How to Make Upside Down Cake Recipes

I learned how to make upside down cake recipes many years ago starting with pineapple. These recipes are ones baked in a single layer. They are usually lined with fruit like peaches, pears, apples, cherries and probably the most popular is the pineapple.  Often before the batter or dough is added, butter, sugar and sometimes nuts or cherries are also placed at the bottom with the fruit. After baking, the cakes are turned over onto a plate to serve.

How to Make Upside Down Cake RecipesHow to Make an Old Fashioned Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe

When you learn how to make upside down cake recipes, you will find that many different countries have their own version. The French are known for their famous Tarte Tatin. Although this is called “cake”, it is actually a tart and I refer to it as an upside down pie. Whatever you want to call it, the sweet pastry crust makes it very delicious. I have a dislike for “mushy” apple pies so the large quartered apples make a wonderful contribution to this dessert. I try whatever apples I have on hand; most recently I use Fuji apples and they were delicious.

A caramel syrup develops on the bottom of the pan through the baking process of the Tarte Tatin. When it is inverted onto a plate the delicious syrup drizzles over the sweet pastry crust. If you spend much time learning how to make upside down cake recipes, you will run across the French version.  This was the creation of the “Tatin sisters” back in the eighteen hundreds. They were hotel owners. The French say that this dessert must be eaten while warm but I actually like my recipe better when cool. After inverting and setting, the syrup drizzles down to the bottom pastry crust and soaks into the crust. The flavor is really extraordinary!

In many of the tropical regions of the world, bananas are a staple ingredient in much of the cooking. The upside down cake recipe of Brazil is the Bolo de banana. Although we generally do not grow bananas here in the United States, it is still one of our favorite fruits. This banana upside down cake recipe is so delicious, it is worth everyone trying it. Like many of the other upside down cake recipes, a delicious caramel syrup is created on the bottom of the pan and when inverted it will be the topping.

America also has its own versions of upside down cake recipes. Here they might also be referred to as “skillet cakes”. Before Americans had access to ovens, the cooking was done over open fires mostly in cast iron skillets. This included pancakes, biscuits and even desserts like fruit skillet cakes.

The favorite of America’s skillet cake is the pineapple upside down cake recipe. Still the most popular way of cooking this cake is in a black cast iron skillet. As it bakes, the pineapple slices are caramelized in a brown sugar butter syrup. Like other versions, when inverting the cake onto a plate, this delicious caramel syrup runs over the cake.  Various types of fruit can be substituted in most of these recipes.


how to make upside down cake recipesHow to Make Peach Upside Down Cake Recipes
  • 1/3 Cup melted butter
  • ½ Cup packed brown sugar
  • 4 -5 Fresh peaches, peeled and cut in halves
  • ½ Cup shredded coconut
  • 2 Eggs
  • 2/3 Cup sugar
  • ½ Teaspoon almond extract
  • 6 Tablespoons peach juice or 2 tablespoons peach liqueur
  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Pour melted butter into 9 inch round cake baking pan; sprinkle with brown sugar.

Melted Butter in Round Baking PanMelted Butter in Round Baking Pan
Sprinkled Brown Sugar Over ButterSprinkled Brown Sugar Over Butter

Arrange peach halves over brown sugar with cut side down in a single layer.

Arrange Peach Halves Over Brown SugarArrange Peach Halves Over Brown Sugar
Sprinkle Coconut Around PeachesSprinkle Coconut Around Peaches

Sprinkle coconut around peaches; set aside.
Beat eggs in a mixing bowl until thick and lemon colored; gradually beat in the sugar.
Add almond extract and peach juice.
Combine flour, baking powder and salt; add to egg mixture and mix well.
Pour batter over peaches; bake for about 50 to 55 minutes or pick comes out clean.

Pouring Batter Over Coconut and PeachesPouring Batter Over Coconut and Peaches
Peach Upside Down Cake Recipe Ready for the OvenPeach Upside Down Cake Recipe Ready for the Oven

Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.
Run knife around edges; place plate on top and quickly invert onto platter.


  • ½ Cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ Teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 Tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ½ Cup pecan halves (or other nuts)
  • 2 Large firm bananas sliced

Cake Batter:

  • 1 ½ Cups flour
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • 1 Teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 Teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ Teaspoon salt
  • ¼ Cup cold butter
  • 1 Cup plain yogurt
  • 2 Beaten eggs
  • 2 Teaspoons grated lemon peel
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla

Combine in a small saucepan brown sugar, spices, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and butter; bring to a boil.
Reduce heat and cook without stirring until sugar is dissolved; pour into a 9 inch spring form pan.
Arrange pecan halves in pan with flat side up.
Pour remaining lemon juice into a small bowl; add bananas and toss carefully to coat, then drain.
Arrange banana slices in circular pattern over the pecans; set aside.
Combine flour, ½ cup sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl.
Cut in butter until crumbly.
Combine yogurt, eggs, lemon peel and vanilla and blend.
Stir yogurt mixture into flour mixture until all is moistened; spoon over bananas.
Bake at 375F degrees for 35 to 40 minutes or until pick comes out clean.
Cool 10 minutes; run knife around edges and invert onto a serving plate.
Serve with whipped cream.


