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20 Easy Upside-Down Cake Recipes

Claudia has been writing recipes online for many years. She enjoys coming up with unique and tasty dishes, especially sweet treats.

20 Upside-Down Cake Recipes

20 Upside-Down Cake Recipes

What do you think about these recipes?

Am I the only person who is reminded of their grandmother when I eat a piece of pineapple upside-down cake? It's just one of those desserts that takes me back to summer afternoons at her kitchen table.

An upside-down cake is a simple treat that is just like it sounds. First, melted butter and brown sugar are placed on the bottom of a cake pan. Fruit is then placed on top of the sugar, either in a pattern, or randomly. Finally, the cake batter is put on top. The whole thing gets baked and when done, flipped upside down onto a serving plate.

The result is a delicious, moist, fruit-covered cake which is pretty awesome. Add some whipped cream or vanilla ice cream, and it's over-the-top awesome.

What a lot of people don't know is that upside-down cakes can be made with almost any fruit or fruit combination. Why not shake things up a little bit and try one of these 20 variations the next time you feel like making this classic cake?

If you have a favorite upside-down cake fruit combination, I'd love to know what it is. Please let me know in the comments section.

Plum Upside-Down Cake

Plum Upside-Down Cake

You'll find the basic cake batter recipe below. This is the batter that should be used for all of the fruit combinations. Following the recipe are the 20 different variations. At the end of the article, you'll find step-by-step photos.

Cook time

Prep timeCook timeReady inYields

20 min

45 min

1 hour 5 min

8 servings

Basic Upside-Down Cake Batter Recipe

  • 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) butter
  • 2/3 cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
  • 1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup shortening
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, large
  • Fruit, enough to cover bottom of pan

Tip: When turning the cake out onto a serving platter, use one that is bigger than the cake pan or the juices will pour out over the sides.

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F (325°F for dark pans).
  2. Melt butter in a 10" round cake pan.
  3. Sprinkle brown sugar evenly over the butter.
  4. Lay out fruit in your desired pattern. The fruit should be one layer thick, covering the bottom of the pan.
  5. Using your mixer, blend the flour, sugar, shortening, milk, baking powder, salt and egg together until thoroughly combined, about 2 minutes on high.
  6. Pour the batter over the fruit, using care not to disturb the fruit.
  7. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out cleanly. Remove from the oven. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and turn the pan over onto a platter right away. Careful, it's hot! Leave the pan on top of the cake for about 3 minutes, than carefully remove it. I always hold my breath at this stage, but the cake usually comes right out.
  8. Let cake cool until ready to serve.

1. Pineapple Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

1 can sliced pineapple, 21 oz., drained, maraschino cherries

None

Blueberry Lemon Upside Down Cake

Blueberry Lemon Upside Down Cake

2. Blueberry-Lemon Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

1 pint blueberries tossed with 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Add 1 teaspoon lemon zest

3. Mango Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

1 to 2 mangos, peeled, pitted and sliced, tossed with 1 teaspoon orange zest

Add 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

4. Cherry Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

2 cups cherries, pitted and halved

None

5. Peach Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

4 to 5 peaches, pitted and sliced, tossed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon

6. Apple Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

3 to 4 apples, peeled, seeded and sliced, tossed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Plum Upside Down Cake Recipe

Plum Upside Down Cake Recipe

7. Plum Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

4 to 5 plums, pitted and sliced, tossed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon

None

8. Raspberry Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

2 cups raspberries

Add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

9. Papaya Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

1 to 2 papayas, peeled, pitted and sliced

None

10. Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

2 cups cranberries tossed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon

11. Pear Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

2 to 3 pears, peeled, seeded and sliced

None

12. Strawberry Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

2 cups strawberries, hulled and halved

None

13. Rhubarb Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

2 cups rhubarb, sliced and tossed with 1 tablespoon sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon zest

None

14. Orange Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

2 to 3 oranges, rind on, seeded and sliced paper thin

None

15. Lemon Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

3 to 4 lemons, peel on, seeded and sliced paper thin, tossed with 1 tablespoon sugar

None

For orange and lemon upside-down cakes, I get the paper-thin slices by using a mandoline. It keeps the rinds thin so they don't taste so bitter and aren't so tough. These two cake flavors are not as sweet as some of the others.

