Upside-down cake galore: 3 delicious upside-down cake recipes

upside down pineapple cake
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Upside-down cakes are one of the most versatile types of cake you can bake. Starting with an iron skillet and your stovetop, you can caramelize any ingredient to top your cake. Customize these recipes with your favorite fruits, nuts or anything you’d like. Beyond flavor, be creative with how you choose to top your cake! We’ll explain the steps to take before you organize your ingredients in the iron skillet, but make sure you think about how your toppings will look once you flip the cake. 

Some people like to place their fruit in spirals or other ornate designs. Even if you’re not into pretty cakes, the layout of your toppings can affect the texture and flavor of individual slices. Whatever design you choose, have fun and experiment!

Here are three upside-down cake recipes (and directions for you to come up with your own!):

Step 1: Pick your cake and make your topping!

Choose a recipe you’d like to follow, or make up your own using the glaze topping base.


Pineapple upside-down cake

  • ½ stick butter 
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 can pineapple slices (save juice for cake batter)
  • 6-8 maraschino cherries

Peach pecan upside-down cake

  • ½ stick butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 can sliced peaches
  • ½-¾ cup pecan halves

Mango upside-down cake

  • ½ stick butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 mango, sliced

Glaze topping base

  • ½ stick butter 
  • ½ cup brown sugar 
  • 1-2 cups fruit or ingredient of choice
  • ½ cup nuts, chocolate chips or other small ingredient 


  1. Place the butter in an 8-inch iron skillet over medium heat. Once the butter begins to melt, add the brown sugar and whisk constantly for 2-3 minutes. Be careful not to burn the butter-sugar mixture.
  2. When the mixture is a dark brown color, turn off the heat. Place the toppings as desired, leaving little to no free space in the pan.

Step 2: Make your base cake batter (This recipe does not require using an electric mixer, but it is recommended for better-quality cakes)


  • 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ cup liquid*

*For pineapple, use pineapple juice or pineapple chunks; for peach pecan, use whole milk; for mango, use coconut milk; for your own, use any sweet or creamy liquid


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. This should be mixed thoroughly and kept dry until needed. 
  3. In a separate, larger bowl, beat the melted butter with the sugar.
  4. Once creamy, beat in the eggs one at a time. Then, mix in vanilla extract and your liquid. 
  5. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Only mix until flour is no longer visible. Overmixing will make your cake gummy!
  6. Pour cake batter into the previously prepared pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes or until a toothpick (or knife) comes clean out of the cake’s center.

Step 3: Flip your cake and enjoy!

When the cake is done, let it rest for 5-10 minutes. Take some hot pads and flip the cake onto a tray or large-enough plate. Be careful not to throw or slam the cake, as this can make the cake fall apart. 

Your cake should be warm, with a shiny glaze on top. Enjoy with a scoop of vanilla ice cream or a dollop of whipped cream!

Contact Sera Smith at [email protected].