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Pic of my Pillsbury Bakeoff entry: Red, White and Blue Upside Down Cake

Red raspberries, blueberries and white cake. Gorgeous? You bet.

Upside down cakes, particularly the pineapple variety, are an American tradition. I’m personally not a huge fan of the pineapple ones, as they tend to be too sweet. Of course, I’ve never made one myself and when you can tailor something to your individual tastes it does tend to improve. These types of cakes have a caramel layer – butter and sugar – laid into the pan, topped with fruit and spread with a cake batter. As it bakes, the caramel cooks itself into a nice, sticky glaze for the cake. There are only two tricks to making one of these.

First, make sure you use enough fruit because the cake batter will surely stick to the caramel.

Second, you must flip it out onto a serving platter between 5 and 10 minutes after it comes out of the oven. If you do it too soon, the caramel glaze won’t be set enough. If you wait too long, the caramel will set the cake into the pan and you’ll have to pry it out.

Any plain, basic cake will work for an upside down cake. This also works with many types of fruit: citrus, berries, bananas, stone fruits, etc. It is very easy to make and makes a nice dessert or can be served as part of a weekend brunch.
For an 8×8 square pan or an 8 or 9 inch round cake pan, melt 3 tablespoons of butter into the pan and top it with 1/2 cup sugar. Cover with the fruit of your choice – use 2-3 cups. Set aside while you prepare the cake batter. Pour batter over fruit, spread evenly, and bake according to cake directions, until a tester comes out clean. Wait 5-10 minutes, cut around the edge of the pan with a knife and turn the cake out onto a serving platter. It is best served warm, but still very good at room temperature.

If you’re wondering why I didn’t add my recipe to this post, it’s because I entered this in the Pillsbury Bakeoff this year. Scoff if you will, but the odds of winning the million dollar grand prize are better than my odds of winning, say, the lottery. And it was fun to come up with the recipe!

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  • Mika
    July 5, 2005

    It looks wonderful. I can rely on you Nicole to make me hungry-lol.

  • Ana
    July 6, 2005

    Good luck in the contest Nic.

  • Nic
    July 6, 2005

    Thanks Ana and Mika!

  • Clare Eats
    July 6, 2005

    Good Luck!
    It is a great idea for a cake… mmmmm

  • Clare Eats
    July 6, 2005

    Oh yeah…
    am on holidays at my outlaws lol.. and their oven WORKS!!!!! can you beleive it?

    I made them biscotti.. and it was fantastic, I am going to bake a cake tomorrow 😉 whilst I have the chance

  • Nic
    July 6, 2005

    Clare – I hope the weather is cool, because I imagine that you’re running that oven all the time! Enjoy it!

  • Cathy
    July 6, 2005

    Nic – it looks wonderful…good idea for some blueberries! I had never considered using anything but pineapple for an upside cake, but using other fruits that way sounds like a great idea – thanks!

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