If you prefer not to include the rinds, cut segments of the fruit instead, although I would not do this with the lemon version; it would be far too sour.

16. Blackberry Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

2 cups blackberries tossed with 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

17. Pear Cranberry Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

1 to 2 pears peeled, seeded and sliced mixed with 1 cup cranberries, 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/4 teaspoon cloves

Add 1 teaspoon cinnamon

18. Triple-Berry Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic recipe

2 cups total, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries tossed with 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

Add 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

19. Tropical Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

1 mango and 1 papaya, peeled, pitted and sliced with 1 orange, not peeled and sliced paper thin

Add 1/2 teaspoon orange zest

20. Apricot Almond Upside-Down Cake

Fruit(s) neededAdjustments to the basic batter recipe

5 to 6 apricots, pitted and sliced and tossed with 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Add 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Apricot Almond Upside Down Cake

Apricot Almond Upside Down Cake

Step-by-Step Photo Instructions

These photos are good for any of the above upside-down cake variations.

Step 1: Mix all ingredients except fruit.

Mix together, flour, sugar, shortening, milk, egg, baking powder and salt.  Remember to include any additions that the recipes above call for.

Mix together, flour, sugar, shortening, milk, egg, baking powder and salt. Remember to include any additions that the recipes above call for.

Step 2: Mix until smooth.

Mix all ingredients until smooth.  Scrape sides of the bowl.  Set aside.

Mix all ingredients until smooth. Scrape sides of the bowl. Set aside.

Step 3: Melt butter in baking pan.

Melt butter in baking dish.  Be careful if melting on the stovetop.  The pan can get extremely hot.

Melt butter in baking dish. Be careful if melting on the stovetop. The pan can get extremely hot.

Step 4: Cover butter with brown sugar.

Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the melted butter.

Sprinkle the brown sugar evenly over the melted butter.

Step 5: Prepare fruit.

Prepare the fruit as instructed.  These are apricots sprinkled with cinnamon.

Prepare the fruit as instructed. These are apricots sprinkled with cinnamon.

Step 6: Arrange fruit on top of brown sugar.

Arrange the fruit in your desired pattern.  Cover as much of the bottom as possible.

Arrange the fruit in your desired pattern. Cover as much of the bottom as possible.

Arranged fruit ready for the batter.

Arranged fruit ready for the batter.

Step 7: Pour batter over fruit.

Carefully pour the batter over the fruit, using care not to disturb the fruit.

Carefully pour the batter over the fruit, using care not to disturb the fruit.

Step 8: Bake cake and remove from pan.

Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.  Immediately run a knife around the edge and turn over pan onto a serving platter.

Bake the cake for 45 to 50 minutes or until a toothpick comes out cleanly. Immediately run a knife around the edge and turn over pan onto a serving platter.

Let the overturned pan rest for a few minutes, then carefully remove it.

Let the overturned pan rest for a few minutes, then carefully remove it.

The finished cake!

This is the apricot-almond upside-down cake, and it's oh so good.

This is the apricot-almond upside-down cake, and it's oh so good.

© 2014 Claudia Mitchell

Comments

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 09, 2020:

Glad you liked the recipes.

Cynthia Hoover from Newton, West Virginia on May 07, 2020:

For Susie in the comments below and maybe for anyone in the future yes in baking recipes shortening and butter can be substituted for each other in equal amounts. Just don't do it for any icing recipes and things like that.

I never thought about all these amazing options for upside down cakes! I love the idea of tropical and strawberry next time I am in the mood for cake I am going to try it out! I love pineapple upside down cake, but I also love trying new foods too!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 24, 2020:

I don't know if that will work or not. Sorry.

Susie on January 23, 2020:

I don't have shortening. Can I substitute it with butter?

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 18, 2016:

Thank you Valene - The plum upside down cake really is delicious. I hope you enjoyed it!

Valene from Missouri on August 26, 2016:

Oh my gosh, I've got to try the plum upside down cake! I love cooked plums (I even love prune juice), so that sounds like heaven!

