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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

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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

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