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare the onions: In a 10-inch skillet, heat olive oil and butter together over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, thyme and bay leaf. Cover, and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Stir in 1/4 tsp salt, wine and vinegar, and continue cooking, covered, for another 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown and very soft. Set aside in pan and cool to room temperature. Remove thyme stems and bay leaf. (You will be adding the cake batter to this pan.)

To make the batter: In a large bowl, combine and mix flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Add remaining ingredients, and mix till just combined.

Spoon batter over onion mixture in the pan and bake in preheated oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until quick bread layer tests done.

Remove from oven. Run a knife around edge, carefully invert hot skillet onto a large serving plate, and remove skillet. Any onion mixture remaining in pan can be scraped out with a spatula and spread on quick bread.

Recipe © Kathy Casey Food Studios®.

Entry Filed under: breakfast,dessert,Foodie News,Fruit,KOMO Radio,Recent Posts,Recipes,sides

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