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on August 02, 2015:

You're very welcome Glimmer! I would have to try that one first. You too!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on August 02, 2015:

Thanks Kristen! These are all good, but my favorite is the Apricot Almond, unfortunately, apricots aren't always easy to find. Hope you give one a try and I appreciate the vote and the comments! Hope you enjoying your weekend.

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on July 31, 2015:

Great cake recipes, Glimmer! Very useful to make a variety of upside-down cakes, all year long. Voted up!

facetube on July 07, 2015:

Like ocean of incredible taste. Cake and fruits. Just amazing.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on May 28, 2015:

Thanks so much BWD316 and your combo of berries sounds delicious. I love the summer months when the fruit is so delicious. Enjoy your cake and thanks for the kind comments.

Brian Dooling from Connecticut on May 27, 2015:

LOVE this list! There's an upside down cake for every season of the year. I might have to take some of my backyard blueberries, blackberries or raspberries and make one of these cakes this summer! Excellent hub and fantastic photographs.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 25, 2015:

peachpurple - That is a good question, and I don't know the answer although I would guess that it is ok to reduce the amount of brown sugar. You won't get as much caramel like sauce and it may stick a bit more. If you try it I'd love to hear how it turns out. Enjoy and thanks for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 25, 2015:

Hi poetryman - Understood about the pear and rhubarb. The fun thing about this list is all of the different options. Thanks for the vote and I hope you make your own version. That's what is so fun about this cake. Have a great day!

peachy from Home Sweet Home on March 25, 2015:

i must try the bluberries, btw, is it compulsory to put in so much brown sugar at the bottom?

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 25, 2015:

What a nice memory Peggy. I think a lot of people associate upside down cakes with good memories. The nice thing about these is they add a little bit of an updated twist, although I'll eat pineapple upside down cake anytime. Thank you so much for the sharing around. I really appreciate and hope you make one of these soon!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 25, 2015:

Hi Rebecca - Wow! Thanks for saying that about my pictures. I'm really enjoying taking them. Now, if I could only talk to Southern Living... I hope you give one of these a try, they really are good and nice for the spring. I'm thinking I might make one for Easter. Nice fresh fruit for the spring. Thanks again for reading and commenting. Hope you are well.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on March 25, 2015:

Nice to see you again pstraubie - I haven't been on HP as much lately because of various things. I think this would be a wonderful addition to a church coffee hour and the apricot almond one out of this world. Also a little different so people will like it. Thank you for your support and for the Angels! They are always appreciated.

poetryman6969 on March 25, 2015:

No pear or rhubarb for me but most of the rest sounds delicious!

Not sure about papaya. Love mangoes.

Voted up for being tasty!

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 25, 2015:

I remember my mother making pineapple upside down cake in a cast iron skillet and quite often my dad would be there to help her turn it over and onto a platter. It was so good in my memory! I love your variations especially the apricot almond one but some of the others sound great as well. Beautiful photography! Will definitely pin this to my cakes board and thanks for sharing this with us. I will share it as well. :)

Rebecca Mealey from Northeastern Georgia, USA on March 25, 2015:

Glimmer, you make these look easy...and so,so delicious. You should be a food photographer for Southern Living magazine, I'm serious.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on March 25, 2015:

What a collection!!! Apricot Almond ??? Wow and yum. I know that everyone at church will be thrilled with these ....we have breakfast each month and on the other Sundays we have coffee hour...so now I know what to take every time. Moist tender upside down cakes are always a hit.

Thanks Glimmer Twin Fan...sorry I have not visited so much..lots been going on like it is with us all...

Have a wonderful Wednesday

Angels are on the way to you this morning Voted up++++ shared and pinned to Awesome HubPages ps

Claudia Mitchell (author) on January 20, 2015:

Thanks for all of the support techygran! I have not made that one a a little while and now that you mention it, I think I might this weekend. It is so so good. Glad you enjoyed the recipes. Enjoy your cake and I appreciate all of the kind comments!

