Thursday, June 20, 2013

Upside Down.

This cake is like Pineapple Upside Down Cake's younger more eccentric sister who just wants to break free from her older's sister's comparisons. But I as simply an advocate for all things cake, love each one equally. 

My mom used to make the Pineapple version all the time when we were little, so the process of any sort of upside down cake is sort of nostalgic. Caramelizing the butter and sugar, arranging the fruit...licking the beaters, it's all very comforting and reminiscent of a simpler time. And even though I sort of claimed the household whisk; I get so happy inside when mom decides to bake for a change. (Still working on my Indian cooking so we can't trade roles too often :)) 

I kind of took my mom's basic formula, combined it with something similar I found in Bon Appetite's Desserts cookbook (my latest obsession) and ended up with something as pretty tasting as it looks. 

A drizzle of honey in the typical brown sugar-butter mixture, fresh juicy peaches instead of canned pineapple, a touch of yogurt and some spices turn my mom's classic up a few notches. The concept of an upside down cake is in the sauce that sits on the bottom of the pan. In this cake, the honey mixture melts ever so gently into the peaches and into the bottom of the cake (which will become the top once flipped), and creates the most luscious, sweet topping. It's sensational. 

For the topping: 

3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/4 cup honey
1/3 cup brown sugar

Melt butter in saucepan over medium heat. Stir in honey and brown sugar, boil until mixture slightly darkens. Make sure you're stirring'll take about 2-3 minutes only. Immediately pour honey mixture into prepared pan (I used a 10 in spring form); coat bottom completely by tilting the pan around. Let stand while preparing the batter. 

1 1/4 cups  all purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
 1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons butter room temperature
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla exctract
1/2 cup plain yogurt
About 3 peaches; pitted and sliced

Whisk together the flour, cardomom, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. In another bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat in half of the flour mixture, then all of the yogurt, and then lastly, beat in the remaining flour mixture until JUST blended. 

Arrange the sliced peaches over the honey mixture (It will be firm to the touch), covering it as best you can. Drop batter by spoonfuls and gently spread it all over the peaches to cover completely. 

Bake until cake begins to pull away from the side, and toothpick comes out fairly clean. 35-40 minutes should do it. 

After it's cooled, run a knife around the pan sides to loosen the cake. Place serving plate/pedestal over pan, and flip! Make sure you wear oven mitts though. 

Serve it with a dollop of whipped cream :) 

xx Zareen 


  1. Wait.. I didn't know your blog would be the torture to my eyes....

    Oooh and everything you bake, its like your own invention? Wow wow!!!! :))

  2. This one goes straight to my 'must-try-out-very-very-very-soon' file, thank you for a great inspiration!!

  3. Hi again! So I've decided to make this cake (or better: to try to make this cake) next week! But I'm total cake virgin and I've baked maybe three or four times in my entire life. And I have question which might be absolutely stupid but I don't want to mess up, so - is it absolutely necessary to use brown sugar? We only have the white one and brown one is quite expensive where I live. Will it change the taste of the whole product a lot?

    1. Hi Lucie! I'm so happy you're trying this! Actually yes, you CAN substitute white sugar. Just be careful when you're stirring the honey, butter with the sugar- white sugar can burn a lot quicker than brown. I suggest cooking it on very low heat until the sugar dissolves. Brown sugar just gives it a more molasses like flavor but you'll be just fine :)

      xx Zareen

  4. Thank you very much! Will post a photo If it comes out right :-)!

  5. Well, that didn't go very well! As I said - I'm not a good baker (I'm a good cook but baking seems to be far beyond my powers!). The honey mixture part was quite easy and turned out just fine, but then... There was so many "What now?" and "Should it look like this?" and finally "No, it probably shouldn't look like this!" moments, I can't even count them all :D. I know I messed up somehow during making the dough. It turned out to be really weird and sticky and it definitely didn't have the colour that your has in the picture above(it was light brown). So I have a few questions and I hope you won't laugh at me!

    1/When you "beat the sugar and butter until light and fluffy" - how exactly is the mixture supposed to look? Mine looked a little like streusel, it was chunky. If it isn't supposed to look like that, might be the reason why it didn't went well that the butter was too cold - maybe not a room temperature?

    2/ After adding egg and other stuff step by step was I supposed to use an electric mixer again? Or just during butter/sugar part? I did use it and it was really, really sticky and not very runny, so it was a problem to pour it on peaches and spread it well all around the pan.

    3/On what temperature did you bake it? I used 350 F, because I found other upside-down cakes recipes use it, but I wasn't sure.

    After all, the taste was good, but it was a little sticky or wet or something (although the toothpick came out clear) and it was falling apart a lot. So it's just clumsy hands :). But my mum said she liked it so it wasn't a TOTAL disaster. I just need to figure it out better and try again. Hope I'm not boring you with my lame questions! I just really, really wish to learn how to bake!

    Thanks for all and take care,
    Lucie, the clumsy girl from the Czech republic

    1. Oh Lucie! I'm so sorry I wasn't as clear in the directions as I had hoped. I'll answer them in the order you asked :)

      1. The mixture will become a pale cream in color and fluffy in texture. YES, see you've figured it out yourself! Cold butter just won't do it, sadly. The rule of thumb in baking is to always use softened, room temperature butter (leave a couple sticks on counter for a few hours, or you can pop it into the microwave for 10 seconds to start with). It will guarantee a fluffy mixture.

      2. Yes. Electric mixer for it all. Did you make sure to mix the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and then gradually mix it into the butter mixture? And also, alternating between flour and yogurt?

      3. SOrry!! Yes, 350. Good catch.

      Aw I admire your willingness to learn and create. You WILL be a pro baker, one day :) Is there anything basic that you'd like me to post about? Something simple you'd like to try out? I'd be delighted to do so. I understand your frustration because that was me once, too! You'll be alright, I promise.

      xo Zareen

  6. Thank you so much for the instructions and everything! I will write it down and hopefully next time it'll end up better! I don't really know what basic stuff I would ask right now since I don't really know a first thing about baking and you answered everything about this recipe. But when I find something I don't understand or when I will wanna consult something, I'll definitely take you up on your offer, thank you very much :).