mixed berry upside-down cake with cinnamon

June 23rd, 2011

With berry season gearing up to full blast, I find myself coming home with pints and pints of berries. Pretty soon it might become a problem… but until then I’m going to soak in the awesomeness at the market. Speaking of awesome, I’ve been seeing upside-down cakes around the internet lately—new takes on the classic upside-down pineapple cake—and thought that they sounded tasty and as a sucker for pretty things, they’re quite lovely to boot. So when an impromptu cookout invitation arrived, it was the perfect time to whip up my very own upside-down mixed berry and cinnamon cake.

I’m going to admit something… cakes are a little intimidating to me. They’re such a commitment and if something goes wrong, you ruin the whole shebang. However, when berries are involved, it somehow seems less scary. In my mind this cake would be friends with crumbles and buckles—desserts that are super simple and are just naturally beautiful. A layer of butter, brown sugar and berries is laid down first, then a thick—might I say luscious—batter is poured over the berries. Pop it in the oven and wait for wisps of cinnamon scented air to swirl past your nose and tease you.

You may have guessed from my descriptions, but I’m kind of in love with this cake. And I think you’re ging to love it too. After removing it from the oven and letting it cool for about ten minutes, I carefully flipped the cake oven onto my lonely cake stand (I’m not sure that its ever been used for a cake). It was a thing of glory and took real willpower not to immediately dig right it. But as I mentioned before, I had to be proper and take the cake to a cookout.

When the time came to try it, I was still a bit nervous, because you know, bringing a cake to someones house and having it taste bad would be super embarrassing. But whew, after the first bite I knew I was in the clear. The cake itself is moist and dense, with the smooth flavor of sour cream and cinnamon. The berries themselves bring a juicy sweetness that perfectly balances the cinnamon batter. It’s the kind of good that has you contemplating what going back for seconds would look like— I didn’t, but I did start the next day with a slice and have to say, it was just as good the next morning.

mixed berry upside-down cake with cinnamon
adapted from this recipe by joy the baker| makes one 8-inch cake or 9-inch cake

For the Topping:
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup sliced strawberries
3/4 cup bluberries

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 cinnamon, vietnamese if possible
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F

You wither use 8-inch round with 3-inch tall sides or a 9-inch round with 2-inch sides.

1
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.
2
In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cardamom.  Set aside.
3
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.
4
Stop mixer, scrape down the bowl with a spatula, and add egg and vanilla extract.  Beat for 1 minute.
5
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.
6
Sprinkle 1/4 cup brown sugar into the melted butter in the cake pan.  Sprinkle strawberry slices and blueberries over the butter and sugar in a single layer.
7
Spoon batter over the berries and spread evenly with a spatula.  Bake for about 35 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the center comes out clean.
8
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 with whipped cream or ice cream.

Comments: 11 Total

  1. Jennifer

    June 23, 2011 at 8:12 am

    I saw this on Joy’s blog and it’s on my list. On my way to the market today and will be picking up loads of strawberries. The photos are beautiful – as usual!

  2. Molly

    June 23, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Quick question: Is it supposed to be cardamom or cinnamon?

  3. kelly

    June 23, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Molly-
    Cinnamon, but the original recipe uses cardamom… so go with what you prefer. I really like the way cinnamon pairs with the berries.

  4. Michelle

    June 23, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    I love the beauty of an upside down cake. They’re so lovely!

  5. jacquie

    June 23, 2011 at 9:41 pm

    did you serve it warm? or cool? just wondering since i would of thought if you were bringing it somewhere it might be the later but the recipe says to serve warm. i have to be honest – i do tend to shy away from upside down cakes due to the “server warm” so i was curious ….

  6. kelly

    June 24, 2011 at 7:02 am

    jacquie-
    i didn’t serve it warm and it was still super delicious. i’ve changed that in the recipe because that certainly shouldn’t stop you from making this cake!

  7. Elise

    July 12, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    Very yummy.

  8. Mandy

    July 31, 2011 at 7:06 pm

    MMmmmmmMM! I made this tonight with mango, strawberry and cherries and it was delish! I used greek yoghurt instead of sour cream and I used both cardamom and cinnamon with excellent results! thanks for this!

  9. Meatballsandmilkshakes

    August 8, 2011 at 9:22 am

    This looks delicious! I’m not a big fan of sour cream, but I may use Mandy’s suggestion of greek yogurt instead! And I definitely plan to make this in the fall with some cranberries!

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