Cynthia Zirkwitz from Vancouver Island, Canada on January 18, 2015:

oh, I go for the apricot almond upside down cake! Thank you for this splendid set of recipes-- I could probably eventually come to the same realization, but it lovely to have all these options set out for me. I think I might experiment with a GF cake mix (how lazy I am these days). I love your photos! Voted up...etc. ~Cynthia

Claudia Mitchell (author) on December 18, 2014:

Mmmm - I could go for a piece of apple upside down cake right now. You should definitely try the apricot one, it really is good. Thanks for reading and commenting. Happy Baking!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on December 15, 2014:

I baked an apple upside down cake yesterday afternoon, so this caught my eye. They are such a classic dessert. The apricot almond upside down cake looks amazing! I just love apricots. I should be able to find them in the market this month, so I´ll try this soon. I thought the lemon upside down cake sounded interesting, and one I wouldn´t have thought of. Thank you for all this useful information!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 18, 2014:

Hi LisaKeating - I use Fotor and I have a Mac. It is great for what I need, but do wish it had a few more options. It's free, so that is an added bonus!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on September 18, 2014:

DealForALiving - That's a tough one, but personally, plum almost always wins out. It's one of my favorite fruits. Glad you are going to try this one. Enjoy!

LisaKeating on September 17, 2014:

Glimmer, What program do you use to create your collage picture?

Sam Deal from Earth on September 17, 2014:

I'm conflicted because I can't decide between the mango or the plum to start with. If I'm lucky I'll get to try all of them!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 17, 2014:

Thanks BNadyn - Upside down cakes seem to be one of those old fashioned desserts that people don't always remember when baking something. That apricot one was really good. Enjoy your cake!

Bernadyn from Jacksonville, Florida on July 16, 2014:

I haven't had this cake in years since but now I want some. I've never tried making it myself but I want to try one of these with the other fruit, maybe rhubarb, apricot or mango. Pinning this and the pictures look great, too!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 14, 2014:

Hi steffsings - I think a little rum and coconut would be wonderful in a few of these variations, especially the mango one. I'd be curious to know how it turns out. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 14, 2014:

Thanks so much for the support MsDora. I hope you've been able to give one of these cakes a try. Glad you enjoyed the hub.

steffsings from Pacific NorthWest on July 13, 2014:

Yummy article. I am considering adding a little rum and toasted coconut. Can't wait to try these some of these varieties.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 11, 2014:

Thank you aviannovice. I appreciate it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 10, 2014:

Hi KoffeeKlatch Gals - I'm glad you like the different varieties. There is definitely one for everyone, unless they don't like fruit cakes. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 10, 2014:

I did myself an injustice by looking at your pictures late at night. It was bad enough reading that mango and papaya (with my Caribbean tastebuds) will make good upside down recipes. Thanks for sharing your excellent, creative ideas. Voted Up and will definitely share.

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on July 10, 2014:

These are all wonderful recipes. Thanks for sharing.

Susan Hazelton from Sunny Florida on July 10, 2014:

I love the variety of flavors that you can choose for your upside down cake. You have made it a cake for all people. Looks delicious.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 10, 2014:

Hi RealHousewife - Upside down cakes really are the best! I think almost any type of fruit in a cake rocks and we can always say we are eating somewhat healthy. Sort of... Thanks for stopping by and reading.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 10, 2014:

Michelle - Thanks so much for your nice comment! I really appreciate all of your support.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on July 09, 2014:

I LOVE Upside-Down cakes...they are perfect for breakfast , lunch or dinner. (you know that's my style)! I make the Pineapple and last time I tried Peach and it was wonderful! Now you've got me thinking.....

Michelle Liew from Singapore on July 09, 2014:

You constantly amaze, Glim!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 07, 2014:

Hi Thelma - So glad you liked this compilation of recipes. Let me know which one you decide to try. Thanks for the votes and pin.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 07, 2014:

Thanks so much for the shares randomcreative! I hope you give one of these versions a try. They really are good, but then I'm partial too them. Have a great day!

Thelma Alberts from Germany and Philippines on July 07, 2014:

I have only made upside down pineapple and upside down apple cake. This recipe hub is a must bake for me the sooner the better. Reading this made my mouth water. Yum!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for sharing. Voted this up and pinned for later use.

