Strawberry Upside-down Cake

I wrote about our strawberry adventures a few days ago, and also let you know about our strawberry recipe contest.

Looking at the berries I had left over (there wasn’t too much–fresh berries never last long around here), I mentally went through my tried-and-true strawberry recipes: stawberry shortcake, jam (which I did make), strawberry scones, and strawberry muffins. After some deliberation, I decided I wanted to make something I had never tried before. There was a delicious-looking Strawberry Summer Cake from Smitten Kitchen that I had been drooling over for awhile, but while sitting in the office, I asked Beverly if she had ever had strawberry upside-down cake. “Do you think it even exists?” I asked her. “It has to,” she said. “Google it.” But before I did, I realized why I had thought of this cake: I had already seen it, on the delightful blog Joy the Baker.

It’s an easy recipe that comes together pretty quickly, and yields a moist cake with a sticky, sweet, berry-filled top.

Joy’s recipe calls for cardamom, but I didn’t have any so I just used a little cinnamon, and it turned out quite nicely. The batter is thick, so I got a little worried when I was spreading it out over the berries, but if you dump it all in the middle of the pan and spread outward (like you would when icing a cake) it works fine–I only started at the outside for picture-taking purposes.
You can find the recipe at the end of this post.
Speaking of recipes…we know you didn’t forget about our strawberry recipe contest! I got the ball rolling, so don’t forget to send your recipes to by June 30th. You could win a one-year subscription to the mag!

Strawberry Upside-down Cake

recipe found on

makes: one 8-inch cake

For the Topping:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 cup sliced strawberries

For the Cake:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

2/3 cup brown sugar

1 large egg

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom

2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

I used an 8-inch round with 3-inch tall sides.  You can also use a 9-inch round with 2-inch sides.

Place butter in the cake pan and place in the oven.  When butter is melted, remove pan from the oven.  Using two pot holders, tilt the pan around and around, coating the sides of the pan with butter.  Once sides are coated, set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.  Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, cream butter and brown sugar on medium speed.  Cream until slightly pale and fluffy, about 3 minutes.  Stop mixer, scrape down the bowl with a spatula, and add egg and vanilla extract.  Beat for 1 minute.

Turn the mixer off, scrape the bowl, and add the dry ingredients.  Beat on low speed while adding the sour cream.  Beat until the batter just comes together.  Batter will be pretty thick.  Remove the bowl from the mixer and finish incorporating ingredients with a spatula.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar into the melted butter in the cake pan.  Sprinkle strawberry slices over the butter and sugar in a single layer.  Spoon batter over the strawberries and spread evenly with a spatula.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cake rest for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edge of the cake and inverting the cake onto a cake plate.  Serve warm with sweetened sour or whipped cream.


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