Tarte Tatin Recipe or Upside Down Apple Cake RecipeTarte Tatin Recipe or Upside Down Apple Cake Recipe


  • 1 Cup flour
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • ½ Cup chilled butter
  • 1 Egg yolk
  • 2 Tablespoon ice water


  • 8-10 Apples
  • 1/3 Cup butter
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • ¼ Teaspoon grated lemon rind

Blend flour and 1 tablespoon sugar in a bowl; cut in chilled butter until crumbly.
Mix egg yolk and ice water together; drizzle over flour mixture and stir with a fork.
Blend until evenly moistened and gather in a ball.
Wrap dough in plastic wrap and chill while preparing filling.
Preheat oven to 425F degrees.
To make filling peel and core apples; cut each apple into 4 wedges.
Melt butter in bottom of a 9 inch tart pan over LOW heat; sprinkle evenly with sugar.

Melted ButterMelted Butter
Sprinkle with SugarSprinkle with Sugar

Arrange apple wedges upright in a circular pattern.

Arrange the ApplesArrange the Apples

Slice or chop other apple wedges to fill in gaps because the apples will shrink as they cook.
Cook uncovered over MEDIUM LOW heat until syrup is golden and thick about 30 minutes.
As apples cook baste with syrup from bottom; REDUCE HEAT if needed to prevent scorching.
Remove from heat and cool 30 minutes or until no longer steamy; sprinkle with lemon rind.
Roll out chilled pastry into a circle slightly larger than tart pan.
Place pastry over the apples; fold to the inside of pan to smooth edges.
Bake at 425F degrees for 10 minutes.
REDUCE HEAT to 375F degrees and bake for 20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.
Remove from oven and cook 5 minutes; place plate over tart pan and carefully invert onto plate.
If apple wedges stick to pan, replace on the top of Tarte Tatin.
Serve warm or cold topped with ice cream or whipped cream (I actually like it better when cold).


Old Fashioned Pineapple Upside Down Cake RecipeOld Fashioned Pineapple Upside Down Cake Recipe
  • 2/3 Cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ¼ Cup butter
  • 1 Can (15 ½ ounces) sliced pineapple
  • About 6 to 8 pecan halves
  • 1 Cup flour
  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • 1 ½ Teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • ½ Cup milk
  • ¼ Cup softened butter
  • 2 Large eggs
  • Maraschino cherries OPTIONAL

Melt brown sugar and butter in a 10 inch iron skillet over low heat; remove from heat.
Drain pineapple and reserve 2 tablespoons of the juice.
Place 1 slice of pineapple in center of the skillet; arrange slices around the center slice.
Place a pecan half in the center of each pineapple slice.
NOTE: I often use a maraschino cherry in the center instead of pecans.

Arrange Pineapples, Cherries and PecansArrange Pineapples, Cherries and Pecans

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large mixing bowl.
Add softened butter and milk into the flour mixture; beat on high speed until fluffy about 2 minutes.
Add reserved pineapple juice and eggs; beat mixture 2 more minutes.
Pour batter over the pineapple in the skillet.
Bake at 350F degrees for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and cake springs back when touched.
Remove from oven and let set 5 minutes; invert onto a large cake plate.

Cool Pineapple Upside Down Cake 5 Minutes Before InvertingCool Pineapple Upside Down Cake 5 Minutes Before Inverting


  • 1 Jar spiced apple rings
  • 6 Tablespoons softened butter divided
  • ½ Cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ Cup sliced toasted almonds
  • 1 Egg
  • ½ Cup milk
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 Cup flour
  • ½ Cup sugar
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons baking powder

Preheat oven to 350F degrees.
Drain the apple rings reserving 1 tablespoon of the syrup; set apple rings aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter; add the brown sugar and reserved syrup.
Spread mixture evenly over bottom of a greased 8 inch round baking pan; sprinkle with almonds.
Top almonds with apple rings; set aside.
Beat egg, milk, vanilla and remaining butter in a mixing bowl.
Combine flour, sugar and baking powder; add to egg mixture and mix well.
Spoon mixture over the apple rings; bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until pick comes out clean.
Remove from oven and cool 5 minutes; run knife around edge and invert on plate.
Serve with whipped cream.


  • ¼ Cup plus 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 Cup brown sugar
  • 12 Pitted dates
  • 1 Cup coarsely chopped pecans
  • 1 Cup flour
  • ¾ Cup sugar
  • 1/3 Cup shortening
  • ¾ Cup milk
  • 1 ½ Teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ Teaspoon salt
  • 1 Egg
  • Whipped cream

Preheat oven to 350F degrees; heat butter in a 10 inch ovenproof skillet (Or 9X9X2 inch baking pan)

Sprinkle brown sugar over melted butter; place dates on top of sugar so that each piece will be topped with a date.

Sprinkle pecans over the dates.

Combine flour, sugar, shortening, milk, baking powder, egg, salt and milk; beat until well blended.

Pour mixture over top of date/ pecans in pan. Bake 40 to 45 minutes or until pick comes out clean.

Run knife around edges of pan to loosen; turn out onto heatproof platter.

NOTE: Leave skillet over the platter a few minutes for drippings to drip out.

Whip cream until stiff and serve; 12 servings.