Rose Clearfield from Milwaukee, Wisconsin on July 06, 2014:

I've only had upside down pineapple cake and would love to try other varieties! Thanks for putting together this awesome resource.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 05, 2014:

Hi Bill - I have been having a great weekend with great weather. I bet you could give this a shot and impress your whole family. They really are good, especially on a summer afternoon. Thanks for always reading and commenting. I appreciate it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 05, 2014:

FlourishAnyway - You definitely can't go wrong with the blueberry one. I just finished ours off today. Hope you are having a great weekend and thanks for reading and commenting.

Bill De Giulio from Massachusetts on July 05, 2014:

Hi Glimmer. Looks so easy that perhaps even I could give this a shot :). Wonderful hub with easy to follow directions and great photos to compliment the text. Hope you are having a wonderful holiday weekend.

FlourishAnyway from USA on July 04, 2014:

Oh, yum! Blueberry has my name on it! Voted up and more, and pinning. Plus trying this weekend!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 04, 2014:

Hi Suzanne - Glad I am making you hungry. Not sure what time it is in Australia, but it's always a good time to make a cake. Thanks for the support and share.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 04, 2014:

Your comments are so nice AliciaC. Thank you. I like the variations too. And honestly, it's easy to make up any other ones too. I've already thought of some more that I will be adding to the list!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 04, 2014:

Thanks Nell - I like sponge cakes too. This cake has a denser texture than sponge cakes. Glad this hub has inspired you to make another cake! Cakes are always fun to make.

Suzanne Day from Melbourne, Victoria, Australia on July 03, 2014:

Mmmm, you are making me hungry with all of these delicious photos! Thank you for letting me know it is an easy recipe, I think that's why I hadn't made an upside down cake before. I'm looking forward to potentially making a mixed berry or orange one soon. Voted awesome and pinned!

Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on July 03, 2014:

These sound like delicious cakes, Glimmer, and as usual your photos are beautiful! I love all the variations of the recipe. Thanks for sharing the necessary adjustment for each variation, too.

Nell Rose from England on July 03, 2014:

Oh yum and triple yum! lol! this brought back memories, I used to make my sponge cakes with the fruit ages ago! I made one nearly every week, what happened? lol! this is great! and its got me started on making some more too, wonderful!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 03, 2014:

Thank you for the kind comments CyberShelley. Upside down cakes really do invoke memories for many people. Glad you like these alternatives and I appreciate you stopping by.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 03, 2014:

Thanks so much Patricia. I'm glad you enjoyed the hub and will give one a try. Let me know how you like it.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 03, 2014:

travmaj - The apricot almond is a lovely combination that is lovely with an afternoon cup of tea. I hope you give one a try. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 03, 2014:

Hi teaches! Oh you will love this cake. So wonderful with all of the fresh fruits available now. I am partial to the apricot almond, but they are all good. Let me know which one you make and how you like it. Have a great 4th!

Shelley Watson on July 03, 2014:

I too loved my aunts upside down pineapple cake as a girl. So thank you for supplying these wonderful ideas - you cooking articles are always so beautifully set out and a joy to look at.

Trish Thompson from Cincinnati, Ohio on July 03, 2014:

I have never thought of this idea! You are genius! I am going to try every one of these then Iam going to experiment!

travmaj from australia on July 02, 2014:

Oh yum, I just love the look at the apricot/almond version. I want it now!

Don't attempt much cake baking these days but may have to rethink. Thank you for this recipe.

Dianna Mendez on July 02, 2014:

I should not have looked in on this so late at night. I am now so wanting one of these! I promise you that I will make one of these this week! Your first photo had me drooling.

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 02, 2014:

Thanks so much missolive! I appreciate all of the shares and support! It means a lot. Enjoy your cake.

Marisa Hammond Olivares from Texas on July 02, 2014:

oh my goodness! Yum! This has been pinned, tweeted and sent via G+. These look fantastic!

Claudia Mitchell (author) on July 02, 2014:

Hi Bill - I am well, just not real active at HP right now. I'm always ready to try a new recipe though. Glad you liked this one and thanks for stopping by. Have a great 4th!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on July 02, 2014:

The craft articles are not really up my alley, but eating? I'm all over this article with both feet and a fork. :) Thank you and I hope all is well with you my friend.