Ever wonder how upside-down cakes originated? The answer pretty much boils down to pure convenience. Hundreds of years ago, cooks made their cakes on top of the stove in a cast-iron skillet, rather than just popping their cake in the oven the way we do now. Since the dessert was cooked in a skillet, chefs would caramelize the fruit and sugar in the pan first, then pour the cake batter on top.
The result? Upside-down cake! While the most famous version of the upside-down cake is, of course, the infamous pineapple, you can use this old-fashioned method of baking with any fruit.
At The Foodie Journey, Sylvie makes her upside-down cake with blackberries. Instead of a skillet, she bakes hers in a quiche pan, which gives her dessert an Instagram-worthy rippled edge.
While classic pineapple upside-down cake is often made with a box of cake mix, the recipe at The Foodie Journey calls for whipping up a quick cake batter of your own. She uses a special ingredient, almond meal, to give it extra fluff and flavor. And it really does look like it’s worth the extra steps:
Those a little more pressed for time might want to check this one out. At Butter with a Side of Bread, Sarah simplifies the cake-making process by using a white cake mix, blackberries and a can of lemon-lime soda instead of freshly squeezed fruit. She tops the cake with dollops of whipped cream and adds fresh mint for a pretty pop of green on top. The result is delicious and impressive enough to serve at a dinner party.
While Sarah makes her cake in a regular cake pan, Pint-Sized Baker goes old-school and bakes the cake in the traditional cast-iron skillet — though the cake does go into the oven. Buttermilk keeps the cake moist and gives it a rich, tangy flavor, while the sliced almonds and the almond extract elevates this cake to a bakery-quality dessert.
Make sure to use cake flour, as the recipe specifies, rather than just regular flour. It will make a difference in the final product, as a cake baked with cake flour will be more tender and rise better than a cake baked with plain all-purpose flour.
Don’t have cake flour on hand? No problem. You can make your own cake flour at home with nothing other than all-purpose flour and cornstarch (or arrowroot powder).
So, will you be trying blackberry upside-down cake? Or are you a tried-and-true pineapple fan?